If you’ve been listening to pop music lately, you might’ve noticed a rise in songs that are all about the booty. Sure, pop culture has been glorifying the backside for ages; after all, Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” wouldn’t have been possible without Sir Mix-A-Lot’s 1992 classic “Baby Got Back.” But recently, songs by J-Lo, Iggy Azalea, Jason Derulo, Meghan Trainor and many more prove the butt is making a big comeback.
While most of the music is about having a big booty, size preference is up to you and ultimately takes a backseat to shape. Most women want to avoid a flat bum, and instead prefer something with a little more roundness. Whether you want a full-on bubble butt or just a booty that looks great in jeans, here are 10 tips to get a more toned tush.
- Muscle up: Your butt is shaped primarily by your gluteus maximus muscles, so the stronger those are, the curvier your caboose will be. Instead of being a cardio queen, add in strength training to your routine–be it barbell, dumbbell, kettlebell, or bodyweight exercises–to really get your butt in its best shape.
- Squat: Not sure where to start with training your bottom? There are lots of exercise to do, but one of the most important is the squat. If you only have time to do one exercise, this is it. Start with your legs about hip-width or a little wider if you’re less flexible. Sit back and down as if sitting into a chair, but keep your chest up and a slight curve in your lower back. Drop your rear as low as you can go, preferably to below parallel with the ground. Then squeeze your butt and send your hips up and through to return to the starting position. Add weights to up the ante.
- Do yoga: While many people tend to link yoga with stretching and meditation, with proper poses, it’s possible to build quite a bit of strength on your mat. Standing balancing postures, such as Warrior III, Chair Pose, and Tree Pose are great ones to try. Use them as part of your warm up, or focus your yoga practice on bettering your booty.
- Stand up: We’ve become a generation that sits too much. According to a University of Vanderbilt study, Americans spend 55 percent of the waking day–or 7.7 hours–sedentary. With all the driving, working, eating, and relaxation time, it’s been said that even 30 minutes of exercise may not counteract the negative effects of sitting so often. Your backside will only see benefits if you’re sure to get up and move around. Change your workstation to a standing or treadmill desk. Go for walks on your coffee breaks. And move when you get home instead of collapsing on the couch.
- Add lunges: Lunges are another amazing exercise for your rear, as they target all of the muscles that make up your booty. Standard lunges, stepping one leg out in front into a right angle before returning to standing, is one way. But for more variations, try walking lunges, reverse lunges, side lunges, and lunge hops.
- Step it up: If you want to burn fat while at the same time shaping your seat, step training is perfect. You can use a stationery box or stairs in your house, office building, or at a nearby high school football field. Run, walk, and hop the stairs for a variety of ways to tone your rear and raise your heart rate.
- Band together: Adding resistance in your exercises is the key to building strength, and workout bands are an inexpensive place to start. Small movements can equal big gains in muscle development. For example, place a band around your knees or ankles, and do walking side steps in each direction or side leg lifts. In very little time, you’ll feel the burn in your backside.
- Actively stretch: While stretching is usually just used to make muscles more limber, you can get a two-for-one in the toning department by doing exercises that build muscle and increase flexibility. One to try: Hold a kettlebell or dumbbell in your hands at chest level. Sink into an ultra-low squat, where the back sides of your upper and lower legs touch. Tuck your butt under and keep your chest up high. Use your elbows to press away your knees while allowing the weight to pull you lower. Hold this stretch for 30-60 seconds.
- Build your bridge: Bridge pose–where your lie on your back with feet on the floor and knees bent, raising your hips toward the ceiling–is an awesome way to get your backside, as well as your core, in tighter shape. To make it more intense, squeeze a yoga block between your knees, or raise one leg into the air and hold it for three breaths before switching sides.
- Do deadlifts: Ranking high with squats and lunges, deadlifts will do wonders for your derriere. Stand with your feet hip-width distance apart and your knees slightly bent. With weights in each hand, bend from the waist with your chest up and a slight curve in your lower lumbar. Come to about parallel with the floor or slightly lower before squeezing your glutes and returning to a starting position.
What is your favorite booty exercise? Share with us in the comments.