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The one exercise that gives you a great bum, thinner thighs and a tummy of steele – and the 30 day programme you need to get it into your life

Squats equal great bum…true! But what if you found out that doing a squat workout is not only the way to get a firm, round tush but also gets your core into shape? Kelly Du Buisson, leading London trainer, explains the benefits of squats

Happy New Year and welcome to my new fitness blog for Healthista.com. Let’s leap into 2015 and begin with a quest for a toned and tight tushi. You may have been following my 30 day squat challenge which launched on January 1st, but if you haven’t sign up ASAP for your chance to win a Healthista hamper (just share the story on social media for a chance to win).

It’s every women’s dream to have glutes (that’s butt muscles) to die for and in 2014 it seems ‘bigger was better’ with celebrities from Kim Kardashian to Nicki Minaj flaunting tight (yet lets face it, slightly unnatural) derrieres.

Obviously there is the aesthetic value of working those buns but there are also benefits to improving posture, preventing lower back pain, strengthening the core and burning masses of calories!

The power of a humble squat

A basic squat recruits the four quadriceps muscles (front of thighs), gluteus maximus (bottom muscles), the three hamstring muscles (back of thighs) and the major core muscles including the transverse abdominals (corset muscles), erector spinae (back) and the oblique’s (side abdominals). There are also many smaller interconnecting muscles and tissues which stabilise and support whilst also pulling the skin back to the muscles.

Our squat challenge begins with the basic squats and lunges as we need to wake up the major muscles to make sure we are performing quality movements.

Squats should be deep, aiming to bring hips to knees and making sure the heels stay on the floor.

Squats should be deep, aiming to bring hips to knees and making sure the heels stay on the floor. If knees come forward over the toes the heels will lift and all the effort is placed on to the knees so make sure to sit back. This will ensure correct performance and wake up the gluteus muscles of the bottom.

If knees come forward over the toes the heels will lift and all the effort is placed on to the knees so make sure to sit back.

As the weeks progress we will add in smaller twists and turns, pulses and movements that cover all three planes of motion so are really working every angle of the body. This will create the tight and toned look without causing bulk. If bulking is what you wish for add in weights to each exercise.

Waking up dormant muscles = burning more calories

Commonly, muscles are either stabilizers or movers. However if the body is unbalanced (as most sedentary people and a lot of very active people will know) the stabilizers quite often lie dormant or asleep as we do not use them in the correct manner. A very common example of this is the gluteus muscles which provide support for the spine, initiate walking and squatting movements and absorb a lot of impact before it reaches the lower back.

These are huge muscles with a massive calorie burning system but we neglect to use them. Instead hamstrings will take over the stabilizing of the lower back resulting in very tight hamstrings which pull on the pelvis. Whilst the imbalance remains, no amount of stretching will relieve the tension so instead we need to correct the imbalance by strengthening the gluteus muscles. Once these muscles at the front of your thighs are activated the hamstrings will start to relax and tension in the lower back is released.

Try split squats, shoulder bridges and squats with wide knees to kick those glutes into action!

Once the glutes are engaged they burn lots and lots of calories, so if you are seeking a weight loss result it is vital those muscles are involved in each and every exercise you do. The bigger the movement the better the calorie burn. In our squat challenge the moves all combine lots of muscle groups in one go to really maximise the calories used.

Mixing it up to burn fat

Once we reach the latter stages of the 20 day squat challenge program the exercises also become more dynamic. Powerful movements release hormones that burn lots of fat including human growth hormone (HGH). As these moves generally cause the body to fatigue quickly they create a deficit in the muscles that has to be replaced. This means your body will work overtime to replenish its energy stores and to do this it needs fuel. Lots of calories are used in the process so your metabolism will be at an all time high after every workout.

Each squat movement requires balance and control which invokes those wonderful muscles we refer to as the core. It is true that despite working your abs to breaking point you still need to burn the layer of fat on top and this will come down to what you eat. However I know lots of very fit and athletic people who have very low body fat percentage but simply can’t get rid of the small tyre around their middle or who constantly suffer with lower back ache despite their impressive six pack. Six packs unfortunately do not refer to core strength.

Using squats to work your core

The ‘core’ refers to deep stabilising muscles that support your vital organs, hold the body upright and stabilise the body through movements including twisting, turning, reaching, leaping, walking, running – the list goes on. Without core strength we again refer to alternative muscles, in this case the lower back causing tension, aches and ultimately injury. Without core strength the internal organs push against the abdomen and cause unsightly bulge.

Doing it well

Have you ever seen someone in the gym squatting low to the floor but leaning their chest all the way forwards and bringing their knees forward over their toes? The weight is all in their lower back and knees but the core is doing nothing. As you squat keep the chest up and tuck the tail bone (imagine you tail bone is pointing straight to the ground). Pick a spot on the wall straight ahead of you and sit back into heels keeping your gaze focused on that same spot.

Each exercise in our squat challenge makes full use of the core muscles especially as we reach the latter stages of one leg movements so make sure to focus and do each move properly. If you wish to overload the muscles further add in some extra weight but it is vital that you keep good technique.

