Amazing Gluts: Workouts for a Bigger Butt

Working out can be difficult, even with specific goals in mind.   Here are a few tips from the pros for those looking to enhance the glamour muscles we like to refer to as your booty!

Workouts for a Bigger ButtYour gluteal muscles or ‘gluts’ comprise what we commonly refer to as your rump, behind, butt, booty…well you get the point! There are three gluteal muscles in total that make up the buttocks; the gluteus maximus, medius and minimus.  The gluteus maximus is the largest muscles of the three and one of the strongest muscles in our bodies.  Structurally speaking, the gluteal maximus inserts at the iliotibial or ‘IT’ band that runs from inside our thigh around the side of the hip to the femur.  The primary action of your gluts helps you move your thigh out to the side of your body, as well as rotate and extend your leg backwards. Since the butt is comprised of more than one muscle, there are a variety of exercises that can help you to strengthen and shape your gluts.

Exercises that use compound movements, or movements that involve accessory leg muscles can help to increase the size, shape, and power of your butt. A few examples of compound exercises include squats, plie squats and lunges, which involve multiple muscle groups including the hamstrings and quadriceps, along with the gluts.

Before starting your exercises, consult with a personal trainer or exercise physiologist who can explain and demonstrate proper form, alignment, and weight. Each of these components are crucial for safe and effective exercise.  One-on-one training accounts for individual fitness and health, which can help individuals to quickly reach their goals.

Always begin with a 10-minute warm up by walking, jogging or running on a treadmill, elliptical or other cardio equipment, as a bike, to increase your heart rate and the blood flow to your muscles.  Remember that when size is your goal, stretching prior to exercise can help increase muscle fiber length and enhance flexibility and range of motion during your workout.  This preliminary warm up will help to decrease your risk of injury!

Here are a few exercises to help firm, tighten and enhance your tooshie!

Squats
Stick your butt out, bending slightly first at the hips (3 – 4 count), then at the knees, going down until your upper leg becomes parallel to the floor. (The idea is to simulate sitting back in a chair.) Your knees are not to extend past your toes. Aim for a 90-degree angle between your thigh and your shin. Do 8 – 12 repetitions per set, depending on your fitness and experience level.

Plie squats
With your legs in a plie-position — legs apart a little wider than your hip width, toes slightly turned out so they are pointing away from your midline, and hands on hips — squat down to no farther than a 90-degree angle, making sure that your knee does not extend past your toes. Unlike the regular squat, you don’t bend forward at the hips, just straight down. Do 8 – 12 repetitions.

Dumbbell Squat

Workouts for a Bigger ButtThis weight training exercise is going to give your butt a round, firm look. In other words, it helps you develop your gluteal muscles. And by building muscle, you are increasing your metabolic rate, which accordingly gives you the benefit of fat burning. Stand with feet hip-width apart and squat with abs in and knees behind your toes. Squeeze butt to stand up straight. Repeat for 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps. Add weights for more intensity.

Pilates Hip Lift

Lie on your back with your calves resting on a swiss ball. Bend your knees and keep your legs together. Exhale and roll your bottom and lower back off the mat very slowly until your legs are straight and your body is in a straight line.  Inhale and stay in this position for about 5 seconds. Squeeze your butt and the back of your legs.

Exhale and roll back to your starting position. Repeat 10 times.

Static lunges
Stagger your legs, one in front of the other, far enough apart so that your front knee does not go past your toe, forming a 90-degree angle (upper leg parallel to the floor) as you lunge forward. Allow your back knee to bend down to assist in lowering the body; it should approach, but not touch, the floor. The idea is to drop the back knee while the front leg stabilizes the back leg and the body. Switch legs and repeat. Start off doing 8 – 12 lunges per leg. As you advance, you can work up to 20 lunges per leg.

Hamstring curls
This is performed using a machine at the gym. Lying face down, position your body on the machine with your knees just below the edge of the pad and your ankles under the rollers. Knees need to be slightly bent. Press down with your hips as you slowly curl your heels towards your butt. Do 8 – 12 repetitions.

Leg extensions
Using the machine that resembles a chair, place your legs under a pad and lift your legs until they extend to form a straight line. Start with minimal weight, and be careful not to hyperextend your legs out to a straight line. You don’t want your knees to lock. Do 8 – 12 repetitions.

Stair Climb

Walking up the stairs / walking on a treadmill on an incline or up a hill
Walking uphill uses all leg muscles, including the gluts. When walking on a treadmill, pick a speed that you are able to walk on a grade/incline of at least 2 percent; gradually work your way up in grade as your fitness level increases. For walking up stairs, similar to stairs at a stadium, use long strides, allowing your lower body to do the work while your upper body acts as a stabilizer; keep your abs tight and pump your arms. When walking down stairs, be careful not to allow all of your body weight to come down at once; this incorporates your lower body as well and protects your knees.

Biking

Biking is an incredible cardio workout for your heart and targets almost every muscle in your hips, thighs and booty. Pedaling and balancing during side-to-side weight shifts demand a lot of work from your gluts. Your butt, in short, is the main source of your cycling power. Biking, therefore, initiates strenuous movements that can tone up your butt much faster than all of the above exercises combined.

About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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