Firm your rear and tighten your abs with these 10 remarkable moves.
You’re always busting it, saving it, covering it, or laughing it off, but how much time do you actually devote to sculpting your butt? Not enough.
Pretty much anytime you’re standing on two feet, your glutes and hamstrings are hard at work. Problem is, like most Americans, you’re probably spending more and more time parked on your backside in front of a computer or flatscreen.
Since your glutes are your largest (and possibly most powerful) muscle group and therefore an all-star calorie burner and metabolism booster…as long as you use them. Neglect them long enough and your bum becomes your body’s problem child—loaded with potential, but lazy, forgetful, and unmotivated. And not so hot-looking either.
- Also check out: 9 different butt workout for women anatomy
Show your buns some love with these 10 killer moves. They work the glutes and the muscles that support them (the hip flexors and hamstrings) to tighten and tone your booty and core. Whether you choose to add them to your existing routine in place of lower-body exercises or combine them for a calorie-frying buttock-toning circuit (see “Build-a-Better-Butt Workout,” right) is up to you. Either way, you’ll wind up with a superior posterior.
Combine these moves into one seriously booty-shaping routine.
The Warmup: do one or two sets of five to 10 reps of each move (10 to 15 for the Sideways Band Shuffle).
> Single-Leg, Single-Arm Reach
> Facedown Hip External Rotation
> Single-Leg Hip Extension
> Sideways Band Shuffle
The Workout: Challenge the glutes with high-intensity supersets. do 10 to 12 reps of 1 a, then immediately do 10 to 12 reps of 1B. rest for 30 to 60 seconds, then work through the pairs until you’ve done 10 to 12 reps of each move.do each superset twice.
1A/ Stability-Ball Hip Extension Leg Curl
1B/ Dumbbell Bent-Knee Deadlift
2A/ Dumbbell Step Up
2B/ Stability-Ball Back Extension
3A/ Elevated Reverse Lunge
3B/ Dumbbell Straight-Leg Deadlift
1. Facedown Hip External Rotation
Don’t let the look of this one fool you: It is one of the most challenging and effective moves for targeting your external hip muscles, which have a major impact on your glutes.
Do it: Lie facedown on the floor with your arms folded under your head, legs extended straight behind you. Bend your right leg, knee pointed out, and place your foot on the back of your left knee, keeping both hips on the floor (a). Contract your right butt cheek and lift your right knee a few inches off the floor without raising your hip (b). Pause, then return to the starting position. Complete all reps on the right side, then repeat on the left side.
2. Dumbbell Stright Leg Deadlift
Focus on form, and this move will be your butt’s new BFF.
Do it: Grab a pair of five- to eight-pound dumbbells and hold them in front of your thighs, feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent (a). Bend at your hips to lower your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor, keeping the weights close to your body (b). Return to standing, keeping the weights close to your body (as if you’re shaving your legs with the dumbbells). That’s one rep.
3 Sideways Band Shuffle
See ya later, saddlebags! This move enlists your smaller glute muscles, tightening these stubborn trouble spots.
Do it: Place a resistance band loop around your ankles and stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands on hips (a). Step your left foot to the left, placing as much tension on the band as possible (b), then bring your right leg to the left. Do all reps to the left, then repeat to the right side.
4. Dumbbell Bent-Knee Deadlift
Give your glutes a challenge: Increasing the weight boosts your metabolism.
Do it: Set a pair of 10- to 15-pound dumbbells on the floor in front of you. Squat, keeping your chest up, and grab the dumbbells with an overhand grip. your arms should be
straight and your lower back slightly arched, not rounded
(a) Contract your glutes and stand up with the dumbbells,
straightening your legs, thrusting your hips forward, and
pulling your torso back and up
(b). Slowly lower the dumbbells to the floor. That’s one rep
5. Single-Leg, Single-Arm Reach
Do this move to stretch before a run, or at the gym to
tone your backside.
Do it: Stand on your left leg and raise your right arm in front of you (a) . Lower your torso and lift your right leg behind you until both are parallel to the floor (b) . Contract your glutes and hamstrings to return to standing. That’s one rep. Do all reps, then switch sides and repeat.
Quick tip: Keep your spine neutral by bending only as far as you can with – out rounding your back.
6. Single-Leg Hip Extension
Weak glutes and tight hip flexors cause your pelvis to tilt forward, pushing your abdomen out and creating that no-good belly pooch. This move evens you out.
Do it: Lie faceup with your arms out to the sides, right knee bent, left leg straight and raised a few inches off the floor (a) . Lift your leg until it’s in line with your right thigh and push your hips upward, forming a straight line from shoulders to knees (b) . Pause, then lower to start. Do all reps, then switch legs and repeat.
7. Stability-Ball Back Extension
If you think this move sculpts only your back, think again: your glutes do the work to pull your body up.
Do it: Lie facedown on a stability ball, hands behind your head, feet against a sturdy object (a) Squeeze your glutes and lift your torso up until your body forms a straight line. Hold for one or two seconds (b). Slowly return to start. That’s one rep.
8. Dumbbell Step Up
The reason this was the inspiration behind an exercise- class empire? It works.
Do it: Grab a pair of five- to 10-pound dumbbells, stand in front of a bench or step, and place your left foot firmly on the step (a) . Press down with your left heel and push your body up until your left leg is straight (b). Slowly lower back to the starting position. That’s one rep. Do all reps with the left leg, then repeat with the right.
9. Stability-Ball Hip Extension Leg Curl
Strong hamstrings are just as crucial as strong glutes to get the backside of your dreams!
Do it: Lie faceup on the floor, arms out to the sides, lower legs on a stability ball (a). Push your hips up until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees (b) , then pull your heels toward you and roll the ball as close as possible to your butt (c) . Pause, then roll the ball back until your body is in a straight line again. Lower your hips back to the floor. That’s one rep.
10. Elevated Reverse Lunge
This is the ultimate butt multitasker, providing an active ip-flexor stretch along with a calorie-blasting lunge/step-up combo.
Do it: Stand on a six-inch step or box, hands on your hips (a). Squeeze your right glute, step back with your right leg, and lower until your left knee is bent at least 90 degrees (b). Pause, then push through the left leg to return to start. That’s one rep. Alternate sides until you’ve done all the reps for each leg.
Quick tip: Squeeze your glute to raise your leg behind you, and keep your core braced and chest up throughout the move.
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A workout by Rachel Cosgrove
photos by Chris Shipman