Everyday during Boot Camp, we do many exercises that involve the legs and backside. For people looking to firm and tone their backsides, there are some exercises that are more effective than others in targeting the muscles of the butt. Personally I believe and many others that I have worked out with will probably agree that the squat and lunge are the best exercises you can do for your butt.

A squat is considered a compound or multi-joint exercise which is the basis for just about any weight training program no matter what your goal is. Compound exercises work more than one muscle group which means you can use more weight. Using heavier weight is how you build lean body tissue. The more lean body tissue you have, the higher your metabolism and the more calories you burn on a regular basis. Plus, you’re targeting every major muscle in your upper leg, up to and including your quadriceps (front of the thigh), hamstrings (back of the thigh), and gluteal muscles (the muscles in your fanny).

Simple exercises to firm up the backside that you can do 1 to 2 days each week at home!

The Squat

Form Pointers: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower
your body as though you are ‘sitting’ in a chair until your thighs are parallel with
the ground. Keeping the weight in your heels, push yourself up
slowly until you’re back where you started. Key points: don’t allow
your knees to extend over your toes and keep your torso tight and erect.

Do this exercise 1 or 2 times per week, 2-3 sets of 12 to 16 reps with medium
to heavy weight.

The Lunge

Next to squats, lunges are the next best thing for your butt and thighs. This is also a compound movement so, like squats, when you do them you get more bang for your buck. There are many ways to do lunges. There are static lunges (shown in the example below) . An advanced version of the lunge would be to start with your feet together and then step forward into a lunge, then back to starting position (front lunges). Dips or reverse lunges also start with feet together and then you step back with one leg into a lunge position and then back to starting position.

Form Pointers: Stand with feet together holding a medium to heavy weight.
Slowly lower your body into a lunge position, keeping the front knee and back knee at
90 degree angles. Keeping the weight in your heels, push back up
(slowly!) to starting position. Remember to never lock your
knees at the top and never let your knee bend past your toes. Keep
torso tight and upright (i.e., don’t hunch!)

Do this exercise 1 or 2 times per week, 2-3 sets of 12 to 16 reps with light
to medium weight.

When done properly and consistently soreness will likely follow which usually means it is working!

Increase weight and/or reps as necessary.

Stay Healthy!