The simple squat is one of the most effective full body movements you will find that requires absolutely no equipment, expensive gyms or fancy workout gear (although fancy workout gear does give you that extra motivation so by all means stock up on squat worthy leggings to show off those legs!). But if you need extra inspiration that a squat is not just a squat, have a go at our 30 day challenge and see how much this little concept can improve your life. Good Luck!

Squat challenge workout videos:

Squat Challenge Day 1

Squat Challenge Day 2

Squat Challenge Day 3

Squat Challenge Day 4

Squat Challenge Day 5

Squat Challenge Day 6

Kelly Du Buisson is a leading London trainer specialising in short, high intensity workouts that get her clients super-fit, super-fast. She is also the creator of The 7 Minute Workout: The Fastest Way To Shred Fat And Change Your Body Shape For Good, available from Amazon.

Not all women are naturally blessed with a well-rounded butt like Kim, Khloe, JLo, or Queen Bey… Many women all around the world wonder how to get a bigger booty and this is what we’re here for! In this article we share insights into the right nutrition and best glute exercises that will make your booty pop!

Besides knowing the best glute exercises, there are some other factors that will help you while working towards your bubble butt!

Eight things to keep in mind to grow your glutes for a round butt:

#1 Don’t overdo cardio

Doing a lot of cardio is great for your weight loss and overall fitness but will not help you grow your glute muscles. Moreover, excessive cardio exercise can break down muscle tissue. For those who need a glute-boosting cardio exercise, go stair running! Find the steepest stairs you can climb (or climb two or three steps at a time) and slowly “lunge” yourself up the stairs. You can also use any knee-level platform for a step up, which works the same muscles. If you prefer working out at the gym, hit the stairmaster for your cardio glute workout!

#2 Eat enough protein

As we know, protein is essential for muscle growth and recovery – this also applies to your butt. Without adequate protein, you can do all these exercises and not get a round butt. If you are working out regularly, your minimum daily amount of protein is 1g per kilogram of body weight. We would recommend consuming about 1,5 g of protein per kilogram of your body weight each day. If, for instance, you weigh 55 kg, try to shoot for around 70-80 grams of protein each day. Having a protein shake right after your workout makes it easier to get the proper amount of protein your body requires to grow your glutes.

The Women’s Best Protein Shakes can also be a perfect way to include enough protein in your diet and they taste like dessert anyways

#3 Choose the right carbs

There are good and bad carbs (also known as complex and simple carbs). The good ones will help you to grow lean muscle mass (and a big booty), the bad ones will eventually make you gain weight. Complex carbs, healthy carbs, such as whole grains, sweet potatoes, or beans are perfect for your body. Stay away from bad carbs which you can find in any kind of junk foods, candy, white bread, white pasta, artificially modified foods and soda. These foods are typically packed with sugar or salt and have little or no nutritional value. Plus, the production of insulin increases and as a result, your blood sugar levels spike, which promotes the storage of fat cells, typically in your belly area.

#4 Fat won’t make you FAT

It’s also important to make sure you’re getting enough healthy fat in your diet. Yes, that’s right…fat. The right kinds of fat are good for you and your curves. Nuts, coconut oil, avocados and salmon, for example, are loaded with healthy fatty acids that offer a range of health benefits. In a nutshell: If you want to build your glutes for a bigger bum, make sure that you have a balanced diet of protein, complex carbohydrates, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats.

#5 Challenge yourself

If your workout is not challenging, you won’t see results. By increasing your sets and reps you keep making progress. You could always add resistance bands to your training or opt for glute exercises with weights. You should consistently train at least three times a week. If it hurts, that means you’re on the right track!

#6 Don’t forget recovery

Consistently working out the same muscle groups too frequently is counter-productive and will result in muscle break down instead of muscle growth. This will then lead to muscle reduction instead of muscle build up. Train for three times per week so your glute muscles have some time to recover and grow.

#7 Don’t forget your abs!

If you want this adorable hour-glass-shape, you not only need to do glute exercises, you also need to keep up with ab workouts. Why? Having a smaller mid-section is a huge factor in how big the booty appears. If you have a smaller waist, there will be a more definite shape change between your midsection and your butt.

Click here to learn more about how to get a small waist and reach that hour-glass silhouette!

#8 Try Plyometrics

Plyometric exercises are the best way to tone and build lean muscle while burning fat. This is more effective than just running or cycling because these forms of exercise only move in forward motion. Plyometrics includes exercises of power like jumping or even dancing that engages the glutes in form of multi-plane exercises, working it at all angles to get a nice round butt.

Now that you know about how growing your glutes technically works, let’s get to the practical part.

Women’s Best Athlete Ida Jemina

Follow the Women’s Best Glute Exercises to grow your glutes and get a bigger booty!

This glute workout is built to target different muscle groups that all help you get a bigger booty and make your butt appear rounder and more firm. There is a mix of exercises included, that have different goals. There are exercises like variations of Squats, that target large muscle groups and help you burn lots of calories during your workout. Other exercises like Single Leg Glute Bridges for example, target the glute muscle in a more isolated way and help shape your perfect bubble butt!

