Workouts

3 Workouts for a Better Bikini Butt

Tighten your butt fast with three workouts that will have you ready to show off before summer hits.

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There are plenty of good reasons to get your butt in gear at the gym. But as bikini season creeps closer, it’s likely you’re stressing over just one: slim-to-bare it. If transforming your backside in time has got your panties in a bunch, it’s no wonder. Given the size of it (your gluteal complex, that is), finding exercises to isolate it seems nearly impossible.

With that in mind, we’ve sought the help of some of the top fanny bearers in the industry. IFBB Pro League bikini stars Justine Munro, Nicole Nagrani and Amanda Latona have all revealed the secrets and the workouts that help them get their backsides in tip-top shape. By following their advice, you can, too!

GLUTE GUIDANCE

CHOOSE MOVES WISELY
Exercises that extend the hip (move your leg backward) will better target your glutes. Glute extensions on the Butt Blaster or cable kickbacks will minimize the recruitment of nearby muscles, allowing you to isolate the glutes. Lunges, squats and step-ups are some of the best compound moves for glutes. “Lunges build up your glutes, giving them a ‘lift,’” says IFBB bikini pro Nicole Nagrani. “The key is to stretch deep so you activate more of the muscle.” Aim to include at least two of each type of movement and vary the exercises every workout.

LIFT TO BOOST YOUR GLUTES
If you’re new to exercise or haven’t worked out for 2–3 months, start by incorporating glute-specific moves in your leg workout once per week. If you’ve been training consistently for a few months, incorporate glute-specific moves in your leg workout and add another training day to your weekly routine that focuses only on glutes. Alternate a heavy workout (10–12 reps) with a light workout (15–20 reps).

CORRECT YOUR CARDIO
A good 30-minute dose of cardio four or five times per week will give your booty a boost — but use the machines that will kick your glutes the hardest. A recent study conducted at the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital (Lincoln, Nebraska) found that those who performed cardio on a treadmill, elliptical or stair stepper got more cheek action than those who used a recumbent bike. Shake up your glutes even more by increasing the incline on the treadmill; shifting your hips back so your tush sticks out on the elliptical; and letting go of the rails on the stair stepper to force your heels down.

EAT (YES, EAT!) FOR A TIGHT BUTT
You have to cut calories to lose weight, but still stoke your body with enough carbs to fuel your training and protein to build muscle. For long-lasting energy and just the right mixture of protein, carbs and fats to serve your goals, aim for a calorie ratio of roughly 30%, 60% and 10%, respectively. Amanda Latona, 2010 Sacramento Pro bikini champ, suggests you stock up on lean proteins such as chicken and fish, ditch the sugars for slower-digesting carbs and more fibrous greens, and get your healthy fats from sources like almonds.

EAT MORE
To get your out-of-control booty to go down, you have to chow down. Eating more foods, in a sensible way, will help you burn more calories. “Lots of clean food is key to losing fat and creating a shapely looking butt,” says IFBB bikini pro Justine Munro. “A round booty is made of muscles, and those muscles still need fuel.” For your body to receive all the nutrients it needs from food to maintain health, you need to consume a minimum of 1,600 calories per day.

MUSCLE PRIMER
There are three muscles referred to as the “gluteus.” Of the three, the gluteus maximus is the largest and most superficial, and it’s one of the strongest muscles in the body. Starting at the crest of the pelvic bone, it runs down to the rear of the thigh. This thick, wide muscle gives the buttocks their shape. The gluteus maximus functions mainly to extend the hip (i.e., moving the thigh backward). The smaller gluteus medius and gluteus minimus originate at the same spot but attach to the side of the thigh. Their function, in conjunction with a band of connective tissue called the iliotibial band, is crucial to outward (away from the midline of the body) thigh support during movements such as walking and stepping sideways. The medius and the minimus keep the pelvis from tipping away from the weight-bearing leg and help maintain correct knee tracking in exercises like the seesaw lunge so you can maximize the work of the other muscles involved. Exercises that work the gluteus include lunges, squats, leg presses, Butt Blaster machine, hip extensions, leg abductions and deadlifts.

Photography by: Colin Anderson/Blend Images/Corbis

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