Toning and tightening your backside isn’t easy, but the right exercises can help you literally work that butt off. Your gluteus maximus, or buttocks, aren’t just for decoration; these muscles serve a purpose in fitness. Your glutes play a major role in your balance and running speed, helping to control your trunk and slow your leg swing while running. Luckily, you don’t need expensive gym equipment for an effective butt workout.
No Gym Equipment Required
Many butt-blasting workouts require absolutely no gym equipment, which is especially useful for beginners. A few of the more effective exercises include supermans, body-weight squats, bent-knee hip extensions, calf raises and lunges. Choosing two or three of these body-weight exercises per session will provide an effective workout. Exercise 10 to 15 minutes every other day to start.
Dumbbells, stair steps and exercise balls are inexpensive and versatile workout tools. With the exercise ball and a set of dumbbells, you can do weighted wall squats. You can also do dumbbell squats without the exercise ball once your squat technique is perfected. Stair-stepper exercises work the glutes and most muscles of the legs. If you don’t have a stair stepper, use a set of stairs to go up and down for one- to three-minute quick-sets. Adding weight to any body-weight exercise is a great way to add a bit of resistance; ankle weights come in handy here.
Advanced Exercises for the Glutes
Increase the intensity, duration and/or resistance of your butt workout to really work on tightening and toning your backside. Since the glutes play an important role when running, sprinting is an effective way to target the buttocks head on. A second advanced body-weight exercise is the squat jump, where you do a basic squat and explode upward, jumping as high as you can. Barbell squats can help add significant resistance to your squat workout. Certain exercise machines also target the glutes, including reverse leg extensions and reverse cable leg lifts.
If you’re a beginner, don’t start out with more advanced exercises. This can lead to injuries or at the very least significant muscle soreness. It may take several weeks before you start noticing any progress, so be patient. Exercise your buns up to three times per week with at least one day of rest in between workouts. Choose up to three butt exercises for each workout, and do about three sets of 15 to 20 repetitions for each. Aim for about 15 minutes per workout. Change up the exercises each week to keep your workouts fresh. You should start noticing tighter, firmer buns within four or five weeks.
Joseph Eitel has written for a variety of respected online publications since 2006 including the Developer Shed Network and Huddle.net. He has dedicated his life to researching and writing about diet, nutrition and exercise. Eitel's health blog, PromoteHealth.info, has become an authority in the healthy-living niche. He graduated with honors from Kellogg Community College in 2010 with an Associate of Applied Science.