Warm up:

First, warm up with 10 minutes of light cardio or do our Women’s Best Glute Exercises after your regular cardio or strength workout.

  • Do 12 reps per set and perform 2-3 sets of each exercise.
  • Rest briefly between sets to keep the intensity high.
  • Do this workout 3-4 days a week to get a bigger booty!

Split Squats:

Starting position: Find an about 10 inch (25 cm) high, 12 inch (30 cm) wide platform and stand on it.

  • Jump up and land on the floor.
  • Drop to a squat position.
  • Jump up and land on the platform.
  • Repeat this process as often as mentioned on your workout routine

Sumo Jump Squats:

Starting position: Standing with your feet placed more than shoulder width and your toes pointing out slightly. Throughout the exercise you have to keep your head up and maintain a straight back.

  • Lower your upper body by bending your knees and hips. Keep your hands together in front of your body.
  • Continue until the angle between upper leg and calve becomes slightly less than 90 degrees Now, your hands should touch the floor.
  • Jump up as high as you can and land in the starting position.
  • Repeat this process as often as mentioned on your workout routine.

Starting position: Stand up with your torso upright.

  • Step forward with one leg until your shin and your thigh form a 90-degree angle. (inhale during this motion)
  • Make sure that your knee does not move beyond your toes!
  • Use your heels to push yourself up to the starting position (Exhale during this motion)
  • Repeat this process as often as it is mentioned on your workout routine!

Glute Kickbacks:

Starting position: Kneel on the floor or on an exercise mat with your arms extended, placed at shoulder width and rectangular to your torso. Throughout the exercise, calve and hamstring should be at a 90-degree angle to each other.

  • Perform the movement by lifting your leg until the hamstring is in line with your back. (Try to hold this position for some seconds)
  • Return to the starting position and repeat the motion with the other leg.
  • Repeat this process as often as it is mentioned on your home workout routine.

Single Leg Glute Bridge:

Starting position: Lie on your back on the floor or on an exercise mat with your feet flat on the ground and your knees bent. Place your feet hip-width apart with the toes facing away from you. Raise one leg off the ground and fully extend it.

  • Now perform the movement by extending your hip upward and raising your glutes off the ground. (Try to hold this position for some seconds and be sure to extend as far as you can.)
  • Repeat this process as often as mentioned on your home workout routine.

X Hops:

Starting position: Standing with your feet placed at shoulder width, with your toes pointing out slightly. Keep your arms in front of your torso. Throughout the exercise you have to keep your head up and maintain a straight back.

  • Perform a jump squat, but land in a split leg position, with one leg forward and the rear knee nearly touching the ground. (lunge position)
  • Jump up from the lunge position and land in a squat position.
  • Now jump up and land in a lunge position again, but this time reverse your legs.
  • To complete the movement jump up and land in a squat position.
  • Repeat this process as often as it is mentioned on your workout routine.

Squats:

Starting position: Stand with your feet placed at shoulder width, with your toes pointing out slightly. Stretch your arms out. Keep your head up and maintain a straight back throughout the exercise.

  • Lower your upper body by bending your knees and hips.
  • Continue until the angle between upper leg and calve becomes slightly less than 90 degrees.
  • Push off the floor by using your quads to get back to starting position.
  • Repeat this process as often as it is mentioned on your workout routine.

Step up:

Starting position: Find a flat bench (or another, similar platform) and stand next to it.

  • Place one foot on the bench.
  • Step on the bench by extending your front leg’s hip and knee. The force to lift your body should mainly come from your front leg.
  • Step down on the floor.
  • Repeat the motion with your other leg.
  • Repeat this process as often as mentioned on your workout routine.

The glutes are meant to be strong in human beings.

The gluteus group is built from three muscles – maximus, medius, and minimus. The maximus is intended to be among the most powerful of our body’s muscles.

The gluteal muscles that comprise a person’s buttocks are a vital part of a human’s functional movement – even more important than most athletes realize:

  • People with weak glutes are more likely to round excessively at the lower back, potentially setting themselves up for lower back pain or even injury.
  • Strong glutes exert a beneficial posterior pull on the pelvis – to help maintain proper alignment of the spine.
  • When the glute muscles aren’t strong enough to do their share of the work, other areas of the body end up having to take up the slack, including the sensitive knee joints.

Hip extension exercises that target the glutes come in 7 types.

According to Bret Contreras – considered a top glute expert among exercise physiologists and athletes – a mistake many make when training the glutes is not varying the direction of exercise movements, or planes:

  • Frontal-plane exercises are suited for lateral-side movements.
  • Sagittal-plane exercises refer to forward and backward movements.
  • Transverse-plane exercises indicate rotary movements that allow for engaging some part of the circular aspect of the rotating hip joint.
  • It’s also a smart idea to pepper some static-isometric exercises into a glute workout, along with the usual dynamic movements.

Examples of 13 results-effective buttocks exercises – that work along all of these planes and styles – are provided for you below, including images and short videos.

Save Our Glutes! (The Epidemic of Saggy Bottoms)

Aside from the practical benefits of possessing strong glutes, there is also – let’s face it – a strong aesthetic benefit, too.

