Lunges and stair-climbing rank among the top exercises for toning and shaping those oh-so-stubborn butt muscles, according to a survey of American Council on Exercise certified fitness professionals. Stair-climbing may burn more calories than lunges, which is more of a muscle-toning exercise, but you can't go wrong by including both in your routine to shape, tone and tighten those flabby gluteal muscles.
“You will only see a change in shape if you are doing fat-burning aerobic exercise" reports Richard Cotton, ACE's chief exercise physiologist. Stair-climbing combines cardiovascular activity to burn excess fat from your butt and muscle-strengthening activity to tone and shape flabby butt muscles. Incorporate stair-climbing into your exercise routine in a variety of ways. For example, avoid escalators and use the stairs in office buildings, shopping malls and car parks. According to NutriStrategy, if you weigh around 155 pounds, you will lose 1,056 calories by running up stairs for an hour. Running up and down stairs for one hour is rather extreme. A more reasonable option is walking or running up and down bleachers for 15 to 30 minutes.
You may prefer the convenience of using a stair-climbing machine in a gym to burn fat and tone your butt. To fully engage your glutes, ensure you go through a full range of motion by depressing the foot pads all way down to the floor and bringing your knees as high as you can on the upward motion. Maintain pressure on the pads throughout the movement. According to NutriStrategy, a 155-pound person burns 633 calories in an hour using a stair climber.
You can do lunges in a variety of ways at varying intensities, but the forward lunge is the most commonly practiced. Proper technique is essential to really hit your gluteals. With your feet hip-width apart, step forward about two shoulder-widths and drop your weight down by bending both knees. Keeping your body upright and your front heel flat, stop when your front thigh is parallel to the floor and your knee is in line with your heel. Push down with your heel, straighten up and return to your starting position. Repeat with your other leg. For added resistance, hold a barbell across your shoulders or a dumbbell in each hand.
Take your butt workout to another level with walking lunges. Adopt the same technique as in the front lunge, but instead of returning to your starting position as you straighten up, step forward into another lunge. Keep stepping forward for your desired number of steps or until you run out of space. If you feel strong and up for a challenge, retrace your steps by lunging backward. Hold a dumbbell in each hand for added resistance. This routine should leave your thighs and butt burning.
- American Council on Exercise: American Council on Exercise(ACE) Certified Professionals Say Do More Squats, Lunges
- American Council on Exercise: Glutes To the Max
- Shape.Fit.com: Butt Exercises: Walking Dumbbell Lunges.
- ExRx.net: Lunge
- NutriStrategy: Calories Burned During Exercise, Activities, Sports and Work
- Kane Skennar/Photodisc/Getty Images