Though fashion trends come and go, one thing that seems to always be en vogue is a firm and toned booty. If this is your goal, then you need to do a variety of glute-toning resistance exercises. Eat a healthy daily diet, do regular cardio and get your skinny jeans ready!
There are three muscles that make up the butt: the gluteus maximus, the gluteus medius and the gluteus minimus. The gluteus maximus is the largest of the three. It's a wide, thick muscle just under the surface of the butt. When people talk about their glutes, they're usually referring to the gluteus maximus, because this is the muscle that contributes the most to the shape of the butt. Therefore, this is the muscle you should particularly target with resistance training.
Body Weight Exercises
If you don't have access to a gym, you can still get a fabulous butt workout in the comfort of your living room. Body weight squats and walking lunges are excellent for the butt, hips and legs. During lunges, you can maximize the load on the glutes by rotating your arms and torso in the opposite direction of each lunge movement. Mountain climbers, side lunges, glute kickbacks and supermans are also excellent for your rear-end. Up the intensity of your workout by adding some plyometric exercises such as squat jumps and forward linear jumps. If you're advanced, test yourself with super challenging one-legged pistol squats.
Free weight exercises will allow you to up the resistance intensity. Barbell squats and deadlifts are heavy hitters for the glutes. Barbell lunges at the weight rack are also excellent. Alternatively, you can use dumbbells and perform walking lunges. Focus on gluteal contraction through the upward motion of each of these exercises.
There are a couple of weight machines that will help boost your booty. The seated leg press and hack squat machine will work the same muscles as squats. The lying hamstring curl and hip adductor machines will force your glutes to work as synergists. The butt blaster machine is the granddaddy of all resistance machines for the glutes, because it targets the gluteals more than any other machine.
Precaution and Tips
Always consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise regimen. If you need help with exercise form, ask a fitness professional.
Resistance training exercises will build and tone the glutes, but you may need to reduce your body fat to be able to see the results. Burn excess chub that's hiding your beautifully sculpted glutes by integrating moderate cardio and eating a healthy diet of lean proteins and fresh fruits and vegetables.
Jessica Bell has been working in the health and fitness industry since 2002. She has served as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. Bell holds an M.A. in communications and a B.A. in English.