One of the questions I am often asked by my fitness students and clients is how to tone their glutes.
Well, almost any leg exercise will tone your butt. Generally speaking, ballet dancers, sprinters, gymnasts, and figure skaters have well-shaped glutes. This is because they use movements that lift the leg back AND turn the foot out.
Most glute exercises work the leg from front to back, such as running, cycling, stair climbing, leg extension machines, squats, and some glute isolators. These types of movements mainly work the large muscles of the gluteus maximus and thighs.
To get more teardrop buttocks, you need to engage some of the muscles under your buttocks. Namely, the periformis muscle, which TURNS the leg. Look at the difference in the buttocks of weightlifters, runners, distance runners, and cyclists compared to sprinters, figure skaters, ballet dancers, and ashtanga yoga and pilates practitioners.
Try the following movements 3 times a week for the next 3 weeks,
THE SIDE KICK
Stand about two feet away from a wall.
Keeping your belt buckle (or belly button) and your left foot pointed toward the wall, lift your right leg behind you.
Keep your upper body upright.
Raise your leg as high as you can and hold it. You should feel your glutes (buttock muscles) contract.
Now turn your foot out so that it is parallel to the ground.
Pull your toes toward you and extend your heel. (Most people do this wrong and spread their toes out and never get the effect.)
You should be looking over your shoulder at your extended leg. Don’t be tempted to let his kickstand roll to the side. Your hips should remain pointing towards the wall.
This is like a martial art side kick. Try to hold this for 10-30 seconds at a time and then switch legs. Walk for one minute to relax the muscles after working both legs.
Or go to a martial arts club and learn some kicks. Most kickers have hard buttocks and narrow waists.
THE BUTT SQUEEZE
OK, get over the funny name. You can do this exercise with weights on your shoulders or simply without weights.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and keeping your back straight, bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
Straighten your legs and then squeeze your butt as if you were trying to hold a coin between your buttocks. Squeeze hard for 2-3 seconds.
Squat down again. Do this 10-20 times, then add some weight.
Be sure not to lift your heels or do a full squat. (That’s a different technique.)
You will probably find that you can only do half of the squats that you normally would. This is normal.
Do this exercise first thing in the morning and you will feel “toned” throughout the day.
Ice skating, roller skating or inline skating at a good pace can’t help but get your butt in shape. Use exaggerated skating movements to develop the lateral leg and buttock muscles.