Exercises to Strengthen and Shape Your Derrière
by Sárka-Jonae Miller
(The Best Years in Life)
Whether it's twerking competitions or Nicki Minaj's Anaconda album cover, the
world is obsessed with the booty. Although it seems everyone likes big butts
these days, it's still shapely rear ends that are getting the attention. Some
simple exercises can get your derrière worthy of an album cover. And if you seem
to be missing some junk in your trunk, muscle-building exercises for the glutes
could give your butt a fuller appearance. Strong butt muscles also improve
posture and balance, and reduce the chances of injuring your back. But don't run
off to the gym just yet. There is plenty to do at home.
They may seem like a wimpy exercises but glute squeezes are crucial to a
successful bootylicious workout because many people have a difficult time
getting their glutes to fire. Your brain sends signals to the glutes to
contract, but they won't if the connection isn't strong enough. Oftentimes, the
hamstrings or lower back muscles tighten instead, thereby robbing your butt of
Stand up straight and tighten your butt. Hold the muscles tight for five seconds
and relax. Repeat this at least a dozen times, take a short break, and do it
again. Consider this a warmup for more difficult exercises unless you're
struggling to maintain a full five-second contraction on each squeeze.
All-Fours Hip Lifts
If getting up and down off the floor is difficult for you, skip this exercise.
Otherwise, put down a mat or find a piece of carpet and get on all fours. While
doing hip lifts from this position, sometimes called tabletop position because
your arms and legs look four table legs, it is imperative that your pelvis does
not move. Imagine you have a very expensive tea set resting on your lower back.
If you shift your hips, it'll come crashing down. Sucking in your abs will help,
but it'll take some concentration too.
Begin by raising your right leg so that your thigh is parallel to the floor and
in line with your back. Your knee should be bent at a 90-degree angle. Simply
tighten your right glute and lift your leg toward the ceiling only as high as
you can without sending that imaginary tea set crashing to the floor. Do 8 to 12
reps and then switch legs.
Some people may find the weight of their leg insufficient to tire out their
glutes. If you're one of those people, put on a pair of 5-pound ankle weights.
To focus on building bigger muscles instead of toning what you have, use a heavy
enough weight that you can only do 4-8 reps per leg before your glutes give out.
However, be very careful of your lower back. It is important to use your glutes
and support your lower back by keeping your abs tight. Preventing your hips from
shift or your back from arching will also help.
Plie squats target the butt, quadriceps, and the inner thighs, helping to firm
and lift. These squats do not require any equipment, but you can make them more
challenging by adding some hand weights or holding a household object like a
gallon of water if you don't have dumbbells.
To perform a plie squat, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and turn your
feet so that your toes point outward. Bend your knees and squat down until your
thighs are parallel to the floor. Squeeze your butt muscles and push through
your heels as you stand up straight. Repeat 12-20 times and make sure that you
squeeze your glutes on each rep.
For an extra challenge, hold a dumbbell against the top of each thigh or hold
the handle of a water bottle in front of you with your arms hanging straight.
Doing 8 to 10 reps with extra weight will build muscle.
Sculpting your derrière won't happen overnight, but with three or four butt
workouts a week you'll start to notice a difference within a month. Your tush
might never be photographed or featured on the small screen, but you'll
certainly enjoy showing it off.
Sárka-Jonae Miller is a health and fitness expert. She began working in the
fitness industry in 2000 while pursuing a BS in journalism at Syracuse
University. She became certified as a personal fitness trainer and group
exercise instructor in 2003. She has also received training in massage therapy.
Sárka also writes fiction. She is the author of the chick lit novel,
Boyfriends. Get more health and wellness tips on Sárka's
Natural Healing Tips
blog or join her on
Sarka-Jonae Miller's "Between Boyfriends eBook"
When "the one" breaks her heart, Jan vows
to change. Read the book Hollywood & Vine magazine says "presents a unique
twist on the chick-lit genre."
Click on the image above for more details.
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