We have an epidemic of saggy bottoms in today’s sedentary culture:

  • For women, there is a rise of “skinny fatness,” in which physiques – that might look fair in clothes – without clothes reveal areas that are textured, droopy or weak. (Even when there is body fat, fat cells just seem to present a better texture when they sit tautly over developed muscle tissue.)
  • For men, there seems to be a constant temptation to work the upper-body twice as much as lower-body, which results in asymmetry. These are the fellows that will wear a t-shirt but who won’t wear shorts. There are a lot of these fellows.

A good glute workout promotes the symmetrical development of the legs while targeting all three of the gluteal muscles.

The idea is to create firm, lifted, and roundly shaped buttocks.

Additionally, you’ll be crafting legs that are even – quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteals are developed proportionally with strong, defined calves to match.

How to Get a Bubble Butt

If you’re an experienced athlete, you are hopefully already doing back squats and deadlifts regularly.

Squats and deadlifts are effective strength training for all the muscles of the body, including glutes.

But if you want a bubble butt, it’s probably going to take more than just those two fundamental exercises.

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  • • Want more information first? .
  • • Ready to get the course now? .
  • Below is a complete glute workout comprised of 13 other exercises that can be completed in under an hour. Some of these movements hit the glutes directly, while others engage the gluteals indirectly:

    • There is a warm-up exercise, followed by four glute workout circuits.
    • Each circuit (including the warm-up) is done three times through.
    • There are several exercises within each circuit.
    • Do each exercise within the circuit consecutively without rest, then take a 2-minute rest before repeating the circuit again.
    • Use a timer! By limiting your rest between circuits to only two minutes, you keep your heart rate elevated and your sweat going.
    • After you complete your third time through a particular circuit, you move on to the next circuit in the series.

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    Do this unique workout once each week and you will begin to see – and feel – positive differences in the shape, lift, strength, and texture of your buttocks.

    A bubble butt can be yours!

    As always, consult your own medical doctor before beginning any significant changes to your movement patterns, nutrition, or lifestyle habits. For additional information on glute conditioning, see the sources listed below this article.

    Warm-Up: Windshield Wipers followed by Light Jog

    • Advanced-level athletes can use ankle weights.
    • Go slowly, keeping your knees together and your navel pulled in tightly.
    • Lower your knees to one side of your body, then alternate sides. 16 repetitions (8 reps each side).

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    • Though it’s tempting to hold your breath, breathe fully and calmly.
    • After your windshield wipers, stand up and do a light one-minute jog in place, or jog to the end of the block and back.

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    First Circuit:

    1. One-legged Bridge Openers
    2. Bridge Thrusts on Ball
    3. Kettlebell Full Kneel-Down Squat/Lunges

    One-legged Bridge Openers

    This exercise is a single-leg glute bridge hold with a 90-degrees bent-knee external rotation.

    • With one leg elevated, drive the supporting heel into the ground and focus on creating a deep squeeze in the working glute as you approach the top. Now stay elevated as you rotate that top leg out-and-in.
    • Keep your glutes and abdominal muscles activated.

    • If you want, you can wrap ankle-weights around your lower calves.
    • 16 repetitions (8 reps each side).
    • You’re still kind of warming-up here, so emphasize quality of contraction over speed.

    Bridge with Stability Ball

    This exercise is a good choice for your first circuit because it warms up the spine and raises body heat.

    • As you lift your hips, engage your lower abdominal plate, compressing the top ribs and pulling the navel in firmly.
    • As you near the top of your bridge, drive your feet down into the ball, contract your glute muscles intensely and exhale.
    • Inhale on the way down, articulating the vertebrae of your spine, relaxing your glutes completely at the bottom.
    • Go slowly. 3 Sets, 8 reps each.

    Kettlebell Kneel Down Lunges

    To build more youthfully shaped buttocks, you need to try some exercises to which your body is mostly unaccustomed.

    Kettlebell kneel-down lunges ought to do the trick.

    • Hold a kettlebell (or any type of weight) in front of your chest. Kneel down, one knee at a time, then stand back up, one leg at a time.
    • Then switch, kneeling again but starting with the other leg.

    • Remember to keep your navel pulled in tightly and your spine tall.
    • The idea is to drive your energy upward like there’s a string pulling out of the top of your head. This will protect your knees.
    • Also, remember when standing back up to reach your foot out far enough in front of you so that the kneecap is directly over the ankle.
    • Use plenty of padding under your knees! You don’t want to collapse all of your body’s weight down into one kneecap. Imagine the energy in your body driving upward to the sky.
    • 3 sets of 12 (6 reps each leg).

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    Second Circuit:

    1. Reverse Walking Kettlebell Lunges
    2. Single-Leg Booty Press Back with Resistance Band
    3. Reverse Duck Walk

    Reverse-Direction Walking Kettlebell Lunges

    Lots of people do walking lunges, but not many think to go in the reverse direction.

    Because your body isn’t accustomed to this exercise, it’s likely to respond in positive ways.

    This exercise will not only help strengthen your glute and leg muscles but will develop your agility and balance as well.

