What is this big booty-bonanza craze all about?
From J-Lo to the Kardashians, society has gone from flat to ‘phat’ over the past couple of years and this has sent women running to the gym, their plastic surgeon or junk food to grow their behind. The first thing to take into consideration is that we are all biologically unique. That means that you may not have a booty as bodacious as Beyoncé’s, or glutes as juicy as J-Lo’s, you may have more ‘junk in the trunk’ than others, or less – we don’t judge…we’re all different! And while plastic surgery for buttock implants has become a recently popular procedure, we recommend that you take the healthier and lighter-on-your-purse approach, and hit the gym, or in this case, stay home and workout.
In the following article, we will take you through some home exercises that are bound to bring some bounce to your behind. Whether you are curvy and looking to tone up a bit or slender and wanting your glutes to pack a punch in your favourite pair of jeans, this workout is for you.
If you have any injuries or ailments, then it’s probably best that you speak to a physio or biokineticist before trying any of these. It is also important that you stick to a nutritious and healthy diet set out for you by a dietician in order to achieve the best results, as you know, abs are made in the kitchen and the same goes for glutes.
So, if you are in good health, ready to grow your glutes and are sticking to a healthy lifestyle, then by all means, read on and please, try these at home.
What are your glutes?
What a lot of people may not know, is that your glutes and thighs are your body’s largest group of muscles. By working them out, you are able to give your metabolism the jump start it needs as it speeds up and in turn burns more body fat off your entire body, even when at rest. Remember, muscle burns more calories than fat.
You will first need to build lean muscle in the glutes area, this comes from doing a range of exercises and not sticking to just one. You need to target the different muscle groups to help in sculpting and toning your glutes and thighs. There are three groups of muscles in your booty, these are the Gluteus Maximus (being the biggest one), Gluteus Medius (just above the big one) and Gluteus Minimus (below the Gluteus Medius). All three of these need to be trained to reach your goals of growing your glutes, and let’s not forget, a nutritious eating plan as well as including strength training into your workouts.
Lifting weights doesn’t make you ‘big’
So many women are afraid to lift weights in fear of looking like a body builder, but if that were realistically possible, then everyone who ever lifted a weight would be real-life ‘Hulk’ lookalikes. You are not going to get ‘big’ by lifting weights or through resistance training. You are going to build muscle tone and strength.
It is so important to add resistance to your training and exercises. Not every exercise needs to have weights, but you will need to incorporate them in order to improve definition and build your strength.
Form plays a vital role when lifting weights as it prevents injury, it also ensures that you engage the right muscles. If you feel as though something is hurting, then you are probably doing it wrong and should stop immediately. This is not to confuse the sensation of muscles burning from a good workout with actual joint or muscle pain though – there is a difference.
Always engage your core to help increase your power and also tone your abdominals, as well as getting great abs in the process, your back will also be protected from injury by doing this.
Stretch and stretch some more
It is important to stretch before a workout in order to warm up your muscles and prevent injury. By activating the muscles you are going to use in your workout, this allows you to connect your mind to the muscle groups and prepare the muscles for the exercises. Also, remember to stretch at the end of a workout to cool down and ease out of an intense exercise regime.
It is sometimes best to do at least a five-minute walk before a workout as a warm up and then end with a 10-minute stretching session.
Rest your glutes
If you have had a great workout, it is vital that you give the muscle group you exercised, a well-deserved break. You should leave at least 48 hours between exercises of the same muscle groups. Try to work your glutes out at least once a week, whilst also exercising other muscle groups on the other days.
The following workout consists of five exercises, each one should have 12 reps to it (repeat the move 12 times). To simplify this, you will do one move 12 times (or 12 per leg), then move onto the next one, once you have completed all five exercises, that is one set. You need to do four sets.
How it works: There are five different exercises. 12 reps each. Four sets.
And the best part? You can do all of this at home! For the weighted exercises, if you are a beginner, then you are welcome to put the weights aside for now. But, remember to push yourself, if it feels too easy, bring the weights back in.
The exercise guide to gaining glutes
Now that we have covered the basics and assuming you have had a nice walk to warm up, and by now you should be feeling warm, excited and ready to tone up, here are your exercises:
Weighted reverse lunge
The basics: The lunge is great for an upper leg workout. It is one of the best and easiest exercises for your lower body, and with the weighted reverse lunge, we have added a bit of a twist to the normal lunge, bringing in some weights and making you step backwards.
It may take a little while for you to get your balance on this one, but once you get the hang of it, you will find it to be a fun and effective move!
The move targets your glutes as well as your quads.
