If you want a shapelier derriere, a jump rope is certainly your friend. Because it targets your glutes as well as your quads, hamstrings and calves, jumping rope is an efficient way to get your cardio and tone your lower body at the same time. While this exercise can certainly perk up those rear muscles, building a bigger butt largely depends on your overall body size. If you're underweight right now, this means you'll have to gain a few pounds to see a major difference in curves.
Before you start jumping like a schoolgirl on the playground, make sure you have the right gear. Quality shoes are essential, since your feet are going to take a serious pounding. To protect your delicate tootsies, go for cross trainers or aerobic shoes with plenty of cushioning and reinforced toes. There are scores of fancy jump rope options out there, but choose a lightweight one with foam grips, which are less likely to slip out of sweaty hands.
Once you're good to go, avoid injury by using correct posture as you jump. Don't grasp the handles with a death grip -- you'll only tire out your hands; a light grip will do. Relax your shoulders and keep your elbows close to your sides. Avoid locking your knees, and only use your wrists to turn the rope. Keep your chin up and your back straight, jumping just a couple of inches from the ground. High jumps can be brutal on your joints.
Jumping up and down is great, but it might get old fast. Add some variety and get a more complete workout by jumping from side to side or forward and backward. To build maximum glute muscle, add some additional buttock-blasting moves to your routine, as well. Lunges and squats are easy to do at home, and you can hold a weight in each hand for added resistance. Ease into your routine with just 10 minutes of jumping; later, add 10 repetitions each of resistance exercises. Then work up to longer jump sessions and more reps.
If you're underweight, you need to do more than just exercise to build that booty. Gain weight by eating high-calorie foods that also provide plenty of nutrients; peanut butter, almonds, dried fruit and avocados are all excellent choices. Eat a meal every three hours, and include protein, carbs, vegetables and fat. Protein shakes make great weight-gain snacks, and drinking smoothies and juices with meals also helps you increase your calorie count. Top your food with dressings like guacamole or olive oil to add calories with little bulk.
Nina K. is a Los Angeles-based journalist who has been published by USAToday.com, Fitday.com, Healthy Living Magazine, Organic Authority and numerous other print and web publications. She has a philosophy degree from the University of Colorado and a journalism certificate from UCLA.