Thought of more for looks than for function, many people seek a toned, muscular butt to improve their appearance. The butt is actually one of the strongest muscles in the body, though. Comprised of gluteal muscles, including the gluteus maximus (the largest muscle in the whole body,) the butt gets a workout every time you sit, stand, climb, or bend at the hip.
To get your butt beyond exercise into the realm of toned and tight, try these versions of squats:
1. Square Step Squats
To target the gluteal muscles more specifically, take small steps while in the squat position. Bend your knees and bring your butt back to enter the squat position first. Then shuffle your right foot out away from your body. Hold for a few seconds. Repeat with each foot in each direction. You will move in a basic square pattern and tone every edge of your gluteal muscles in the process.
2. Jack to Squat
Perform a jumping jack. When you bring your feet and arms together, stop once your feet are a shoulder width apart. Immediately dip into a full squat. Keep your arms above your head as you count to ten. Return to the jumping jack and repeat.
3. Oblique Squat
While in a squat position, raise one knee toward your shoulder. Lift the same foot off of the floor and reach toward the ceiling with the parallel arm. You will concentrate the effort of the squat on your opposite glute. Meanwhile, the glute in the raised leg will be tightened and strengthened.
4. Squat with Kickback
As you lower yourself into your squat, extend one leg out directly behind you. Raise the leg as straight as you can and hold for just 2 or 3 seconds. Repeat on the opposite leg.
These versions of squats are step up from the basic exercise. Usually squats work your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Versions like these still do, but they also target the glutes more powerfully to help you tone your butt easily.