When it comes to getting gorgeous glutes, you can’t rely on just any cardio exercise. You have to be strategic. While it’s true that all cardio is helpful for burning calories and shedding weight from head to toe, there are specific workouts that target the butt and help you build muscle in that area, providing better shape as you drop the fat. If you want to burn calories and charge your glutes at the same time, you can. All it takes is a little wisdom and effort.
If you want to get your glutes to work overtime, hill running is one of the best cardio exercises you can do. It blasts a ton of calories and also forces your glutes to engage in the motion. While running on a flat surface will shape your glutes through normal calorie burn, it won’t recruit them to take part in supplying the power. When you switch to an incline, however, the glutes start firing in an effort to propel you upward and onward.
If running isn’t your idea of a positive workout, you can target your glutes in a similar way by walking at an incline. While walking on an even plane won’t engage your glutes to a high degree, kicking up the elevation will. You can either exercise outside on a hilly path or trail or use the treadmill and set the incline to a challenging level.
By allowing you to control the incline and resistance, the elliptical machine can also help you challenge your glutes. Most elliptical machines illustrate the muscle groups being worked in a section on their control panel so you know exactly what you’re targeting as you change the settings. When working out on the elliptical, you can get a powerful burn in your glutes by increasing the incline and resistance either in intervals or for the entire duration of your workout.
When you take to the stair climber or stepper, you can expect to challenge your glutes to a hard workout. With the majority of the motion being to push your body upward, the major muscles activated are your quads and glutes. If you don’t have access to a stair machine, you can use real stairs instead by going to a local stadium or using a vacant stairwell.
When working to shape your glutes, it’s important to remember that spot-training is a myth. You can’t lose weight from just one area of your body by working it repeatedly. What you can do instead is focus on building the glute muscles and dropping weight from your whole body. Combine your cardio with a glute-building strength plan and a healthy diet to maximize your results, and always consult with your physician before starting a new training program.
After graduating from the University of Kansas with a bachelor's degree in sports information, Jill Lee served for 10 years as a magazine editor for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). Also a published author, Lee now works as a professional writer and editor focusing on fitness, sports and careers.