The bottom is one area that many women are keen to work on as soon as the belly is dealt with. Some women like to have a small and pert backside, others prefer to have a larger “J-Lo” bum. Here are some exercise tips to help you achieve either one of these goals.
Exercise To Reduce The Size of Your Bum
The bottom is made up of a combination of muscle tissue, the glutes (gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus) and fat. Muscle provides the shape and the fat the size.
So to reduce the overall size of your bum you need to work on reducing total body fat. Spot reduction of fat is not possible, and exercising the buttocks will result in building more muscle and so possibly increase the size of the your bum (see below as this will be explained in more detail). There, what you need to do is look at your diet to see where you can reduce calories, and also start doing more cardiovascular exercise.
Running, Swimming, Cycling and Aerobics
The best exercises to help reduce the size of your backside are running, swimming, cycling and aerobics. This is because these exercises will help burn a lot of calories and also help you the manage your appetite better. This will lead to fat loss without increasing muscle mass significantly.
Another good option is to workout on an elliptical as this will also work your upper body more, which will increase fat burning and reduce muscle growth.
The key is to really keep doing those “long and boring” workouts as these burn up a lot of glycogen (sugar/energy in the muscles) which will aid fat loss.
Just compare long distance runners with sprinters to see the different in the size of the glutes for the two types of exercise.
Do not forget, diet is important. You need to eat a low GI diet and reduce total calories to aid fat loss.
Exercise To Get a J-Lo Bum
If you want to increase the size of your backside then you need to work your muscles. Building bigger glutes is the best way to increase the size of your bum. To do this you need to do some classic weight training exercises, namely barbell squats. If you prefer you can use a leg press machine instead.
Squats and Lunges
The two key exercises are squats and lunges. Squats develop the thighs and hips as well as the buttocks (glutes). The glutes are the strongest muscles in the body so working them hard does require lifting some heavy weights. This article provides some good advice on squatting.
Start your workout with a warm up. Some gentle jogging on the spot is good to start the warm up. Then perform around 20 bodyweight squats followed by 10 lunges on each side. Lunges help to strengthen the quads, the large muscles that run down the back of the legs.
After this warm up you then need to start your weight training workout. You need to use a weight which will allow you to perform 8-10 lifts in one go. It should be challenging, not too east, but at the same time you should not finish without an effort.
If you have never done squats before then start your first workout with 10kg (or 20 pounds), and perform just 5 reps (repetitions / repeats, i.e. squat down and up again 5 times without stopping). If you complete these 5 easily then add 5kg (or 10 pounds) and do another 5. Keep doing this until you fail to do 5 reps. You will then start your next workout 2 or 3 days later with the final weight you used.
So, if you manage to lift 30kg (60 pounds) 5 times, then on 35kg you struggle and stop at 3 reps, then you should start working out with a 30kg weight.
On your second workout you start the real work. After performing your warm ups again with jogging then bodyweight squats and lunges, perform 3 sets of 12 reps with your chosen weight. For example, if you manage 30kg you need to perform:
- 12 reps of 30kg
- rest for 90 seconds
- 12 reps of 30kg
- rest for 90 seconds
- 12 reps of 30kg
If this turns out to be too much of a challenge then you should drop the weight for the next workout. You want to be able to perform all of the reps (36 in total) in each workout. Likewise, if too easy, then add a little more weight.
Perform this workout 2 or 3 times a week. As you get stronger make one of these workouts heavier. For example, a month after you start you could then add 5kg (10 pounds) to the first workout of the week. The next two continue with the original weight.
To build muscle you need to make sure that your diet contains plenty of protein, so make sure that you are eating chicken, fish, seafood, pork, eggs, tofu, pulses (beans) and consider a protein shake after weight training too.
Top 10 Butt Exercises
No other exercise targets your butt, hips and thighs as well as squats. They are also very easy to do. Just stand with your feet apart, then squat down until your thigh approach horizontal, and lift up again. If your legs are weak, use a chair for support.
Lunges are a close second behind squats. They work lots of different muscles in the legs and also increase the stabilizing muscles. There are several different ways to lunge, including side lunges, reverse lunges, front lunges (the most common), and walking lunges (these are really effective).
3. One-Legged Deadlifts
Deadlifts are one of the best exercises for building athletic muscle and losing weight. They work the hamstrings, butt and lower back. To do these you hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of your thighs, step back with one foot, and then slowly lower the weights to the floor by leaning forward. Keep your back straight and bend the supporting/lifting leg. Then raise again. Repeat on each side.
4. Step Ups
Another very simple but effective exercise for the buttocks. The higher the step, the better this works. Just step up onto a platform, or use your stairs. Alternate the leading leg and keep the movements slow to get maximum benefit.
5. Hip Extensions
To perform these you need to get on all fours, and then rest your upper body on your forearms. Then simply lift one leg up, aiming to touch the ceiling with the heel of your foot. If this exercise seems too easy use ankle weights.
Kickboxing is an excellent way to get fit and tone up. It is one of the best martial arts for fitness and conditioning, because the training is usually geared to competition fighting. Join a good kickboxing club and you will soon see great results.
Like walking, cycling is excellent for toning muscles. It is also a cheap and quick way to get around town. If you live in a hilly area, even better.
8. Hillwalking and Hiking
Many of us spend so much time in the gym that we forget walking is a very effective way to tone the butt and strengthen the legs and hillwalking is even more effective. Take a long walk several times a week and you will soon see improvements.
