You sit, it sags. All those hours spent behind a desk may be hazardous to your derriere’s appearance. If you covet lean, tight, chiseled buns of steel, then you’re going to need to get up and kick your butt into gear. You don't need to drive to a gym or buy some contraption being hawked on TV to sculpt a toned tush. Simple yet effective exercises such as bridges, lunges and squats are butt-busters that you can do in your home without any special equipment.
Glute Bridge (Hip Lift)
Lie back on an exercise mat to protect your tailbone, but don't get too comfy. This movement works your butt, abdominal muscles, back and legs. Plant your feet on the ground hip-distance apart, bend your knees to a 45-degree angle and rest your arms along your sides. Keep your knees and hips in line.
Peel up your hips 6 to 12 inches, keeping your body straight from your knees to your shoulders. Tighten your butt and hamstrings at the top. Hold for one count and then lower back down. Don't overreach your spine. Repeat as many in one minute as you can.
Kick up the intensity by extending one leg off the ground as you raise it into the bridge position. Point your toes as you lift the raised leg higher and then flex your foot to lower it down. Hold the position for up for five seconds. Do as many as you can for 30 seconds on each leg.
Sculpt that butt with the added benefit of strengthening your hips, thighs and abs. Stand tall with your feet together, and brace your abs to stabilize your spine. Keep your arms lowered at your side.
Step one leg forward about 3 to 4 feet into the lunge, dropping that leg's knee as comfortably as you can until your front thigh is parallel with the floor. Balance your weight between the heel of your front foot and the ball of your back foot.
Push off with the front leg, activating both your thighs and butt muscles to return to your upright, starting position. Do 20 repetitions on each leg or alternate between legs. The longer the step, the more effective the movement will be. Do not extend your front knee beyond the toes of your front foot. Avoid doing so by taking a longer stance.
This kind of sitting is good for your butt and the rest of your lower body. Stand with your back to a chair. Position your feet hip-distance apart with your arms at your sides. Any household chair will work as long it's sturdy and does not have wheels.
Lower your weight slowly onto the chair. Your goal is to touch your butt on the chair without actually sitting down. Raise your arms up like Superman as a counterbalance. Sit for one count and stand up. Do as many slow-and-steady repetitions as you can in one minute.
To toughen this, hold a squat position over the chair for five seconds without touching it. Do as many of these as you can for one minute. Try it without the chair. This will let you to squat even lower.
- American Council on Exercise: Butt & Hip Exercises
- Fitness Magazine: Best 10 Exercises to Tone Your Butt
- The 10-Minute Total Body Breakthrough; Sean Foy, M.A.
- After working out your buttocks, stretch. One of the best is the lying glute stretch. Lie with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Cross one leg over the thigh of your other leg. Grab that crossed foot and knee and pull it toward your torso. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds on each side and feel the relief.
- A person breathes about 25,000 times per day. Don't forget to breathe as you exercise. Not only does this improve athletic performance, it helps oxygenate hard-working muscles.
- As in any fitness regimen, work into each exercise. Don't be discouraged if you can't do all the suggested repetitions the first or second time. That will come with practice.
Stuart Sudak has been a journalist, writer and editor for more than 20 years. He has worked at newspapers in the Chicago and Minneapolis areas, winning numerous writing awards.