When it comes to fitness goals, getting a firm, tight and round butt is the one we hear most often from women. It seems like no matter how many minutes we log on the elliptical machine or how many squats we do, that truly juicy booty always manages to elude us.
Not surprisingly, some of us get a tad obsessive in our quest for a natural-looking, yet substantive, backside. So, without further ado, here are five seriously sick moves to target your glutes and outer thighs. These exercises will also give your core and legs a little workout as well for good measure. If these exercises don’t get your butt into high gear in no time, we don’t know what will.
1. Pistol Squats
Begin with your feet hip-width apart. Lift your left leg up onto a kettlebell (chair or stool will work), keeping your legs straight, but be careful not to lock your knees.
Holding your arms straight out in front of you, lower your hips straight down as if you were doing a squat.
Lower your body as much as you can. The goal is to be able to get your lifted leg parallel to the floor.
Hold for three seconds at the bottom, then push off your right heel, and come back up.
We recommend three sets of 10 to 12 squats per leg.
Extra challenge: Try doing these while holding a five-pound weight straight out in front of you.
2. Plank with Leg Raises
Begin on all fours in a plank position, with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Keep your abs tight and your spine completely straight while doing this move.
Without shifting too much of your weight, rotate your left knee up toward the ceiling.
Lift your leg as high as you can, squeezing your outer thighs, while making sure not to bring your knee closer to your elbow.
Hold at the top for three seconds, then lower back down deliberately, keeping your abs tight the whole time. We recommend doing three sets of 10 to 12 lifts per leg.
3. Glute Lifts
Begin with your back flat on the mat, with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, about six inches from your butt.
Keeping your neck straight and your feet flat, raise your butt off the floor, squeezing your glutes to lift as high as possible.
Make sure to keep your abs tight, maintaining a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Hold at the top for three seconds, then lower your body back down slowly.
We recommend three sets of 10 to 12 lifts.
Extra challenge: Try doing these lifts with two- to five-pound weights balanced on each hip.
4. Rotating Leg Lifts
Begin on all fours, with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Keep your abs tight and your spine completely straight while doing this move.
Without shifting too much of your weight, lift your left leg straight out behind you. Keeping your abs tight, slowly and deliberately rotate your leg in three wide circles. This will work the glutes as well as your inner and outer thighs.
While you’re doing this move, make sure to keep your back straight, your abs tight, and your leg fully extended.After the third rotation, slowly lower your leg back down to the floor.
5. Standing Leg Raises
Start with your feet hip-width apart.
While keeping your abs tight and without leaning forward, lift your left leg straight back behind you, keeping your knee flexed. Keep lifting your left leg, thinking about driving your heel up toward the ceiling.
When you feel your glute squeeze as much as it possibly can (it should really burn), you’re there. Make sure to go all the way — the last one to two inches is what makes a real difference. Lower your foot back down slowly, making sure to keep your abs tight and your spine straight.
We recommend three sets of 10 to 12 lifts per leg.