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13 Tough But Effective Butt Exercises

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13 Tough But Effective Butt Exercises

I sit most of my work day. And, while I can’t find any research to prove it, I swear my butt expands and gets flatter from all of that sitting. Most people don’t look at their own butts, but the people behind them do. Whether you think your butt is spreading, getting flabby, is too small or flat, or not, don’t take any chances. Get on board with these butt exercises and keep that view from the rear a nice one!

1. The Hip-Lift Progression

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    via Pinterest.com

    All you need is a cushioned mat and yourself, so this exercise can literally be done wherever you have a large enough space to fit your mat.

    How To Do It

    1. Lie flat on your back with arms at your sides.
    2. Knees should be bent with feet flat on the floor; your feet should be about the same width apart as your shoulders.
    3. Using your legs for leverage, lift your entire torso up off the mat.
    4. Hold that position. You will feel your glutes tightening.
    5. Now lift one leg up off the mat and extend it out straight.
    6. Move the outstretched leg up, keeping it straight. You will feel even more pull on your glutes — this is a good thing.
    7. Hold the leg up for a slow count of five, then slowly return it to its original position.
    8. Alternate these leg lifts. Note: When you first begin this exercise, you may not be able to hold the raised torso position for long. This is fine. Slowly lower your body to the mat, rest, and start again.
    9. As you continue to do this exercise, you will be able to hold the raised position longer and will be able to do more of the leg lifts. Be patient.

    Benefits

    • This exercise has the added benefit of relieving the tension in your back that accumulates during the day.
    • It also makes the muscles more flexible, which should reduce back pain in the future.

    Another variation of this one is to lie with both legs outstretched and your feet against a wall. Keeping those feet on that wall, lift your entire torso up to your shoulders. Hold that position for as long as you can and then slowly lower your body down to a flat position. You will not be raising your legs during this one, but both legs will be raise as you place those feet against the wall. You’ll feel this one in your glutes, even into the next day.

    2. The Step-Up Butt Exercise

    b51dabfe_Chair-Step-Ups.xxxlarge

      via Popsugar.com

      Step-ups absolutely work your butt, especially if it is “droopy” (thanks, gravity). These can be done anywhere you find a sturdy chair, coffee table, or bench.

      How To Do It

      1. Stand directly in front of the chair, table, or bench.
      2. Step up onto the object with one foot.
      3. Bring the other foot up, but do not set it down on the object. Instead, bend your knee and hold that leg up.
      4. Step back down slowly — this pulls on those glutes just as much as the step up does.
      5. Alternate the leg you use for the first step-up movement.
      6. Once this becomes easy for you, raise the level of tension by holding small weights in your hands — begin with 5 lbs. and gradually increase.

      Benefits

      • The stepping up and stepping down backwards will improve your balance.
      • You can also do this exercise a bit faster and increase that heart rate for a cardio workout.
      • If you climb or bike, step-ups help your body prepare for hills.

      3. Basic Squat

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      Mastering-Basic-Squat

        via Popsugar.com

        There are so many different types of squats! For your posterior, any of the myriad variations will work. You can start with simple, less rigorous types and progress as you toughen up.

        How To Do It

        Begin with the basic squat:

        1. Stand straight and put your hands behind your head.
        2. Your feet should be apart, about the distance of your shoulders.
        3. Keeping your back straight, lean forward as you bend your knees and thighs.
        4. Don’t arch your back, but push your butt out, as if you were going to sit down in a chair.
        5. Keep your weight on the heels of your feet as you bend.
        6. Slowly raise up and repeat.
        7. Both the down and the up movements should be slow. That movement is what pulls and strengthens those glute muscles.

        Benefits

        There are some amazing overall health benefits to squats.

        • They will increase the release of hormones.
        • You will have improved flexibility, and that will help reduce future injuries.
        • You will improve your balance.

        There are 30 or so variations of squats, all of which will help shape and tone your butt.

        4. Squats with Weights

        Basic-Dumbbell-Squat

          via Popsugar.com

          The steps of this exercise are the same as those for the basic squat, but you will want to add weights incrementally.

          How To Do It

          1. Assume the basic squat position.
          2. Hold the weights in your hands with your elbows bent so that the weights are at about chin level.
          3. Keep your arms in the same position throughout the exercise.

          An additional benefit to this type of squat is that you will feel more of a pull in your butt and in your stomach as well. Using weight with your squats will strengthen those stomach muscles.

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          5. Sumo Squat

          Sumo-Squat

            via Popsugar.com

            So-named because it is the starting position of a sumo wrestler.

            How To Do It

            1. Space your legs much farther apart than with a basic squat.
            2. Point your feet outward.
            3. Bend your elbows and clasp your hands in front of your chest.
            4. Slowly bend down, keeping feet firmly planted. You will feel a stronger pull on your butt in this position.

