Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez are perhaps two celebrities today most well-known for their defined and shapely butt. When you think of a butt that seems to defy gravity (and the natural aging process), it is likely that they come to mind. Others may include Sofia Vergara, Shakira or Jessica Biel. Who wouldn’t want a perfectly toned butt?.
Fortunately, having such a defined and perfect butt is not just for celebrities enjoying the top personal trainers and nutrition experts. The butt is a muscle that can be worked like any other muscle to make it more toned and shapely. Here are a few exercises you can do to firm, life, shape and tone your butt.
The exercises are part of what many refer to as the Brazilian Butt Workout, although not an exhaustive list in any way. Perform these exercises two times per week in addition to your cardio routine, but be sure to not perform the exercises on consecutive days to give your body and muscles time to rest.
As for reps and sets, beginners should set a goal of two sets of 10 to 15 repetitions each. More advanced individuals should increase the repetitions to 20.
Kneeling Glute Lift With Pulses (Also known as “Donkey Kicks”)
Kneel on all fours, and lift your left knee up with your left foot flexed. Raise this same left knee up several inches, then lower in a controlled, slow movement back to the original starting point. Complete a set of these pulses for the number of repetitions appropriate for your fitness level. Once your set is complete, hold the top position for several seconds. Rest briefly, then perform your second set.
Repeat with your right leg. Keep in mind that you should not over arch (hyper-extend) your lower back throughout the exercises.
Weighted Sumo Squats
Standing, spread feet hip width apart and turn toes slightly pointed outward. Hold the end of 10-15 pound dumbbell with both hands, letting it hang down in front of your torso. Slowly squat toward the ground and raise back up. Repeat this set twice.
Single Leg Bridge
While lying on your back, bend your right leg so that your foot is pressing on the floor. Then, extend your left leg to a 45 º angle while keeping both knees closely together. Now, with your left leg extended out and your right foot pressed to the floor, lift your pelvic area so that your bottom is off the floor. Lower back toward the ground without letting it hit the floor. Repeat until you have completed one set on the right, then switch to the opposite leg to complete another set.
Rest very briefly, and complete one more set of repetitions on both legs. Be sure to keep your hips level and your core held in tightly throughout the exercises.
Standing Side Kicks
Stand tall with your feet separated to shoulder-width. Place your hands on your hips and bend forward slightly to help with balance. Slowly lift your left leg off the floor. Bend your lifted leg, then extend it out toward your side to perform what feels like a kicking movement. Try to complete a full set of repetitions before lowering your leg.
This may take some work, especially for beginners, but work up to not needing to touch the floor at all during the set. Switch to the other leg and perform another set. Repeat on both sides. One tip to help if you struggle with balance is to hold onto something like a piece of furniture (e.g. chair, table, etc.) until you are able to complete it with no such assistance.
Squats with Side Kicks
This exercise starts in the position of a deep squat. Lower your body until you are in a squat, ensuring your knees are kept behind your knees and facing forward (not up). Place your weight into your right foot as you twist your body to the left, kicking your left leg out. Bring your leg back down and return to the squat position. You have now completed one repetition.
Perform this exercise 10-20 times (meaning, 10-20 kicks), then switch to the other side, for Repeat from the beginning to complete one more set.
Butt Exercises You Can Perform Anywhere (Even With No One Knowing)
One of my favorite exercises for the butt is one you can actually do “secretly.” Simply contract your butt muscles then release continuously for 1 to 2 minutes at a time. You can do this while sitting, maybe while driving in the car or sitting at your desk.
Another great exercise is similar to the side-kicks above, but slightly different. Perhaps while standing talking on the phone, or doing dishes, or watching television, for example, simply perform some simple side lifts with your leg (of course, on each side). Go ahead and multi-task your way to a toned, defined butt!