Stronger glutes can be just a walk away with the right treadmill moves. Walking on an incline engages your gluteal muscles to build more lean mass, resulting in a stronger, more toned rear. Keep in mind, however, that no exercise will change your body shape completely. If you're built like Kate Moss right now, no treadmill will turn you into J-Lo. That said, health and fitness level are far more important than appearance in the long run, so treat your glutes right with regular treadmill sessions.
It's tempting to cling to the treadmill railing as you climb, but that's no way to build a stronger booty. Step just as though you're walking up a hill outdoors; use a natural stride and keep your hands to yourself as much as possible. Your body weight should land on the heel of each foot. With proper form, you'll work your glutes and legs more fully -- and even burn more calories.
If you're new to the workout world, start with 30 minutes on the treadmill per session, five days per week. That's in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's minimum cardio recommendations. You don't need to maintain a steep incline the whole time -- train in intervals if that's too hard. If you're somewhat fit, use the treadmill for 45 minutes, five times per week; if you're in great shape, bump up that time to an hour. Use an incline level that feels hard, but doesn't take the wind out of you.
The treadmill can only go so far in strengthening your glutes, but resistance training can take you the rest of the way. Body-weight exercises such as step-ups and squats are terrific buttock boosters. If you go to the gym, try deadlifts, leg presses and lying hip extensions. Perform each exercise 12 times, working up to a second set of 12 as your glutes grow stronger.
Other Treadmill Benefits
When it comes to treadmill benefits, muscle strengthening is just the tip of the iceberg. Walking uphill provides an aerobic workout that can reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels and help ward off heart disease. It also increases lung function, building endurance for life's other activities. You'll enjoy a healthier immune system, making you less likely to get the flu. You'll also feel better from the endorphin boost. Best of all, you may even live longer -- those who do cardio tend to enjoy greater longevity than those who don't.
Nina K. is a Los Angeles-based journalist who has been published by USAToday.com, Fitday.com, Healthy Living Magazine, Organic Authority and numerous other print and web publications. She has a philosophy degree from the University of Colorado and a journalism certificate from UCLA.