Are you happy with your butt? Most of us aren't. They're too small, too big, too saggy, too flabby...this list goes on. The right cardio exercise and weight training activities (like squats and deadlifts) can make a difference in your backside and help you get those buns of steel. Find out the best cardio and strength training exercises for strengthening and firming up your rear.
Squats are one of the best exercises you can do for your hips, butt and thighs. There are many different types of squats, including the Chair Squat pictured here. Stand with feet hip-width apart and squat, keeping back straight, abs in and knees behind your toes. Let your butt lightly touch chair and squeeze butt to stand up. Repeat for 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps and add weights for more intensity.
This lunge will really challenge you since you will use the standing leg for balance. Stand with left foot resting on a paper plate. Bend the right leg while sliding the left foot back into a lunge position, keeping the right knee behind the toe, torso upright and abs in. Slowly slide left foot back to starting position and repeat 8-12 times. Switch legs and repeat on each leg for 2-3 sets.
3) Hip ExtensionFeel the burn in your hamstrings and glutes with this exercise. On a step or platform, lie facedown with hips on thesets of 8-12 repetitions edge of the step, legs straight with toes resting lightly on the floor. Squeeze the glutes and hamstrings and straighten the legs until they are level with the hips. Hold for 2-3 seconds, and lower letting toes lightly touch the floor. Repeat for 2-3
4) Outer Thigh Leg Lift
Note--there is no true 'outer thigh.' When you work your outer thigh, you're actually working your butt! This exercise can be done standing or lying on your side. While standing, simply lift the leg out to the side, a few feet off the floor. Keep hip, knee and foot in line and foot flexed. Repeat 8-12 times on each leg. For more intensity, add a 1-5 pound ankle weight
Deadlifts are great for your hamstrings, butt and lower back, but form is critical! Stand with feet hip-width apart, weight in front of thighs. Keeping back flat and abs in, tip forward from the hips and lower your torso until bar hits mid-shin. Squeeze butt to raise back up. Keep the bar close to your legs through the entire movement--don't bend the knees! Do 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps.
Hiking burns tons of calories because you're typically going up steep mountains and maybe even getting into thin air, which requires lots of energy. Also, walking up an incline automatically gets your glutes more involved and, if you're wearing a backpack, you're really getting a workout. Plus, you get to see nature at its best. A 140-lb person burns about 390 calories in about an hour!
Riding a bike is great for your heart and it also targets almost every muscle in your hips, thighs and butt. On a stationary bike, alternate 3 minutes at 70-80 RPM with 2 minutes at 100-110 RPM for a calorie-blasting 30 minute workout. You can also try Spinning at the gym or riding outside. Gear up to really work your glutes! A 140-lb person burns 335 calories in 45 minutes.
Running, like walking is accessible, easy to learn, reduces stress, helps in weight loss, and it makes you feel good. Plus, it really works your butt, especially when you add a few hills to your regular running route. Sprints are another option for folks wanting to both burn more calories and tighten up the old tush. A 140-lb person burns 475 calories during a 45 minute jog.
Kickboxing was a hot item back in the day, but it's still a great workout. Controlled kicks work your hips, thighs and butt while complex combinations that include punches will target your abs to make them stronger. A 140-lb woman will burn up to 500 calories with 45 minutes of kickboxing.
Walking is easy: you can do it anywhere, anytime with no special equipment. There's no learning curve and it's something you can incorporate all day long. If you walk up hills, you can really target your glutes and, if you pick up the intensity, you'll burn some of that extra flab off your buns! A 140-lb person burns about 300 calories an hour during a brisk walk.