If you want to add some va-va-va-voom to your rear end, targeted strength-training moves like isometric tightening can help. As a bonus, you can perform isometrics just about anywhere -- no equipment or expensive gym membership required. However, the best way to sculpt shapely buns is to incorporate a variety of moves into your glute-shaping arsenal. Check with your doctor before embarking on a new exercise program.
It's a simple concept -- hold still and contract your muscles to perform isometrics. Your joints remain still, so your muscles don't lengthen or shorten as you flex. Doctors often recommend isometric exercises for injury rehabilitation, according to MayoClinic.com, as many such moves are safe with damaged joints. Isometrics can be quite simple -- merely flexing your glutes counts -- but also get fairly complex. Hatha yoga, for example, is based on isometric training. Practitioners bend into position and then hold the pose for continuous muscle contraction.
Isometrics and Glutes
There are plenty of isometric moves that sculpt your rear. If yoga is your thing, try Warrior I pose, which involves standing in a lunge-like posture with your arms extended upward, as well as Locust Pose, in which you lie on your stomach with your chest and legs lifted from the ground. Hold each pose for about five breaths. The lying butt bridge is another option. Lie on your back with your hands by your sides and knees bent so your feet are flat on the ground, then lift your midsection in the air, squeeze your buttocks and hold for 30 seconds. For best results, repeat isometric exercises eight to 12 times.
Other Buttock Exercises
For a well-rounded workout -- and well-rounded buns -- incorporate movement-based exercises into your routine along with isometrics. Squats are especially effective for sculpting your buttocks; perform them by standing with your knees shoulder-width apart, bending your hips and knees until your thighs parallel the ground, and then standing back up. Other glute-blasters include step-ups, which involve stepping up and down from a platform, and jump-and-reaches, which involve jumping up from a squat-like position while extending your arms upward. Perform each exercise 12 times, rest and perform a second set.
Strive to perform isometrics and other strength-training exercises three times per week -- but don't stop at your buttocks. Work all muscle groups, including glutes, legs, arms, stomach, chest and back. You also need aerobic exercise for optimal health, so perform 150 to 300 minutes per week of moderate cardio or 75 to 150 minutes per week of vigorous cardio. Moderate cardio includes walking fast, swimming casually and pushing a heavy lawn mower. Vigorous cardio includes running, swimming laps and playing basketball.
- MayoClinic.com: Isometric Exercises: Good for Strength Training?
- IdeaFit.com: Stretch Or Strength?
- YogaJournal.com: Glute Camp
- ShapeFit.com: Butt Exercises - Lying Butt Bridge
- ExRx.net: Squat
- American Council on Exercise: Butt & Hip Exercises
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity do Adults Need?
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.