Advertising
Advertising

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

e0d8322eec6f20e1ee58cca7e915ee73

    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

      Advertising

      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.

          Advertising

          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.

                Advertising

                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

                      Advertising

                      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.

                            More by this author

                            7 Simple Tricks To Bring More Mindfulness Into Your Life 20 Things Only Parents Of Children With Dyslexia Would Understand 22 Creative Ways to Make Money (Simple and Effective) 9 Simple Tips to Make Your WordPress Blog Faster 10 Strategies to Reduce And Repay Your College Debt

                            Trending in Exercise

                            1 8 Yoga Poses to Help You Achieve Strong and Toned Inner Thighs 2 3 Home Exercises To Fix Your Rounded Shoulders In One Month 3 Workout Every Day: Thursday Music Playlist 4 Cut down on drinking! Time for a post-holiday detox 5 How To Get A Six-Pack In One Month

                            Read Next

                            Advertising
                            Advertising
                            Advertising

                            Last Updated on January 5, 2021

                            15 Fitness Goals That Will Help You Live a Healthier Life This Year

                            15 Fitness Goals That Will Help You Live a Healthier Life This Year

                            Starting a journey with fitness goals is never easy, and you must remember this is not a crash diet; it is a lifestyle. Don’t panic and think you have to do it all at once, as this will most likely overwhelm you. You may also find yourself giving up because crash diets are not sustainable.

                            The best approach is to make simple changes to your daily habits, and over time, you will notice all your bad habits have turned into good ones.

                            Accordingly to a study by Phillippa Lally, a health psychology researcher at University College London, on average, it takes more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact.[1] And how long it takes a new habit to form can vary widely depending on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances.

                            Here are 15 fitness goals to help you on your journey:

                            1. Drink More Water

                            W.H. Auden said it best when he said,

                            “Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.”

                            With any diet, the most important thing to remember is to stay hydrated. Drinking water will support your body with digestion, transporting nutrients to your bones and muscles, and even improving cognitive function.

                            Ideally, you want to drink about half your body weight in ounces per day, i.e. if you weight 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water a day.

                            2. Add Some Lemon and Apple Cider Vinegar to Your Water

                            It is recommended we sleep for about 8 hours a day, but this means we spend about 8 hours per day dehydrated. Therefore, hydrating your body first thing in the morning is absolutely necessary.

                            The best way to achieve hydration is by starting your day with a glass or even two of water. For that extra boost, add lemon juice and ½ teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. The lemon and apple cider vinegar will help your body with detoxifying, cleansing, and digestion.

                            Advertising

                            3. Stop Drinking Your Calories

                            Yes, keeping hydrated is important, but try to avoid high-calorie drinks, such as soft drinks, specialty coffee, and juices as they are full of fast-acting sugar.

                            Really push yourself to stop drinking such drinks, and before you know it, you will notice the benefits.

                            4. Start Stretching More Often

                            The benefits are vast and the repercussions of failing to stretch can be dramatic.

                            Do yourself a favor and always stretch before and after a workout. This will promote a healthy cool down, improve flexibility, and reduce next day aches. Failure to stretch can lead to injures and muscle damage.

                            Here’re some simple stretching exercises to get you started: 15 Static Stretching Exercises to Totally Enhance Your Workout Routine

                            5. Add in Some High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

                            You may have heard about HIIT training because it is the big thing right now, and believe me when I say that it works and should absolutely be included in your fitness goals.

                            The benefits include lower body fat, increased stamina, leaner muscles, and fantastic hormonal benefits.

                            HIIT is where you perform an intense exercise for a very short time frame (about 30 seconds), followed by a slower exercise for about 90 seconds.

                            Performing a HIIT routine for 1-3 times a week will lead to great results.

                            6. Focus on Your Breathing When You Work Out

                            For the most part, breathing is second nature, but when exercising, you may find yourself holding your breath, and this can have negative consequences.

                            Advertising

                            It is important to consciously take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth, as this will fill your lungs with oxygen and give you the necessary energy to continue your workout.

                            7. Build More Lean Muscle

                            We all want to have lean muscles. Not only does it look good, but it also has great health benefits, including:

                            • Improved posture
                            • Reduced body fat
                            • Improved metabolism
                            • Strong bones
                            • Protects and improves joint health
                            • Improved stamina

                            You can build lean muscle by lifting weights or through other specific exercises. Learn more about building muscle in this guide: How Long Does it Take to Build Muscle and Increase Fat Loss?

