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10 Most Effective Butt Exercises to Shape Up Your Body

10 Most Effective Butt Exercises to Shape Up Your Body

Everyone wants to get in shape as soon as they sense that summer is around the corner. However, shaping up means different things to different people.

While guys focus on losing a few pounds and buffing up their chest and arms, most girls and some guys like to sculpt the perfect derriere that will give them the confidence to strut around town in those tight new jeans. If you want to really target the glutes, you’ll definitely need some of these great butt exercises.

First thing’s first – structure your workouts

You can’t just do a few minutes of some random exercise when the mood strikes you, or do about 100 sloppy and quick repetitions before calling it quits. There are a couple of important concepts you need to understand before starting your workout:

  • You need about 3 sets of 2-3 exercises for a targeted body part.
  • You need a challenging weight; more than 12-15 repetitions and you are working on mostly endurance instead of growing muscles.
  • You need progressive overload to make muscles grow, i.e. adding weight, increasing repetitions, adding more sets, doing a more challenging variation or slowing down for each rep.
  • You can never fully isolate a muscle; other muscles will work in conjunction.
  • To develop a truly great butt, you need the legs to match.

I really recommend going with a full body workout three times a week, coupled with another 2-3 sessions of cardio like running, where you would add a couple of additional butt exercises at the end to really bring up this body part.

This will ensure that you don’t develop muscle imbalances which can both make you look a bit weird and affect your health. You can switch up the exercises you chose each training session.

Do 3 sets with a challenging weight, ideally something you can only manage for 10-12 repetitions, but going as high as 15-25 is acceptable if you can only use your bodyweight. Switch to harder variations, add weight, add repetitions, slow down or add 1-2 more sets when doing the recommended sets and reps gets easy.

1. Deep Squats

Deep squat

    When doing squats, particularly with only your bodyweight, it is best to go as low as you can while keeping your back straight, as this ensures maximum glute activation. The stance should be slightly wider than shoulder width or even a bit wider, depending on your build, and you should lower yourself down keeping a neutral spine.

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    To ensure that your knees don’t cave in and that your upper back doesn’t round, you can hold your palms together in front of your chest, which flares out the elbows. I

    ncrease difficulty gradually by holding a weight in front of the chest or doing one legged squats when the exercise becomes easy. You will get strong very quickly doing these, and they will help improve flexibility as well as overall core strength.

    2. Horse Stance

    Horse stance

      The horse stance or horse-riding stance is a staple of several different martial arts, and is a great way to build some strength and size in the thighs and glutes. You start by standing straight, and opening up your normal stance about a foot or two beyond shoulder-width on both sides, then you squat down as if you were going to sit back in a chair.

      Your thighs should be parallel to the ground. You’ll definitely feel the burn and will have to really focus on not giving up. Try to hold this position for as long as you can. Beginners should aim for about 15-30 seconds and gradually increase this period over time.

      Advanced practitioners can hold the position for 5-10 minutes.

      3. Step-up

      Step up

        Step-ups are a great dynamic exercise that really activates glutes and provides a good cardiovascular workout all in one. All you need a platform that is a little bit higher than your knees – somewhere around mid-thigh is good, but you can start out with a lower platform at first – e.g. a chair.

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        You step on it with one foot, raise your body up, and then bring the knee of your other leg up as high as you can, before stepping back down gently. You can make it a bit more difficult by holding small weights in your hands, or even something like a big water jug in front of you once you get stronger.

        4. Glute Bridges

        Glute bridge

          This one really hits the glutes hard, so be ready for some soreness afterwards. To perform the exercise you simply lie down on your back and, with your feet planted comfortably on the ground and knees pointed upwards, raise your butt off the floor until only your feet, backs of the shoulders and head are touching the floor.

          Make sure to push the hips as high up as you can and squeeze the glutes hard at the top. The exercise quickly becomes very easy, at which point you can straighten one leg and push off one leg at a time. You can also put some weight on your lower ab area, e.g. dumbbell or big water jug, and hold it steady with your hands.

