All A-Butt Tightening Your Booty!
We know that most of the articles on our site have been about the waist. After all, it's in our name!
BUT(T), a skinny waist alone isn't enough to guarantee you that hourglass figure of your dreams. All the waist training in the world might not be enough if you don't also focus on some of the other parts of your body. Like what? you ask. Well, there are so many things that make up the perfect hourglass figure.
Shapely, sexy shoulders. An out-thrust chest. A sassy, confident attitude. A flattering outfit. Killer hips. But today, we're going to be focusing on something special, something that we didn't mention on that list up there. What could that be? Well, a tight, rockin' BOOTY of course!!! That's right! We're proud to announce that we're kicking off a series of articles dedicated to all things BUTTS!
We'll talk everything from butt lifters to how to love the booty you've got while still working for the one you dream about. Today, we're starting that series off with exercises to tighten that butt and KEEP it tight!
Like all of our fitness focused articles, this will consist of step by step instructions for how to perform a number of exercises hand-selected from the personal workout routines of our fabulous Get Waisted staff. We will focus on exercises which require little or no specialized equipment, so you can easily perform them both at the gym and in the comfort of your own home! So let's begin our bootylicious exercise series with:
The squat is a simple, versatile exercise which can be performed absolutely anywhere and does not require any special equipment. A standard squat focuses on tightening the gluteal (butt) muscles and toning the upper thighs, but a number of variations exist which add elements to strengthen other parts of the body as well.
To perform a basic squat, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Stand straight and tall. Look forward. Stretch your arms out in front of your body as far as they can go. Make sure your spine is not curving your head is not drooping and your toes are pointed straight forward. Once you are in position, slowly bend your knees and lower your bottom towards the ground. We find that it sometimes helps to pretend that you are sitting in an invisible chair. Squat as low as you can, stopping if you notice pain or discomfort. Try to keep your thighs parallel to the ground. For extra intensity, hold the bottom of each squat for 3-5 seconds. Concentrate on your bottom. Can you feel the muscles working? That means you're doing it right! If you're adding squats to your workout for the first time, start with 8-10 reps. If you have a little more experience, try 10-12. Either way, try to increase by a few reps with each workout!
Of course, what we described above is only the most basic version of the squat. Give your butt even MORE extra love during your workout by trying one of the variations listed below!
Hold 'n' Pulse
Start in the squat position described above. Push your bottom towards the ground, keeping the weight in your heels and your arms stretched out in front of you. When you get to the bottom of the squat, hold for 3-5 seconds.
BUT(T), this time, don't stand back up right away! Or rather, don't stand all the way up. Straighten your knees juuust a little bit. This should raise your butt by a few inches. Then, return to the lowest point. Next, raise again. Then, sink. Got it? Easy, right! With just this simple addition to your usual squat, you can give your butt way more of a workout than ever before! This smaller up-and-down movement is called a pulse. The goal of pulsing is to keep the gluteal muscles active and engaged throughout the exercise without giving them a chance to "slack off' and get lazy or relax. However, it's important to remember that a pulse is not a bounce. Focus on keeping your up and down movements steady, controlled and not too fast with each pulse. Don't let yourself zone out or you might start moving too quickly - this will make the exercise way less effective than it could be.
Other important points: keep your torso straight, your head upright and your gaze looking forward. Put your weight in your heels and don't let it travel or shift to your toes, as that could cause you to lose your balance.
If you're not sure if you are keeping the correct posture, try doing your squats in front of a full-length mirror! Start with two sets of 10 pulses, with a 10-15 second break in between the sets. Gradually increase to two or even three sets of 20 pulses each.
Don't worry - this type of squat is way less scary than it sounds!
A deadlift involves adding a pair of lightweight dumbbells to your squat, working your butt harder by giving it more weight to push up on as you sink and raise your body.
If you're new to lifting, try starting out with a pair of 3-pound dumbbells. If you're more experienced, try out 5 pounds instead. Stand in your squat position with your feet shoulder width apart and your torso straight. This time, instead of stretching your arms out in front of them, keep them at your sides. Hold one dumbbell firmly in each hand. The dumbbells should be about even with your inner thighs. As you squat down, lower the dumbbells with you, but do NOT allow them to touch the floor. As before, hold for 3-5 seconds at the bottom of each squat. Try to keep your thighs parallel to the floor. With each repetition of the up and down movement, keep your focus on your lower body. Your butt and thighs should be doing all the heavy lifting. It may be tempting to get your arms involved and have them take on some of the effort, but this totally defeats the point of the exercise. It's all about the butt - your arms are just there to hold onto the dumbbells! Start with two sets of 10 reps each, with a 10-15 second break in between each set.
Gradually increase the number of reps per set to 15. When you feel comfortable with that, you can even try adding a third set. Your booty will be seeing the results in no time!
Another fun and simple exercise, the bridge is all about lifting your booty in the air - like you just DO care! About getting a tight, attractive butt, that is!
