For a smaller rear end target the gluteus maximus with resistance training along with cardiovascular workouts to burn calories. You need muscle for shapely, toned glutes, but you won't be able to see that definition if fat is covering it up. Cardio and proper eating reduce body fat to make your body thinner, including your buttocks. The glutes are easy muscles to isolate. Always consult a health care provider before trying a new exercise.
Step-ups are a glute-targeting exercise that allow you to hold weights without placing stress on your spine like the more popular glute exercise, the squat. You do not need to lift heavy weights when exercising your glutes to become compact. However, if you are already strong then just stepping with your bodyweight will not be enough to tire your glutes. To perform a step-up, stand in front of a 15-inch box or exercise bench holding a dumbbell in each hand. Place your arms at your sides or on your hips. Step onto the box with your right foot and then your left foot. Step down with your left foot and then your right. Perform an equal number of step-ups with each foot leading.
Gluteus Maximus Kickbacks
The gluteus maximus kickbacks not only target the right muscle, but they also remove the possibility of stressing the knees. If you have knee problems you may experience pain when bending your knees for glute exercises like step-ups, squats and lunges. The gluteus maximus kickback takes weight off your knees and holds them in a fixed position. To perform the exercise, kneel and place your hands on the floor shoulder-width apart. Keep your spine straight, lift your right knee off the floor and extend your right leg backwards until it is parallel with the floor. Repeat with the left leg.
Vertical and Horizontal Leg Press
A vertical and horizontal leg press machine targets the gluteus maximus in a stable environment. Since you are not standing up, you do not have to balance or support your bodyweight. This is ideal if you are a beginner exerciser or have poor balance. Also, the leg press offers an alternative if you have sensitive knees and do not feel comfortable kneeling on the floor. Both the vertical and horizontal leg presses use the same motion. On a vertical leg press, lie with your back on the back rest and extend your legs up to touch the foot platform. On a horizontal leg press, sit on the seat and extend the legs forward to the platform. For both machines, bend your knees toward your chest and then press the foot platform forward.
10-Minute Cardio Sessions
Short cardio sessions might not target your gluteus maximus like leg presses, but leg presses and other strength training exercises do not attack the fat on your butt. They only firm the gluteus maximus muscle. Performing three short exercise sessions of 10 minutes each is as effective as one full 30-minute session and is easier to fit into your schedule. The Centers for Disease Control recommends five days a week of cardio in addition to two days a week of strength training.