            Benefits

            • There will be greater pull on your stomach muscles.
            • This exercise is also great for tightening up those inner thighs — you’ll certainly feel it.

            6. Deep Squat

            Deep-Squat-Weights

              via Popsugar.com

              Once you have the basic squat mastered, you can make it harder by adding more weight.

              How To Do It

              1. Stand in the basic starting pose for a squat.
              2. Hold a single weight (8-10 lbs. or more) with both hands.
              3. Squat as deeply as you can, but do not rest the weight on the floor at any time.
              4. Again, lower yourself and raise yourself back up very slowly to get the most benefit.

              Benefits

              • You will find that your outer thighs, your abdomen, and your butt will all benefit.

              7. Single Leg Squat

              single

                via MuscleandFitness.com

                Here’s one you can do at the office all day long, every time you get up and down from your chair.

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                How To Do It

                1. From a sitting position, extend your arms out in front of you.
                2. Straighten your back.
                3. With both feet on the floor, raise one foot.
                4. Rise to a standing position, slowly.
                5. Squeeze your butt cheeks as you rise.
                6. Try not to lean forward — the more you do, the less pull on those glutes.
                7. Sit back down in the same way you stood up — back straight and still holding one foot up.

                Benefits

                • This exercise requires good balance. If you don’t have great balance, you will when you master this squat.
                • Posture is improved if these are carried out several times a day.

                And while you are sitting in that chair all day? You can continue to work those glutes if you take just a few seconds to squeeze them every hour or so. You can do the same thing while driving your car or watching TV at home. All of those squeezes will really tighten things up over time.

                8. Barbell Squats

                Barbell-Squat-Press-1024x700

                  via OxygenMag.com

                  Adding weight to squats increases friction, and increasing friction tightens and tones faster.

                  How To Do It

                  1. Perform a basic squat.
                  2. While in the squatting position, pick up your bar with your hands about shoulder width apart.
                  3. Slowly rise to a standing position with your bar held at your shoulders.
                  4. Raise the bar above your head until your arms are fully extended.
                  5. Bring the bar back down to your shoulders and slowly squat again.
                  6. Repeat this until you are feeling some pain. Over time, the number you can do will increase, as will the amount of weight you can lift.

                  Benefits

                  • You will tone and strengthen your abs, as well as your upper arms and shoulders.

                  9. Single Wall Leg Lunge

                  03-iso-wall-squat

                    via WomensHealthMag.com

                    While this exercise works many muscles, it is especially good for the butt. It can be done with or without handheld weights, and the only other thing you need is a wall.

                    How To Do It

                    1. Stand with your back to a wall.
                    2. Raise one leg behind you and place the ball of that foot on the wall. Place it as high as is comfortable for now. As you gain flexibility, you will be able to raise that leg higher.
                    3. Push off the wall and lunge forward, keeping hands on your hips and the ball of your foot still firmly planted on that wall.
                    4. Alternate legs.
                    5. Do 2-3 sets a day and you’ll see great results in just a few short weeks.

                    Benefits

                    • If you are looking for a way to tighten those upper thighs, this is it.
                    • Your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and core will all get a great stretching workout, and that stretching increases their flexibility.
                    • Your balance will be improved.

                    10. Plie

                    Lower-Body-Wide-Squat-Calf-Raise

                      via Popsugar.com

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                      Remember those ballet lessons as a child? Well you probably didn’t know then that those plies were one of the best ways to keep your butt tight and toned. As you can see from this image, this is similar to the sumo squat because the legs are far apart. However, from there, things are different.

                      How To Do It

                      1. Stand next to a barre and grab it with your nearest hand. If you have great balance, you can try this without the barre.
                      2. Put your free hand on your hip.
                      3. Keep your back fully straight — looking straight ahead will help.
                      4. Spread your feet as wide apart as you are able.
                      5. Point your feet outward so your knees follow in that direction.
                      6. Raise up on your toes and squat slowly, hold, and then slowly rise back up. It is the slow movement up and down that really tightens and tones the glutes.

                      Benefits

                      • You will be strengthening your calves, hamstrings, and inner and outer thighs, giving them more flexibility.
                      • This is a great exercise for posture.

                      11. Floor Jacks

                      8126b102_pilates_swimming.xxxlarge

                        via Popsugar.com

                        Remember the jumping jacks you used to do in PE class? Maybe you still do them for their aerobic benefits. Here is a great variation of a jumping jack on your tummy that will tighten up that butt in no time.

