Consistently treating your glutes as a seat cushion can weaken them and result in a muscle imbalance that triggers knee, back and hip injuries. Getting off your tush and performing targeted exercises can strengthen and tone the muscles in your butt and prevent forward-tilting hips that trigger that dreaded lower belly pooch that is a struggle for many women. These exercises don't require fancy equipment and can be done right at home.
Fat-Blasting Workout Routine
Women are prone to store fat in their lower bodies, and if you carry excess fat in your buttocks, you won't see any muscle definition regardless of how many targeted exercises you do. To reduce fat, experts recommend doing at least 30 minutes of cardio on most days and strength training on two days of the week. At home, cardio can include mowing the lawn, jumping rope, jogging in place, or if available, using a stationary bike or treadmill. In addition to butt-toning exercises, strength training can include pushups, planks, dead lifts and dumbbell chest presses.
Get Down on All Fours
Research sponsored by the American Council on Exercise shows that quadruped hip extensions are one of the most effective butt exercises you can include in your workout. The exercise is done on your hands and knees. Raise one leg behind you, keeping your knee bent 90 degrees and pointing the bottom of your foot to the ceiling. When your thigh is parallel to the floor, squeeze your tush and lower your leg back down. After 12 reps, switch sides.
Butt-Toning Lunge Exercises
Making lunges part of your home workout is beneficial, because in addition to your buttocks, they also work the large muscles in your legs for optimal caloric burn. Include basic lunges during which you take a big step forward with one foot, bend your knees and lower your hips. Then, when your front thigh is parallel to the floor, return to the starting point and switch legs. Continue alternating your legs to finish 12 reps. For an extra challenge, lunge while resting one foot on a platform in front or behind you, hold dumbbells in your hands, or perform walking lunges.
Squeeze Your Butt
You can work your glutes by squeezing your butt cheeks together. You can do this while sitting in a chair, lying down or standing upright. The bridge exercise emphasizes this contraction. It's done lying face up on the floor with your knees bent. Then raise your butt and back until your knees and shoulders are aligned. Squeeze your glutes and tighten your abs to hold this position for two to five counts. Then slowly lower and repeat the motion 12 times. Doing the exercise on one leg can make it more challenging.
- Women's Health Big Book of Exercises; Adam Campbell
- Ask the Trainer: Leg and Butt Exercises
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- American Council on Exercise: ACE Lists Best Butt Exercises - Exclusive ACE Research Announces Most Effective Gluteus Maximus Training
- American Council on Exercise: Glute Bridge