    • It’s the same-side hand as your forward knee that passes the kettlebell under to your other hand.
    • The trick to doing this exercise effectively is to reach your leg far enough behind you so that your front knee is positioned over your front ankle, but not so far back that you lose your balance.
    • 12 lunges (6 reps each leg).

    Single-Leg Booty Press Back with Resistance Band

    Using a resistance band to strengthen the glute muscles means that the further into the rep you move, the harder the exercise becomes.

    Bands are excellent for shaping, firming and lifting the booty area – and especially important after the age of 50 when, without strength, the glues can deactivate and lose the war with gravity.

    • Remember to slightly soften that supporting knee.
    • 3 sets of 10 reps (each leg).

    Reverse Duck Walk

    Sylvester Stallone made this exercise famous as Rocky Balboa training for an upcoming fight.

    This time, it’s to be done backward.

    • Stay low, keep the glutes active and the abdominal wall pulled in.
    • Long spine, chest open, scaps set, and hold a weight in front of you to make it more challenging.
    • 3 sets of 12 reps.

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    Third Circuit:

    1. Kettlebell Windmills
    2. Overhead Squat
    3. Frog Pumps

    Kettlebell Windmills

    Kettlebell windmills involve the shoulders, triceps, and glutes.

    I think of this movement as a sort of deadlift variation, so for me, this is an axial semi-straight leg exercise. The reason this exercise can be so effective is that it’s so compromising.

    You really have to concentrate on good breathing, stabilizing your shoulder, stretching your hip, and initiating the come-up from your legs and glutes.

    • If you don’t concentrate, you might be tempted to let your lower back to do most of the work, which is not the purpose of this movement.
    • Please proceed cautiously on this one. Keep your core tight, and if you feel any pain in your lower back, stop.
    • 3 sets of 8 reps (each side).

    Dane earned a masters degree in Counseling Depth Psychology from Pacific Graduate Institute. His past professional adventures include being a Therapist and Discharge Planner at a Dual-Diagnosis Hospital Inpatient Treatment Program, Digital Marketing Director for a real estate brokerage, and decades spent as a professional fitness and Pilates trainer. Today, Dane is a Healthy-Lifestyle Advocate and he curates the popular Quality of Life Newsletter – a free weekly update for creative types who want to increase their daily joy. Currently, he’s facilitating the new online course “Silver and Strong: How to Get Fantastically Fit After Age 50.”

    Overhead Squat

    Most people don’t do overhead squats, and that’s a shame – because the genius of overhead squats in that your glutes and posterior deltoids (two often-neglected muscle groups) are forced to jump-in and help out, in order to complete the exercise successfully.

    • Keep your back tall, and be especially mindful of how the soles of your feet are fully connecting to the ground.
    • 3 sets, 8 reps each. An axial-exension exercise.

    Athletes must learn how to derive maximum power from the hips and legs. For this advancement to take place, a foundation of adequate core strength and hip mobility is an absolute prerequisite. Strong glutes are critical for a properly functioning body. They are the keystone muscles that keep everything else in line. – Bret Contreras

    Dumbbell (or Plate) Frog Pumps

    Bret Contreras believes that most people have glutes that are weak and “underpotentialized” – and that strong, powerful buttocks are what separate a healthy, athletic physique from an average one.

    To solve this dilemma, Contreras has made hip thrusts popular.

    The brilliance of hip thrusts is that they put the maximum effort from the glutes toward the top end of the rep (unlike squats and deadlifts, which mostly engage the glutes only at the bottom and middle ranges, respectively).

    This frog pump variation works your glutes in a way that will likely feel unfamiliar to you.

    • Press your heels into one another throughout the rep, and keep your top rips compressed a bit (no over-arching of the back).
    • 3 sets, 10 reps each.

    Fourth Circuit:

    1. Hip Thrusters
    2. Kettlebell Swings
    3. Reverse Hamstring Curls on Ball
    4. Straight-Leg Bridge Thrusts on Ball

    Hip Thrusters

    There is a reason that nearly everyone loves hip thrusters. You can actually feel your glutes working.

    An anteroposterior bent-leg exercise. For once, your quads aren’t trying to steal the show. Outside, you can use a band, and/or a bodybar on top of a stability ball. Inside the gym, you can use the smith machine.

    • 3 sets of 8, finish with 8 pulses at the top.
    • Go for the peak contraction!

    Kettlebell Swings

    I often see people at the gym doing kettlebell swings without the swing. Instead, they’re doing a sort of messy front-arm raise.

    But a good kettlebell swing isn’t all shoulder work.

    A good swing has thrust, with the momentum driving energy not just forward, but up as well.

    Where does this energy originate? From the glutes. It’s an anteroposterior extension exercise.

    • Imagine that your arm is swinging as a result of your powerful pelvis, not because you’re pulling the kettlebell up only with your deltoids.
    • This exercise is great toward the end of your glute workout, with a final push and lots of sweat.
    • 3 sets, 20 reps each.

    Hamstring Curls on Stability Ball

    You might think that you wouldn’t be able to get good glute engagement or a nice hamstring pump going with just a simple stability ball, but you’d be mistaken.