                            8. Decrease Body Fat

                            This may seem like an obvious one, but it is one of the most important steps to a healthier you. Reducing your body fat has a lot of benefits such as:

                            • Improved joints and tendons
                            • Lowered risk of diabetes
                            • Reduced risk of heart disease
                            • Reduced inflammation
                            • Better performance and endurance
                            • Improved appearance and confidence
                            • Better hormonal profiles in your body

                            Remember, it is not a race to see how quickly you can decrease your body fat. Healthy weight loss is around 1-2 pounds a week for your fitness goals.[2]

                            Crash dieting or pushing yourself too much in the gym can lead to you achieving an unrealistic target, and you may find yourself gaining all the weight you have lost.

                            Think of it as a lifestyle, and take it slow and steady.

                            9. Eat More Greens

                            What you eat is the most important factor in a healthier living plan. It is important to ensure you are getting as many nutrients and vitamins from the food you are eating as possible.

                            Focus on dark, leafy greens, as they will provide you with a wide array of vitamins, minerals, nutrients and antioxidants—all of which you body needs!

                            Don’t forget to avoid processed and manufactured food. They are usually high in fat and have minimal vitamins.

                            Advertising

                            10. Start Eliminating Sugar

                            Another top goal you can start immediately is reducing the amount of sugar you consume. It also won’t cost you anything, and will save you money and improve your health in the long run.

                            There’s no surprise we eat too much sugar, and this should be one of your top fitness goals moving forward. Cutting out liquid calories is a great way to start. If you’re looking for something sweet, turn to fruits or even dark chocolate.

                            Be careful to eliminate sugar from your diet slowly. Cutting it out all at once can cause symptoms of sugar withdrawal, which can drive you back to sugary snacks[3].

                            Common symptoms of sugar withdrawal

                              11. Allow Yourself to Rest and Recover

                              The workout is where you go to break down muscle tissue, and it builds back through proper nutrition, rest, and recovery[4]. It might be tempting to go to the gym for two hours every day as hard as you can to achieve your goals, but that’s not the most effective approach.

                              If you don’t allow for proper rest and recovery, it can set you back a few steps. Your body is more prone to injury and even illness as you can weaken your immune system from all the progressive intensity the body is facing.

                              12. Get More Sleep

                              When you are deprived of sleep, you make it next to impossible to achieve your health and fitness goals. Lack of sleep can increase stress hormones in your body, and over time these can lead to inflammation and chronic diseases.[5]

                              Make sleep a priority to let your body heal and rejuvenate. A good approach is 7 to 8 hours. Also, allow yourself some wind-down time and a pre-bed routine to help get more consistent sleep every night.

                              13. Focus on the Habit, Not the Result

                              It’s easy to get caught up in trying to achieve a certain look or shed time off of your mile, but the more important focus is on the habit that will bring you closer to those fitness goals.

                              Don’t look at the scale, the tape measurer, or the body fat percentage. Focus on the habits that will lead to those achievements.

                              Advertising

                              Don’t compare yourself to where others are; you’re right where you need to be.

                              14. Take Your Fitness Outside

                              This may be hard depending on the weather you experience, but the more you can be outside exposed to fresh air and sunlight, the better.

                              Being stuck in the gym doing cardio while staring at a wall won’t do much for your mental stimulation.

                              Try to challenge your body more by getting outside. Hiking is great and also just running and walking. Give yourself more access to nature and a constantly changing environment. It also beats breathing in that recycled gym air.

                              15. Do at Least One Pull Up

                              This is a great last goal to focus on because it’s a great test of strength and to see how you are progressing with your fitness.

                              If you haven’t been able to do one, you know what a challenge it can be. Having the goal of doing at least one pull up will not only show you how far you’ve progressed, but it is a great way to become dedicated and motivated.

                              The Bottom Line

                              These fitness goals will become more attainable through the year if you’re consistent with your fitness. Set yourself a concrete timeline for when you want to accomplish some or all of these in order to create realistic goals in the short term. In fact, start making one of these goals happen this month!

                              More on Setting Fitness Goals

                              Featured photo credit: Ivan Torres via unsplash.com

                              Reference

                              Read Next