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5 exercises to build a better butt

Men and women alike tell me all the time, “I want a better back-side.” While we can’t spot-reduce to get the ideal buttocks, we can do certain exercises that will activate the muscles in those areas.

The shape of your back-side is determined by a set of three muscles known as “the glutes.” Your glutes are comprised of the gluteus maximus, minimus, and medius. And it’s important not to forget the fat that lies over these muscles. Activities like strength training, walking, running, cycling, and climbing stairs all target those muscles to help give them a tighter and more rounded look.

Best butt workouts to get you started:

  1. Start with your feet parallel and about shoulder-width apart. Remember to keep your knees soft. Slowly lower your hips as if sitting in a chair, and then return to standing position. Make sure your knees do not push out in front of your toes (keep the knees soft) and remember to keep your back straight and head up.
  2. Deadlift. Start with your feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent, holding a dumbbell in each hand in front of your thighs. Next, bend at your hips to lower your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor. Remember to keep the weights close to your body. Finally, return to standing — that completes one repetition.
  3. Start with your feet parallel and hip-distance apart and knees soft. Next, take one giant step forward and lower your body slowly, bending both knees. Then return to standing. Repeat on the other side for one repetition. While stepping and lowering, remember to bend your knees no more than 90 degrees and keep your front knee right over your front ankle. To add more variety, you can turn this into a backward lunge and also a side lunge.
  4. Hip bridge. For this exercise you will start on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Next you want to slowly bring your spine off the floor, starting with your tailbone. As you start to head up, remember to tighten your glutes and hamstrings (backs of your legs). The goal is for your body to have a long and slanted line from your shoulders to your knees. Hold this position for a few seconds and then lower back to starting position, back flat on the floor.
  5. Leg lift: You will begin this exercise on the floor, lying on your side with your hips stacked and both knees facing forward. Use your elbow to support your head if needed. Next, lift your leg into the air as high as you can and then slowly bring back down. Complete repetitions on each side, then switch.

If you are a beginner, you will want to introduce these exercises slowly and one at a time into your routine. Once you feel comfortable, start with eight to 10 repetitions, two or three times through. For a cardio and strength workout, add in 10 minute bouts of walking, running, stair climbing, or cycling.