If you want a sexy, toned look from behind, you need to focus on cardio exercises that condition the muscles of your rear. Your glutes are the muscles that make up your derriere, including the gluteus maximus, medius and minimus. Cycling is a great way to get these muscles in shape for that new mini or pair of tight jeans.
Resistance is Key
Cyclists must use varying levels of resistance to continue to challenge themselves and build and tone muscles. Resistance might come from the terrain, but also can be controlled by the cyclist using gears or, if you are on an exercise bike, different settings. Your level of resistance will depend on your level of fitness and training, but continually varying it according to the terrain and workout will help keep up the challenge and joy of the ride, while toning your butt muscles at the same.
Hilly Terrain Workout
Varying the terrain for your ride will give your glutes an extra workout. Choose a route with several hills or choose a hill setting if you are working out indoors on an exercise bike. Warm up before you challenge your glutes with the hills by cycling at a slow to moderate pace for at least 15 minutes. Try for six hills, circling back to complete the same hill if your terrain does not allow for six. On the first hill, stay seated with moderate resistance, increasing the resistance for the second run. On the third and fourth hill, when you increase the resistance, stand about halfway through the hill. By the last three hills you can stand the entire time, with a moderate resistance increasing for the final hill. Recover from each climb on the downhill. After six hills, allow your glutes to rest while you cycle at a moderate pace for 30 minutes. Finish with a slower five-minute cool down ride.
Interval Training Workout
A good cycling glute workout will vary in speed as well as resistance. Practice interval training to work your butt muscles throughout your ride. Begin with a 10-minute warm up at moderate speed. For each interval, pedal hard for the amount of time, with a one-minute recovery of low resistance and speed. Your first three intervals can be done while seated, pedaling hard for 10, then 20, then 30 seconds, resting for a minute between. The following three intervals can be done standing up, pedaling for 10, 15 and 20 seconds. Finish with a five-minute cool down with low resistance and a slower pace.
For your glutes to be toned through these cycling workouts, you must practice proper technique. Make sure your bike is in good condition and properly adjusted according to your height and body shape. Your seat should be at a height so that your knees are almost extended when you are in motion. As you ride, focus on keeping your core muscles tight while you contract the muscles of your upper and lower legs and your glutes.
Joelle Dedalus began writing professionally for websites such as PugetSoundMagazine.com in 2009. She received her B.A. in English education at Iowa State University and is currently a M.F.A. candidate in creative nonfiction writing at Emerson College in Boston, where she is developing a manuscript on literary travel. Her areas of expertise include travel and literature, the outdoors and the arts.