The three exercises in our guide target the gluteus muscles (your butt is made up of three muscle heads; the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus, which are often collectively referred to as the “glutes”), as well as the hamstrings (back of thigh), quadriceps (front of thigh), hips and groin.
The exercises we have chosen are the best three around for toning and strengthening the muscles of the butt. For best results you must also follow a training program and diet which leads to fat loss. Resistance training helps to develop the muscle for greater shape and muscle tone which will become more and more evident as body fat is lost through cardiovascular training and a suitable diet.
Watch the embedded videos for visual instructions on how to perform the three exercises by personal trainer, Michelle Trapp.
Squats are probably the best exercise around for targeting the butt and the other lower body muscles, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, hips and core.
Squats are traditionally performed with a barbell, but other options include holding a set of dumbbells by your sides (or 2 litre drink bottles if you are exercising at home!) or just squatting your own bodyweight.
You perform the squat by descending from a standing position by bending at the knees and hips, as if you were sitting down on an imaginary chair. Keep your feet flat on the floor and back straight throughout the exercise. Descend until your upper legs are parallel to the ground, and then ascend by forcefully pushing through your heels.
Try 3 sets of 12-15 reps.
Deadlifting is not an easy movement to master, so whilst it is a highly effective exercise, it is advisable you seek help from a personal trainer or experienced trainer before attempting deadlifts. The glutes, hips, hamstrings, quadriceps, groin, core, and upper back are targeted from deadlifting, so it is an extremely useful exercise.
Deadlifts can be performed with a barbell or dumbbells. Place the dumbbells or barbell in front of you, and then squat down and grasp hold of the weight. Extend at the hips and knees to lift the weight, whilst ensuring the torso remains straight throughout the exercise, and keep the weight close to the body so the back does not roll forward. Once you are standing up erect, reverse the movement back to the beginning, and repeat.
It is hard to explain how to perform the movement safely in words, so please view the instructional video so you have a visible guide, and also ask for help from a personal trainer in the gym.
Try 3 sets of 8-12 reps.
Lunges target the same muscles as squatting, as it is a variation of the squatting movement. Lunges can be performed with the resistance placed on the shoulders (using a barbell), or with the resistance below the body by grasping onto a pair of dumbbells. The dumbbell variation (or better still, just using bodyweight) is advised to begin with, as stability and balance may be difficult for a beginner when using a barbell.
To perform the dumbbell lunge, stand erect whilst grasping a pair of dumbbells down by your side. Lunge your left foot forward, landing on the heel first and then let the rest of the foot make contact with the floor. Bend at the hips and knees to lunge down, until the front thigh is parallel with the ground. Now forcefully push from the front foot so you return the starting position. Perform the same movement with the right foot.
Try 3 sets of 8-10 reps on each leg.