10 Best Exercises to Lift and Shape Your Butt

If you want to lift, shape your butt and get it exquisitely toned, you’ll need to know what you are working. What exactly are the glutes? Can exercise enhance your rear? Learn the secrets to the best hip, thigh, and glute exercises that work best. Sculpt and shape your butt for those new, sexy fashion leggings and 'skinny' jeans.

Get the top moves, right here, to sculpt your butt and tighten your rear.

Not too much science, “diva-girl”, just a little anatomy reference here (you can memorize these terms, maybe impress someone later): The gluteal muscles are the three muscles that make up the buttocks: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. The gluteus maximus is the largest of this muscle group and one of the strongest muscles in the human body. For our discussion we’ll refer to all 3 of them as glutes or buttocks.

What good exercises or fitness moves target the butt? Any exercise that works and/or stretches the buttocks is going to be suitable for enhancing your lower body symmetry. Lunges, squats, dancing, fencing, bicycling, aerobics, and various specific exercises for the butt will help to sculpt the area of your hip and thighs. In general, the best exercises to firm up your glutes are squats and lunges because they utilize more large leg muscles than other exercises and there are so many variations.

Here are my top 10 moves to lift and shape your butt for a sexier rear:

1. The Squat is a lower body exercise used in strength training or Powerlifting exercises. The squat is performed by bending the legs at the knees and hips, lowering the torso between the legs, and then reversing direction to tighten the buttocks and stand up straight again. The use of weights, of course, will challenge you more.

2. The Pistol Squat will challenge your balance. Remember your core and think of your abdominals. The technique is a freestanding one-legged squat where the non-working leg is held above the floor in free space.

3. The Split Squat is an assisted one-legged squat where the non-working leg is rested on the ground, as a stabilizer, about a stride length behind the power leg. This generates minimal effort in the movement of the body upward. Use this exercise to shape your butt and enhance your lower body symmetry.

4. The Bulgarian Squat is a balance challenging squat performed much like a split squat, but the foot of the non-working leg is positioned on a knee-high platform or bench behind the standing leg. You position your standing leg at a distance forward that allows you to maintain a relatively vertical shin throughout the squatting movement.

5. Duck walks are really great exercises that will shape your butt. You assume and hold a squat position while walking forward for the repetitions, then walk backward maintaining the squat position for same repetitions. Not very “diva” looking, but very effective!!

6. The Arabesque move, borrowed from ballet technique, is an exercise that works the butt muscles without the use of free weights. Butt (wink!), if you want to add ankle weights or cuffs… Place your hands on a railing or the back of a chair, lift one leg as high as you can behind you, squeeze the glutes and hold for a count of 4 or 5. Maintain an upright posture to keep the pressure on your butt and NOT on your lower back.

7. The Lunge is an exercise that is used to strengthen the front of the thigh or the quadriceps muscles, gluteal muscles and the muscles involving the back of the thigh or the "hamstrings". A long lunge puts emphasis on the glutes for that nice firm effect and a short lunge emphasizes the quadriceps for a pleasant burn that you know is shaping the thigh. The stationary lunge can be performed either by alternating legs or by focusing on one leg at a time for the repetitions. The lunge can be performed with your bodyweight or with free weights. There are so many documented variations of the lunge to shape your butt and spice up your workout. My clients think I stay awake all night thinking of new exercises to “wow” them!

8. The Good-morning is a weight training exercise to both stretch and firm your hamstrings and glutes. A light weight barbell or body bar is held in an overhand grip resting across the shoulders, on your upper back (and not on your neck). Set your feet shoulder-width apart and knees with a (slight) soft bend. While maintaining a straight spine, natural arch in your lower back and head up, gradually bend forward pushing your hips back as your chest lowers toward the ground. As you reach the comfortable limits of your hamstring flexibility, contract your buttock muscles as you lift your upper body back to the starting position.

9. The Deadlift is my all time favorite for sculpting the hamstrings and glutes, and also targets the lower back. The forward bending or tipping of the torso technique is very similar to the “Good-morning” except the foot stance is hip width and the dumbbells (or bar) are held, down, in front of the body. You will fantastically shape your butt with the intense muscle squeeze that you do in the return to standing upright.

10. Step-ups, Climbing Stairs, and/or Hill Climbing are good aerobic workouts to tighten and shape your butt while getting the cardiovascular benefit. Keep a serene smile on your face and focus on putting tension in those muscles during your activity and you will feel your glutes lifting and toning.

The website www.about.com has a great photo gallery of the exercises to shape your butt. Be sure to perform the exercises with good form in order to protect your muscle and joints.

Enlist the help of a knowledgeable personal trainer to enhance the workout. If you have any knee or back problems or feel any abnormal pain in the targeted areas, see your trainer about basic strengthening and stretching exercises before trying the exercises again.

So, there you have it, The Best Buttocks Exercises for a Tighter, Sexier Rear.

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