Large, strong and shapely derrieres have to be earned. That means hitting the gym for resistance-training sessions that include exercises targeted to your butt. The glutes are the largest muscle group in your body and consist of the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. Though all three muscles work together, the gluteus maximus is the most prominent and the one that gives you that desirable big butt look. Squats, executed with the correct form, can help your backside to be big and beautiful.
Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width. Narrower stances may prevent you from executing the full range of motion. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, with your palms facing in.
Pull your abdominal muscles in toward your spine and push your shoulder blades down your back. Lift your chest and maintain a straight spine throughout the exercise to help keep your body in alignment.
Bring the dumbbells to the front of your shoulders, with your forearms parallel to each other and the elbows pointing down. Avoid rounding your shoulders or leaning forward due to the weight. Use a lighter resistance level if you cannot stand tall while holding the dumbbells.
Bend your knees as your hips hinge back to lower into the squat. Your torso may naturally lean slightly forward. Keep your head straight and neck neutral to maintain proper spine alignment. The abdominal muscles stay engaged to prevent your lower back from arching or rounding. Lower your butt until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Engage your glutes to help you control the descent.
Hold the contraction at the bottom of the squat for one count. Push through your heels to further engage your glutes, and rise back up to starting position. Maintain a straight spine throughout the ascent. Complete three rounds of eight to 12 squats.
- Choose a resistance level that makes the squat challenging yet still allows for proper form. Gradually increase the weight of the dumbbells as your glutes become stronger.
- Keep your knees in line with your second toes and avoid allowing the knees to travel past the toes.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor throughout the squat; lifting your heels or toes can throw your lower back, hips or knees out of alignment.
- Discontinue the exercise and consult a physician if you feel pain in your lower back, hips or knees.
Beth Rifkin has been writing health- and fitness-related articles since 2005. Her bylines include "Tennis Life," "Ms. Fitness," "Triathlon Magazine," "Inside Tennis" and others. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Temple University.