If you long for a feminine, hourglass figure, squats may be able to help. These moves work your hip area and build muscle in just the right places for added oomph. However, you can't switch from an apple to an hourglass or pear shape, no matter how hard you work out -- not every woman can have a big, round booty. And if you're on the skinny side, you may need to gain weight to build curves.
Talk about major muscle building -- squats work the entire lower half of your body. These moves start from a standing position, and involve bending your hips and knees to lower yourself downward before standing back up. One of the most powerful buttocks exercises around, squats target your glutes but also engage quadriceps and hamstrings in the thighs as well as calf, abdominal and lower-back muscles. You can increase resistance by holding dumbbells or using a barbell as you squat, but the body-weight version is more than tough enough for most beginners. Perform 12 squats, rest and perform two additional sets.
Squats and Muscle
Performing squats will develop lean muscle mass in your buttocks, effectively causing them to grow -- but only if you hang onto the fat tissue as well. Muscle is denser than fat, so if you lose weight while gaining muscle your measurements will probably shrink, according to ExRx.net. And as you develop muscle, your metabolism will rise slightly as your body expends calories to sustain the new tissue. Thus, you'll probably need to increase calorie intake for optimal results.
Other Squat Benefits
Resistance moves such as squats do much more than improve your appearance. They also make you stronger while building balance, leaving you less susceptible to accidents. The training also strengthens bones and fights diabetes and depression, claims the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But don't stop at squats -- balance your posture and improve total body strength by performing exercises for all muscle groups: legs, arms, back, chest, hips and stomach.
Increasing Body Size
To grow shapelier hips, you may need to add some body fat. The only way to do this is to eat more than you burn -- to estimate calorie needs, multiply your weight times 18. So at 112 pounds, you'll probably gain weight consuming 2,016 calories every day. If you're highly active, you'll need more. Focus on high-calorie, nutrient-rich fare such as avocados, nuts and reduced-fat cheeses. Eat often throughout the day, and sip on smoothies between meals. And don't use weight gain as an excuse to pig out on ice cream; junk food is still junk food.
- ShapeFit.com: Cheap No Cost Workouts - Four Basic Bodyweight Exercises To Get Fit Fast
- ExRx.net: Diet and Exercise
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Why Strength Training?
- ShapeFit.com: Basal Metabolic Rate - Learn How To Calculate & Find Your BMR
- MayoClinic.com: Underweight? See How to Add Pounds Healthfully
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.