The buttocks are made up primarily of the gluteus maximus muscles, which are the largest and strongest muscles not only in the butt but also in the entire human body. To tighten and tone your butt, your workout must include exercises that target these muscles, along with cardio to burn off layers of fat so that muscles are visible.
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Cycling is an excellent exercise for building strength in the glutes, which in turn creates a tighter, more defined butt. The main action in which the glutes are utilized during cycling is the push down on the pedal to power the bike forward. The smaller gluteus medius and gluteus minimus muscles, as well as the hamstrings, are also worked.
Squats are among the most effective exercises for all the major muscle groups in your lower body, including your glutes. Start in a standing position with your feet about hip-width apart, toes pointed slightly outward. A wider stance helps target the glutes even more during the exercise. Lower your body, bending at the knees as you put your weight on your heels and keep your knees in line with your toes. Keep going until your thighs are about parallel to the floor. Return to a standing position. Repeat. Variations include rear squats, split squats and jump squats.
The lunge works the gluteus maximus muscles as well as your abs and upper legs. Stand straight with a narrow stance, hands resting on your hips. Lunge forward with one leg, lowering yourself until your forward thigh is parallel to the floor. Push your hips down toward the floor to create a right angle with both your legs, so you're flat on your forward foot, and on the ball of your back foot. Return to a standing position, then repeat on your opposite leg. Variations of this exercise include the side lunge, rear lunge and walking lunge.
Using the leg press machine is one of the most effective ways of tightening your butt. It engages all of the gluteal muscles. Sitting on the machine with your back flat against the back pad and your feet flat on the platform, grasp the handles at your sides. Push the platform forward, away from your body, until your knees are straight, then return to your original position.
Maximize Your Workout
Strength-building exercises help you build lean muscle mass, but by adding resistance to these exercises you maximize the benefits of your workout. Use dumbbells or a loaded barbell with exercises such as squats and lunges to get a tighter butt in even faster time. Whether you use weights or not, always start off with a single set of 12 reps and gradually work your way up to three sets of 12 to 15 reps of each exercise.
Keep Safety in Mind
It's important to keep safety in mind when you're just getting started with a new fitness plan, so consult your doctor beforehand. When using weights in your workout, start off with a lighter weight and increase the weight only when you no longer feel challenged. As you continue to build strength, you will need to add more weight, but do so only in increments of 5 percent to 10 percent.