A firm, trim, muscular butt isn’t just about how you look. The muscles of your butt, the four gluteal muscles (or glutes), work hard every day. The glutes work when you rise from a sitting position, stand up and when you sit down. They work when you walk and climb. Just about every activity that involves moving your legs uses your glutes. In addition to helping you move, your glutes are the largest muscle group in your body, which means they are the largest calorie burners. Strong butt muscles also help to stabilize your lower back and hips, which can help reduce lower back pain. Building muscle is easier than losing fat. If you are like most people, especially older women who have had children, you probably have a layer of fat on your butt and hips. It can be difficult to get rid of butt fat but it can be done. Begin by changing your diet to reduce the amount of fat, sodium and sugar you consume. Eat low-fat, fiber and nutrient rich foods. Drink plenty of water every day to keep your body hydrated. Develop realistic goals and get to work blasting your butt!
It is important that you warm up your muscles before you start a workout. Warming up your muscles prior to strenuous exercise can help reduce your risk of injury and decrease your chances of developing post-exercise muscle soreness. Warming up increases your heart rate. Greater blood flow brings more nutrients and oxygen to your tissues while removing more waste. Any exercise that gets your heart pumping and makes you sweat is a good warm-up exercise. Jog in place or jump rope. Some calisthenics, such as jumping jacks, is also a good way to warm up. Warm-up for about 10 minutes before you begin any exercise.
The squat is one of the most effective exercises for your butt. It also works your abs, your hamstrings (back of your thighs), your quadriceps (front of your thighs) and your calves. Do squats by standing up straight with your feet about hip-width apart. Put your hands on your hips or stretch your arms straight out in front of your body for balance. Hinge at the hip joints and slowly lower your body straight down as if you are going to sit in a chair. Keep your knees over your feet and do not lean forward. You should keep your knees from going past your toes. Squat as low as you can toward a sitting position. Hold the position for 2 to 3 seconds and then push your body back up to a standing position. Try to do 8 to 10 repetitions. Go down, hold and then push back up for one full repetition. If a standard squat is difficult for you as a beginner, try wall squats. Press your back against the wall and slide down to a squatting position. You can also hold onto a sturdy chair to assist you when doing squats.
Single Leg Hip Extension
Hip extensions help to strengthen your glutes and stretch your hip flexors. Tight hip flexor muscles can cause your pelvis to tilt forward. A forward tilted pelvis can cause back and leg pain. It can also cause your belly to protrude, making you look slumped and dumpy. To do single leg hip extensions, lie on the floor on your back with your arms stretched out from the shoulders on each side of your body. Bend your right knee and place your foot on the floor beside your left knee. Stretch your left leg out and raise it a few inches off the floor. Lift your leg and your torso until your shin, thigh and hips form a straight line right up to your shoulder. Hold the position for 2 to 3 seconds or longer if you can and then slowly lower your leg and buttocks back to the floor. That’s one repetition. Do 8 to 10 repetitions on each side.
Climbing stairs is one of the best ways to work your butt, thighs and legs. You can climb stairs in your building, use a stair stepper machine or you can do dumbbell step-ups. Add extra weight by holding a 3-5 pound dumbbell in each hand to increase resistance for a more strenuous workout. Use an aerobic step-up platform or a low exercise bench. A sturdy wooden box or the first step at the bottom of the stairs will also work. Hold the dumbbells in each hand with your palms facing your hips. Stand in front of the step or box. Step onto the bench or step with your right foot. Press your foot down with your heel and simultaneously lift your body straight up. Slowly lower your right foot back to the floor. That’s one repetition. Do 10 repetitions with each leg.
The bridge exercise works both sides of your butt at the same time. Your quads, abs and hamstrings get a good workout, too. Lie on your back onto the floor and bend your knees so that your feet are planted firmly on the floor slightly ahead of your knees. Slowly lift your back off the floor starting from your buttocks by rolling your spine up toward your shoulders. Squeeze your abs and your buttocks as you lift your hips toward the ceiling. Support the weight of your body on your shoulders. Hold the position when your body forms a straight line from your thighs, through your torso to your shoulders. Hold this position for 2 to 3 seconds. Slowly lower your body back down by rolling your back onto the floor from your shoulders down to your lower back. That is one repetition. Do 5 to 8 repetitions of this exercise.
After you finish your workout, remember to hydrate your body by drinking water. Cool down your body with some light exercise and stretch your muscles. Stretching your muscles will help to relax the muscle fibers and may help alleviate post exercise muscle soreness. A whey protein shake after your workout is also important to rush key nutrients to your muscles to help them recover from your booty blasting training session!