Booty challenge: Best butt exercises for toning your backside

Booty challenge: Best butt exercises for toning your backsideDo you want to tighten and tone your butt? Try my favorite butt exercises in a 4-week challenge for a toned and defined rear!

There’s been a lot of focus in the media in the past few years on the glutes. It’s no surprise that people are always looking for a better and more effective booty blasting routine to try. I’m not a huge fan of people working out purely for the aesthetic benefits that come as a result of exercise, because I believe in the power of working out on a regular basis as a lifestyle change. But in reality, many people want their body to look a certain way and a toned booty is usually at the top of the perfect body wish list!

I’m fine with whatever your personal reasons for exercising are, because that means you’re at least getting active! If you’re squatting and moving just to firm your booty, there’s a pretty good chance that that you’re burning calories, losing unwanted body fat, trimming your waist and improving your muscle tone. If that’s not enough to get you up and going, know that every time you push yourself to get out of breath, you naturally improve your body’s ability to transport oxygen rich blood to your muscles.

The glutes are one of the largest muscle groups in your body. It requires a lot of energy to work them, so you can maximize your overall workout calorie burn with a glutes focused routine a few times a week. A toned butt can help give you the visual illusion of having a smaller waist. Over time you’ll tone and define your rear. You may even have to invest in a new pair of jeans as a result of doing my booty challenge!

These are my favorite booty toning exercises:

Deadlift

The deadlift is an excellent exercise for your hamstrings (back of your legs), butt and your lower back. Because this move involves a forward leaning stance, good form is essential to keep your body safe and to get the maximum benefits from this exercise.

How to do it: Start by standing with your feet hip width apart and place your hands on your thighs. Keeping your back flat with a neutral spine, engage your core muscles and push your hips back as you lower your torso. Let your hands slide down to your shins (or as far as you can go while keeping a flat back). With your body weight in your heels, begin to rise back up squeezing your glutes at the top of the movement.

Next step: Master this movement without weights and then do it with dumbbells or a weighted bar ensuring that you keep the weights close to your thighs. Don’t hyper extend your back. You can have a very slight bend in the knees as you go through this movement.

Tip: Have a trainer talk you through it at the gym, watch it in one of my YouTube videos or observe yourself doing it the mirror. Mastering this move takes a little bit of practice, but once you get it it’s a perfect butt and leg toning exercise.

Glute bridge

I like this move because it really works your core muscles, easy to do and requires no equipment.

How to do it: Start out by lying flat on the floor. Bend one knee at a time and place your feet flat on the floor. Your heels should be about 12 inches away from your glutes, hip distance apart. Get comfortable in this position. The aim is to lift your hips up off the floor into a bridge position. To do this, you push through your heels to lift your butt off the floor. At the top of the movement, pause and squeeze your glutes, then gently lower back down.

Tip: Don’t push up too high, as this will stress your lower back. Make sure your body weight is distributed through your heels and upper back. At no time should you feel like your body weight is on your neck.

Squat

A squat is a simple and classic exercise. It’s a move that we all do everyday when we go to sit down in a chair! It’s a useful and functional move.

How to do it: Stand up tall with your feet hip width apart. You can have your hands on your hips or straight out in front of you. Bend your knees, keeping your body weight in your heels as if you are going to sit in a chair. As you reach sitting position (90 degrees) come back to standing.

Extra tip: You can squat slightly lower than 90 if your range of motion allows. Add weights once you can master a perfect functional body weight squat.

4-Week Booty Challenge

Build these moves into your current workout routine for one month.

Week 1:  

Number of days: 2 days

Structure: Perform 8-12 repetitions of each exercise focusing on your form, slow and steady movements.

How much: Do 3 sets total

Week 2:

Number of days: 2 days

Structure: Do all 3 exercises as an interval circuit. Do 45 seconds of each move followed by 15 seconds of rest. Complete all of exercise number 1, take a 60 second recovery then move onto exercise 2.

How much: 4 sets total

Week 3:

Number of days: 2 days as a10-minute challenge.

Structure: Do 10 reps of each move. All 3 exercises = one set.

How much: How many sets can you do in 10-minutes.

Week 4:

Number of days: 3 days

Structure: Do the same structure of routine I listed for weeks 1, 2 and 3, once each time. Ensure that you do don’t work your glutes three days in a row. The best approach to allow for recovery is Monday-Wednesday-Saturday.

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Have fun adding some butt exercises into your workout. If you’re new to exercise, do these moves without weights until you’re ready to use them. If you’re an avid exerciser, take it up a notch by alternating in some jumping squats (don’t jump with weights!). Listen to your body; push yourself enough to feel it, but not too much that you get hurt.

In the same way that 6-pack abs are made in the kitchen, so are perfect buns. You must complement your workouts with good nutrition if you want to see real results. In order to build muscle, you must provide your body with all of the essential nutrition it needs to replenish and repair itself. If you wish to lose weight, you must make sensible dietary choices and stick to the correct portion sizes at mealtime.

It may sound like a lot of hard work, “butt “ if you ask me, it’s totally worth it!

Written by Samantha Clayton, AFAA, ISSA. Samantha is Director of Fitness Education at Herbalife

Find out more at: http://www.DiscoverHerbalife.com

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