Tightening, toning and firming up the gluteus maximus is usually high on the wish list for most women who start going to the gym and working out. If you would like to improve the appearance of your backside, then you’ve come to the right place! Whether you want to lose some extra fat and tone up a flabby booty or you want to pack on some quality muscle and bulk up a skinny butt, this article will show you exactly how to achieve it.
The butt, hips and thighs are a very common problem area for a lot of women. This is because females naturally carry extra fat deposits around the body to prime them for childbearing. Female bodies are not very willing to give up these fat cells, so women really need to make sure and choose the most effective exercises and workouts to target this specific area in order to trim and tone the glutes and get a rock hard butt that you can bounce a quarter off of!
Are you ready to get started and transform your flabby backside into a firm, tone and tight booty that you can be proud of? Below are the top five lower body exercises to target your glutes, hips and thighs so you can kickstart your workout routine into high gear and get your booty in shape. You will be bouncing quarters off it in no time!
This is the king of all lower body exercises! The squat is the single best exercise for strengthening, toning and shaping the thighs and butt. Not only does it tighten and tone your rear end but its the most effective overall exercise for building lean quality muscle! Remember, building lean muscle is the key to burning excess body fat and keeping it off.
To perform squats safely and effectively, stand up straight with an athletic stance and carefully rest a barbell across your upper traps (top of shoulders just below the neck), with your hands gripping the bar with an overhand grip (palms facing down). Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with your feet angled slightly outward. Pull your shoulders back slightly with your chest out and contract your lower-back muscles. While looking straight ahead, slowly bend at the knees as you squat down while pushing your butt out and keeping your chest out and shoulders back. You will incline your torso forward slightly and descend under control until your thighs are just above parallel to the ground. Don’t bounce at the bottom, but don’t stop either. Push through with your heels to drive yourself back up, contracting your gluteus muscles (buttocks) strongly and exhaling as you pass the halfway point. When you reach the top, keep a slight bend in the knees to place continuous tension on the muscles and protect your knees and other joints. Perform 10-12 reps for this exercise.
Lunges are another very popular exercise for toning and firming the muscles of your glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart with your feet pointing straight ahead. You can either use a barbell or a pair of dumbbells for this exercise. It’s probably best to do a few sets without any resistance initially to learn the movement and get comfortable with it before adding weights. To begin the exercise, step out with your right foot and lunge down to the bottom position with a slow and controlled tempo. Make sure your knee doesn’t go beyond your toes or you’ll place too much tension on the tendons of your knee and away from your quadriceps which is where you want to target the tension with this exercise. From the bottom position, push off with your leading leg. To help maintain balance, remember to push off with your heels and not your toes. When coming back to the starting position, focus on keeping your back straight with your shoulders back and chest out. Avoid hunching your shoulders over or arching your back. Try to stay focused on your front leading leg even if you feel tension in your back leg. Think of your back leg as a balancer or stabilizer and your front leg muscles as the primary movers. You can perform this exercise with either one leg at a time or you can alternate between both legs during each set. Perform 10-12 reps for this exercise.
One-Leg Cable Kickbacks
Attach an ankle cuff to a low cable pulley machine and then attach the cuff to your ankle. Face the weight stack from a distance of about 1-2 feet while grasping the machine for support. While keeping your knees and hips bent slightly and your abs tight, contract your glutes (buttocks) and slowly “kickback” your leg as high as it will comfortably go while keeping your back straight and your body stable. At full extension, squeeze your glutes for a peak contraction and really feel your butt muscles tighten up. Slowly lower your leg back down while resisting the pull of the cable until you reach the starting position. After completing the desired number of reps, switch to your other leg. Perform 15-20 reps for this exercise.
Get on your hands and knees onto the floor. Your knees should be bent at about 90 degrees so your thighs are perpendicular to the floor. Keeping your head stable and your back flat, lift your right leg back and up, maintaining a 90 degree knee bend until your foot is higher than your head or your thigh is horizontally in line with your torso. Squeeze your glutes at the top for 1-2 seconds and then slowly lower your leg back down to starting position. Perform 15-20 reps and then switch to your other leg.
This is a great exercise to tone, firm and strengthen the back of your legs (hamstrings) and also target your gluteus muscles (butt). Lie face down on a leg curl machine and position your ankles under the padded curling lever with your body completely secure and stable on the machine. To begin the exercise, keep your back flat as you raise your feet up towards your glutes while bending at your knees. Do not raise your stomach off the machine or raise your head or arch your back to get the weight up. Make sure to really focus on only using the muscles of your hamstrings to curl the weight up and back down. At the top of the movement, feel the squeeze in your hamstrings and then slowly lower your legs back down to the starting positing with a slow and controlled tempo at all times. Perform 12-15 reps for this exercise.