Eyes love to naturally gravitate toward a woman with a round, firm butt. It speaks to the world saying that you are fit, sexy and beautiful. You can have tonearms, a thin waist, shapely breasts but you won’t turn as many heads without a great rear. Just ask Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian.
Not only does a firm butt look great, but it is also critical for functional fitness such as moving your body during normal activities as well as taking stress off fragile muscles so you are less likely to experience back pain. Plus, they make it easy to have powerful movements on the tennis or volleyball courts, easy to carry grocery bags up three flights of stairs or just carry around your two-year-old who refuses to walk on his own. Strong lower-body muscles not only make you look great but allow you to move effortlessly and fluidly.
But, in order to get a shapely, head-turning derriere you’ve got to work against mother nature a little. Unfortunately, biology is working against you. On our legs and hips, as women, we deposit “survival” fat that our genes like to release only as a last resort. So, in addition to doing the exercises listed below you’ll also want to follow a sensible diet that minimizes high-sugar drinks, simple sugars, desserts, and saturated fats; incorporate high-intensity interval training, and ramp up the cardio to about an hour a day.
Butt-Busting Strength Exercises
- Squats. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and parallel. Slowly lower your hips making sure your knees do not go past your toes. If you’re a beginner, try placing a yoga ball between your lower back and a wall, then squat keeping your feet out in front of you. For the more advanced, use a squat machine with the bar on the fleshy part of your back. Center your weight over your arches with your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down keeping your weight centered. Push back up to the starting position while maintaining a straight back. Do 3 sets of 10 reps and adjust the weight as necessary.
- Single-Leg Squats. The balance on one leg with the non-squatting leg extended behind you. Keeping your back straight, squat until your thigh is parallel to the floor. You may want to have your arms extended out the side for balance. Return to starting position. Do 3 sets of 10 per leg.
- Walking Lunges. Start with feet together. Take one giant step forward and slowly lower your body bending both knees. Be sure not to let your knee touch the ground. Keep your knee aligned with your ankle. Stand while bringing your back leg to meet your front then step out with the opposite leg. Add weights to make it more challenging. Do 3 sets of 10 reps with each leg. This is a fantastic exercise for working your quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
- Step-Ups. Using a bench or jump box, step up using your left leg and then your right leg. Then step back down and repeat. To make it more challenging, add a dumbbell to each hand or a higher step height to increase the load on your glutes. Do 3 sets of 10 reps per leg.
- Stair Climber. If your gym has a stair climber – use it! Stairs not only tone the butt, but they also blast the fat as well. Whether at the gym or at the local school stadium, climbing stairs will lift those buns.
Summer is just around the corner and soon enough we’ll be dusting off our shorts and bathing suits – is your derriere ready?
Just remember that healthy eating habits are just as important as exercising when it comes to developing the rump you want.