Summer is almost here at long last, our attention turns to holidays, beaches and time to dig out the shorts and swimwear from the closet as the days become warmer.
Are you feeling confident enough to bare your butt in those new shorts or swimwear you’ve just bought? A toned butt always makes a pair of skinny jeans look great too…

Summer is my favourite time of year, I love the beach, I love wearing summer clothes and flip-flops.  I have always been fortunate in that (I have been informed) I have a good butt! I would agree it is one of my best assets and I am proud of it, so I thought I would share with you a few of the exercises I do to keep my butt looking peachy!

Each of these exercises can be performed at home or in the gym. Depending on where you are will obviously depend on the fitness equipment that you have available to you but generally a kettlebell (brilliant piece of kit) or a set of dumbbells will suffice.  You can also do all of these exercises using bodyweight only – *ideal for beginners to exercise.

First, here’s a little anatomy for you. The muscles of the buttocks are the Gluteal’s or the Glutes as they are more commonly known.  There are three of them, the glute maximus, glute medius, and glute minimus. The glute max is the biggest and most noticeable of the three (the cheeks!). The med and min are not as noticeable, both are smaller than the max and are located around your ilium (the large bony part of the pelvis). But these three guys work together in harmony to help you move your thighs out to the side of your body and to rotate and extend your leg behind you.

So here’s how.  For muscular endurance and toning, perform each of these exercises 12-15 times and then rest in-between for 1 minute before repeating 3 times over (so a combined total of 36-45 reps per exercise).

 MY TOP 3 EXERCISES TO TONE YOUR BOOTY!

1.     Sumo Stance Squats 

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width or slightly wider apart with toes pointing slightly outwards
  • Hold one Dumbbell (on its end) or a Kettlebell by the handle with both hands, in front of you pointing downwards to the floor
  • Keep your heels to the floor
  • Brace your abs (as if you are about to be punched in the stomach)
  • Keep your back straight and your chest lifted
  • Keep looking straight ahead
  • Imagine you are about to sit in a chair and squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground
  • Return to standing and repeat

2.     Walking Lunges

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms by your sides (hold it using the bar not the ends) or if you are using bodyweight only place your hands on your hips
  • Start by standing tall, brace your abs, look straight ahead
  • Take a step forwards with your leading leg, bending both knees so that your front knee is aligned over your ankle and the back knee comes close to the floor. Your back heel should be lifted off the floor.
  • Before your back knee touches the floor, push off with your back leg, forcing your body weight through the opposite heel, simultaneously bringing your feet together
  • Without pausing continue the exercise alternating legs each time

4.     Donkey Kick – This is a favourite of mine!

  • Kneel on the floor on a mat with your body weight slightly forward so you are resting on your elbows on all fours
  • Position a dumbbell (if you are using one) behind the knee in the natural fold of the leg and grip it tightly with your leg
  • Push your leg up towards the ceiling as far as you comfortably can and the return to starting position but not quite touching the ground
  • Repeat all reps on one side before changing to the other side
  • Watch the video here

MichelleCainesThese are just a few exercises that are great to get you started on your journey to great looking toned butt. There are many more and many variations you can do to make the exercises easier or harder.

*Do remember to consult your doctor for clearance prior to embarking on any exercise regime and to warm up first.

Stay tuned for more exercises tips and video blogs coming soon!

Michelle Caines, Personal Trainer & Sports Massage Therapist