The Butt Workout: Exercises to Sculpt a Better Backside
Foolproof butt exercises to maximize your assets.
The Butt Workout: Six Exercises for Glutes continued...
5. Leg/hip extensions. Reaching a leg behind your body is a great way to work the glutes. In Pilates, it's done while lying on your side, but you can also do it while lying over a stability ball or standing. Using a slow, controlled motion, extend the leg behind the body while squeezing the glutes and keeping the torso stable. Do three sets of 15 repetitions, then switch legs.
Up the ante with a single-leg dead lift, a Durkin favorite. 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.
6. Skater plyos. Feeling like Drew Brees? Try this plyometric side step, a Durkin staple. Standing with feet under hips, take a lateral (sideways) hop to the left on your left foot while coming down to touch your right hand to the floor. Alternate sides and try to complete three sets of 20. Ouch! "This is great for strength, power, agility and toning up," says Durkin.
The Butt Workout: Getting Results
Whatever butt workout you choose, the experts suggest following a few rules for best results:
1. Set goals. Having a goal in mind will help you to stay committed to your workouts and enable you to chart your results. Weight loss seems an obvious one, but Durkin says this should only be part of a goal, not an end in itself. Better goals would be losing inches or body fat, training for an upcoming event (like a 5K), increasing endurance, or lowering resting heart rate.
2. Surround yourself with positive people. "I'm a big believer in the mind-set," Durkin says. Even the NFL athletes Durkin trains aren't always motivated to exercise hard. That's why they enlist the help of a trainer -- accountability.
"Read motivating books, attend a class, get a trainer, get a coach, get an accountability partner," says Durkin. This will help keep you honest and on track with your fitness goals.
3. Stay consistent, say Olson and Durkin. Anything worth having is worth working for, and a sculpted butt is no exception. Experts say that if you work the glutes three days a week, you can expect to see changes in about three weeks. "You should actually be able to see that they are a little tighter and more lifted up," says Olson.
4. Use good form. Galliano recommends watching yourself in a mirror to ensure proper technique. Work slowly to execute each move correctly, adds Olson. This way, you don't risk injury and you get the most out of each set.
5. Fit movement into your daily life -- "when you brush your teeth, when you boil water," says Galliano. And she practices what she preaches. "I do a lot of Pilates standing footwork while I'm waiting ... waiting at the bank, the post office, at the airport, at Lowe's; even just watching the sunset the other night." This involves wrapping your legs together in a turned-out position, and pushing through all the balls, arches, and heels of the feet while bending the knees slightly.
6. Stretch the opposing muscles. The hip flexors are often overworked because we spend so much time sitting (in flexion), says Ross. Before working the glutes, it's a great idea to stretch the hip flexors so you can activate the glutes more easily.