Booty Boot Camp
• If you feel your "rear
view" needs a
makeover, the right
fitness routine can
provide a natural lift.
Can you achieve the
beach butt seen on
TV? That depends
partly on your body
type and genetics, but
most everyone can
shape up to look better
in jeans. Ready to take
a crack at it? The
show you the moves
Behind It All: The Gluteal
• The shape of the buttocks is
defined by muscles known as
the gluteus maximus, gluteus
medius, and gluteus minimus
(hidden under other muscles),
as well as the overlying fat.
Walking, running, and climbing
all work the glutes. Strength
training that targets these
muscles can help develop a
tighter, more rounded look.
Adding a few butt-busting
moves to your routine may be
enough to see a difference
• Squat and Tone
• The squat tops every list of butt-busting exercises. It directly engages
the glutes, and you can build bigger musculature by adding weights. The
key is to maintain proper alignment.
• Form: Keep feet parallel, shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower hips as if
sitting in an invisible chair; then return to standing. Make sure your
knees do not push out in front of your toes. Keep your torso tight and
• Variation: Ball Squat
• If you're just starting out, a stability ball can help with balance while you
master the form. For each exercise on our list, aim for three sets of 15
repetitions. That's a good start for beginners, says master trainer Dori Ricci,
NASM, CPT. Try to do each exercise three times a week.
• Form: Keep the ball between your low back and a wall. Slowly perform the
classic squat. Walk your feet out in front so the knees stay behind your toes
• Forward Lunge
• This butt builder also tones the thighs and calves, and it's a pretty
good calorie burner, too.
• Form: Feet parallel, hip-distance apart, take one giant step forward.
Lower your body slowly, bending both knees, and return to standing.
Repeat on the other side. Bend your knees no farther than 90
degrees, front knee stacked directly over your front ankle. Do not
rest your back knee on the ground.
• Variation: Backward Lunge
• When you step backward into a lunge, it works the glutes a little
more intensely and adds variety to your workout. Lunges also help
promote hip flexibility and proper alignment, which can suffer when
people spend long hours sitting at a desk.
• Form: Use the same posture as in a forward lunge, but step
backward to position the lower leg. Remember not to let the front
knee push out in front of your toes.
• Variation: Side Lunge
• The side lunge directly targets the muscle on the outside of the hips, the
glutes, and tones the inner thighs, too.
• Form: From a wide stance, bend one knee. Keep the shinbone under that
knee vertical to the floor. If the knee falls inside the foot, use a shorter
stance. Lean forward slightly, but keep your shoulders behind your knees to
avoid injury. Choose a hand position that helps with balance.
• On the Ball: Leg Lift
• Leg lifts done while balancing on an exercise ball will strengthen your
shoulders and abs, in addition to your glutes. As you get more fit, try lifting
both legs simultaneously for a more challenging, butt-sculpting move.
• Form: Keep your abs tight and back flat. Squeeze the gluteal muscles tight
as you lift one leg. Just a few inches is fine, especially for beginners. Be
careful not to engage the muscles of the low back.
• On the Ball: Hip Lift
• This small movement isolates and works the gluteus maximus, the
largest muscle in the body. Be careful not to use the back muscles;
the glutes should do the work.
• Form: Bend the knees 90 degrees, feet together. Squeeze the
glutes and slowly move the thighs up off the ball. A small, controlled,
2-inch movement is the goal.
• Floor Work: Bridge
• This classic is a surprisingly good workout for the glutes, as well as the
hamstrings and hips.
• Form: Begin on your back with your knees bent, feet hip-width apart. Slowly
peel your spine off the floor from the tailbone, one vertebra at a time,
tightening the glutes and hamstrings. Pause when you create a diagonal line
from shoulders to knees. Lower slowly, one vertebra at a time.
• Floor Work: Side Leg Raises
• This move targets the two smaller muscle groups in the buttocks,
the gluteus medius and minimus. Raising the leg just a few inches
will work these muscles.
• Form: Lift the top leg while lying on your side. Keep the hips
stacked and the torso still; both knees facing forward. For a variation
that works slightly different muscles, you can turn the top leg out
from the hip.
• Floor Work: Dirty Dog
• This butt-building move gained fame in the exercise videos of the
1970s as the "fire hydrant." It targets two of the muscles groups in
• Form: Keep your knees hip-width apart and your hands directly
under your shoulders, elbows straight. Gently stiffen the abs and
keep your back in a neutral position with no sagging or arching.
Slowly draw one knee up. Rotate the hip to bring the leg toward the
torso, then away.
• Floor Work: Running Plank
• In addition to challenging the gluteal muscles, running plank works
the shoulders, hips, and core muscles. Do it quickly to burn calories
while building muscle.
• Form: Engage the abdominal muscles to protect the lower back.
Spread your fingers wide to protect the wrists.
• Walk the Hills
• Walking is a natural, anywhere, no-fuss butt workout.
Tackle the hills for maximum gluteal impact ? and to
burn a few more calories when you're trying to lose
excess body fat. On a treadmill, use a 5% to 7% incline
to increase the workout.
• Tone Your Tush With Cardio
• In the gym, stair steppers, arc trainers, and elliptical
machines are good choices to challenge the glutes while
giving your heart and lungs a healthy workout. Inline
skating and cycling are other heart-pumping options that
tone the tush
• Firm Up Without Bulking Up
• Some people's muscles rise to a challenge by bulking
up. If that's your genetic destiny ? and you don't like a
pumped up look ? focus on aerobic activity over weight
training. Don't crank the resistance up too high on an
exercise machine. And skip the weights when you do
• Slim Your Assets
• Targeted exercises alone are not likely to produce a
smaller behind, just a firmer one. For a more dramatic
change: watch your diet, burn more calories, and lose
weight. That strategy can reduce the fat pad lying over
the gluteal muscles, resulting in a tush that's trimmer and
• Go for Gluteus Maximus
• If bigger is better, you'll want to really challenge the
gluteal muscles. Dial up the resistance on a stationary
bike or other cardio machine. During strength training, go
for more weight, more repetitions, and shorter rest
periods between exercises. A high-quality diet is also
important in building muscle mass.
• Can You Shift Your Shape?
• There's much talk in beauty magazines about a rounded, "Brazilian-
style" butt. Targeted exercises can move a flat behind a little closer
to this beauty ideal. But a workout will most likely enhance the
shape you have: heart-shaped, pear, bubble, or another. For a
dramatic reshaping, after a huge weight loss, for instance, cosmetic
surgeons offer implants, lifts, and reshaping.
• Shapewear for Your Tush
• A multitude of undergarments are available now
to "separate and lift" your bottom, rein it in with
elastic panels, or enhance your rear view with
padding. Padded inserts and lifting Spandex
panels are available in jeans, too.
• Dress Your Assets Down
• Complement your workout with the right clothing style.
Boot-cut and flared jeans balance out the hips and rear
for a slimming effect. Long pant legs create the illusion of
longer legs and a smaller booty. And back pockets can
create amazing illusions. Just beware of super-long back
pockets that can make your behind look flat or saggy,
instead of showing off the great contours you earned at
• Dress Your Assets Up
• Skip the peg leg and ankle jeans, popularized in the '80s,
which accentuate the hips and make your body look like
an ice cream cone with a big, round scoop on top. A
better choice to really show off your curves are super-
tight pant legs or leggings, along with a tight form-fitting
rear panel for that head-turning, Brazilian "butt-lift" style