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Believe it or not, your butt is one of your body’s biggest calorie burners, and therefore, working and toning those muscles can really boost your overall fat loss. Tight glutes also help maintain your body’s muscular balance, prevent pain, reduce the risk injuries, and eliminate pelvic tilt, which can push your lower abdomen out and make it look like you have a pot belly. So, if you really want to look sexy, make sure to include exercises for your backside in your fitness regime.
Getting to Know Your Butt
Butt exercises for women usually focus on your glutes, the largest muscles in the body. The smaller muscles in the group, the gluteus minimus and medius, are located under the largest muscle in the group, the gluteus maximus. Together, these muscles hold your pelvis upright when you take a step.
The gluteus maximus moves your thigh backward, turns your thigh or pelvis outward, moves your thigh out when your hip is bent, and moves your thigh inward when your hip is straight. This means you’ll need to activate and work all planes of motion if you want have the butt of a model.
Stiff Leg Deadlift
Because it involves your gluteus maximus, erector spinae, adductor magnus, biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus, a stiff leg deadlift builds muscle throughout your entire body and strengthens your core. It also prevents injury by strengthening your back and increasing your grip strength.
To perform a stiff leg deadlift, you’ll need a dumbbell or free weights that you can set in front of a short platform. Then, you’re ready to start.
Stand on the platform with your feet shoulder width apart and beneath the bar. Grasp the weights with an overhand or mixed grip and your hands a shoulder width or more apart. Lift the weight up until you’re in a standing position. Be sure to keep your knees bent and your lower back straight as you go through the movement.
Next, bend at your hips to lower the bar to the top of your feet, flexing only slightly at the bottom of the movement. Extend your hips to lift the bar into the full upright position, keeping your knees bent and pulling your shoulders back, if they rounded.
There are two reasons why a hip raises are great. First, they work your core, as well as your glutes and hamstrings. Secondly, they’re easy enough that beginners can handle them, but there are several ways to increase the intensity and give even the most physically fit women a challenge.
To perform a hip raise, lay on the floor face up, with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent. Then, simply raise your hips until your body lines up with your shoulders and knees to make a straight line.
Reverse Hip Raise
This is another great exercise for targeting your glutes, hamstrings, and core. For this, you’ll need a bench or Roman chair.
Lie chest first on the bench or chair, so that it supports your body, but not your hips. Lift your legs until they make a straight line with the rest of your body, pause, and then return to the starting position.
Traditional squats are great exercises for women wanting to work their lower body. Not only do they work your quads and your core, but squats also work your entire lower body, including your calves, hamstrings, and glutes.
Start your squat by standing with your feet shoulder width apart and your back arched naturally. Then, holding your arms out in front of you at shoulder level, brace your core, hold it, and lower your body as far as you can by bending your knees and pushing your hips back. Pause, and return to the first position.
As you do the exercise, pay attention to your form. Make sure your body stays upright and your arms stay out in front of you. The tops of your thighs should be parallel with the floor at the bottom of the exercise. You’ll also want to make sure your core stays tight, your back stays straight, and your weight stays on the heels of your feet. Your knees should always face the same direction as your toes.
Lunges focus on your quads, glutes, and hamstrings, but if you really want to strengthen your glutes, instead of your quads, you’ll need to go lower (longer) with your steps.
To start, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your core tight. Then, lift one leg, stand on one foot, and pause. Take a step forward, landing on your heel, with your knee at a 90 degree angle and in line with your toes. Your body weight should be on your front foot and your torso should be straight and steady.
Then, keeping your movement controlled, continue through the motion, until your back knee almost touches the ground and your shin is leaning slightly forward. Finish off by pushing with your front foot to return to the starting position.
If you want to improve your performance, balance, strength, joint mobility, focus, coordination and flexibility, as well as build and tone your lower back, hips, glutes, hamstrings, calves, and ankles, take time to master the one-legged squat. This exercise is relatively simple, but it can take quite some time to master because it really challenges your strength and balance.
Before you try to do a one-legged squat, build your balance by lifting one leg ahead of you, moving it left, right, forward, and back to see how well you can hold the position. And if you find this difficult, don’t get frustrated. Try it in a pool or use a door frame to steady yourself. Once you get good at it, put out a mat or some pillows, and try a one-legged squat.
To start the exercise, lift one leg out in front of you as high as you can with your arms straight out to help you balance. Then, slowly lower yourself down until your bum and foot almost touch the floor, keeping your foot flat on the floor, your torso over the foundation leg, and your muscles tight. Hold that position. Then finish by pushing up and slowly returning to the starting position.
Dynamic Step Ups
Great for finishing your glutes, calves, hamstrings, and quads, dynamic step ups are a great metabolic finisher for your quads, and hamstrings. It burns off the last of the glycogen in your muscles and puts you right into prime fat burning mode.
For this exercise, work one leg first, and then the other. Start with one foot on a bench and one off, standing so you face the bench. Then, push off with your lower foot, making sure to work your quads and glutes by pushing up through your heel.
As your foot comes up, rotate your body and swing your lower foot from the floor on one side of the bench to the other side, raising and lowering your arms with the movement for balance and a bit of an upper body workout.
As you reach the top of the dynamic step up, make sure the foot on the bench goes up onto the toe to activate your calves. This produces a slight hop-like motion and gets your heart rate going. You’ll also want to make sure your knees and toes go in the same direction at all times to avoid injury.
A great butt is about so much more than just looking great; although that’s the part we usually notice the most. You’ll find your body will have better balance, have a lower chance of injury, and have better performance. These exercises for women will give the glutes a boost and have you well on your way to getting the firm backside you’ve always wanted.