Your glutes are the largest and strongest muscles in your body. They consist of three different muscles: gluteus minimus, gluteus medius, and gluteus maximus. These three muscles work together to abduct, rotate and extend the hip, and strengthening them can improve your posture and make every day tasks such as sitting down, standing up, climbing stairs, and picking up heavy objects much easier. It can also improve athletic performance, decrease your risk for injuries, and hey… it makes us look good, too!
STRENGTHENING YOUR GLUTES
Training glutes at least once a week using exercises such as full squats, deadlifts, lunges, and step-ups is a great way to achieve the maximum benefits. These exercises mimic real-life functional movements, which is what helps improve daily life. In addition, performing least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days a week such as hill walking or increasing the incline on the treadmill or elliptical will also help strengthen your glutes AND burn fat. If you’re a slightly more advanced exerciser, replace 1-3 of your moderate-intensity aerobic sessions with a high-intensity springing session, which will help you build and strengthen your glutes.
Try the following exercises to get buns of steel in no time:
1. FRONT LUNGES
Front lunges are one of the absolute best exercises for your butt. To start, stand up straight with your hands on your hips. Take a big step forward with one leg, bending at the knee, until your knee is at a 90 degree angle with the floor. Hold for one beat and step back. Repeat 15 to 20 times with each leg.2. SIDE LUNGES
A side lunge is very similar to a front lunge, only instead of stepping directly forward with one leg, you’ll go to the right with your right leg or left with your left leg. This exercise will improve your balance, too!
3. BACK LUNGES
These are very similar to the front lunge, only (you guessed it!) instead of stepping forward, you’ll step backward. You might have to do these a little more slowly than the front lunges to avoid a fall, but eventually you’ll be a lunging pro.
These are simple, fun butt exercises that really work! Stand with your hands and arms straight in front of you, then, keeping your back straight, squat down as though you’re going to sit in a chair behind you. Stop when your thighs are level with the ground, and your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle. If it helps, you can lean against a wall or chair to keep your balance.
Running isn’t just great cardio… it’s also a the perfect butt exercise! Even a good jog or brisk walk can help tone your tush, so lace up your shoes and go!
6. LEG LIFTS
Lie flat on your back with your legs straight, and raise one leg straight in the air. Try to raise it as far as you can without bending your knee! Then, with your arms and hands flat on the ground, raise your hips off the ground. Hold for five seconds. Repeat 10 to 15 times with each leg, and feel the burn! You’ll feel this right away, and as a bonus, it also helps strengthen your core.
7. SINGLE LEG LIFTS
Start by standing straight with your hands on your hips. Keeping your legs as straight as possible, and without pointing your toes, slowly lift one leg in front of you, holding it there for fifteen seconds. Slowly lower it, then switch to the other leg. Repeat 12 to 15 times.
8. STAIR STEPPERS
You can find a machine for this at the gym, but if you don’t have access to a gym, simply use real stairs in a tall building. It’s best to avoid this exercise if you have weak knees.
Lay flat on your back with your arms flat at your sides. Lift your hips into the air, keeping your arms flat but bending your knees, so that your body literally creates a “bridge”. Hold the position at least 15 to 20 seconds, longer if you can and repeat the exercise 12 to 15 times.
Yoga is so good for toning your muscles overall and improving balance, but it’s also an excellent way to work your butt! Sign up for a beginner course and enjoy the sun salutations.