Best Butt Exercises. How to Get a Better Butt

Let’s face it, no matter what you call it…derriere, rear end, butt, booty, buttocks, caboose…we all want a little more lift and a lot more tone in this area. If you’ve ever looked in the mirror at your ‘rear view’ and wondered what’s the best way to get a more shapely derriere, I will share with you some my favorite and what I think to be the best butt exercises.

You will hear me say it over and over…if you want a shapely butt, you need to squat. And, if range of motion and wellness of the knees allow, squat to full depth. The beauty of the squat is it ca be done whether or not you have access to a gym, with or without weight. The squat is a basic, functional movement that we as humans perform daily. To squat, keep feet parallel, shoulder-width apart or slightly wider, depending on your flexibility and knee strength. (If you do turn your toes out slightly, make sure your knees track over your toes as you squat.) Slowly lower the hips as if sitting in a chair; then return to standing.  Make sure your knees do not push out in front of your toes and keep your torso tight and back straight. For a variation on the squat, you can widen your stance, (again, make sure your knees and toes are pointed in the same direction) or add weights.

Lunges are also a great way to tone your butt. To lunge, stand with your feet parallel and hip-distance apart, take one giant step forward. Lower your body slowly, bending both knees, and return to standing. Lunges can also be performed by reversing your step and doing a rear lunge (stepping backwards). For some, the reverse lunge is easier and requires less balance, as your center of gravity remains between your two feet. For added benefit, try lunging with hand held weights in each hand. In addition to lunges, step ups are great, too, and just like the squat, are a functional movement performed often in our day to day activities. Start with a small step and as you advance, you can step up onto a higher step. As with the lunge, you can incorporate hand weights with this movement.

Two of my favorite stationary movements include bridges and kickbacks. Bridges are performed while lying on your back with your knees bent and your heels close to your buttocks. Arms should be down by your side for stability. Slowly lift your hips up toward the ceiling while tightening those glute muscles by squeezing your butt as you lift your hips as high as you can. Kickbacks require you to be on all fours, with your palms flat on the floor, shoulder width apart. Shift your weight to one side, flex your foot and lift your heel up toward the ceiling while squeezing your glute muscles. Hold for a few seconds and slowly lower your leg back down to the starting position before lifting the other leg in the same manner.

Finally, walking, jogging and running (sprints) as well as climbing stairs are also some of the best exercises for your buttocks. Not only are you working at strengthening the glutes during these movements, but you are able to combine them with cardio, which is good for your heart.

Article by Susan Kirkham

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