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4 Simple Steps to a Better Butt
by: Shawn Ferrando
"Consistency is the key in seeing results."

Q: With summer around the corner I want to get my body in shape for swimsuit weather! How can I get my butt tightened and toned to look better in a bikini?

-B, Scott- Foothill Ranch, CA

As you know we have all been blessed with different body types. Some may think of their butt as a blessing, while others would rather say their buttocks are a curse! I have listed some of the most affective butt building and toning exercises. There isn't one magic exercise that will make your butt change, however consistency in the gym paired with a nutritious eating plan with adequate amounts of protein will be your keys to bringing out the best your glutes have to offer!

  1. Squats are an excellent and a proven way of training your gluteus maximus (butt). You can add resistance by performing them while holding dumbbells in your hands or with a bar across your shoulders. If you opt for the bar (advanced), make sure you have a spotter unless the resistance is very light. Varying the width of your feet will change the emphasis of the exercise. The closer together your feet are, the more your quads (front of the thighs) will work. As you move your feet further apart, you'll feel the exercise more in your hips and butt. If you go to a gym, the leg press machine may be easier to use than doing squats with a bar, and it works the same area. Work yourself up to 2-3 sets of 12-15 repetitions.
  2. Lunges are another exercise that works your glutes. There are several different types of lunges; stationary lunges, walking lunges, alternating lunges and side lunges. For the stationary lunge, hold two dumbbells to the side of your body. Bring one leg forward and stand so that you have good balance. Bend both legs and allow the dumbbells to bring your body down towards the ground, making sure your front knee does not go past your toes. At this time your back knee will almost touch the floor; then come back up. Do 12-15 reps with one leg forward and then continue with the second leg. Work yourself up to 2-3 sets.
  3. Hip extensions are movements that will definitely help the butt to look its best. This exercise, which another name is "Flutter Kicks" will surely make your hamstrings and glutes burn! On a step or platform (or on your bed if you train at home) lie face down with hips on the edge of the step, legs straight with toes resting lightly on the floor. (If you are using a bed, your legs will be off the edge and your feet high off the floor.) Squeeze your glutes and hamstrings and straighten the legs until they are level with the hips. Lift one leg higher than the other and alternate. Move each leg as though you are doing a flutter kick in water. Try doing 3 sets of 20 repetitions on each leg. Once you have done your 3 sets of Flutter Kicks, in the same position, contract your glutes and hamstrings so that your legs are parallel with the floor and move your legs open, then close. When you close them, have one leg cross over the other. Alternate each rep, which leg is crossing over. Try doing 2- 3 sets of 20 repetitions on each leg.
  4. Deadlifts are excellent for your hamstrings, butt and lower back, but form is critical! Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart, and your weights in front of thighs. (bar or dumbbells) Keeping back flat, shoulders back and abs in, bend forward from the hips and lower your torso until your weights reach your shins. This is where it's time to SQUEEZE your butt to raise back up. Remember to keep your weights (bar or dumbbells) close to your legs throughout the entire range of motion, with just the slightest bend in the knees. Make sure that you don't hyper extend your knees. Work up to 3 sets of 8-12 reps. Advanced can perform 3 sets of 15 reps.

Cardio for working tight buns:

Stairmasters and Climbers when used at a slower pace with normal steps will recruit your butt muscles. Do you ever see people at the gym leaning on the machine with their arms and staying on their tiptoes? You have either seen them, or are one of them. Spending 30 minutes on the climber, cheating your way through each step will not bring you results. Feel your body weight as you step down through your heel of each foot. The benefit of completing full steps rather than short mini steps is that your legs and glutes will be enjoying a better workout, as will your heart. This way may be more challenging but it's the challenge that will tighten your butt and raise your heart rate which burns more calories and fat loss. If you think that steppers will make your butt bigger, this is definitely not so! Steppers and a treadmill (on a high incline for walking) has been the foundation for keeping the butt firm, and round. Start at 20 minutes 3 days / wk. If you want to make noticeable changes, step your way up to 30 - 45 min sessions, 5 - 6 days a week.

A few points that are important to know:

  1. You can't choose where you gain weight. If you start eating more and lifting weights, there is noguarantee that your butt will be the area reaping the benefits.
  2. The shape of your butt is primarily based on genetics. Looking at your parents or other relatives you will probably notice that you have inherited some of their genes.
  3. Doing lower body exercises (along with upper body training and cardio) and eating more calories than you burn can help you build muscle but your genetics will decide how much your butt can really change.
  4. Consistency is absolutely the key in seeing, and feeling results.

No responsibility or liability is accepted by Shawn Ferrando Studio Fitness for any loss or damage suffered by any person as a result of adopting the exercises and information in this material.

949.292.1799 | 30555 Trabuco Canyon Rd. # 101, Trabuco Canyon, CA

Owner of Shawn Ferrando Studio Fitness, Shawn Ferrando, has over 24 years professional experience in the health and fitness industry. Shawn has numerous National certifications including the National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer, National Academy Of Sports Medicine Advanced Specialization Sports Fitness Specialist, National Academy Of Sports Medicine Certified Core Stabilization Training, O.C.C. Fitness Specialist/Personal Trainer, Apex Certified Trainer, AA Nutrition Education, Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Indoor Cycle Certification. Shawn has extensive experience in rehabilitation training (post injury/pre-post surgery), sport specific training and is CPR/AED Certified through the American Heart Association. Shawn is also a member of the world’s largest associations of Health and Fitness Professionals, Idea Health and Fitness Association and the American College Of Sports Medicine. To contact Shawn directly, please email her at

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