Increase the intensity to work your glutes.
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Going for a bike ride outside or hitting the stationary bike at the gym might be deemed more of a cardio exercise than a resistance one, but with the right training plan, you can work your muscles hard too. One of the key muscles when cycling is your butt -- or glutes. The glutes work to extend your hip, which happens on every downward pedal. Utilize the glutes properly when cycling to build a strong butt.
If you're used to a nice leisurely cycle, perhaps outside on flat roads, or even in the gym, then increasing the intensity you work at is your first step to getting the glutes going. Try either increasing your speed slightly, or bumping up the resistance. When cycling outside this can be done by utilizing a higher gear, or by simply putting the resistance up one or two levels in the gym.
Your next step in using a bike to bring your butt up to standard is to include intervals in your training. Lizzie Fuhr of the FitSugar website suggests a 30-minute workout based on the rate of perceived exertion, or RPE, scale. On this scale, a level one out of 10 would feel extremely easy, a level 10 would be maximum effort and a level five would be somewhere in the middle. Warm up for five minutes, then alternate periods of 30 to 60 seconds at an RPE of seven to eight and a half with recovery intervals of 60 seconds at an RPE of three to five. Aim for 20 minutes in total, then cool down for four minutes.
A Head for Hills
Switching from flat to hill cycling is an effective way to increase glute activation. Lance Leener, a cycling coach at TriLife in NYC recommends a one-hour hill workout. Warm up at a moderate pace for 15 minutes, then start your hill climbs. You'll do six ascents in total, each gradually increasing in difficulty. The first climb should be performed seated, using a low to moderate gear. Coast back down the hill before beginning climb two. Start standing up for more of each climb and increasing the difficulty, until you're at a standing climb at an RPE of nine on your sixth time round. Finish with half an hour of moderate-intensity cycling on the flat. This could be replicated on a stationary or spinning bike in the gym too.
Going the Extra Mile for Glutes
Along with ramping up your training intensity, refining your technique can get you a better butt, too. Aim to push down through your heels and keep your glutes tight and contracted while on the bike. Additionally, exercises like squats, leg presses, hip extensions with a band or cable machine and one-legged pedalling on the bike will also help you build your butt and become a better cyclist, according to USA Cycling coach and personal trainer David Ertl.