Some people consider running to be the best way to lose weight and get fit. Not only can it be done anywhere, you need little to do it. It also really works the backside well.
10. Street Walking
Last but not least is walking. Do not underestimate the effectiveness of walking alone. If you walk for one hour without stopping you will feel it tomorrow and the next day. This is proof that it is building muscle and burning fat. Put on your walking shoes and go for a long walk.
With the exception of kickboxing, cycling and hillwalking, all these exercises can be done anywhere. All that is required is the willpower to get up and work your butt!
The Beyonce Butt Workout!
OK, we are a British website, but in America a bum is a tramp, so as we are today looking at Beyonce’s fitness workouts we shall refer to it as a butt so as to not upside out friends over the pond.
Beyonce Knowles is one of the most famous singers in America and has an amazing body. There was some controversy over how she quickly lost weight for Dreamgirls when she went on a “lemonade fast”, which is a unhealthy way to lose weight. As a result a lot of people think that this is how she stays in shape all the time. Fortunately this is simply not true. Beyonce stays in great shape by eating a healthy diet and working out on a regular basis.
There are a lot of sites claiming to provide the official Beyonce workout, although some research shows that there is not actually any official workout that she performs. She goes to the gym and does a combination of cardio training and weight training to stay in great shape.
Maximus Gluteus – The Butt
The butt actually contains the largest muscles in the human body, the Maximus Gluteus muscles. These muscles give the bottom its shape, fat only plays a partial role in shape.
In Self Magazine she explained that she feels that it is important to both look and feel like a woman, and this means having curves. So because of this she says that she does not want to look like a woman that spends a lot of time in the gym. But, she still spends a lot more time exercising that the average person does.
Exercise 5 Days A Week
Beyonce exercises 5 times a week performing the most important exercises for women – squats and lunges. Squats work the backside (the Maximus Gluteus muscles) and lunges tone and strengthen the thighs. So between them these two exercises do more to improve a woman’s legs than any other exercise.
She also does a lot of running in the gym to help burn off additional calories. Her hectic work schedule and intensive rehearsals and practice sessions means that she burns off a lot of calories everyday naturally, but to stay healthy she also consumes more food, so additional exercise is still important for staying in shape.
She also works out with light weights, performing a series of exercises with 5 pound dumbbells, such as presses, curls, lateral raises and tricep kick backs.
If you want to get in shape like Beyonce, this is our suggested workout, designed for the gym. It is in two parts, a cardio warm up which burns fat, and then a resistance section to tone muscle.
This is the cardio element:
- Jog / Run for 10 minutes – fat burning and cardio fitness
- Cycle for 10 minutes – tones thighs and glutes, burns fat
- Cross training for 10 minutes on a medium-high resistance – works the arms and legs
- 20 bodyweight squats
- 10 lunges on each side
- 10 alternating side steps to each side
- 10 push ups
- 10 back extensions
- 10 shoulder presses
A Collection of our Favourite Workout Video Clips
These workouts are all shared by various fitness professionals on YouTube. Between them they provide an excellent full body workout that will burn fat and tone muscles. How you order them is up to you. Sometimes the best way to get in shape is to find your own personal favourite workout so experiment by adding some of these exercises into your daily routine.
Tone Up! Best Butt Exercises
I just came across this video on YouTube. It is called the “best butt exercises” (sorry, that’s bums to us Brits!) and does indeed provide a few pretty good workouts to tone bums (butts, buns, glutes etc).
- They start of with some side step ups on a park bench, then move onto Bosu squats, which are done on a Bosu balance board.
- Then there are some plank glute kickbacks, which also work the arms a little as you hold your weight as if in push up position.
- Walking lunges with a twist are done next, which really do result in a burn.
- Glute Hips Lifts come next which work the glutes, inner thighs and core muscles.
- Single leg squats come last, these are a real great thigh and glute exercise.
Watch all the exercises here:
High impact step aerobics workout – 8 minutes
This high impact workout provides an excellent quick exercise routine. Firstly, you need to do a gentle warm up for a few minutes before starting, as this is a high impact routine. It involves lots of jacks, cross country skis, double step touches, power low squats, and “scoop it forwards”, plus knee runs and speed skates.
After 8 minutes of this your heart will be thumping and your blood flowing. Remember, the goal of high impact aerobics is to really work the cardiovascular system to condition the body. This means that you will be sweating, panting and aching afterwards. No pain, no gain!
Cathe Friedrich’s Cardio Fusion:
Home Fitness With Dumbbells and Bodyweight Training
Here fitness instructor Zuzana from BodyRock.tv takes us through a dynamic dumbbell and bodyweight routine. This routine is fast an intensive and designed to burn fat and tone.
It starts with a combination move with dumbbells: bent over row followed by a power clean and press. This really gets the blood flowing and hits the major musles.
Next up are push ups with leg lifts. These work the chest and shoulders as well as the glutes and thighs.
Tone Your Bum with the Yoga for the Butt workout
This routine is derived from yoga, and is designed to help tone and firm the buttocks.
Classic yoga postures such as the warrior pose and downward dog, are utilized. It is quite an energetic and advanced yoga routine, so really for those more experienced with yoga. Tara Stiles does a very good job at explaining each movement throughout the routine. The stomach muscles are also used.