5 Best Butt Exercises
Posted by Brette Borow on May 18, 2011 at 4:16 PM
We may not all be blessed with JLo's backside but that doesn't mean your booty can't look great in that teeny bikini. We asked our fitness expert, Jen, to give us the 5 best exercises to get our butt's looking beautiful this summer. The best part is that all of these can be done at home.
1. Squats are one of the best exercises you can do for your hips, butt and thighs and they're also a functional exercise, helping us build strength for a variety of daily activities.
Stand with feet hip-width apart and, for added intensity, hold weights at shoulder level or at your sides.
Bend the knees, and lower into a squat, keeping the knees behind the toes. Imagine that you're sticking your butt out behind you, but keep the torso upright and contracted.
Press into the heels to stand up.
Do 15-20 reps and repeat for 2-3 sets
2. Lunges are a challenging exercise because they work so many muscles at the same time. On the front leg, you'll work the glutes and hamstrings and, on the back leg, you'll work the quads and calves.
b)Side to Side Lunges
c)One Legged Lunge
Do 15-20 reps and repeat for 2-3 sets.
3. Step ups are another great exercise for the glutes. For step ups, place one foot on a step or platform and push through the heel to lift the body up. This is an excellent exercise for the glutes, providing you use a step that's high enough, although you may need to work up to a higher step if you're a beginner. You eventually want a height were your knee is at about a 90-degree angle.
The other key is to concentrate all your weight on the stepping leg. In other words, lower down gently, barely touching the toes of the other leg to the ground. You'll really feel this when you take it slow and concentrate on the working leg.
Do 15-20 reps and 2-3 sets
4. The hip extension is an exercise that specifically targets the largest muscle in the body...the gluteus maximus.
Position yourself on your hands and knees
Lift one leg off the floor
Keep the knee bent as you extend the hip, so that the thigh moves up level with your back and the foot is above head level.
Try to keep your back and pelvis leveled and still
Slowly return back to the starting position
Do 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps.
5. Deadlifts are great for your hamstrings, butt and lower back, but this one-legged version is a great way to add intensity to the exercise and engage your stabilizer muscles to keep your body balanced. Form is critical and you should skip this exercise if you have any back problems.
To do this move, take the left leg back just a bit, lightly resting on the toe. With the weights in front of the thighs, tip from the hips and lower the weights as low as your flexibility allows. Keep your back flat or with a natural arch and make sure you keep the abs contracted to protect the back. Squeeze the glutes of the working leg to raise back up. Do 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps.
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