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Exercise serves to strengthen and firm the glutes, while appropriate eating habits coupled with aerobic exercise help address the fat tissue on the surface. Every body responds differently to exercise, so it's important to experiment with a variety of butt exercises to identify which ones yield the best results for you.
Contrary to popular opinion, weight training is unlikely to make a woman's butt bigger. The average woman doesn’t "bulk up" from strength training because she lacks a significant amount of the hormone testosterone, which is essential to developing large amounts of muscle. It would take hours of time in the gym on a daily basis, strict eating habits, and use of steroids for most women (and men) to achieve a bodybuilder physique. Due to these facts, I recommend women use heavier weights with fewer repetitions when training their glutes at the gym. This approach is usually more effective than exercising with lighter weights and more repetitions.
Six Butt-Blasting Moves to Try
Here are some of my favorite booty-firming exercises for a shoestring budget. Remember that form and technique are critical for optimal results and for minimizing the risk of injury. Maintain slow, controlled movements instead of using momentum, and focus on the quality of each repetition over the quantity of reps. Unless otherwise specified, do 2-3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions for each exercise, three times a week (resting at least one day between workouts).
Committing to this glute-firming program places you on a path to improved health with little financial investment. If having a great rear end isn’t motivating enough to add the exercises above to your repertoire, consider the fact that having a strong rear also implies a strong back. Butts and backs go together, and this is good news for overall health and functional strength. Consistency is key—for as sure as the sun rises, the stock market will rebound, housing prices will rise, and unemployment will plummet—and when they do, you will be sporting one bodacious booty!
Step-Ups: Stairs are found everywhere—work, college campuses, homes—and they're like free exercise equipment. To target your glutes while going up stairs, remember to push down with your heel while straightening your leg.
Lunges: For added effectiveness, lift your front toes off the floor, which shifts your weight onto the heel, thereby increasing the work of the glutes. This quick fix prevents pressing down on your toes, which targets the quads.
Squats: You can’t beat this classic butt-strengthening exercise. Try single-leg squats to increase challenge or hold onto dumbbells for added resistance.
Bridges: Challenge yourself by performing the bridge with one foot as you get stronger, or add a stability ball for variety.
Quadruped leg lifts: On your hands and knees, tuck your belly button to your spine to stabilize your torso and spine. Lift one leg up, keeping the knee bent at 90 degrees, until the upper leg is parallel to the ground. For greater effectiveness, straighten the leg. This creates more resistance and prevents the hamstrings from taking over the work from the butt muscles. For examples of these quadruped exercises, check out Coach Nicole's Butt-Blasting Workout Video.
Stair climbing: Like the strengthening step-ups above, climbing stairs as a means of cardio also targets the butt. In fact, any incline (such as a hill or an inclined treadmill) works the glutes more than walking or running on a flat road. Since cardio is important for helping reduce body fat, get more out of your booty-shaping plan by adding some inclines or stairs to your cardio plan.