What is the best way to tone your butt?

by Kelly Forness on August 17, 2012 · 0 comments

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How to tone your bum

Have you been doing squats and lunges for years, and your butt still is not toned the way you want it to be?  Maybe you want it to look good in a new pair of jeans or in a swimsuit.  Or maybe you just want to tone it for your own satisfaction.  Is there something that you are doing wrong?  Probably not, but there are many things you have to take into consideration when trying to tone your body.  What is the best way to tone your butt?

In addition to the toning exercises, there are many things that will help you get the results that you want:

Follow a healthy diet

This is always important because as long as you are eating too many calories, and not burning them off, you are likely to gain weight.  Any excess weight will turn into fat, and get deposited on your body.

Many people, especially women, tend to gain their weight in their lower bodies, especially the hips and thighs.  So, to make sure you aren’t gaining weight, it is important that you are eating the amount of calories that you need for your body and for your goals.  You should follow a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, lean meats or meat substitutes, and whole grains.

Keep yourself hydrated

You may not think that this will help tone your butt, but actually if you have cellulite, it will make the cellulite less visible, which will make your butt appear more toned.  You should make sure you are drinking an adequate amount of fluids.

To figure out how much you need to drink per day, figure out your weight in kg (weight in pounds/2.2).  That will give you the total ounces of fluids per day that you need to drink.  Avoiding caffeine, alcohol and foods that will dehydrate you is also important.  That means possibly avoiding your morning coffee and glass of wine at night, or, at least, decreasing the amount that you normally drink.  You should also avoid foods that are high in sodium.

Include some cardio in your workout regimen

You need to do cardio in order to burn off the calories and get rid of the fat.  If you only do toning exercises, you will have trouble getting rid of any unwanted fat.  You can choose the type of cardio that you want to do whether it is walking, running, cycling, etc.

If you want to incorporate some cardio exercises that will also work your butt into your exercise regimen, you may see results quicker.  Anything on an incline or stairs will do the trick.  You can try step-aerobics, stair climbing, or even, walking up hills.

Toning exercises for each muscle

In order to make sure you are working your butt from all angles, you need to do a variety of exercises.  The gluteal muscles, which make up the buttocks, are actually a group of muscles, and include Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minimus and Gluteus Maximus.

The Gluteus Maximus is the largest of the 3, and is one of the strongest muscles in the body.  You use these muscles every day, even just by walking.  By sitting for long periods of time, which many of us do the gluteal muscles can actually atrophy from not being used and from the constant pressure.  This can lead to lower back pain and bad posture.  So, in order to correct this, it is important to do exercises that will tone these specific muscles.

So what are the best toning exercises for the butt?

Squats

  1.  Begin with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Stick your butt out, as if you are going to sit down in a chair.
  3. Go down for 2 counts.
  4. Make sure your back stays straight (not arched) and your knees stay behind your toes.
  5. Return to starting position in 2 counts.

**To make it more difficult, you can add weights.

Lunges

  1.  Stand with your feet together.
  2. Lunge forward with your right leg, making sure you keep your knee behind your toes.
  3. Return to starting position.
  4. Repeat with your left leg, and alternate until you have completed all of your repetitions.
**To make it more difficult, you can add weights.

Dead Lifts

  1.  Stand with your feet shoulder width apart holding dumbbells or a barbell in front of you.
  2. Bend forward from the hips, keeping your knees straight and your back flat. ( Do not allow it to arch or round.)
  3. Lean forward in 2 counts until the weights are just below your hips.
  4. Return to starting position.

**You can use heavier weights in this exercise than you would for upper body exercises, and to make it more difficult, you can increase the weight.

Hip extensions

  1.  Begin on your forearms and knees.
  2. Extend your right leg behind you and bend it at a 90 degree angle.
  3. Slowly raise it.
  4. Return to starting position.
  5. After completing all of the reps on the right side, repeat on the left.

Hip raise

  1.  Lie down on your back with your knees bent.
  2. Squeeze your glutes as you raise your hips off the floor until your body is in a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
  3. Hold for 2 seconds.
  4. Lower yourself back to starting position.

** To make this more difficult, try using only one leg, and extending the other one in the air.  Complete all of the reps, and repeat on the other side.

Start out with 2 sets of10-12 reps.  As your body gets more used to the exercise, try increasing the weight if you are using weights, or increasing the number of reps or sets.  Soon you will be able to wear those jeans or swimsuit, and be happy with the way you look!

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Kelly Forness
About the author

Kelly is a registered Dietetic Technician. She has a Master’s degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion and she is also a NASM certified personal trainer. You can connect with her on Google+

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