The best buttocks exercises tone and strengthen the butt muscles, resulting in a firmer look. Some butt firming exercises, such as squats, stepping and hip extensions, can be performed in the privacy of the home. Hiking, running, walking and cycling also deliver a good buttocks workout if they are performed with enough intensity.
Squats are excellent butt-firming exercises that also strengthen the quads and hip muscles. The most basic squat is usually performed with the feet hip-width apart. When squatting, the knees bend but do not extend more forward than the toes. The buttocks muscles are extended backward, and the upper body is kept as upright as possible. For a more strenuous buttocks workout, hand weights can be held while performing this exercise.
Climbing steps is another way to strengthen the buttocks muscles. Stair climbing can be done in the home or gym using step aerobics exercise equipment. Steps found outdoors or in tall buildings are another option. The key with stair climbing is for enough repetition to be included and for the steps to be tall enough to allow the knees to bend 90 degrees. Taller steps deliver a more strenuous workout.
Hip extensions are one of the best buttocks exercises because they concentrate mainly on the buttocks muscles. With the forearms on the floor, the head facing the floor and one knee on the ground, the other knee is raised toward the ceiling in small movements. To intensify the effects, ankle weights can be added.
For all of these buttocks exercises, repetition is important. Squats can be performed in sets of three, with 15 repetitions in each set. Step climbing should be done for a minimum of 20 minutes. For hip extensions, several sets of 12 to 15 repetitions on each side of the body will deliver the best results.
Many outdoor fitness activities when performed on an incline are considered good buttocks exercises. Walking, hiking and cycling uphill will tone the buttocks. The effect is intensified when carrying extra weight. Walking or hiking while carrying a water bottle, backpack or weights, for example, will use more muscle power and increase overall body strength.
Butt-firming exercises strengthen and tone the glutes. It is important for these muscles to be stretched regularly, because tightness in this area of the body can result in lower back pain. Before one performs buttocks exercises, stretching the calves, hamstrings, quads and glutes will help to prevent injury and contribute to a more effective workout.