Best Exercises For a Beautiful Butt
There’s nothing more alluring than a firm, curvy butt. Thankfully, great buns are within reach.
Many women consider their butts to be too small, too big, too floppy etc. While we all need to be realistic about our goals, there are a number of great exercises to tone up your behind and get you looking great in that new pair of jeans.
After working up a sweat aerobically, try these four butt-busting strength exercises.
The squat is the single best exercise for strengthening, toning and shaping the thighs and butt. Not only does it tighten and tone your rear but it’s a great overall exercise for building lean muscle.
The Basic Squat: For the basic squat stand with your feet parallel and shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower your hips, making sure not to let your knees go out past your toes. Slowly push back up to standing. Do 10-12 reps. Do 3 sets. Increase intensity by holding too small hand weights or dumbells.
Squat Side Kick: With feet hip-width apart, slowly lower into a half-squat, keeping knees over toes. Raise right knee to hip level, then extend right leg to the side, straightening left leg as you push out through your right heel.
Pull right knee in, and return to starting position. Do 10 reps; switch sides, and repeat. Do 3 sets.
To help with balance and make the move even more effective, squeeze your butt as you lift your leg.
Basic lunge: Beginning with your feet parallel and hip-distance apart, take a giant step forward or backward. Slowly lower your body, bending both knees. Bend your knees no farther than 90 degrees, keeping your front knee aligned over your front ankle. Step together and repeat. Alternate legs or do all sets on one leg and then switch. Do 10 reps and 3 sets.
While lunging, reach both arms down toward the floor outside the front foot (hold a medicine ball or light dumbbell for added challenge).
Lunge with dumbbell reach: Start in a shallow lunge with your right foot forward and left foot back, resting on a low step or stack of books (left knee should be slightly bent) and holding a 3- to 5-pound dumbbell overhead between both hands.
Basic bridge: Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor, hip-width apart. Slowly peel your spine off the floor from the bottom, one vertebra at a time, tightening the glutes and hamstrings until you've created a diagonal line from your shoulders to your knees. Return to the floor slowly, one vertebra at a time. Do 10 reps and 3 sets.
One Leg Bridge: Hold the knees tightly together and extend one leg at knee level while in the bridge position. Do all repetitions on one side, then switch.
Bridge on a Balance Ball: To take it to the next level, try the bridge on a stability ball. With the head and tops of shoulders balanced on the ball, lift the hips into a tabletop position, level with the shoulders, then lower slightly and repeat.
4. Leg/hip extensions
Reaching a leg behind your body is a great way to work the glutes.
Rear Leg Extension: This can be done on your hands and knees or on a balance ball. Using a slow, controlled motion, extend one leg behind the body while squeezing the glutes and keeping the torso stable.
Do three sets of 15 repetitions, then switch legs. To increase intensity add a small weight just behind the knee..
Single Leg Dead Lift: Up the ante with a single-leg dead lift. While standing, extend one leg back and hinge from the hip. At the same time, lower the torso to parallel with the floor. Keep the abs tight and return to standing, lowering the back leg.
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