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The buttocks allow walking, climbing stairs, and running. There’s a high chance that you spend a lot of your time sitting on your butt. The problem is that those of us with desk jobs don’t move enough to keep those muscles active. By sitting for long periods, you can get the ‘dead butt syndrome’ (gluteal amnesia), which means that your butt muscles work under par and your movement and strength are impaired. Keeping the butt muscles active is essential.
Dumbbells may be used extensively for upper-body exercises but you can use them for a stellar butt workout as well. Body-weight is enough to sculpt an enviable butt but adding weight increases intensity and challenges your body to get stronger and increases muscle size.
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The dumbbell deadlift benefits the hamstrings, quadriceps, the core, and of course the gluteus maximus (main extensor muscle of the hip).
- Position your feet at hip-width and bend your knees slightly. Keep your arms in front of your quads with dumbbells in your hands (palms facing your body)
- Use your hips as a hinge to push your butt back. Keep your knees slightly bent and your back flat. Lower the dumbbells along your shins
- Your torso should reach a position where it is almost parallel to the floor
- Push through your heels to return to the starting position. Keep the dumbbells as close to the body as possible
- Squeeze your butt as you reach the top and pause
Repeat 8-12 times
Just like the dumbbell deadlift, sumo squats benefit the hamstrings, core, and quadriceps along with the gluteus maximus.
- Start by positioning your feet wider than shoulder-width and turn your toes outward to about 45 degrees
- Hold one dumbbell in both hands from one end so that it hangs vertically. You can also hold one dumbbell in each hand with palms facing each other
- Push your hips back as you bend your knees to go down into a squat
- Push through your heels to return to the starting position. Squeeze your hips at the top
Repeat 8-12 times.
Variation - Stand back up just a few inches and go back into the squat position to turn it into a Sumo Pulse Squat, which is known to be one of the best butt exercises.
The curtsey lunge benefits all the gluteus (maximus, medias, and minimus), quadriceps, core, and soleus muscles along with the calf muscles.
- Position your feet at shoulder width. Holding dumbbells in your hands, rest them on the tips of your shoulders; your palms must face each other
- Lift your right foot and place it diagonally behind the left leg. Lower the right knee so that it almost touches the ground. The left knee should bend at about 90 degrees
- Come back to the starting position and start the next rep immediately
Complete 8-12 reps on side and then move to the other leg.
Variation - As you stand back up and straighten your left leg, you can kick your leg out to the side to perform a Curtsey Lunge with kick.
The lateral lunge benefits the hip abductors (also known as the inner thighs) along with the core, quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteus muscles.
- Start with feet at hip-width. Hold dumbbells in your hands and rest them on the top of your shoulders; your palms should face each other. The elbows should be bent
- Lunge out to the right and bend your right knee as you place it on the floor. Hinge forward at the hips and let your butt sit back to get into the lateral lunge position
- Keep the core engaged and the chest lifted and ensure that knee doesn’t extend beyond the toes
- Come back to the starting position and repeat without pause. Complete all your reps on one side before shifting to the other
Do 8-12 reps on one side.
The Weighted Glute Bridge is one of the best exercises for the butt along with the core and hamstrings.
- Lie on a yoga mat on your back and bend your knees. Place your feet at hip-width and make sure they’re flat
- Hold both dumbbells in your hands and place them right under the hip bones
- Squeeze the abs and glutes before lifting your hips. Push through your heels till the body forms a straight line from the shoulders to your knees
- Hold for a couple of seconds and let the body lower to the starting position
Repeat 6-8 times.
The Weighted Donkey Kick is a great butt exercise that also works the core and the hamstrings.
- Get on all fours and place a dumbbell behind either knee and squeeze it tightly
- Keep your back flat and core engaged. Lift the leg with the dumbbell toward the ceiling while squeezing your butt and your toes pointing upward
- Lift until the knee reaches hip height. You should stop earlier of your back starts to arch
- Bring the leg back to the starting position slowly
Complete 8-10 reps on the left side before switching to the right
The squat variation – Bulgarian split squats benefit the calf muscles, core, hamstrings, quadriceps, and soleus in addition to the gluteus maximus.
- Place a chair behind you or stand with your back to an elevated surface. Place the top of either foot (shoelaces down) on the elevated surface with the other planted firmly on the ground
- Holding dumbbells in your hands at your sides, bend your knees to go down into the squat. Make sure you brace your core. The knee of the leg planted on the floor should make a 90-degree angle as your thigh goes parallel to the ground
- The knee of the leg on the chair or the elevated surface should hover just over the floor. Make sure that the foot of the leg on the floor is forward enough so that the knee doesn’t reach beyond the toes when you squat
- Come back to the starting position and do another rep immediately.
Complete 8-12 reps on one leg before changing the leg
Single-leg deadlift benefits are similar to those of the weighted deadlift.
- Position your feet at hip-width and hold dumbbells in your hands (in front of the legs)
- Bend the right knee as you shift your weight on your right leg. Raise the left leg behind your body until your torso is parallel to the floor. Let the weights lower toward the floor
- Your torso and left leg should be parallel to the floor when you reach the bottom. Also, ensure that your back is flat and the weights are a few inches off the floor
- Come back to the starting position while keeping your core tight. Don’t shift the weight from the right leg. Squeeze your butt when you reach the starting position and pause for a couple of seconds
Complete 8-12 reps on one leg before going on to the other
Reverse lunge benefits the core, calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, and gluteus maximus.
- Begin by standing with your feet at shoulder-width. Palms facing in, hold the dumbbells at your sides
- Lift one foot and step back about 2 feet. Land on the ball of your foot and ensure that the heel is off the ground
- Let the knee of the front leg create a 90-degrees angle as will the leg at the back
- The shoulders should be directly over the hips and the chest upright. The shin of the front leg should be perpendicular to the floor and the knee no further than the toes
- Keep your butt and core engaged
Come back to the starting position and do 8-12 reps with one leg first
The Suitcase Squat benefits are a little better than those of regular squats. This is one of the best exercises for the butt along with the hamstrings, quadriceps, and the core.
- Hold dumbbells in each hand and let your arms rest at the sides of your legs. Palms should face inward. Start with your feet at slightly wider than hip-width
- Lower down into a squat by bending your knees and pushing your hips back
- Keep your arms straight at your sides and let the weights reach toward the floor
- Return to the starting position and squeeze your glutes
Repeat 8-12 times
Note that the number of repetitions varies from person to person and their muscle strength. Make sure not to overexert to avoid possible injuries.