Although walking or running on flat ground will also lead to lifting of the buttocks, hill climbing will isolate the gluteal muscles more intensely since added effort is required to push the weight of your body upward. It also burns calories, removing the outer layer of unwanted fat that causes the butt to sag. The amount of incline, speed of the climb, stride length and direction traveled will determine how much and how fast your butt will lift.
How It Works
Just like any weight-resistance exercise, hill climbs put strain on the butt muscles, causing micro-tears in the tissue, which leads the body to repair itself and become tighter and therefore "lift" (as long as proper nutrition and rest is present). Changing up the length and direction of your stride will engage different parts of the gluteal muscles, working them more completely. Climb different inclines, find trails with diagonal or windy patterns, side-step or take larger steps.
What to Do
Find a hill that is challenging enough to feel lactic acid build-up in the butt and legs, but not so hard that you are breathing erratically at the top. Trails may contain loose rock, holes and downhill traffic, so pay attention. If finding a hill is not an option, find a flight of stairs or use a treadmill with at least a 7 percent incline. If you are just beginning to get in shape, run or walk three times a week for 30 minutes, or simply as a supplement to another regimen you might have. Never do two hill workouts within 48 hours of each other since this can lead to limited butt lift gains by causing muscles to atrophy.
What goes up must come down. Downhill trekking takes impact off the gluteal muscles and puts it on the knees, hips and abdominals. For those who are susceptible to shin splints, it is best to not overdue downhill exercise, especially when the decline is steep and the path is paved. Taking a few days off between downward treks will prevent shin muscle tears. Trying to run or walk off shin splints can lead to hairline cracks in the shin bone.
Tips and Tricks
Nutrition is just as important as exercise for a butt lift. A low-fat, high-protein diet will reduce fat and allow muscles to repair themselves more effectively and become tighter faster. Incorporating squats and lunges mixes things up and allows for the inclusion of weight resistance for maximum results. Targeting fat is impossible; you can do all the butt toning you want, but that does not mean the fat on your butt will shrink before your stomach, breasts, arms or other body parts. The order in which fat is lost on the body is determined by genetics.
Matthew Demers is a certified personal trainer based in Windsor, Canada. He is also the co-founder of YourSpace Fitness.