Working your butt is not just about looking good. Developing your glute muscles is important to your health, as they aid in your daily movements and help keep your body strong.
In an article for Fitness, anatomy expert Stephanie P. Marango, MD, stresses the importance of a strong gluteus maximus, which is the largest muscle in your entire body: “That ability to be bipedal is a huge deal… And it's this muscle that is really doing a major component of that.” Meanwhile, Dr. Joseph Herrera, who specializes in osteopathic medicine, reveals in Fitness that the gluteus minimus and gluteus medius are essential for helping the body maintain balance.
While Fitness advises against relying on celebrity images to act as a model for your ideal backside, which I agree with, I admit that seeing strong, curvy celebrities with a great behind does make me want to step up my game. I’m realistic; my booty has always been on the flat side, so I’m not expecting a miracle. However, working out has improved its appearance and its strength, and I’d like to see my rear get even stronger and, yes, rounder.
According to Elle magazine, Ryan Anthony, a trainer referred to as “The Glutes Whisperer,” recommends strength training because it is “the most effective way to build and tone muscle in a specific area.” Anthony’s booty-shaping workout moves for Elle, which are largely bodyweight based, though some involve weights, helped associate editor Victoria Dawson Hoff get her butt in shape. Dawson Hoff also claims that the workout can tone thighs, too. This series illustrates each move with gifs, which is great for helping you learn proper form and movement for each exercise.
Having a video to follow is great for those who need some more guidance. Trainer Brett Hoebel’s Booty Boosters exercise videos for BeFit incorporate High Intensity Interval Training and give you the option to intensify the bodyweight workout even further with weights. Hoebel does a great job of stressing proper form and offering tips for how to do each move safely and effectively.
One thing I learned during my time practicing ballet as an adult is that ballet definitely works the glutes. If you want to see how dancers sculpt their butts, check out ballerina Mary Helen Bowers’ Ballet Beautiful workouts available on the BeFit YouTube channel. Bowers is calm and encouraging as she guides you through the Lean Legs and Buns workout, an intense bridge series from her Ballet Beautiful: Total Body Workout DVD, and she takes arabesques and other booty-shaping exercises to the mat with the two-part Butt Series from her Ballet Beautiful: Body Blast DVD.
Climb your way to a better butt! The elliptical machine is beloved for being a low impact form of cardio that will help you work your entire body, including your rear. The machine’s versatility is perfect for those looking for a great glutes workout. PopSugar has a seriously tough elliptical workout that will burn calories and boost your booty, due to adjusting the incline and resistance. This is a routine best suited for those who are already comfortable with using the elliptical and know proper form, especially when pedaling backward.
While having an elliptical machine at your disposal is convenient, it’s not a necessity. Stairs are free, widely available and provide an effective workout. According to Runner’s World, “The plyometric motion [from stair-climbing] strengthens the same muscles as lunges and squats, and taxes your lungs and heart as you power to the top,” and the extra balance required while climbing works the gluteus medius. Runner’s World has three stair climbing routines for you to try, including one for those with access to a StairMaster machine. Prevention also has a stair workout that incorporates classic booty boosting moves like squats and bridges using stairs as an alternative to a bench or step platform.
Remember, many of these exercises are intense, so make sure you talk to your doctor before starting these or any other workout regimens. Go at a pace suitable to your fitness level and practice proper form to prevent injury and get the best results.