First things first, all shapes and sizes of bum are fan-flipping tastic. Whether it’s round or petite, bouncy or rock solid, you should be proud of your behind looking as spectacular as it does on a daily basis. People that walk behind you should count themselves as lucky, lucky people.
If you do fancy amping up your arse workout, toning up or changing its shape though (hey, everyone needs a change sometime and all exercise is good), then there are plenty of exercises you can do to help you out. We spoke to fitness blogger, health coach and Pilates instructor Lottie Murphy to find out where to get started.
Lottie, if I don’t have a generously proportioned bottom, there’s no way I’m going to end up a Kardashian by the end of year is there? No matter how much exercise I do?
You can definitely improve the shape of your derrière by committing to this area, but some people like the Kardashians are simply blessed.
There’s more benefits to working your butt than just the aesthetics, though. Your glutes are really important muscles that can get lazy as we sit down so much nowadays, but they’re part of your core and if they work efficiently will help prevent hip, knee and back pain.
What can I realistically expect from doing exercises focused on my bottom?
Expect to see it look more lifted and rounded in time, but you must focus on those muscles when doing the exercises. It’s a lot about the mind when it comes to getting the benefits from the exercises and that’s when you’ll see change.
Is there something I’m doing anyway like walking or climbing up stairs that can be adapted to make sure my bum’s feeling the effects? How about sitting at my desk?
Focus on squeezing your sitting bones together when you’re at your desk. Another exercise is you can stand up from your chair engaging your butt and sitting down again several times – this is a great functional exercise. Take bigger strides when you’re walking and take two stairs at a time, focusing on squeezing your butt.
Squats – talk to me – are they the most important bum exercise? How do I know if I’m doing them right?
A basic squat is a great exercise for your bum and the most popular, but you must be doing it correctly. In Pilates, we stand feet hip width apart and parallel, sit back with your hips as if sitting into a chair and make sure your back stays straight and chest as lifted as possible. Aim for a 90-degree angle at the knees then press through your heels to stand up, engaging your butt and pulling your thighs up and forwards. The coming up from the squat is the most important part.
If I feel like I’ve nailed the squat are there some variations I can do to make it a bit more challenging? How many should you be aiming for a day?
To make a squat even more killer on the butt, try rising onto the balls of your feet at the top of the squat – make sure you use the backs of your legs and glutes to do this. Aim for 3 sets of 20 a day, if you really want to target this area.
What’s a good exercise to do if I have no bum at all?
The Star – lay on your front facing the mat, take your legs a little wider than hip width apart and then lift one leg up off the floor keeping the knee straight, then repeat with the other leg. Ensure your abdominals stay connected and your hips stay level.
What about if I have a bum I like, I just want to tone it?
Reverse lunges with one foot on a Swiss ball. Take a large Swiss ball and place one foot on the ball behind you, bend your standing leg so the ball rolls back and you come into a lunge position, then straighten the standing leg. Aim for 20 on each leg. This really tests your balance and core stability as well as super toning the butt.
And what about when it comes to getting rid of saddlebags?
Donkey kicks! Start on hands and knees then kick one leg back behind you into a right angle and pulse the heel up to the ceiling then advance it by crossing it behind the opposite knee still on the floor and lift it back to 90, then turn out the knee to the side and continue pulsing. This is great for targeting lots of different angles of the butt which is what you want to do for a well-rounded look.
Check out Lottie Murphy’s blog here.
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.