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How to Build Your Perfect Butt

Fitday Editor

Downsizing your backside is a difficult task. Cutting calories in an attempt to improve your butt usually doesn't cut it and it's where a lot of gym-goers fall flat. What is the solution? Gaining muscle! Five pounds of muscle is noticeably smaller and more aesthetically appealing than five pounds of fat. So in order to achieve the coveted toned and lifted look we see in magazines, you'll need to hit the weights.

The best exercises for this are the classic lunge, squat, and deadlift. Unfortunately, using a barbell for these exercises can be intimidating, however by using the below dumbbell modifications these movements become approachable.

The following workout specifically targets the gluteus muscles while incorporating brief cardio intervals to keep your heart rate up and help burn fat. Follow this routine 2-3 times a week for optimal results.

The Workout

• 10 Minute Warm-Up - treadmill at a moderate walking pace and high incline
• 30 Weighted Walking Lunges - 15 per leg
• 20 Jumping Jacks
• 12 Dumbbell Deadlifts - 3 sets
• 20 Jumping Jacks
• 12 Dumbbell Squats - 3 sets
• 20 Jumping Jacks
• 5 Minute Cool-Down - walk on low incline at a moderate pace

How-To: Weighted Walking Lunges

Let your arms hang at your sides with a dumbbell in each hand. Walk forward, lunging with alternate legs each step. With every lunge your knee should lightly graze the floor.
Ensure your front knee never extends past your toes.


How-To: Dumbbell Deadlifts

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and place two dumbbells on the floor in front of you. They should be angled slightly inward. With your chest up, back arched and arms straight, grasp each barbell and stand up. Thrust your hips forward and pull your shoulders back. Keep the dumbbells close to your body and allow them to graze the front side of your legs. If your back is hunching over, the weight is too heavy.


How-To: Dumbbell Squats

Hold a dumbbell on either shoulder, keeping your elbows out front and up. Keeping your feet facing forward or slightly outward and shoulder-width apart stick your butt out and squeeze your glutes as you squat. Keep going until your butt breaks parallel, then stand back up driving through your heels. Keep your elbows, chest, and eyes up.

If you can't squat past parallel, pick up lighter weights.

A Few Tips

• Use weights that scare you a little. Heavier weight will speed up results. Just make sure your form doesn't suffer. If you are flying through each set, go heavier.

• Running hills, sprint work, hiking, swimming or yoga are all activities you could be doing on alternate days that will help with toning your butt.

• Poor diet will hinder progress, make you sluggish, and prevent recovery. In order to gain muscle you need to be eating enough protein.

• Aim for 0.6 to 0.8 grams of lean protein per pound of body weight on training days. For a 130 pound woman that's 78-104 grams.

• Drink lots and lots of water! It suppresses your appetite and gives you a healthy glow. Dehydration will kill your workout and your energy levels.

Rachel Betsch has emerged herself in functional fitness and effective training methods as a lifeguard, a sergeant in the US Army, and a hiking and biking guide at Canyon Ranch. Currently, as an outdoor sports enthusiast and while in training to become a wildland firefighter, fitness remains ever relevant. Rachel is in constant search of new and exciting fitness trends and loves assisting others in pursuit of their own health and fitness goals. She can be reached at [email protected].

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