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13 Tough But Effective Butt Exercises

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

                            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 February 18, 2019

                            8 Best Cardio Workouts for Efficient Weight Loss

                            8 Best Cardio Workouts for Efficient Weight Loss

                            When people think of cardio, usually a boring treadmill, elliptical machine, or other mundane activity comes to mind. But that doesn’t have to be the case.

                            When you’re short on time or easily distracted, there are a variety of fat-burning cardio alternatives that will increase your body’s metabolism, boost weight loss, and keep you interested.

                            Here’s a list of different types of cardio workouts:

                            • Steady State (Burns less fat, but isn’t as demanding on the body)
                            • Interval Training (Burns more fat)
                            • HIIT
                            • Spinning
                            • Stairs
                            • Weight Training (Supersets) short rest periods
                            • Weight Training (Compound Sets) short rest periods
                            • Machine Circuit Training

                            And I’m going to talk about each of them in detail:

                            1. Steady State

                            Steady state cardio involves working at a low to moderate intensity — around 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate, for a sustained period of time. This type of cardio doesn’t burn a huge number of calories, but it does burn a high percentage of fat tissue for fuel, and it isn’t too draining.

                            An example of steady state cardio would be a long outdoor walk at a moderate pace. Interval training, on the other hand, is much more intense.

                            2. Interval Training

                            Similar to HIIT but with exercises that are slightly longer in duration, interval training alternates levels of intensity. For example, if you enjoy running, you would run or sprint for 30 seconds, then bring down your heart rate and walk for two minutes.

                            Pick two intensities per interval, usually one at 85 percent of your maximum heart rate and the other at 60 percent, and alternate between them. I find that 85% for 30 seconds and 60% for one minute, not only burns more calories but increases my energy level as well.

                            Another example would be jumping rope. Jump rope for two minutes, rest for one minute. Begin again, this time jumping rope for one minute and resting for one minute. On the third and final round, jump rope for 30 seconds and resting for 30 seconds. Repeat five sets of this routine.

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                            3. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

                            Have a busy schedule? Fifteen minutes a few times a week is all you need. HIIT is an extremely popular workout because it can be done quickly, burn calories in a short amount of time, and can even be done in your home or during a lunch break at work. And the best part – You don’t need any equipment.

                            With the use of your body weight, HIIT is typically 20 seconds of high intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of active rest which means your heart rate remains elevated for the entire 15-minute workout.

                            Check out this HIIT routine by Fitness Blender: 15 Minute HIIT Workout

                            4. Spinning

                            Spinning is a great way to get your heart up and keep it up in a 45-minute spin class. Our thighs and back are our largest muscles so they work the hardest.

                            To get the most out of spinning, try to stay out of the saddle throughout an entire spin class. That way, you are forced to hold up your body weight which burns more calories and increases intensity.

                            It’s also great for stabilizing and building strong core muscles, versus cycling outdoors, where most of the time you are sitting in the saddle and going for distance (steady-state cardio).

                            5. Stairs

                            One of my favorite places to get out of the gym for cardio and trim fat from my thighs and butt is the Santa Monica Stairs, near California’s most popular beach. Climbing 170 steps a few times builds the glutes, leans the thighs, strengthens the calves, and builds endurance.

                            So, if the gym is not your scene and you love the outdoors, climbing stairs is a great alternative. Find a place with multiple steps, do six or seven rounds, and you’ve easily burned around 600 calories.

                            6. Supersets

                            A superset is two exercises that work opposing muscle groups, such as biceps and triceps, quadriceps and hamstrings, or different body parts such as the lower and upper body with little to no recovery between sets.

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                            The superset may include two to five sets of 8 to 15 repetitions of each exercise or more.[1]

                            So, if you love to workout with weight-training but aren’t really feeling cardio, supersets with no more than 30-second rest periods between exercises will keep your heart rate up. Not only will you build muscle, you will burn fat!

                            For example, say you are doing a leg workout, five sets of exercises with high reps and low weight is all it takes to turn your weight-training into a cardio workout.

                            Here’s one of my leg training workouts:

                            i. Dumbbell Step-Ups on a secure bench or box (4×15, each leg)

                            ii. Front Squat (4×15)

                            iii. Wide Stance Dumbbell Goblet (4×15)

                            iv. Leg Extension (4×15)

                            v. Leg Curl (4×15)

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                              Photo Credit: Shape Magazine

                              vi. Front Squat


                                Photo Credit: Stack

                                vii. Wide Stance Dumbbell Goblet Squat

                                viii. Leg Extension

                                ix. Leg Curl

                                  Photo Credit: T Nation

                                  7. Compound Sets

                                  Compound exercises are exercises that recruit muscles in the entire body, such as pull-ups, squats, bench press, etc. However, a compound set simply means to “compound” the number of different exercises into a series of sets with little or no recovery between, similar to supersets.

                                    This may be accomplished by performing four to five exercises for the same muscle group, opposing muscle groups or total body exercises performed in succession such as full body extensions, followed by squat/cleans and complete the compound set of compound exercises with lunges with biceps curls.

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                                    Compound sets put stress on the body and are great for expending additional calories while strength-training.

                                    8. Machine Weight Training Circuit

                                    Like compound exercises, a machine circuit workout targets the entire body, upper body, lower body, or core. The difference is, with the use of machines instead of free weights, muscle strength is increased by by making your muscles work against weight.[2] By limiting rest periods between exercises to 30 seconds, your metabolism will go into over-drive!

                                    Machines also give you better control over the exercises, which decreases risk of injury.

                                    Here’s a machine circuit training example: Muscle and Strength Machine Workout

                                    The Bottom Line

                                    The above-mentioned workouts should be completed within 30 minutes, unless you’re taking a class which is typically 45 to 60 minutes, giving you time to get on with the rest of your day.

                                    By keeping your rest periods to a minimum between exercises, your heart rate will stay elevated and you will burn more calories, get lean, and have more energy.

                                    Don’t be a gym rat, spending unnecessary time doing lengthy workouts that give you minimum results. For efficient weight loss, perform these workouts three times a week and watch the fat melt away while achieving your fitness goals.

                                    More Resources About Weight Loss

                                    Featured photo credit: Spencer Dahl via unsplash.com

                                    Reference

                                    [1] Mountain Life Fitness: Super sets, compound sets and giant sets
                                    [2] Better Health Channel: Resistance training – health benefits

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