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Did you know that your bum is mainly made of muscle? This is why you need to give it a workout if you want it to look more toned. And do you know which muscles these are?
Here are some pointers:
The gluteus maximus (behind your hips) is the largest of your bum muscles and is the closest to the surface of your skin. When it is toned, this very large muscle gives us firm, rounded buttocks.
The gluteus medius (next to your hips) allows you to rotate your hips and lift your leg sideways, among other things. It is thick, short and shaped like a fan, and highlights the top of your buttocks as well as making them more rounded.
The gluteus minimus (beneath the others) shapes the hip in the same way as the gluteus medius. In particular it prevents adduction of the hip (on the junction between the thigh and hip), where a lot of fat is stored.
As you can see, to keep your bum looking toned, these 3 areas need to all be given a decent workout.
Take the Stairs rather than the Lift
When you climb the stairs you use not only your quadriceps, but also your glutes as you extend your leg. This makes climbing the stairs an excellent exercise that you can do anywhere.
If you really want to work your glutes, put your foot flat on each step and climb them two by two!
Effective Exercises for Building up your Glutes
In order to get a more muscular bum, we recommend training your glutes moderately yet regularly, at least twice a week.
Here are 4 exercises that you can easily do at home. All you need is a gym mat!
Squats are great for sculpting a rounder bum. For this exercise, you might want to try using slightly heavier weights. To find the right weight, simply do 10 squats. No more, no less. Through trial and error, you will figure out the ideal weight.
Performing the exercise: place the bar on your shoulders and draw your shoulder blades together by contracting your trapezius muscles so that the bar is resting on your muscles and not on your bones. Start standing upright, facing forwards, and with your feet parallel and hip-width apart. Bend your knees and hips and push your bum backwards. Your chest will naturally lean forwards slightly to keep you balanced.
Safety tips: make sure you brace your abs and do not let your knees go further forward than your feet.
Breathing: breathe in on the way down and out on the way up.
Repetitions: do 4 x 10 squats with 1 minute of recovery between each set.
Performing the exercise: start upright then step one foot far enough forward for your thigh to be parallel to the floor. Keep your chest upright and your hands on your hips, and drop your back knee almost to the floor.
Safety tips: keep your core braced throughout the exercise and make sure your knee goes no further forward than your toes!
Breathing: inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up.
Repetitions: do 4 x 15 lunges on one side then 15 on the other.
Performing the exercise: to start, get onto your hands and knees, keep your back flat, and brace your core. Without moving your hips, extend one leg backwards. Your leg should be parallel to the floor and not too high (no higher than your hip). Return to your starting position.
Safety tips: make sure you keep your lower back flat!
Breathing: inhale at the start and exhale when your leg is straight
Repetitions: do 5 sets of 10 reps on one side then 10 on the other.
Performing the exercise: lie on your back with your legs bent and shins vertical. Suck in your belly button and push down through your heels to raise your hips. Hold for 5 seconds then lower yourself back down.
Safety tips: keep your head on the ground so that your spine stays well aligned. Draw your belly button in towards your spine to protect your back.
Breathing: inhale at the start and exhale once your hips are raised.
Repetitions: do 20 reps on both legs or 15 on each. Repeat 3 times.
Variation: to increase the difficulty, you can do this exercise on just one leg at a time while the other is straight.