A 20-Minute Exercise Routine for a Tighter Butt!

Wish you had a toned butt like Beyonce's? We've got a 20-minute circuit training workout that will have your backside in shape in time for summer! Circuit training workouts are a series of quick isometric exercises that target several different muscles. This group of exercises is done on an exercise mat and specifically targets your glutes, the large muscles in your butt. By strengthening your glutes, you'll reduce stress on your knees, improve your posture and flexibility, and make activities like climbing stairs and walking longer distances easier.

Try to repeat the circuit (Exercises 1-5 with all the sets and reps for each) three times for the most effective workout. If you can't do all of the repetitions and sets suggested, begin more slowly and do what you can without straining. If you haven't been exercising, or have back problems, be sure to check in with your doctor before starting any new exercise program.

Exercise 1: Heel Beats

Step 1: Lie face down on a mat, with your forehead on your forearms. Contract your abdominal muscles and pull your navel in toward your spine, trying to lift your belly button off the floor.

Step 2: Continuing to hold in your abdominals, lift both legs off the floor. Open your legs so they're 12-18 inches apart (hip-width) and then flex your feet. Closing and opening your legs, slowly beat your heels together without actually letting them touch. These movements should be fluid. Don't stop between beats. 1 beat is 1 repetition. Do 3 sets of 8 repetitions.

Exercise 2: Pelvic Bridge

Step 1: Lie down on your back on an exercise mat with your arms by your sides and your knees bent. Press your feet firmly into the mat and gently squeeze your legs together. Press your shoulder blades into the mat and squeeze them together slightly. As you do so, feel your chest blossoming toward the sky.

Step 2: Continuing to squeeze your legs together, starting at your tailbone, peel your back off the mat all the way to your shoulder blades. Feel your abdominals contracting to support your spine. Make sure your butt is completely off the floor and lift your lower back up as high as you can. Hold this position and squeeze your gluteal muscles (butt muscles) firmly for 10 seconds. Keep your pelvis even and your neck long.

Step 3: Now, slowly roll your spine back to the mat one vertebra at a time, as if you are setting a delicate string of pearls on a table one by one. Do 3 sets of 8 repetitions (one rep is lifting your butt and back off the floor and squeezing your glutes for 10 seconds).

Exercise 3: Single Leg Lifts (Hands and Knees)

Step 1: On an exercise mat, position yourself on your hands and knees with a flat back. Pull your abdominals in away from the floor. Continue to keep your back flat and your pelvis level.

Step 2: Extend one leg to the rear, straightening the leg in line with your back without tilting your pelvis. Move as slowly as you can, feeling the muscles in your glutes contract to move the leg. Hold the contraction for 10 seconds, and then slowly return the leg to the floor. Switch legs and repeat (this is 1 rep). Do 3 sets of 8 repetitions.

Exercise 4: Rear Lifter Circles

Step 1: Stand tall on an exercise mat with your feet and knees pointed directly forward. Work to maintain good posture by pulling your abdominals in throughout. You can hold onto a chair or lean one hand against a wall for balance, if needed, but your goal is to use only your muscles for support.

Step 2: Stand on one leg and lift the other leg straight out to the back as high as you can without moving your pelvis. Form is more important than height, so focus on maintaining good posture. Move the lifted leg in very small circles behind you. Feel your glutes contract and intensify the contraction by squeezing them harder. Circle a few times in one direction, then reverse the direction. Lower the leg with control and switch legs. Do 3 sets of 8 repetitions on each leg (circling in each direction is 1 rep).

Exercise 5: Pulsing Beach Lunge

Step 1: Stand tall on an exercise mat with your feet and knees pointed directly forward on an exercise mat. Work to maintain good posture by pulling your abdominals in throughout. You can hold onto a chair or lean one hand against a wall for balance if needed, but your goal is to use only your muscles for support.

Step 2: Step one leg back to come into a lunge position, with your front leg bent as deeply as you can and your back leg straight. Your feet should be perfectly parallel, facing forward. Press the heel of your front foot and the ball of your back foot into the mat. Keeping your torso perfectly upright, with your chest lifted and your spine lengthened, try to bend your front knee even more deeply. Pulse up and down about 2 inches as many times as you can in a slow, controlled manner. Switch legs and repeat. Do 3 sets of 8 repetitions on each leg (a rep is pulsing up and down as many times as you can).

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Jennifer K.

Jennifer K. Lost 110 lbs with The South Beach Diet!

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