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Iron Buttocks : 8 Exercises to Sculpt Your Behind

by Laurence-Emmanuelle Bédard Published on April 23, 2015

Buttocks are not just fat! There are muscles in there and that means that they can be toned – no offence to the non-athletes among you. To have an iron butt, you just need to be dedicated. Whether at the gym or at home, you can shape your glutes in the space of a few weeks thanks to some very simple exercises.

Lunges

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Lunges are a comprehensive exercise that works all the leg muscles. Take a big step forward with your right foot, place it squarely on the floor, bend your knees, lowering your body. Then, pushing up from the right foot, straighten both legs, bring your feet together, and then repeat the same movement immediately, but this time stepping forward on the left foot. Repeat! Warning: your bended knee should not be in front of your foremost foot. If it is, you may injure yourself. So, take a big step forward.

To go further: Before you get up, you can make 2 or 3 small lifts, just to work more the gluteus maximus. Also, you can do walking lunges; in other words, instead of returning to your initial position, you can move forward.

The Rear Leg Lift

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The rear leg lift allows you to work the 3 gluteal muscles to improve the contour of your buttocks. Kneel down on a gym mat and place your hands flat on the floor. With your weight on your hands, lift your knees off the floor and lock the pelvis by contracting the abdominals. Your body now makes a 45 degree angle with the floor. Lift your right leg up stretch it towards the ceiling (with the foot flexed). Then bring it back to the floor. Repeat the movement by raising your left leg towards the ceiling. Your back should remain straight throughout the movement. You should exhale as you lift your leg up and inhale when you lower it.

To go further: When your leg is in the air, hold the position for a few seconds. This will work the muscle more deeply.

The "Kick-Up"

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As with the previous exercise, the "kick-up" works and tightens the 3 muscles of the buttocks. Kneeling on a gym mat, lock your pelvis by contracting your abdominals. Stretch your right leg out behind you, with your knee bent to form a right angle. Your foot should be in a flexed position. Then bring your right knee back to the floor (without touching it). In a controlled movement, allow your right knee to tuck into your torso. Then “kick up” once again, with your right knee bent and your right foot pointing to the ceiling. Keep your back straight throughout the movement.

To go further: When your leg is in the air, hold the position and push 2 or 3 times towards the ceiling to increase the level of difficulty.

The "Fire hydrant"

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The "fire hydrant" works the small- and medium-sized muscles of the buttocks. On a gym mat, get on all fours, hands on the floor, with your arms partially flexed. Move your left thigh away from your right thigh (your right knee remaining on the ground) and lift your left knee upwards until your (bent) leg is parallel to the ground. Return to the starting position without putting your left knee on the ground. (Think of a male dog leaving his calling card at a fire hydrant.)

To go further: Instead of making only a lateral movement: after you have raised your leg, rotate your knee in small circles. This motion will stimulate the buttock muscles from all angles.

Squats

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Squats have the advantage of working both the thighs and the buttocks. You can do them with or without weights. Standing, your legs spread shoulder-width apart, toes pointed slightly outward, arms stretched in front of you and parallel to the floor, bend your legs and lower your buttocks until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Then push up on your legs to return to the starting position, without locking your knees (keep your legs slightly bent).

To go further: Hold a weight in your hands and lower it as you bend your knees, allowing the weight to touch the ground in front of you. Then lift the weight as you return to the starting position. This exercise is called the sumo squat.

The Bridge

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The bridge is a simple exercise to do that, despite its simplicity, works the gluteal muscles deeply, provided you do it correctly. To that end: lie on your back, upper body relaxed, feet apart, knees bent. Lift your pelvis slightly to raise your hips off the floor, without arching your back. Tighten your legs against each other by firmly contracting your buttocks. Hold that position. Allow your legs to relax, returning to the starting position, and then repeat the movement. Be careful not to bend your back while performing this exercise.

To go further: When your pelvis is elevated, hold the position, opening and closing your legs at the knees. This way you also work the small and medium gluteal muscles. You can also lift one leg and keep the other resting on the ground.

Side Bridge Leg Lift

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On a floor mat, lie on your side with your legs stretched out one on top of the other. Lift the top leg and then lower it back down without allowing it to touch the bottom leg resting on the floor. Do three sets of 15 repetitions for each leg. Then repeat the exercise with both legs slightly bent to work the buttocks a little more.

To go further: When your leg is in the air, hold the position and tighten the glutes. You will feel a burning sensation in the muscles, a sign that they are working hard!

Romanian Dead Lift

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This exercise consists of gripping the bar in the same way you would to perform a deadlift and gradually bending the hips while keeping the knees slightly bent. The movement continues until the bar reaches mid-calf, then lift the bar up using your hamstrings. Warning: this exercise is not recommended for people with lower back problems.

To go further: If you reduce the weight used, you can work your flexibility by locking your knees when you straighten up.

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