Resistance exercises such as squats can lift your butt and gain a curvy look.
Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images
An hourglass body looks amazing in any outfit and turns heads on the street. Plus, it makes you feel self-confident and empowered, which is reflected in your behavior. Even though it's not easy to get curves, it's worth the effort. The right exercise program can lift your butt, trim your waist and shape your legs. When combined with clean eating, its benefits are even greater.
Go Heavy in the Gym
First of all, make sure you understand the basics of exercise. Those five-pound dumbbells won't get you too far. If you want to achieve a curvier figure, go heavy in the gym.
The best training programs have one thing in common: progressive overload. This concept is all about gradually increasing the stress placed on your body during exercise. One way to implement it is to lift heavier weights.
Using the same load for weeks or months leads to plateaus. Your muscles adapt to exercise and stop growing in size. Additionally, you start burning fewer calories. The only way to prevent plateaus is to keep your body guessing by changing workout variables, such as weight, sets, reps, intensity and duration.
Depending on training frequency, you can add more plates to the bar every week. For example, if you're currently doing deadlifts with 120 pounds, lift 135 pounds or so the next week and 150 pounds the week after. Even if you do fewer reps, it will be enough to shock your muscles into growth.
Emphasize Compound Exercises
Barbell squats, Bulgarian split squats, leg presses and straight leg deadlifts are not just for bodybuilders. These exercises benefit men and women of all ages and fitness levels. Since they engage multiple muscles, they make it easier to gain mass and strength.
Start your training routine with compound movements like the ones listed above. This way, you'll have the energy needed to lift heavy and to complete the required number of sets. Compound exercises develop core strength, shape your butt and improve functional fitness. In the long run, they enhance athletic performance and overall strength.
Compared to isolation movements, such as leg curls and hip thrusts, compound exercises have a greater impact on body composition and metabolism. Since they stimulate the release of anabolic hormones and place more stress on your muscles, you'll experience faster gains and fat loss.
Activate Your Glutes
The glutes are the largest muscle group in your body. Lifestyle factors, such as prolonged sitting and lack of exercise, can weaken these muscles. This leads to a flat butt and poor overall conditioning.
Glute activation exercises can improve the size and shape of your butt while enhancing your physical performance. These include plyometric drills and isolation movements, such as donkey kicks, glute bridges, hip thrusts, clamshells and step-ups.
The donkey kick or quadruped hip extension, for instance, activates your glutes to a greater extent than single-leg squats, lunges, leg presses and traditional squats. Despite its simplicity, it's one of the best exercises for isolating the glutes.
Structure Your Workout
Structure your workout based on your goals and fitness level. You can either train both your legs and glutes on the same day or on separate days. Even though most leg exercises engage the glutes, consider training your butt separately - especially if it's your weakest muscle group. For example, you can work your legs on Mondays and your glutes three or four days later.
Make sure you keep your workouts varied. The barbell squat and lunges are not your only options. Try different variations, such as hack squats, goblet squats, sumo squats, Bulgarian split squats, single-leg deadlifts, walking lunges, reverse lunges and so on. This way, you'll hit your glutes from all angles and prevent plateaus.