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The Three Best Butt Exercises to Lift, Tone & Shape
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The muscles of your buttocks do more than just make you look sexy in a tight pair of jeans. These muscles, the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus, help provide for movement in your legs and upper body and help balance the muscles of your core. Strategic workouts help you strengthen and tone these muscles without you having to join a gym or buy a lot of expensive equipment.
The exercise website ShapeFit.com calls the squat the “single best exercise" for strengthening, toning and shaping your buttocks. Perform this exercise using your body weight, a pair of dumbbells or a barbell. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart with a barbell resting across the back of your neck supported by your shoulders. Hold the barbell with your hands a little more than shoulder-width apart. If you’re using a pair of dumbbells, hold them in your hands by your sides. Bend both knees at the same time while keeping your back straight and your upper body balanced over your hips. Continue bending your knees until your thighs are nearly parallel to the ground. Hold this position for a second, then use the muscles of your back, legs and buttocks to return to the starting position. Repeat until exhaustion.
The fitness website ExerciseGoals.com lists the lunge among its "five absolute best butt-building exercises." Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and your hands resting by your sides. Keep your shoulders positioned directly over your hips and step back with your left leg in an exaggerated step that is about double an average walking step. Bend both of your knees until your front thigh is about parallel to the floor and your back knee is almost touching the floor. Return to the standing position and repeat until you’ve performed an equal number of repetitions with both legs. You also can perform this exercise with a forward stepping motion.
The exercise website ShapeFit.com, lists this exercise as one of its top exercises for building muscles in your buttocks. Start in a crawling position with your body supported by your hands and knees. Keep your head looking forward throughout this exercise. Lift your right leg back and upward while keeping your knee bent at a 90-degree angle, keeping your elevated foot higher than your head when performing this exercise. This motion should end in a position with the sole of your lifted foot pointing toward the ceiling. Hold this position for about two seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat using both legs until exhaustion.
You can always use an additional exercise to switch out with one of the previous three listed. The website ExRx.net notes that this exercise isolates the large gluteus maximus muscle in your supporting leg, making it effective for building your butt. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and your hands resting in front of your thighs. Lift your left leg and support your body weight on your right leg. Lower your upper body by bending over while supporting your body on your right leg. Continue bending forward on one leg until you can touch the ground with your fingertips. Your right leg should swing behind your body to act as a counterbalance to your torso bending forward. Return to the starting position using a slow and controlled motion and repeat for an equal number of repetitions with each leg.
Keith Strange spent more than a decade as a staff writer for newspapers in the southeastern United States, winning numerous awards for his work. He has a B.S. in wellness/sports medicine from Averett University and completed graduate work in exercise physiology. Strange is a former competitive martial artist and holds a third-degree black belt in tae kwon do.