Even wheelchair-bound adults can tone the buttocks with squeezes.
A sagging buttocks affects more that your looks. A weak gluteus maximus - the large butt muscle - can lead to lower back and knee pain or even injury. While toning and strengthening muscles often requires exertion that might be difficult for older people, toning exercises for the buttocks don't have to be strenuous. Many exercises can be done at home with no equipment or using inexpensive resistance bands.
Squeeze Your Cheeks
Even sedentary adults can tighten the buttocks muscles. Remaining sedentary stretches the glutes, making them weak. However, you can get them back in shape by clenching your buttocks while sitting. Start by doing clenching and holding for a count of five for 15 repetitions. As muscle tone improves, try 15 reps of a three-stage clench - tighten, then tighten more, then a little more - then do a three-stage return to the relaxed position. Progress to clenching one side at a time, holding the clench for a count of 10 and relaxing. For a variation, alternately clench each side of your buttocks, continuing for 60 seconds and repeat this for three sets.
Sit to Stand
For older adults who can stand, rising from a chair and sitting back down works not just the buttocks but also the hamstrings and quadriceps at the back and front of the thighs. Sit in a chair so your knees are bent at 90 degrees and about hip-width apart with your feet planted firmly on the ground. If the chair is deep, sit closer to the edge. Place your hands on your thighs, just above your knees and keep your head and back aligned as you press down into your heels and push up from the chair. You may bend very slightly forward at the hips, but bending too far forward could cause you to lose your balance. When you reach the standing position, squeeze your buttocks for a count of two, shift your hips very slightly back and sit back down. Progress to doing this with your arms extended in front of you and then crossed on your chest. Do as many reps as you can, building to five or 10.
Extend Your Leg
For older adults who can maintain a standing posture, leg extensions are an excellent butt toner. Support yourself with your hands against a wall or placed on the back of a chair. Starting with your feet about hip-width apart, place one foot behind you and keep that leg extended, without locking your knee, as you lift it. Be sure to keep your head and back aligned and don't arch you back. The lift should come from your buttocks muscles. Do 10 to 15 on each side. For a greater challenge, you can loop an exercise band around a sturdy chair leg and your ankle or try doing the exercise face down on the floor with or without a band.
Prioritize Your Safety
Frail individuals, especially those with osteoporosis, should check with a physician and always have someone else present before engaging in any exercise. Always stop if you feel dizzy or light headed or if your heart begins to race. If you can't complete an exercise, such as the sit to stand, through the full range of motion, go as far as you can. As you gain strength you will most likely be able to do more.