5 Exercises For Your Best Butt

woman grabbing her butt(BlackDoctor.org) – While many of us may never achieve the same results (some of that shape is genetic), having stronger glutes can give our backsides a lift as well as help make us more efficient walkers and runners.

The Gluteus Maximus is the largest of the three major muscles that make up the glutes. Strong glutes help us tackle the hills when walking or running, not to mention allowing us to climb the stairs with greater ease.

To make these exercises more effective, be sure to squeeze your glutes when performing these movements. And remember, diet and cardio-respiratory activities are just as important to help us all achieve a better back side.

One-and-a-Half Squat

Targets: Butt, quads, and hamstrings

•    Stand on step with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms by sides, palms facing in.
•    Squat until thighs are near parallel to floor, keeping knees behind toes and back straight.
•    Rise halfway; hold for 2 seconds. Lower into full squat.
•    Return to start. Do 15 reps.

Knee Pump

Targets: Hips, butt, and hamstrings

•    Stand on step with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand, elbows bent, palms facing in.
•    Lean upper body forward slightly and lunge straight back to floor with right leg (don’t bend knee).
•    Keep bent left knee behind toes.
•    Lift right leg, bringing right knee and left hand up toward chest. Lunge right leg back; lower left arm.
•    Do 15 reps. Switch legs; repeat.

Standing Seesaw

Targets: Shoulders, abs, hips, and outer thighs

•    Stand on step with right foot, left foot hanging off side, holding a dumbbell in right hand by side, left hand on hip.
•    Keeping abs engaged and back straight, slowly lift left leg straight out to side as high as you can while raising right arm straight out at shoulder level, palm down.
•    Return to start. Do 15 reps; switch sides and repeat.

Single-Leg Raise

Targets: Calves

•    Stand on step with right foot in center, left forefoot on edge (heel hanging off, but not below step level), holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms by sides, palms facing in.
•    Balancing on ball of left foot, lift right foot a few inches in front of you. Raise left heel as high as you can, then lower, keeping right leg straight and lifted throughout.
•    Do 15 reps; switch legs and repeat.

Pendulum Lift

What you’ll need: A step and a pair of 5-pound dumbbells.

•    Stand with right foot on step and left foot hanging off back, holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms by sides, palms facing back.
•    Keeping right leg slightly bent, hinge forward from hips while lifting left leg behind you until body is almost parallel to floor and hands hang below shoulders.
•    Return to start. Do 15 reps.
•    Switch legs; repeat.
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