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Best Butt Exercises

There are many myths and misconceptions about exercise and most of them center around weight training. One of the most popular myths is that doing certain exercises will help you get rid of trouble spots. Despite evidence that spot training does not work, you might see people frantically doing crunches to get rid of a tummy pooch, or doing leg lifts to get rid of saddle bags.

While it is true that these exercises will strengthen and tone muscles, they don't do much about the overlying layer of fat. The body draws energy from everywhere, not just the muscle you're working at the moment, so the the only way to get rid of fat is to burn more calories than you take in.

If you want to tone up your backside, you'll need strength training, cardio and a healthy diet, but there are great exercises for working the glutes, hips and thighs. Ask any fitness expert and they'll probably agree that the squat is the best exercise you can do for your butt.

The reason squats are so effective is because it's a compound exercise that works more than one muscle group. The muscles involved in a movement, the more calories you burn and the more weight you can use. Using heavier weight is how you build lean body tissue. The more lean body tissue you have, the higher your metabolism and the more calories you burn on a regular basis. In addition, you're targeting every major muscle in your upper leg, up to and including your quadriceps (front of the thigh), hamstrings (back of the thigh), and gluteal muscles (the muscles in your rear).

Below you'll find more great exercises for your butt:

The Squat

Form Pointers:

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding weights at the shoulders or at your sides if desired.
  2. Slowly lower your body as though you are 'sitting' in a chair until your thighs are parallel with the ground.
  3. Keeping the weight in your heels, push yourself up slowly until you're back where you started.

Key points:

  • Don't allow your knees to extend over your toes
  • Keep your abs contracted and the torso upright
  • Do this exercise 2-3 times a week for 1-3 sets of 8-16 reps.

The Lunge

Next to squats, lunges are the next best thing for your butt and thighs. This is also a compound movement so, like squats, when you do them you get more bang for your buck.

Form Pointers:

  1. Stand in a split stance with one leg forward and one leg back, holding weights if desire.
  2. Slowly bend the knees, lowering into a lunge while keeping the front knee and back knee at
    90 degree angles.
  3.  Keeping the weight in your heels, push back up to starting position.

Key points:

  •  Avoid locking the knees at the top of the movement
  • Keep your front knee behind the toe as you lunge (you should be able to look down and see your toe)
  •  Keep your abs engaged and the torso upright
  • Do this exercise 2-3 times per week for 1-3 sets of 8-16 reps.

Deadlifts

Deadlifts are great for your back, hamstrings and the glutes.

In a deadlift, you are tipping forward from your hips and keeping your legs straight or a little bent rather than squatting. This puts pressure on your back, which is why keeping your back flat is critical for this exercise to work without causing pain or injury. At the bottom of the movement you should tighten your butt and hamstrings as you pull your torso back to starting position.

Form Pointers:

  1. Stand with feet wide or together, weights in front of the thighs.
  2. Keeping back straight the entire time, tip forward from the hips and lower your torso until the
    weight reaches mid-shin.
  3.  Squeezing your butt and hamstrings, raise your
    torso back to start.

Key Points:

  • Keep the weight close to your legs through the entire movement and keep your shoulders back.
  • Do this exercise 2-3 times per week for 1-3 sets of 8-16 reps.

Remember, weight training alone will not get rid of body fat. A regular cardio program and a healthy, low- calorie diet are essential for losing body fat. 

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