Get your best butt ever
Sure, it’s common belief that all black women got back. What’s true is that our butts come in all sizes—from tiny plums to the perfect apple bottom to big and bodacious. Whether you fall into the bootylicious crowd or are shaped like the broad side of a barn, if you really want to back that thang up, you’ll need to work the often-neglected muscle group that makes up your butt. Want great glutes? Squats can make it happen. Here’s how:
Squeeze squats into your regular routine. Squats are the perfect exercise to tone your glutes and legs, plus they provide functional strength (they improve our ability to carry out everyday activities like running, biking and climbing stairs). So don’t wait until you’re in the gym to amp up your squat game. Do it while you’re folding laundry, brushing your teeth, watching TV or cooking dinner.
It’s all about the beat. The best music to squat to should have about 120 beats per minute. A few to try: “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge, Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough,” Sarah Vaughn’s “Whatever Lola Wants,” “Bamboleo” by the Gipsy Kings or The Time’s “Jungle Love.”
Perfect your form. Pretend you are sitting down onto a chair and as you touch the seat, push yourself back up again. As you rise, drive from your heels, rather than leaning forward to push from your toes. To target your glutes, stand with your feet slightly outside your hips, and then pivot your heel and toe to take the squat wider.
Work your abs. Switch on your core with every squat so your upper back is supported properly and your butt is forced to do the work.
Add some weight. Squatting with just your body weight will get results, but extra resistance makes every squat teaches your body to work a little bit harder. Increase the benefits for your muscles and your heart by adding light weights. Recent research shows you burn more calories when lifting lighter weights for more repetitions than you do lifting heavier weights for a few reps.
Don’t overdo it. Complete four sets of 20 repetitions with a 30-second rest between each set. When that gets too comfortable, bump up to 30-rep sets, and do three to four sets.