How to do it: You can do this with either two dumbbells – one in each hand at your sides (palms facing in), or holding a medicine ball in front of your chest with your arms extended – this also gives your abs a great workout.
Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart – your starting position. Then, take a step directly backwards with your right foot, lowering your body down with it and keeping your core engaged and torso upright throughout. Ensure your left knee does not go past your toes as this puts too much pressure on your knee joint. You should try to step at least 60 cm / 2 feet back with your right foot, getting your knee as close as you can to the ground.
Using the ball of your right foot, push it back to the starting position. Pressing with your left heel and squeezing your glutes. That is one rep. You will need to do 12 reps per leg to have done one set.
Kick back squats
The basics: The squat is the holy grail of glute exercises. These are the go-to bum exercises and target your lower body better than a lot of movements. The kick back squat is a great variation to the traditional move and targets your hamstrings and glutes.
How to do it: You will not need any weight or equipment for this exercise. You can, however, challenge yourself by holding a weight in each hand or a medicine ball in front of you.
Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your hands comfortably on your hips (if not using a weight). Lower your bum to the floor as you keep your core engaged and torso/back straight. When you are a little lower than a 90-degree angle to the floor, push through your heels and glutes to return to the standing position.
When you have returned to a standing position, kick your right leg backwards, or rather lift it backwards, keeping it as straight as possible. Then return this leg to the starting position.
The is one rep. You need to do 12 per leg and you can alternate between legs (24 in total).
Bridge with leg extension
The basics: This is another awesome workout for your glutes and core, it is a great compound exercise. The name explains the movement quite accurately. You will basically be forming a bridge with your body on the floor. This move targets your Gluteus Maximus – your biggest glute muscle.
How to do it: You will not need any weights or equipment for this move, however, a carpet or a yoga or exercise mat may be needed for a little cushioning. If you want to shake it up a bit, you are welcome to have a large medicine ball on which you rest your upper back on to do the workout – this allows your abs to work harder as they are trying to balance you at the same time.
Begin by lying face-up on the mat with your knees bent, your feet flat and with your hands at your side. You will now move into a pelvic tilt – this means you will lift your hips off your mat, creating a straight line with your body. Your shoulders, knees and hips should all be aligned. Hold this position and breathe.
Then, straighten out your right leg in front of you, keeping your body aligned (your knees and thighs should be at the same height). Hold this for a few seconds, clenching your glutes. Feel the burn. Return your right leg back to the original pelvic tilt and then repeat with other leg.
You may only be able to do this for five reps per leg if you are a beginner. If that is the case, then there is nothing to worry about. As long as you increase your reps each week as you get stronger.
The basics: The step-up, one of the best exercises you can do to engage your glutes through a unilateral movement (one leg at a time – as with the other exercises), combines balance and core engagement whilst toning your rear end. Stepping is something many of us do in our daily lives, being a functional movement it makes it easy to grasp. Your glutes and hamstrings are the main muscle groups targeted with this movement.
How to do it: Get a bench, a stable and sturdy chair or table as well as dumbbells to be held in each hand for this exercise. Stand upright, with your feet just in front of the bench, the higher the step, the harder the workout, place one foot on top of the bench.
Keeping your arms straight (do not swing them during the movement for momentum), step up onto the bench with the foot that was on the floor. Then step down and repeat. You can do the same leg consecutively or alternate between legs. You will need to do 12 steps per leg to complete the set.
Quadruped hip extensions / Donkey kicks
The basics: Donkey kicks have actually been found to be one of the best movements for activating the Gluteus Maximus and Gluteus Medius when viewed in comparison to lunges and squats. These also help to tone the hamstring significantly.
How to do it: You will only need a mat for this exercise as you will have your knees and hands on the ground.
Begin in a quadruped position – on your knees and hands, your knees should be directly below your hips, with your hands below your shoulders, having your fingers pointing in front of you. Engage your core and slowly lift your right leg, as you keep your knee bent. The bottom of your right foot that is lifted and the ceiling should be parallel to each other. Hold for a second and then lower it back to the ground. Repeat with your other leg, or complete 12 reps consecutively with one leg at a time.
Keep your back straight and do not let is sag or arch during the movement. Keeping your hips and shoulders square and do not rotate them.
There is no such thing as instant satisfaction with working out. But if you continue to exercise at least three times a week (30 minutes a day), and stick to a nutritious and healthy eating program, you may even begin to see results within a couple of weeks.
With each one of us having a different genetic makeup, you are never going to have the same rear end as someone else. The trick is to focus on being the best you, you can possibly be. Feed your body with good things, treat it well and it will reward you with more than you can imagine.
So, are you ready to grow your glutes?