It doesn’t matter who you are, pretty much everyone can appreciate a great butt. Strong and powerful, our glutes are the biggest muscles in our bodies, but they’re also the seat of a lot of concern for many of us. Is it big enough? Too big? Collosal?!
While each of us have our own dream body, it’s important to remember that we all have different body types, and that the healthiest body is a strong one. Especially when it comes to your derriére, the only way to get it toned and firm is to have a committed regimen that strengthens not only your glutes, but your hamstrings and lower back too.
While pelvic tilts and squats are typically the norm for shaping your butt, using a combo of plyometrics and yoga poses will strengthen, tone, and target the right areas. Use the following exercises to work towards your dream booty.
1. Hercules jumps
Stand, legs bent in a lunge position with your weight on your front heel and back toes. Jump straight up and land gently with the same foot in front. Do 15 reps on each side. This will fire up your legs with the power coming straight from your glutes and your hamstrings. It also gets your heart rate up and activates your metabolism.
2. Squat jumps
Stand with your legs slightly farther apart than hip distance, toes pointing forward. Squat low with your chest up, touch the ground, and then push through your quads to jump as high as possible. Throw your hands towards the air as though you’re hitting a volleyball over a net. Do three sets of 30 reps.
3. Half moon with leg lifts
Stand on one leg with the same side hand on the ground or a block, other hand on your hip. Open the hip of your lifting leg, foot flexed and toes pointing sideways. If you can, move to fingertips of your bottom hand, this will activate your back and your obliques. Lift your leg up an inch twenty times, activating your glutes and low back, and holding firm through your core. Do three sets on each side.
4. Curtsey lunges
In half moon position, place both hands on the ground and turn your hip from open to closed, dropping your lifting leg to curtsey down behind the standing one. Go almost to the ground and push back up to half moon again. Do twenty reps on each side. This will activate your back and hamstrings, while strengthening your outer hips.
5. Airplane hold
A full body strengthener, lie on the floor with your arms at a T. Lift up your arms, legs and chest, getting as close to having only your pelvis on the floor as possible. Hold for three sets of 20 seconds. Remember to lengthen out of your fingertips and from the crown of your head to your toes. Do not strain your neck or arch your back.
A great tool to strengthen and even out your large lower muscles is a foam roller. You can use a smooth one or one with ridges along your IT band, your hamstrings, your thighs, and your outer hips. It’s a form of self-massage and helps break up toxins and fat that like to hang out in that area. It also releases stress and aids in recovery from exercise.
Having a nice butt is about more than just looking good. Because so many of us spend our days sitting at desks, our large lower muscles don’t get a lot of activity. By taking care of them and making sure they’re strong and toned, it helps relieve back pain, improves posture, and supports our core. Running, using the stairs, and walking as much as possible are also great ways of actively toning legs and glutes. Try whatever activities interest you and look forward to feeling strong and vibrant.