                        How To Do It

                        1. Lie flat on your tummy — a mat is a good idea.
                        2. Raise your arms straight out above your head.
                        3. Spread your legs to about the width of your shoulders.
                        4. Raise your arms and head up at the same time that you raise your legs up.
                        5. Keep your toes pointed.
                        6. Now, do the jumping jack movement with your arms and legs. They should remain stiff and straight at all times.

                        Benefits

                        • This exercise strengthens and tones the inner and outer thighs.
                        • Your upper arms and shoulders will be stretched and your flexibility will increase.

                        12. Quadruped Hip Extensions

                        de33d9fe-77b8-11e3-_501786b

                          via OperationShape.com

                          This exercise has been shown by research to give you the most “bang for your buck” on that butt. In terms of tightening and toning those muscles, nothing could be better.

                          How To Do It

                          1. Get on all fours.
                          2. Palms should be flat on the floor and arms straight.
                          3. Keep your head straight and in line with your spine.
                          4. Raise one leg as high as you can, keeping the knee bent. Hold it. Bring it back down.
                          5. Repeat with the same leg several times before moving to the other.
                          6. Variations include adding weight to the inside of the knee, or using a band around the ankles to create more friction.
                          7. Another variation is to raise the leg to the side, like a male dog who is peeing, and raise that bent leg up and down slowly.

                          Benefits

                          • As you raise each leg up, you will also be pulling on the hamstring.
                          • If you raise the leg to the side, you will strengthen and tone your inner thighs.

                          13. Rear Raisers

                          bbf050

                            via Prevention.com

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                            This exercise is specifically for that saggy butt.

                            How To Do It

                            1. Assume the same position as for the quadruped hip extension.
                            2. While in that position, move one leg across the underside of your body so that the foot is pointing in the opposite direction of the side it came from.
                            3. Extend the other leg straight back, keeping it off the floor. Hold.
                            4. Raise that outstretched leg up and down slowly, tapping your toes on the floor and then raising back up.
                            5. Squeeze your butt cheeks each time you bring your leg up.
                            6. Remember not to arch your back.

                            Benefits

                            • The leg that is outstretched and moving will have its hamstring stretched.
                            • The lower back muscles are also stretched, giving them great flexibility. With flexibility comes fewer episodes of back pain.

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                            Last Updated on September 8, 2021

                            10 Fitness Excuses You Need to Stop Making Now

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                            10 Fitness Excuses You Need to Stop Making Now

                            “You can have results or excuses. Not both.” – Anonymous

                            Human beings tend to only ever do as much as they absolutely need to.

                            Motivational speakers call this innate trait laziness, biologists call it efficiency. Either way, the fact remains: we are evolutionary wired to minimize time and energy wherever possible.

                            And this is not necessarily a bad thing. If we weren’t wired this way, we probably wouldn’t have survived this long as a species.

                            Back in our caveman days, before supermarkets, calories were worth their weight in gold. For cavemen, trying to actively burn off calories would have spelled certain death.

                            In this light, our fitness excuses make total sense. Our reptilian brain comes up with believable sounding rationalizations to stop us from burning off our precious calories; to minimize time and energy.

                            Unfortunately, due to our present access to highly calorific foods, the fitness excuses that once ensured our survival, now send us to an early grave.

                            Below I’ve provided the 10 most common fitness excuses our reptilian minds trick us into believing and why, ultimately, they’re all nonsense.

                            1. I don’t have enough time.

                            This is probably the most common fitness excuse of them all.

                            First off, when you say you don’t have enough time, what you’re really saying is “I don’t have enough time for that”. 

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                            Do you really think that if you were to add up all the time you spend watching TV and surfing the web throughout the average week you couldn’t replace any of it with a workout?

                            A 30 minute workout takes up 2% of your day.

                            Don’t ask yourself how much time you’re going to waste by working out a few times a week. Ask yourself how much of your life you’re going to waste being unfit and overweight.

                            2. I’m way too tired to workout.

                            Your mind, when it comes to exercising, is like a spoiled child. If you give in to its demands without a fight, it will see weakness and prey on it often.

                            If you miss one planned session, you’re much more likely to miss the next. The biggest journey always starts with one step and the biggest failings always start with one step backwards.

                            You need to show your mind who’s boss. You won’t always have lots of energy when you go to the gym but that doesn’t matter. The only thing that counts is showing up and giving it a shot.

                            If you’re too tired to workout, change your sleeping habits, not your workout habits.

                            3. But exercise is so boring!

                            You don’t want to exercise because it’s boring?

                            So you find brushing your teeth, taking showers, styling your hair and getting dressed highly entertaining? No. We do these things because we have to. We accept them as part of life.

                            The people who never miss a workout are the ones who view it just like brushing their teeth. Complaining about it is just pointless. To be successful sometimes you’ve got to do things that aren’t as fun as watching your favorite TV show. That’s just life.

