You can rely on bodyweight exercises to plump your butt, if a gym is unavailable.
No matter what clothing designers and skinny fashionistas might like to think, sleek, strong curves are always in style. While there is only so much you can do to change the shape nature and your genetics have given you, with exercise and diet, it's possible to do a bit of lifting and tightening to round out your bottom and whittle your waist.
Lose the Excess Weight
No amount of exercise will change your shape if it's blurred by extra pounds. Crash dieting brings quick results, but they don't last. The best way to lose weight is with a combined program of healthy eating and consistent exercise.
Build your meals around fresh vegetables and fruits, lean protein such as chicken and fish, nuts and seeds and whole grains. Drink plenty of water, and avoid added sodium because it can make you retain water and appear bloated. Keep your calorie intake to between 1,200 and 1,500 calories to start with, and adjust as needed. Do not fall below 1,200 calories because that can rob your body of the nutrients you need to build muscle.
Build Up Your Booty
Start each exercise with 12 repetitions, working up to three sets of 25 for buttock and shoulder exercises and four sets of 25 for your ab workouts. The most effective exercise to build your gluteus maximus muscles, or the big muscles in your butt, is the body-weight squat:
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with your knees over your toes. Lace your fingers lightly behind your neck with your elbows out.
- Take a breath, tighten your butt muscles and lower it toward the ground as you breathe out. Squat just past the point where your knees are forming a right angle.
- Stand back up, holding your rear muscles taut. Repeat.
It is important to work all of the muscles surrounding and supporting your rear. The following exercises will help strengthen and define the muscles in your butt, hips and thighs.
Standing side leg raises:
- Stand with your weight on your right leg, with your knee aligned over your big toe and slightly bent.
- Lean sideways to your right, breathe in and raise your left leg sideways to hip height as you breathe out. Keep your foot flexed, rather than toes pointed. Hold your arms wherever you need them to keep your balance, but do not put your hands on your hips.
- Lower your left foot almost to the ground, and then raise it again without moving your torso, finishing your reps before repeating with your right leg.
- Place your feet a little less than shoulder width apart, and make sure that your knees are over your toes.
- Put your hands on your hips, breathe in and take a large step forward with your right leg.
- Bend your right leg until your knee forms a right angle, and then breathe out as you push off with your right foot and return to your starting stance. Repeat with your left leg, and finish your reps alternating legs with each lunge.
Back knee raises:
- Start on your elbows and knees on a mat or carpet. Keep your back straight and your core tight.
- Breathe in, squeeze your glutes, and breathe out as you extend your left leg behind you and slightly upward until it is fully extended with your foot flexed.
- Bring your leg back to its starting position without letting your knee touch the mat, and repeat for 12 reps. Repeat with your right leg.
Tighten Your Abdominals and Obliques
There are dozens of exercises designed to tighten your abs, so it's important to find the combination that is most comfortable and effective for you. The main thing to remember is that it's not enough just to do crunches. You also have to work your obliques, which are on the sides and back of your lower torso.
- Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your knees relaxed. Lightly touch your fingertips to the back of your head.
- Raise your upper body by curling your ribs toward your hipbones as you breathe out.
- Lower yourself back down without letting your shoulders touch the floor to keep the tension on your abdominal muscles.
- Start in the same position as for crunches, except that your legs should be straight and your ankles an inch or so off of the floor.
- Breathe in and raise your right knee, twisting your torso to bring your left shoulder forward to meet your knee as you breathe out.
- Go back to your starting position and raise your left knee, twisting to meet it with your right shoulder. Alternate legs until you have completed your reps.
Shoulder in Some Contrast
Broad, well-defined shoulders can help create the illusion that your waist is smaller than it is. Use weights that are heavy enough to make you work but not put any strain on your joints.
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent. Hold a free weight in each hand at shoulder height with your palms facing out.
- Take a breath, and push the weights up into the air and slightly toward each other as you breathe out.
- Return to the starting position and repeat.
Lateral arm raises:
- Start with your feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. Hold a weight in each hand at your side, with your palms turned inward, facing your legs.
- Take a breath, and lift your arms straight out to the sides, releasing your breath as you lift them to shoulder height.
- Return to your starting position and repeat.
Anterior arm raises:
- Start with your feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. Turn your hands so that your thumbs are resting against the outsides of your thighs and your palms are facing behind you.
- Breathe in, and lift the weights straight up in front of you to shoulder height as you exhale.
- Return your arms to the starting point and repeat.