    With focused isolation and breathing, you can really get some solid work done in this exercise.

    An anteroposterior flexion exercise. Your hips stay elevated – and your glutes activated – during the entire set, with your legs lengthening then pulling bent for each repetition.

    • The whole time, imagine your core is a corset of firm muscles that encases and protects your vital organs and spine around your entire midsection. Keep it active!
    • 3 sets, 12 reps each (with a nice, intense pause and full exhalation at the point of hamstring contraction).

    Straight-Leg Bridge Thrusts on Ball

    • Stabilize feet on ball with straight legs.
    • Stabilize back of shoulders on mat.

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    • Center your pelvis, compress your top ribs, and thrust your hips upward with explosive speed as you exhale, contracting your gluteal muscles.
    • Lower your hips back down to the mat slowly as you inhale.

    ADVANCED-LEVEL BONUS: Straight-Leg Bridge Kickbacks on Ball

    This is one of those exercises that looks easy when someone else does them. But when you do them yourself, you find out what an *sskicker they really are. This is an anteroposterior straight-leg exercise.

    • Feet on the ball, legs straight – but knees are not locked.
    • Press your top ribs in for a super-tight core, then raise your hips and hold.

    • Pulse at the top.
    • Then finish off with kicks.
    • 3 sets, 12 reps each.

    Thanks to Ákos Farkas for his help with this article.

    Additional Sources on Glute Development:

    • Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy by Bret Contreras
    • The Glute Lab: Strength & Physique Training in San Diego

    Follow me on Instagram for fun exercise ideas to keep your workouts interesting:

    Like your face, your butt goes through so many shifts and changes over the course of your life that it could probably have its own sitcom. To get an idea of exactly how your butt changes every decade or so, Cosmopolitan.com spoke with Dr. Karen E. Boyle of Chesapeake Urology Associates and Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mt. Sinai Hospital to learn what your butt has gone through and what it shall go through next. #ButtPhases.

    AGE 13

    • At the age of 13, your butt is as small as it’s going to be (sorry, small butt enthusiasts). Your fat distribution is at its lowest (due to your estrogen levels just now starting to increase because of puberty) and your muscle tone makes you look like you take tennis lessons with Serena Williams even though you mostly just text on the couch.
    • Your butt isn’t super curvy because of those low levels of estrogen, but it’s firm as hell and that’s cool.
    • Thanks to your new hormones, you might get pimples on your butt. Usually they’re similar to the ones you’d get on your face, but other times it may be folliculitis, which is an infection of the hair follicle. Sometimes that goes away on its own just from normal cleansing, but you can also use a benzoyl peroxide cleanser or scrub if you feel like it.

    AGE 20

    • Those wacky hormones that came along with puberty have given you a more traditionally woman-like shape and you might even have more fat in your butt, making it look rounder and popped out without you having to pop it out.
    • Your butt is still perky and firm (unless you had kids, which might change it a bit, but if you had kids, you already know that) and this is the decade to make sure it stays that way. This is really the ideal decade to tone your butt so you can still have a strong-ass (pun intended) butt in your 40s and beyond.

    AGE 30

    • Boyle says that “it’s all downhill after 30 for the butt,” and that is a very bleak way of saying that you’re starting to lose muscle mass and tone around this time, so doing squats and lunges and sitting less should be your top butt-related priorities. Basically, as long as you keep moving your body and toning up as much as you can, you’ll probably be OK, butt-wise.
    • Skin cell turnover and collagen production is also slowing down right now, so you might start losing firmness and that bounce and smoothness you used to have. This can result in drooping and wrinkling you didn’t have before.

    AGE 40

    • Your estrogen levels are starting to change now, so you might notice more sagging and fat in your hips that definitely was not there in your 30s. This might just make your butt look less perky and like it’s ready to take a nap. Still, if you keep doing butt-focused workouts and are eating pretty clean, you can totally keep your glutes in shape, lifted, and tight.
    • The main battle in your 40s is to try and maintain your overall tone so your menopause hormones won’t hit your cute butt as hard as they could if you slacked off and watched Netflix every night.

    AGE 50

    • Now that you’re hovering around menopause, your estrogen levels might be starting to fall, alongside your ever-south-bound butt. Not only that, you’re losing fat in your butt, which could make it look like the flattest of pancakes.
    • Keeping up those butt exercises is crucial to prevent loss of tone, and since your fat distribution is about to make you gain some fat in your stomach and hips, your diet will become even more important to clean up. Keep moving and also squeezing.

    AGE 60

    • You finally made it through menopause, but that doesn’t mean you should stop working out your butt! Regardless of whether or not you think your butt looks Instagrammable, strong glutes will give your back and hips support that you really need at this age.
    • It’s also around this time that you’ll really see how much all those years of paleo cleanses and squats have helped you, because they definitely have.
    • Your butt may be older than it once was, but if you’ve been working it out and standing rather than sitting as much as possible, your strong butt will help prevent you from falling so you can be just as active now as you always were. Thank you for everything, leg lifts and lunges. Sincerely, butts.

    Lauren Ahn

    Follow Lane on Twitter and Instagram.

