Most people know you can target certain muscle groups in your workouts, to build them up exactly how you want. An often forgotten muscle group is the gluteus maximus, also known as your butt. Many people don't seem to know that butt workouts exist, so they end up with pants that are unflattering in that area. So below we have found five easy butt workouts that can be done with ease anytime, giving you a butt you are proud to show off. Who doesn't want a nice rear end filling out their pants?
What Are Butt Workouts?
Butt workouts are specific workouts that target the muscles in your rear end. There are three major muscle groups that make up your derriere. These are the gluteus maximus, the part you sit on; the gluteus medius, the part that connects the gluteus maximus to the rest of the muscles; and the gluteus minimus, which helps with the rotation of the hip joints.
Build and Reshape
Butt workouts are typically workouts that build upon and even reshape your butt. These are workouts that typically engage your butt, thighs, and even core to get the job done. The most well-known butt workouts are the squat, the lunge, and the bridge up.
The Need for Easy Butt Workouts
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Why do we need to work out our butt? What's the big deal about a strong rear? A strong butt protects your back; it also means your whole hip system is in working order. Your hip flexors (located on the front side of the hip), your hip extensors (located on the backside of the hip), and your psoas muscle (extending from your ribcage down your thigh) all work together to keep you moving and flexible.
Protect Your Knees
Focusing on the rear reinforces the hip region, but also the quads, your ACL, and your VMO muscles, which surround and support the knees, A strong butt means strong knees, and without strong glute muscles, you won't be able to safely move your knees in the correct position, putting you at risk for injury.
How to Do Easy Butt Workouts
There are nearly countless different butt workouts in many different workout styles for you to choose from. No matter how you work out, you won't have to go to go far out of your way to work your butt. Below are a few simple butt workouts, and how to do them, to get you started on your journey to a strong and shapely behind.
1. Figure 4
The Figure 4 is a move that can be done right before bed if you like. This move is a deep stretch that stretches out the glutes, hamstrings, and quads. It is a workout that feels more like a relaxing stretch instead.
How to Do It
- Start by lying on your back with your knees bent, and feet flat on the floor
- Lift your left leg and cross your left ankle over the right knee
- Reach your hands around your right leg to meet under the thigh
- Draw the right thigh toward you while keeping your torso pressed against floor
- Use your left elbow to gently press your left knee away from you as you draw your right thigh in closer
- Hold for 30 seconds, deepening the stretch with every exhale, then switch sides
- Do each side twice
2. The Squat
Probably the best known butt workout in the world, the squat may look simple, but it works the abs, thighs, and, of course, the butt. With slight adjustments, this one move can work many areas in increasingly deep ways.
How to Do It
- Start by standing with legs hip-width apart
- Push your weight back into your heels
- Lower down at a 90-degree angle
- Keep back straight, don't lean forward
- Push your butt back as far as possible as you go down, keeping feet planted
- Do two sets of 20 each
3. The Bridge Up
The bridge up is another butt workout you can do right before bed, or incorporate into any other workout type. It's especially good at the end of a long workout as a cool-down move that still works some major muscle groups. This move works the abs, thighs, and glutes. The bridge up is a simple move for even the newest fitness lover to do.
How to Do It
- Lay on your back, with feet planted
- Lift your hips to the ceiling, squeezing your glutes as you do
- Slowly lower hips back to the ground
- Repeat as many times as you can
4. Explosive Lunges
Explosive lunges give you a great stretch through the glutes while also helping to improve balance, coordination, and patience. This move works the front of the thighs, hips, quads, and hamstrings.
How to Do It
- Stand with your feet together and your hands on your hips
- Lunge forward with your right leg
- Jump up, switch legs in midair, and land with your left leg in a forward lunge
- Keep your fists up in front of your chin and push off the floor with both feet
- Your front knee should be bent 90 degrees and align over your ankle
- Continue these lunges, alternating sides, for one minute
5. Single Leg Squat with a Towel
This move targets the thighs, abs, and lower part of the glutes. One of the harder moves to do, it is well worth it. Not only does this butt workout help build and shape the glutes and thighs, but it also provides a small cardio workout. Sliding the towel and then pulling your body back up can be difficult, but the benefits are many.
How to Do It
- Stand with your feet together and place your right foot on top of a folded towel
- Shifting your weight to your left leg, slide the towel out slowly to your right
- Slowly return to the start position
- Work this side for 30 seconds, keeping your elbows bent and your fists together near your chin
- When you squat, your left knee should bend between 45 and 90 degrees
- After 30 seconds, switch legs and do the squats and slides for another 30 seconds
These five exercises can be added to any workout routine to boost your butt workouts and give you results. Adding a butt workout to your fitness routine doesn't have to become its own routine. Simply adding one of these moves to your existing routine can produce a better butt in a matter of just a few weeks.
Your glutes, hips, and thighs include some of the most important and powerful muscles in the human body. The gluteus maximus is the most visible gluteal muscle. Aside from wanting a firm, shapely butt, it's important to train your lower body simply because it's involved in so many movements. Sit, stand, squat, and walk, and your glutes are working. Just think about how many times you do that in one day. Strong legs give your knee and ankle joints support which may help protect you from injury.
The three glutes muscles we mentioned before are responsible for a variety of hip movements like hip extension, rotating the thigh outward and hip abduction (moving the leg away from the body as in leg lifts). That means your glutes work every time you stand up, walk, run up the stairs, or jog, just to name a few examples. So it's extremely important to build and take care of these muscles. While the glutes are just one of the many muscle groups that help with movement, they are also the largest one.
Strength training exercises not only make you stronger for daily activities, but they can also make you strong for other activities like running, walking, working in the yard, and climbing stairs. Working these muscles means you'll not only build strength and lean muscle tissue, but you'll also burn more calories. The bigger the muscle, the more calories it burns. The glutes are the largest muscle in the lower body, meaning when you work them, you burn a lot of calories.
Because your lower body is so strong, you'll probably need some pretty heavy weights to really challenge your body. If you're just starting out, it's best to start with a lighter weight to work on your form and make sure you don't overdo it. Pulling or injuring any of the muscles in your lower body, especially the glutes, can majorly affect mobility for days, weeks, or even months.
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Other great cardio exercises that target your fanny include kickboxing and stair climbing. In kickboxing, all those kicks (side, roundhouse, back, and front kicks) will target your butt, quadriceps, and hamstrings. They will also help you with your balance and flexibility. Using the Stairmaster or Step Mill will also make maximum use of the glutes, hamstrings, and quads.
The bottom line is that working to build strong glutes can mean the difference between comfortable mobility and great flexibility, or stiff hips and a struggle to go from one position to the next once we reach an older age. Making sure to take care of our largest lower body muscle is one of the best things you can do for your overall physical health.