For some crazy reason, a toned posterior is pleasing to the eye. Scientists can’t explain it, but now athletic shoe manufactures are catering to the “tone your butt” phenomenon. Yet the best way to a sculpted pair of buttocks is through good, old fashioned exercise.
Squats are by far the best out of all the glute exercises you can do. Unfortunately many exercises like the squat are often taught incorrectly, and it’s stigmatized as difficult and dangerous for the knees and back, inappropriate for women, too hard to learn, etc.
This is totally and completely false. There is no better exercise, butt exercises or otherwise, for women.
To start, rest the barbell on the upper portion of your back, but not on your neck. Don’t make the same mistake as many people do by placing the bar too high or resting it on the base of your neck. To find the top limit of where the bar should sit, bend your head forward and feel the back of the neck. You will feel a bony bump at the base of your neck. Never let the bar rest on that or above it.
Firmly grip the bar with your hands almost twice your shoulder width apart. Position your feet on a heel raise so that the heels of your feet are resting on the floor and your heels are elevated. Your feet should be about shoulder width apart with your knees bent slightly outward and your knees over your toes.
Keeping your back as straight as possible and your chin up, bend your knees and slowly lower your hips straight down until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Once you reach the bottom position, press the weight up with your heels. Push through the heels to ascend from the squat. Think about driving your heels right into the floor. Do not allow your weight to tip forward on to the toes. Be careful and don’t lean forward or curve your back. This will stress your back and decrease the effectiveness of the exercise. Do not twist. If your knees cave in while lifting your body up, think about pushing them outwards as you come up. Your chest comes up first, followed by your hips.
Dumbbell Lunges are the second best exercise for working your butt, quads, inner and outer thighs and hamstrings. You can perform it in either a stationary position, or you can walk across a large area in a straight line. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and pull your shoulders back. Lift your chest up and look straight ahead. Position your right leg forward in a long stride. Your foot should be far enough in front of you so that when you bend your right knee, your thigh and lower leg form a right angle. Slowly bend your knee lowering your hips so your knee just clears the floor. Pause briefly in this position, then slowly straighten your legs and raise your body back up to the standing position.
Complete a full set, then switch legs and repeat. Or you can switch legs and move forward across the floor with each repetition. When performing butt exercises like this one you should try and pay close attention to the angle formed by your thigh and lower leg. Your knee should be directly over your ankle. Don’t let your knee stray over your toes. Your knee and toes should be pointed in the same direction.
Check out the December 19 edition for another great buttercise.