Like the squat, the basic version can be done at home without any special equipment required. Because you'll be laying down for the duration of this exercise, make sure you have a sturdy, comfortable surface. Lie on your back with your hands at your sides and your palms flat against the floor. With your feet shoulder-width apart, bend your knees until your feet are also flat on the floor. Your entire body, except for your knees, should be as straight as possible. This will be your "starting bridge position". Raise your bottom and hips off the floor until your body forms a straight diagonal line from knees to chest. Tighten the muscles of your abdomen / core and glutes / butt as you do so, to make sure that they are doing most of the work. Hold the top of the bridge for 3-5 seconds before slowly lowering yourself back to the starting position. Keep your knees straight and level - do not allow them to start pointing inward or outward, as this might upset your balance. If your head or neck feels uncomfortable, tucking your chin slightly in towards your chest is OK. Start with one set of 8-10 reps. Gradually add a second set and a third if you feel up to it, making sure to keep a 10-15 second break between each set of reps.
Like the squat, there are several variations on the bridge which can add that extra bit of intensity to your booty-tightening workout days. Here are some of our favorites!
Legs in the Air
For this bridge variant, you'll need to find something which will provide at least a small elevation. Some good examples would be a couch, bench, chair, or the bottom step of a set of stairs. Make sure that whatever you choose will not slide or shake while you are doing the exercise, as this could cause you to lose your balance and injure yourself.
Lie on your back with your arms against the floor and your palms down. Keep your feet shoulder width apart. However, this time, don't place them flat on the floor. Instead, brace them against the edge of the couch, stair or other elevated surface. After that, the motions of the exercise will be the same. Raise your hips and bottom into the air, trying to create a diagonal line with your body. Hold the top of the bridge for 3-5 seconds before lowering your body back to the ground. This time, the number one thing to watch out for is going to be your feet. If you are using a firmer surface such as a chair, bench or step, they are going to want to slide apart as you lift and hold your bridge. Focus on keeping them shoulder width apart at all times to get the most out of this exercise.
As with the standard bridge, start with a single set of 8-10 reps before moving on to a second and third set, making sure to take at least short breaks in between each time.
The Single Leg
We go back to the standard starting position on the floor for the single-leg bridge. As its name suggests, this variation will give both of your individual legs a greater focus and help them become just as toned and fabulous looking as your booty!
Raise your hips slowly into the air. This time, as you do, lift your left leg off of the ground and into the air. Stretch it out as far as you can, keeping your toe pointed forward as you do. Your remaining leg will be bearing your weight throughout the exercise. As before, keep your butt and abdomen tightened to make sure the muscles are engaged as much as possible. As holding the top position is a bit more difficult while using only one leg, start with just a 3-second hold before gradually increasing it to 5 over the course of several workouts. When you lower your hips to the ground, lower your raised leg at the same time until your foot is once again flat against the floor. If you find yourself craving even more intensity, try lifting your leg all the way up until it is pointing straight at the sky (perpendicular to the ground). You will feel your thighs getting engaged as well as your core and butt. However, if you are new to single-leg bridges, we recommend trying the less intense version a few times before moving on and taking up this challenge. Repeat the entire exercise, but this time, raise your right leg into the air and use your left leg to bear your weight. One bridge for your left leg and one for your right counts as one rep.
Try starting out with a set of 8 reps before increasing to your usual two sets of 10-12 reps each.
The last of the "big three" exercises for tightening and toning the butt, we here at Get Waisted love the lunge because it also improves your balance and posture!
Lunges are one of the best at-home exercises for that all-around fitness experience. Stand straight and tall with your arms at your sides. Your feet should be close together, no wider than hip-width apart. With your right foot, take one large step forward. This will be your starting position for the right side lunge. Bend both of your knees so that your right (front) thigh and left (back) calf are parallel to the ground. The angle of each of your knees should be approximately 90 degrees. Hold this position at the bottom of the lunge for 3-5 seconds before standing up and returning to the starting position. While you are in your lunge, it is important to keep your torso straight, your gaze forward and your arms relaxed at your sides. Tipping too far forward or back can cause you to loose your balance. Your back knee should never touch the floor,and your front knee should stay stacked over your ankle and not bend too far forward over your toes. The left side lunge is performed in the same manner, with your left foot coming forward and your right foot remaining in the back.
You can choose whether to alternate legs after each lunge or to perform a set of 8-10 reps with one leg before moving on to the other one. Alternating legs will provide slightly more balance practice than performing separate sets with each leg.
Lunge Hold 'n' Pulse
As with the squat, you can add intensity to your lunge by performing a hold'n'pulse pattern.
Start by lowering yourself fully into the bottom of the lunge, with your knees bent at 90 degree angles and your thigh/calf parallel to the floor. Hold this position for 3-5 seconds. Then, instead of returning to a standing position, raise your body about halfway. There should still be some bend in your knee. Return to the bottom of the lunge to complete one "pulse". We recommend performing 10-15 pulses with each leg at first and gradually increasing to 20-30 per leg. Do not move too quickly. Like we said in the squat section, you want to pulse, not bounce. With the lunge, you'll have to be extra careful to make sure that your front knee does not fall forward over your toes when you are lowering yourself back into the bottom position. Your butt will be doing a lot less work and getting a lot less fabulous tone if you let this happen. And there you have it - three simple but effective butt-blasting exercises from the fabulous staff here at Get Waisted.
Got a story to share about how you've incorporated these exercises into your workout? Or have another one you'd like to share? Feel free to contact us at any time and let us know! And, of course, if you feel your butt still needs that extra bit of tightening and popping, browse our amazing selection of butt lifters found at this page.