Tamara Grand, a personal trainer, group exercise instructor, and author of the popular health and fitness blog fitknitchick.com, knows a bit about helping women build muscle and lose fat.
Her brand new book, Ultimate Booty Workouts, not only describes a 12-week workout program for strengthening legs, butt and core, but also highlights the health benefits of strength training, dispels myths about women and weight lifting, and provides innovative suggestions for starting and sticking with a new exercise program.
Here’s an excerpt from her book:
Next to abs, butts are women’s favorite thing to complain about. Too big, too flabby, too flat, too little definition, too dimpled, not enough lift. Everybody wants Beyonce’s booty, but few know what to do to get it. The good news? Glue training is not rocket science. Combine targeted strength-training exercises with fat-melting cardio techniques and proper nutrition and you’ll be on your way to the booty of your dreams in a mere 10 to 12 weeks.
A well-trained rear end isn’t just nice to look at. Strong glutes and hamstrings can help improve your posture, reduce lower back, hip, and knee pain, and even reduce that stubborn abdominal “pooch”.
Sign us up! But wait—how do we get this better booty?
Says Grand: Because of the large number of muscles involved, there’s no one exercise that will simultaneously build, lift and shape your butt. Combining movements to challenge the muscles in multiple planes of motion is your secret to success. Perform three sets of each of the the following exercise, three times weekly, for a stronger and shapelier rear view come spring break. Make sure you’re using heavy enough weights to fatigue your muscles by the end of the set!
Dumbbell front squat
Why it works: Squats are the cornerstone of any booty-building program. They target the gluteus maximus, the muscle responsible for lifting and building your derriere.
How to do it: Start by standing with your feet a little wider than hip distance apart and holding a pair of dumbbells just in front of your shoulders. Sit back into the squat by hinging at the hip and bending at the knees and ankles. Aim your bum back and your eye focus forward. Squeeze your glute cheeks and push through your heels to return to standing.
How many reps: 12-15
Why it works: Lateral lunges target the medial glutes; the muscles along the outside of the hip that provide pelvic stability and lend shape to the thighs.
How to do it: Start by standing with your feet hip-distance apart. Step the right leg out wide to the side. Keep your toes pointing forward while you bend at the hip, push your bum down and back and lower your chest towards your thigh. Aim for a 90 degree bend in the right knee and a straight left leg. Use your inner and outer thighs to pull yourself back to the starting position. Advance the exercise by holding a dumbbell in each hand.
How many reps: 8-10 per side
Why it works: If you spend the majority of your day sitting, chances are you’ve forgotten how to ‘fire’ or activate your glutes. Not only will glute bridges help to build and define your butt, they’ll also strengthen your abs and lower back.
How to do it: Lay down on the floor, face up. Bend your knees and extend your arms out to eh sides at shoulder height. Contract the muscles of your belly and bum, then push your hips up towards the ceiling. At the top of the movement, only your feet, shoulders and arms should remain in contact with the floor. Hold for 10 s, then slowly lower hips toward the floor. Make this exercise more challenging by elevating your feet on a low stool or step and holding a dumbbell or weight plate across your hips.
Love this advice? Follow Grand on Twitter where she tweets about fitness, food, family and fiber (knitting fiber, that is!).