Sunday, June 6, 2010

Summer Series: Tone Your Behind

Summer is here. Yay! Well, when the rain ends. And it’s about time to start working on those beach bodies. Over the next month, we will be talking about toning up for the sun.

Do you plan to rock those short shorts this summer? I know you bought them in the winter and thought “I’ll tone up. I have six months.” And then, here you are six months later. That’s okay. We’ll talk about a few of the best exercises you can do to tone up your bum.

The Squat: This is the quintessential butt exercise because you can really do it anywhere. If done properly, the squat really works out your body, especially your butt area. So how do you do a proper squat? There are so many different kinds of squats, but the most common is the chair squat. Here is the basis of the exercise:
  • Push your bum back like your aiming for a seat
  • Keep your feet planted on the floor either about hip width apart or slightly wider
  • Keep your knees right above your feet, while making sure they don’t go forward beyond your feet. In other words, don’t over-squat where you can’t see your toes when you look down. Your knees should be right above your toes so that if you look down, you see your knees, then your toes.
  • Keep your head straight
  • Squat and then come up, squat and then come up. The repetitions expand and contract your muscles.
Lifting dumbbells on both sides of your body can help to intensify the squat a little bit. Here's a great picture that shows proper squat technique at Do several repetitions until you feel it in your butt. The amount you do depends on your body.

The Lunge: I love lunges because they work your bum and your inner thighs. You may need some space to do lunges to get the most out of the exercise. Again, there are many ways to do this, but the basis is:

  • Step one of your feet back, and stay on the ball of that foot.
  • Make sure your front foot is planted on the ground.
  • Just like the squat, you should be able to look down and see your knee, then your toes. So don’t over-extend your knee.
  • Keep your body straight.
The lunge is really about switching from one foot to the other, so you need balance to be able to get the most out of this exercise. Check out for the basic lunge. Again, holding weights on either side of your body intensifies the lunge to get even more out of the workout.

Glute Kickbacks: This is one exercise that focuses entirely on the butt area.

  • Go on your knees with your elbows on the floor. Your knees should be at around a 90 degree angle
  • Make sure your spine is straight. We tend to curve our lower backs in this position.
  • Extend one of your knees back and up so your foot is towards the ceiling, Make sure you extend with your knee so your leg retains its 90 degree position. Don’t move your leg or foot around.
  • Bring your knee back down to the floor
This exercise is also about switching from one side to the other, but it is very important to keep your leg position as you raise and drop your knee. A good example of the kickback in the upward position is here: The downward position just has both knees on the floor.

There are so many other butt exercises, but I thought I’d stick to the most popular ones today. Please remember my three steps as you work out: cardio, strength training, and stretching. These exercises serve as strength training, but you should still incorporate cardio and stretching to get the most out of your workout, and to prevent injury.

Disclaimer: I have to mention though that any exercise advice given here is just that: Advice. I am not a personal trainer or trained fitness instructor, and so I simply give suggestions from my experience. If you are uncomfortable with any advice given here, please seek a second opinion.



  1. ha! it aint easy to have a trim bum! nice tips, worth a try.

  2. Is it true that Squats and Lunges make your bum bigger? I thought they were simply for firming, but I've heard stuff. I definitely DO NOT need a big butt. Lol.

  3. I don't think exercises can give you more fat, so lunges and squats do not make your bum bigger. They may firm and make it rounder, but that's what we want :)


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