Perky butts are not built in a day, or even in a week. You'll have to workout consistently over a period of time to achieve your goal. Though the gluteus maximus is actually the largest muscle in your body, it is only one of the glute muscles. You'll also have to target the gluteus medius and minimus so that your entire butt will become more shapely. You may do one or two glute exercises as part of a full-body workout routine, or do them all for an intense butt workout.
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Do cardio at least three to five times each week. Each session should last 30 to 60 minutes. Cardio helps you keep the fat off all over your body. Keep your intensity level moderate to vigorous for the best results. Do inclined treadmill walking or running or use stair machines or even Arc trainers or ellipticals to hit the glutes while you burn calories.
Perform your butt exercises at least two or three times per week on nonconsecutive days. Do one to three sets, with eight to 12 reps in each set, for each exercise. Use a challenging resistance. Always warm up first for five to 10 minutes to get your glutes ready to work.
Start your perky butt workout with step ups. Hold a barbell across your shoulders, or use your own body weight for resistance. Select a bench or step that is high enough so that your thigh will be parallel to the floor, but no higher, when you step up on it. Place your right foot on the step, push through the foot and lift yourself off the floor up onto the step. Slowly lower yourself back down with your right leg. Switch and lead up and down with your left leg. One step up on each side is a complete repetition.
Place a barbell across your upper back to perform a set of good mornings for your glutes. Hold the bar in place with your hands. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointed straight ahead. Hinge forward at your hips, keeping your spine straight. Lower your torso until it is parallel to the floor, and let your knees bend a little. Pull yourself back to an upright position by contracting your glutes for one complete repetition.
Lie on your back on an exercise mat to perform bridges. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor about hip-width apart. Extend your arms at your sides. Exhale and lift your hips as high as you can, squeezing your glutes. Hold for one to two seconds and then lower back down for one complete rep. You can lift your body with one leg at a time, or place a barbell across your hips to increase the challenge.
Roll over onto all fours for dirty dogs, or fire hydrants. Place your hands directly under your shoulders and set your knees under your hips. Keep your abs tight to support your spine. Keeping your right knee bent, slowly lift your right leg out to the right side as high as you can while squeezing your glutes. Lower back down for one complete rep. Do eight to 12 reps on the right leg and then switch to the left leg.
- ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription; American College of Sports Medicine
- ExRx.net: Barbell Step-up
- ExRx.net: Barbell Bent Knee Good-morning
- American Council on Exercise: Butt & Hip Exercises