When it comes to toning your backside, nothing beats jump training. Jump training, also referred to as plyometrics, works the body through dynamic body-weight exercises. This type of workout utilizes hops and jumps that focus on the lengthening and shortening of the muscles in the legs, helping to increase muscle power. Plyometric training not only tones and strengthens the lower body quickly, but it also increase your heart rate, making it an aerobic, calorie-burning workout.
Traditional Jump Squat
The best place to start plyometric training is with the most basic move: the traditional jump squat. Squat jumps provide all the same booty-toning benefits as a traditional squat, with a few added benefits. The squat jump strengthens your quads, glutes and hamstrings like a basic squat but also tones your calves and has cardiovascular benefits. To perform, lower down into a squat. With your arms at your sides, jump up, exploding through your legs. Swing your arms up overhead as you jump. Land softly into a squat again and repeat. Do three sets of 10 repetitions.
Box jumps are a great plyometric exercise for your glutes because of the power that is needed during the movement. You explode through your legs and glutes to jump out of a squat and onto a box. Once you are on the box you then have to push through your legs to stand up, utilizing your glute and leg muscles. To begin, stand in front of a box or a step. Lower into a slight squat and explode through your legs, jumping up onto the box. Step or jump back down. Increase the height as you get more comfortable and powerful. Do three sets of 10 repetitions.
Lateral bounds work on the entire lower body, including the hard-to-tone inner and outer thigh muscles. Each side-to-side jump is like a single-leg jump squat. The balance and strength required to hop from one leg to another puts stress on each leg, helping to tone and strengthen the entire lower body, including the glutes. To begin, stand with feet close together, knees bent slightly, with arms by your sides. Bring your right foot off the floor and jump as far as you can to the right, landing on your right foot with your leg bent slightly. Immediately push off your right leg and jump to the left, landing on your left foot. Do three sets of 10 repetitions on each side.
Box Lateral Jumps
The box lateral jump may sound simple, but after just a few jumps your glutes will be feeling the burn. This move is basically a string of mini jump squats put together, but instead of jumping up you are jumping to the sides. Begin by standing on a small box. Jump off the box to the right side, landing on both feet with knees bent slightly into a squat. Jump back onto the box with both feet, then jump down to the other side. Try to keep the jumps fluid and continuous, and keep your knees bent. You should be landing in a slight squat with each jump. Do three sets of 10 jumps on each side.
Kaitlin Condon is a holistic health coach and certified physical fitness/wellness specialist. She is a contributing health writer for the teen magazine "Miabella," as well as several online publications.