Trends come and go – but there’s no doubt about it that this decade’s contribution to the constantly shifting ideal of the woman’s body is the “booty.” Celebrities like Kim Kardashian, J. Lo and Nicki Minaj are flaunting their larger-than-life derriere with pride, convincing us that a voluptuous backside is one to be highly desired. Although there aren’t any magical exercises that will change what your mama gave you, here are some that may help to lift and round out the area.
Start standing with your feet together, hands clasped. Jump your feet outwards as you would for a jumping jack while keeping your hands in place. Simultaneously, bend your knees and sink your weight back into your heels as if you were about to sit on a chair. Make sure your knees don’t bend past your ankles. Jump back into the starting position to complete one rep. Aim for 20 reps if your body feels up to it.
These exercises are a great way to firm up and tone the butt while also building your core strength. Grab an exercise mat or blanket and come onto your hands and knees, forming a tabletop position with your body with your arms at a shoulder-width distance apart. Keeping a 90-degree bend in your knee, lift your right leg upwards until your hamstrings are in line with your back. Your thigh should now be parallel to the floor and the calf perpendicular. Lower your knee back down to the mat while keeping your butt muscles engaged. Aim for 20 reps for each leg if your body feels up to it.
Not only does this exercise perk your bottom, it also reduces lower back pain (particularly great if you work long hours sitting at a desk), calms the brain and improves digestion to name a few. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Keep your arms at your sides, palms facing down. Lift your hips up toward the ceiling until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line. Hold the position for a few seconds before slowly easing your way back down. Aim for 20 reps if your body feels up to it. Don’t be afraid to try modifications if you’re up for the challenge such as the single leg-glute bridge, which follows the same process while keeping one leg lifted and outstretched (10 reps per leg).
These should be exercised with much caution as they are the most challenging (but rewarding) of the list. Start with a barbell on the ground with bumper plates on either side. Make sure the bar is a bit lower than mid-shin level. Stand in the center behind the bar, keeping feet shoulder-width distance apart. Bend your knees and stick your butt back, grabbing the bar with both hands right outside your legs. Pull the bar up while keeping your back flat, chest out and shoulders back, while pushing your hips forward. Then, push your butt back and bend your knees to slowly lower the bar down to the floor. Keep it to less than five reps if you’re a beginner. As far as weight goes, here is an idea of how much you may consider lifting. Keep in mind that these numbers can vary from person to person depending on fitness level and health. This table should simply be used as a guide, not a template.
Use a small step stool or bench for this exercise (you can also stand in front of the stairs). Pushing primarily through your lead foot, lift your body up onto the step and follow with your alternate foot. Then, step back to the starting position. Keep your back straight and your abdominal muscles engaged. Plant your foot entirely onto the step each time you step up, alternating your lead foot. Do as many reps as you can and be sure to rest in between sets.
Remember to keep in mind that media perceptions are subjective and ever-changing. Confidence, however, won’t ever go out of style. Appreciate and embrace the features that make you uniquely you.