I thought that the “Buns of Steel” craze had finally run its course; I was wrong. Seems both the women and the men at the gym are obsessed with making their assets more visual than before. There’s Pat, a strikingly beautiful southern belle whose husband says she needs to pack some more meat on her hips. Pat is a former beauty queen and still looks like she could win the Mrs. Delaware pageant, but she wants to get a more shapely butt. Niki and Karen, a gorgeous couple, are here to tone and shape up their butts, too. Don’t forget the men, they want the “bubble butt” they had when they were younger.
So, how do we go about getting started? First, take a good long look in the mirror. Notice your body shape. Are you thin, heavy, or muscular? Are you tight, sagging, fluffy, defined, or droopy? Solid or soft? Underweight, overweight, or just right? Be honest with yourself. Once you have determined your body shape and your goal, it’s time to get started.
Your glutes (gluteus maximus) are some of the largest muscles on our body. They, along with the gluteus medius and the gluteus minimus make up the shape of the buttocks. The glutes are worked by running, walking, and climbing. We want to challenge these muscles with butt busting exercises to shape them, tighten them, and make them stronger.
The squat is king of all butt busting exercises. Proper form is an absolute must. You start by stretching both arms out in front of you. Put your feet shoulder width apart. Now sit slowly, like you are lowering yourself on to a chair. Once you get into “squat” position, rise up to standing position again. Keep your back straight and tight. Repeat this move 15 times for three sets. No bouncing and slow it down using body control.
Lunges can be done front/forward or back/reverse. Lunges are great butt, leg, and calf exercises. How to do a lunge? The forward lunge is done by taking a giant step forward, bending both knees, and then returning to the original stance. Don’t let the back knee touch the floor. The closest I can describe this move is that all Catholics remember to genuflect before entering the pew. That is the correct forward lunge position. The reverse lunge is exactly that. Instead of stepping forward, step backward. Throw that rear leg behind you and kneel. Don’t let the back knee touch the floor. You’ll want to alternate legs while doing the forward and reverse lunges. Do three sets of 10 for both exercises. A note on reverse lunges is that these are more effective and more intense than the forwards. Variations include holding a dumbbell in each hand with your arms straight down, or just putting your hands on your hips.
Bridges are done by lying face up on the floor. Put the palms of your hands flat on the floor beside you. Your back is flat and your legs are bent with feet flat on the floor. Push your hips to the ceiling. Hold your hips in the up position for a second or two and squeeze your cheeks up and together. Lower your hips down to the floor. Do this 10 times for three sets.
I love donkey kicks. They’re easy and very effective. Approach a sturdy chair. Hold on to the chair. Walk back a few steps so that you are in the jackknife position. Take a leg and swing it behind you like a donkey kicking behind it. Alternate your legs and do three sets of 15 reps.
For those of you that have power bands, the next exercise is very effective for the sides of the glutes. Power bands are giant rubber bands in varying widths, about four feet around Step inside the band and keep your feet twelve inches apart. Pull up on the band with your hands to tighten it. Now move one leg to the side about one or two feet. Then the other leg the same way. Try and do a total of 20 reps, ten each per leg. Do three sets of 20. Feel the burn.
So, if you’re feeling cheeky and really want a tighter, shapelier butt then start these exercises and no buts about it.
Rick Moore is a personal trainer certified by the American Fitness Professionals & Associates.