Ah, the glutes! The muscles every woman – and man – wants to look perfect. But it seems like they take the longest to shape up. This has to do with the fact that the butt has the largest muscle groups of the body so they require more effort. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can do a few quick exercises every day at the gym, office or home and beat the odds.
Your tush plays a much more important role than making you look attractive. It’s crucial for the proper alignment of the body because the glute muscles stabilize your pelvis during running and walking. The derrière helps prevent injury in addition to enhancing your athletic performance. The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the body. If it’s strong, it can be very powerful. You will never see sprinters or cyclists with a loose behind.
As is the case with every exercise, you need to be consistent if you want to achieve the ultimate goal – looking good naked. The magic of working your glutes is that you can do it anywhere and at any time. You don’t have to sacrifice an hour in front of the TV or make room in your busy schedule for special butt-lifting sessions.
Plie or Wide Squats
Squats are the go-to exercise for pretty much every part of your lower body. If you find yourself wondering what to do in the gym, do squats and you won’t be wasting your time. But if you want to work out the glutes specifically, do wide squats, also known as plie squats. They target the glute and inner thigh muscles. Open your legs wide to the side. Your toes should be pointing outward as well. Bend you knees as low as you can. Stay in a straight vertical line, please. Hold that position for a few seconds. Get back up and repeat 10-15 times.
Single-Leg or Glute Bridge
This is one of the best functional exercises that target your glutes. It’s also very easy. You have to just lay on your back, bend your knees and lift your hips. Eventually you’ll have to make this drill a little more intense. You can do a single-leg bridge. Bend one leg, raise it a few inches, then extend your arms and reach toward your toes. Hold that position for a few seconds and return to chest height. Do a few reps and don’t forget to switch legs.
Crossover lunges work the hamstrings and glutes extra hard while you are trying to stay balanced. Hold a ball or light weights to make this exercise a full body workout and save some time. Your feet should be shoulder-distance apart. Step with your right leg toward the left and go down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Push off with your right foot to stand back. Do the same lunge with your other leg and repeat 10-15 times.
This is another very easy and pleasant exercise. You are just lying face down, lifting your legs. Your hamstrings, rear and back all get a workout. Your neck must stay in neutral position at all times. Lift your legs and arms simultaneously forming the letter “U.” Hold that position for about five seconds. Squeeze your glutes as you raise your legs. You don’t want your lower back to do all the work.
The name comes from the position of the exercise – you start on your legs and arms (4 legged-animal) and kick one leg back at a time. The American Council on Exercise named it one of the best butt exercises in 2006 after conducting a study. The magic of the donkey kicks lies in the fact that they don’t require any equipment, are technically easy, and you can do them while watching TV or even reading a book. Before you know it, you’ll be fitter, faster and more agile.
This glute-building exercise is another one you can do while entertaining yourself with Netflix. Make the single-leg deadlift a little more intense by grabbing a pair of light dumbbells. Stand on one foot and lift the other behind you until it’s parallel to the ground. Hold that positions for 10 seconds and push back. Bonus: Your hamstrings get a great workout too.