Exercises to Tone Buttocks for Older People
Getting older doesn't have to mean losing tone and function in your muscles, including your buttocks. But if you do not exercise, your muscle fibers decrease in size as you pass age 50, and you will lose muscle mass, power and strength. Focused buttocks exercises prevent this type of tissue loss. If you are a beginner or getting back into exercise after a time away, it is safest to start by using your own body weight as resistance.
Muscular Atrophy and Posture Problems
As you age and become less active, the muscle fibers of your gluteal muscles, or buttocks, also decrease. A significant loss of gluteal tissue can indicate poor posture, specifically a backward-tilting pelvis. It is often accompanied by lower back pain and trouble getting up from a seated position. Postural deficiencies get worse with age, but gluteal strengthening can reduce the risk of serious discomfort or injury.
Firing the Gluteal Muscles
To begin gluteal strengthening, practice getting a muscle contraction. To do this, sit upright in a chair. The harder the seat is, the easier it will be to gauge the contraction. Slowly squeeze both sides of your buttocks evenly. When you can no longer squeeze any harder, hold the position for five seconds and gently release. Repeat the exercise 12 to 15 times. To increase the difficulty of this exercise, add a weight to your lap.
Functional Gluteal Muscle Exercises
Functional exercises prevent injuries from happening during activities of daily living. In other words, these types of exercises train and protect your body for activities outside the gym. Target the gluteal muscles while performing functional activities such as a squat. Stabilize against a wall by using an exercise ball for comfort. Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes facing forward. Lower down until your upper thighs are parallel with the floor. Repeat 12 to 15 repetitions. To increase the difficulty of this exercise, add dumbbells to each hand.
Building and Toning Your Buttocks
If you are old enough to have lost significant gluteal muscle mass already, your goal is to build the muscle back up. The surrounding tissue will tone as the muscle builds. Working toward this goal, initially practice 12 to 20 repetitions of an exercise. By performing higher repetitions, the gluteal muscles get used to contracting for a longer period of time, thereby gaining endurance. After a few weeks, switch to focusing on building muscle mass by performing eight to 12 repetitions of a heavier weight. Continue this routine three times per week.
- Strength Training for Women; Joan Pagano
- Deconditioning and Reconditioning; Chapter 4: Immobilization and Disuse Muscular Atrophy; Shawn R. Simonson, Ph.D.
- Posture Alignment; Paul D'Arezzo, M.D.
- Weight Training; Andrew Heming, M.S.
- ShapeWalking; Marilyn L. Bach, Ph.D., and Lorie Schleck, M.A., P.T.
- American Council on Exercise: Stability Ball Wall Squats
Erika McAuley is a freelance writer from Abbotsford, British Columbia. As an exercise rehabilitation professional, she has been preventing and treating musculoskeletal injuries in athletes and civil workers since 2008. McAuley holds a Bachelor of Human Kinetics in athletic therapy from Trinity Western University and an Advanced Certificate in Athletic Therapy from Mount Royal University.