          5. Rear Leg Lifts

          Rear leg raises

            Knelling on your knees and hands, with arms straight, you lift one leg off the floor and push the foot toward the ceiling. Bring the leg back down slowly under control and then alternate between legs.

            These can be a bit hard at first, and may cause you to cramp up a bit, so make sure you stretch properly afterwards. You can add some ankle weights or pinch a small dumbbell between your calf and hamstring to add some difficulty as you get stronger.

            6. Side Leg Lifts

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            Side leg raise

              Lying on your side – you should use some extra padding on the floor, like a thick folded-up blanket or a couple of yoga mats – you lift one leg up, then bring it almost all the way down slowly. Once you are finished on one side, switch to the other side. This is a great one for hitting some of the smaller muscles of the legs as well as the glutes.

              7. Cossack Lunges

              Cossack lunges

                These are a great way to improve flexibility and balance, while your legs and butt do some serious work.

                With legs about a couple of feet wider than shoulder-width, you shift your weight to one side, squatting down on that leg and keeping the other one straight. Once you hit the bottom position, you point the toes of the straight leg upwards, hold for a second, then put the foot back on the ground raise slightly and shift the weight towards the other side. You repeat the same on the other side and then keep alternating.    

                8. Fire Hydrants

                Fire hydrants

                  Start in a kneeling position, just like for the rear leg lifts, and then raise one leg to the side, keeping a 900 knee bend. Then you start rotating from the hip, making small circles at first and then wide swooping circles.

                  Do this for as long as you can, some 20-30 seconds at first, for three sets. This is a good exercise for opening up the hips, improving mobility as well as strengthening the glutes and some of the smaller muscles in the legs that are tough to target.

                  9. Full Bridge

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                  Bridge

                    Lying straight on your back with feet planted and knees up, place the palms of your hands on the ground at either side of your head, fingers pointed towards the shoulders, then begin to raise the entire body, pushing the feet and hands as you push the hips up.

                    This requires a decent amount of wrist and shoulder mobility, as well as some arm strength, but it is highly effective. It really hits the glutes, legs and shoulders, while at the same time stretching out the abs and upper body.

                    Hold the position for as much as you can – 30-60 seconds at first, but no more than 2-3 minutes as you don’t want too much blood rushing into your head for extended periods of time – then slowly go back down, and keep lying for another 60-90 seconds before getting up to let the blood flow readjust gradually.

                    This is a great finisher, and you can raise one leg up to add some difficulty.

                    10. Flutter Kicks

                    Flutter kicks

                      This is a great way to target the abs and the glutes, the two body parts every woman wants to shape up for the summer. Lying flat on the back, raise your legs off the ground to about 450, then push one up as you lower the other down, alternating them like this for as long as you can.

                      These are some of the best exercises for developing a full, round and firm butt that will turn heads, but you shouldn’t neglect the rest of your body or cardio work. There is no need to overdo it – with 3 training sessions a week and a focus on constantly improving, you’ll develop all the right curves in no time.

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                      Nemanja Manojlovic

                      Editor at MyCity Web

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                      Last Updated on July 8, 2020

                      18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

                      18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

                      The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

                      1. Understand Yourself Better

                      Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

                      Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

                      2. Keep Track of Small Changes

                      I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

                      Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

                      3. Become Aware of What Matters

                      As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

                      You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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                      4. Boost Creativity

                      The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

                      When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

                      You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

                      5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

                      A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

                      Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

                      6. Process Life Experiences

                      When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

                      Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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                      7. Stress Relief

                      In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

                      Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

                      8. Provide Direction

                      Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

                      One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

                      9. Solve Problems

                      Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

                      Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

                      When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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                      10. Find Relief From Fighting

                      Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

                      Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

                      11. Find Meaning in Life

                      Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

                      12. Allow Yourself to Focus

                      Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

                      13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

                      When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

                      14. Let the Past Go

                      I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

                      15. Allow Freedom

                      Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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                      16. Enhance Your Career

                      Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

                      Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

                      17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

                      All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

                      18. Catalog Your Life for Others

                      No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

                      We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

                      Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

                      Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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