    Lane Moore Sex & Relationships Editor I’m Lane Moore, sex & relationships editor at Cosmopolitan.com.

    Butt pain during pregnancy: Everything you need to know

    Buttocks pain during pregnancy can either be referred pain — which originates elsewhere in the body and radiates to the buttocks — or it can result from problems in the area.

    The following are some possible causes of buttocks pain during pregnancy:

    Hemorrhoids

    Share on PinterestIt is common for women to develop hemorrhoids during pregnancy.

    Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the lower rectum or anus.

    As the uterus expands during the second and third trimesters, it puts more pressure and strain on the anus, which can cause hemorrhoids to form.

    Constipation and standing for long periods can increase the likelihood of developing hemorrhoids during pregnancy.

    Hemorrhoids can cause:

    • anal aches and pain
    • itching around the anus
    • bleeding during bowel movements
    • a tender lump to form in the anus

    Sciatica

    The sciatic nerve runs from the buttocks down the leg. During pregnancy, the expanding uterus and growing fetus can put pressure on the sciatic nerve, causing a condition called sciatica.

    People with sciatica often experience pain in the buttocks. In addition, a person may feel a burning sensation in the leg, butt, and back, as well as a sharp pain in the leg.

    Pelvic girdle pain

    Pelvic girdle pain affects about 1 in 5 pregnant women. A combination of extra baby weight and movement during pregnancy is often the cause.

    Pelvic girdle pain can cause pain in the buttocks, in addition to:

    • difficulty walking
    • a clicking or grinding in the pelvic region
    • pain during sex
    • pain when walking
    • pain when the weight is all on one leg
    • difficulty lying on one side of the body for long periods

    Pelvic girdle pain can start anytime between the first and third trimesters. It may develop only in the final days of pregnancy.

    Contractions

    Share on PinterestContractions may cause pain in the lower back and butt.

    Contractions are the body’s way of moving the fetus out of the body. Genuine contractions occur during the last part of the third trimester, just before birth. Some women feel contraction pain in the buttocks.

    Other symptoms associated with contractions include:

    • bloody or brown discharge from the vagina
    • lower back and abdomen pain
    • the water breaking

    Prior to labor, many women experience false contractions, known as Braxton-Hicks contractions. These can be painful but — unlike real contractions — they do not occur at regular intervals that are increasingly frequent.

    The “How To Get A Sexy Butt Workout” will show you how to transform your butt. Start with a quick warm-up, like jumping jacks, then get into the workout. This workout can be done at-home, or your favorite spot indoors or outdoors. To get a nice, sexy butt, do the workout at least 2-3 times a week for 45 minutes.

    The goal of this workout is to tone each area of your butt. Each exercise is designed to work a slightly different area. You can use this as a warm up, or as circuit training. If you’re circuit training, then repeat the sexy butt workout over and over, for 45 minutes. The exercises in the Sexy Butt Workout include:

    • Jumping Squats (15 reps)
    • Leg Lifts (15 reps each leg)
    • Ice Skaters (15 reps each leg)
    • Push-up Position Leg Lifts (15 reps each leg)

    Here is Bikini Model Fitness trainer, Ashley, showing you the How To Get A Sexy Butt workout:

    Jump Squats

    For the Jump Squats, try to get low each rep. Then, extend into the air as much as you can. Squats are the core of any legs or butt routine.

    Leg Lifts

    For the leg lifts, make sure to go up-and out. This works the entire butt, instead of just the inner glutes.

    Ice Skaters

    For Ice Skaters, make sure to set your butt back as you return to starting position. This will make sure that you work your glutes, instead of your quads (front of your legs). This exercise is sometimes referred to as “Skater’s Lunge.”

    Push-up Position Leg Lifts

    Push-up Position Leg Lifts work your upper body and abs, while working the glutes at the same time.

    How To Get A Sexy Butt Workout Details

    The How To Get A Sexy Butt workout features a lot of plyometrics, or body weight exercises. Not only does this work your butt, but they are great fat burning workouts, too. There is no clunky equipment, and no expensive gym membership.

    The secret behind getting a sexy butt is to use your body as resistance. The more reps, and more bodyweight resistance, the better the results. Use ankle weights to add even more resistance to this workout. The harder the resistance, the more intense your workout.

    Focusing on form will also help you get better results. The reason why form is so important? Proper form helps you engage the right parts of your body you want to improve. The more intensity you bring to your workout, the sexier your butt will become!

    What This Workout Covers:

    • how to get a sexy butt
    • aerobic glutes training
    • bikini body butt workout

    Share The “How To Get A Sexy Butt” Workout

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    To create grabbable glutes, you need to hit heavy weights. “The barbell hip thrust is your weapon of choice,” says Bret Contreras, C.S.C.S., who’s trained Olympic and professional athletes. “The move activates your glutes better than any other exercise, you can really load it up, and it’s completely safe.”

    Use a weight you can lift at least 10 times. “This creates a lot of tension and metabolic stress on the muscle, two big factors of muscle growth,” he says.