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                            If don’t enjoy your workouts, you don’t stop working out, you just workout differently. Try crossfit, martial arts, hiking, body building, powerlifting, running, or swimming. Try music. Try anything, but keep showing up.

                            4. I have no motivation to workout.

                            If you think you need motivation to train you’re already half beat.

                            What you really need is meta motivation: the motivation to train even when you’re not motivated. If you rely on your feelings to decide whether to workout or not, you never will. As you know, your feelings are designed to keep you caged up in your comfort pit.  Your feelings want you to be safe, not successful.

                            That said, there is a trick you can use to get yourself motivated to workout, and it’s  backed up with research. It’s called ‘the few minutes’ principle.

                            The basic idea is that procrastinators often put off doing certain things because the size of the task in front of them seems too overwhelming. By deciding to just go to the gym for a ‘few minutes’ you’ll often see the workout through to completion.

                            Are you motivated enough to train for two minutes? That’s all you need.

                            5. I have kids to look after.

                            One day your kids might have someone to look after too: you.

                            Don’t burden them with an ill parent when they have their own kids to look after. And don’t be the kind of parent who tells their kids exercise is good for them but doesn’t follow their own advice. Kids are smarter than that.

                            If you’re really struggling with managing your fitness and your kids, combine the two. Find a field and play frisbee for a few hours, go swimming, take a walk around the lake and feed some ducks. There are so many fun and cheap ways to exercise with your kids, the only limits are your imagination.

                            You kids should be your biggest reason to exercise, not your biggest excuse.

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                            6. I don’t have anyone to train with.

                            What you’re really saying with this fitness excuse is that you don’t have anyone to talk with while you train. If you’re training properly, you won’t need to talk.

                            Don’t get me wrong, having a training partner is great but here’s what you’ve got to understand: most people first meet their training partners at the gym. The reason you probably don’t have anyone to train with is because you don’t have many friends who train. Like attracts like.

                            By becoming someone who regularly trains, you’ll start attracting people into your life who also value health and fitness. You have to earn your training partners, they don’t come free.

                            7. I don’t feel very well.

                            After you get into the habit of overriding your fitness excuses and working out regularly, the thought of missing a workout starts to drive you insane. When I broke my jaw in two places the doctors told me I couldn’t lift heavy weights for three months. What did I do? I lifted light weights instead. Train smart, not hard.

                            At some point in our lives we’ve all pretended to be ill so we could skip a day of school. Some of the better actors among us probably blurred the lines in their mind between real symptoms and those imagined. It’s easy to exaggerate things when it fits our agenda.

                            If you’re really sick, I don’t recommend you train. But feeling a bit tired or achy – that’s no reason to skip a workout.

                            8. The gym is too expensive or far.

                            If you think you need a gym to achieve your fitness goals, you’ve been seriously misled.

                            The world is your fitness playground. Ever watched a training scene from a Rocky movie? He chases chickens, runs up steps, punches meat, and chops wood. Many people cite these scenes as their favorite.  Something about training dirty and raw resonates deep within us.

                            There are whole fitness subcultures dedicated to working out outdoors, and without formal equipment. Ever heard of Calisthenics, Tai Chi, Yoga or Parkour? Look them up.

                            If you want to put on muscle, try some typical strongman training like chopping wood, flipping tires, lifting barrels. Remember, if it’s important enough to you, you’ll find a way. Arnold Schwarzenegger made his own gym equipment out of chairs and sticks for the first year he trained. He claims he gained 25 pounds of muscle from doing this.

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                            9. I don’t know how to train properly.

                            If you’re reading this article, you’re obviously more than capable of figuring this out. The internet is brimming with routines and training tips. This site alone will give you more than you need. Read these 10 tips for better workouts, perfect for beginners.

                            However, it’s important that you don’t get too engulfed in the theory of ‘training properly’. Like most things in life, you learn best on the job. Ask people in the gym to show you how to use proper technique, then practice through action.

                            People love giving out tips. You might even get a training partner out of it.

                            10. I feel intimidated by the fit people there.

                            This is normal and everyone has this when they first start out. The environment is new, everyone there looks like they know what they’re doing. You feel like you’re in someone else’s home.

                            The number one reason you feel intimidated when you go to the gym is because you don’t go enough! If you started going regularly you’d get used to the place, the people and your fitness would improve. Everyone knows training improves your confidence. Just stick with it. It’s something you’ll laugh at a few months down the line.

                            Anyone can get in great shape. Anyone can become fit. But very few people ever do because they give in to their natural inclination to minimize time and effort.

                            Stop making excuses and just stick with it for two months. After that you’ll be finding excuses to workout even when you do have important stuff to get on with.

                            Featured photo credit: United Artists, Chartoff-Winkler Productions via Rocky (1976)

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