Toning your butt does more than improve your rear view: It can keep you healthier all over. Strong seat muscles prevent your knees from wobbling or collapsing when you move, protecting them from injury. And a good butt workout also strengthens your back and core.
These do-anywhere moves don't look major, but they help build strong, lean muscles in a short amount of time, says Nicole Uribarri, a New York–based instructor of Core Fusion, a program designed around high repetitions and correct body alignment. The high-rep approach is effective for building muscle, shows recent research from McMaster University in Canada. And with these exercises, you don't need weights to get results.
Uribarri developed this routine to target your three main butt muscles—the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus—and the surrounding areas. You'll also be toning your core by drawing your navel toward your spine. All you need is a mat or carpeted area and these four moves.More
Bonus Benefit: Targets seat and backs of legs to improve your stability when walking.
A. Lie on your back with arms at your sides, knees bent, and feet flat on the ground hip-width apart, heels beneath knees. Raise right leg overhead, keeping your right heel over the hip.
B. Contract your glutes and lift your hips to create a straight line from left knee to shoulder. Pull your lower abs in, as if zipping up a tight pair of jeans. Lower and tap your butt on the floor. Repeat 10 times without resting. Then, lift your hips again, hold, and press them up another inch or two for 10 reps. This is one set. Do three sets and switch legs.
Make It Easier: Keep both feet on the floor the entire time.
Bonus Benefit: Strengthens back and core muscles and improves balance.
How To: Stand with feet hip-width apart, hands on hips.
A. Lean forward from hips, bend right knee slightly, and extend left leg behind you.
B. Raise left leg without arching your back. Lower and tap toe. Do 10 reps. Then, lift leg again, hold, and press it up an inch for 20 reps. This is one set. Do three sets and switch sides.
Make It Easier: Hold the back of a chair or sofa for support.