    DIRECTIONS
    Load a barbell and place it on the floor parallel to a bench. Sit on the floor and put the barbell across your hips, keeping your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and back resting against the bench. Push your upper back into the bench and raise your hips so the barbell rests there and your knees, hips, and back are aligned. Do not extend past that point. Squeeze your butt at the top of the move. Slowly lower the bar until the plates touch the floor. That’s 1 repetition. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

    For more essential moves to help you get stronger all over, check out The Best Exercises for Men.

    RELATED VIDEO:

    ​ ​ The Editors of Men’s Health The editors of Men’s Health are your personal conduit to the top experts in the world on all things important to men: health, fitness, style, sex, and more.

    Top 10 exercises for a sexy butt

    Exercise for a sexy butt # 1: Squats Squats work almost every muscle in your lower body; particularly the glutes, quads, and hamstrings. Squats shapes and strengthens the gluteus maximus — your biggest butt muscle. In addition, quads and hamstrings are worked as knees flex.
    -Stand with feet shoulder-width apart- widen your stance to tone the inner thigh muscle (adductor)
    -Slowly lower your hips- don’t let knees extend past toes
    -Squeeze glutes and rise to starting position
    -Keep your back straight during the entire move
    There are several variations of a basic squat. For example: use dumbbells or barbells to increase intensity and include your upper body in the workout. Rather than lowering into a squat, jump explosively and land in squat position. While in squat position, slowly raise 1 leg behind your body and extend arms forward. Return to start position and switch sides.
    Exercise for a sexy butt # 2: Lunges Lunges exercise the same muscles as squats, but lunges make the gluteal muscles work harder to slow your body as you lower down. What’s more, lunges require more stability, which engages the calves and lower back muscles.
    -Stand with feet hip-width apart
    -Hold a dumbbell in either hand; if desired
    – Take a big step forward with your right leg
    -Bend both knees to slowly lower your body
    -Don’t bend knees more than 90 degrees and keep the front knee aligned over your front ankle
    -Step back to start position and repeat with left leg
    – For explosive lunges: jump and switch legs in midair.
    Exercise for a sexy butt # 4: Bridges Without any equipment, you can tone your glutes, rectus abdominus, erector spinae, hamstrings, and adductors.
    -Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. -Slowly lift your spine, 1 vertebrae at a time, starting at your butt. -Tighten glutes and hamstrings to create a tight line from shoulders to knees. -Slowly lower your back to the floor.
    Exercise for a sexy butt # 5: Running or walking — on Hills These cardio exercises lift your butt while simultaneously releasing endorphins that lift your mood. Running and walking also burn calories and trim flab from your backside.
    Running a mile burns about 100 calories and walking a mile burns around 80. However, the faster you run the more calories you’ll burn. People who carry more weight also burn more calories because they exert more effort. For the ultimate butt lift, add a few hills to your running or walking workout. Hill workouts help burn away calories faster, too.
    Exercise for a sexy butt # 6: Brazilian Butt Sculptor Brazilian women are known for their beautiful curves and with this fast workout, you can firm your butt and tone your thighs to get enviable curves, too. All you need is a stability ball.
    -Lie face down on the ball with palms and toes on the floor — the ball should be supporting your pelvis.
    -Flex glutes and lift your legs as high as you can.
    -Hold position for 1 count, then bring feet together for 1 count.
    -Separate legs and lower them to the floor.
    Exercise for a sexy butt # 7: Barbell hip thrust The barbell hip thrust takes bridges and your butt to a whole new level.
    -Sit on the ground with your shoulders against a bench and knees bent.
    -Place a barbell with the desired weight across your lap — if the barbell isn’t padded, use a folded towel for cushioning.
    -Raise the barbell by flexing your glutes and pushing up.
    -Rise until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees.
    -Slowly lower hips to the floor.
    Exercise for a sexy butt # 8: Resistance band crab walk Get ready to feel the burn in your gluteus maximus, outer thighs, and ab muscles! The resistance band crab walk boosts your booty by toning and shaping gluteal muscles.
    -Stand with both feet on the exercise band.
    -Cross the band in front of your legs and hold the ends.
    -Keep your back and legs straight, and shoulders back.
    -Take 1 step sideways with the right leg.
    -Bring your feet back together, then step sideways with the left leg.
    Exercise for a sexy butt # 9: Kneeling glute lift with pulses Here’s another exercise from the ever-popular Brazilian Butt lift workout program:
    -Kneel down on all fours.
    -Raise the left knee — keep it bent — until it forms a straight line with your back.
    -Lift the knee several inches higher using a pulsing motion.
    -Lower the left knee to the ground and repeat with the right leg.
    Exercise for a sexy butt # 10: Straight-leg deadlift Heard about the “bum smile”? It’s the line where your bum meets your hamstrings. Straight-leg deadlifts target that area to define your “smile.”
    -Hold a dumbbell with either hand in front of your thighs — keep arms straight.
    -Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent.
    -Bend your hips — not knees — and lower your torso until it is parallel with the ground.
    -Flex glutes, thrust hips forward, and raise your torso to start position.
    For added difficulty: balance on one leg during the exercise.
    Read more Personal Health, Diet & Fitness stories on www.healthmeup.com

    How to get butts?

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