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Your glutes are really three muscles, and toning requires activating them all.
Spot training, or working a specific part of your body, to lose weight does not work, so if you have fat covering your glutes, or the muscles in your butt, you have to remove it first before you can see the desired definition of a toned butt. Pairing a healthy diet with exercise is the best way to see results. Spot training for muscle definition does work, but age, genetics and gender are some of the factors involved with seeing results. A specific butt-toning workout can build the glutes you want.
Working Out to Tone
There are a number of goal-oriented variations for the amount of reps and sets you complete, but since toning is your goal, repeat all exercises for four sets of 12 to 20 repetitions. The weight should be heavy enough to fatigue your muscles by the last rep. Rest for 30 seconds or less between sets.
Days One, Five and Nine
Walk outside or on a treadmill for 30 minutes before you begin this routine. Start with barbell full squats. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and rest a barbell across the back of your shoulders, gripping it with both hands. Lower your glutes, keeping your core tight and your weight in your heels. Go as low as you can before driving through the heels and standing straight. Next do barbell step-ups. With the barbell braced against the back of your shoulders, stand in front of a weight bench. Step onto the bench, keeping your weight in your heel and your core tight. Step back down, switch legs and repeat. Do good mornings. Place your feet hip-width apart and support a barbell with the back of your shoulders. Slightly bend your knees as you hinge forward, keeping your back straight and stopping when your torso is parallel with the ground. Return to the starting position and repeat.
Days Two, Six and Ten
Open these days with a jog or run on the treadmill before working your upper body. Start with dumbbell biceps curls. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Raise the weight toward your shoulder, lower and repeat. Next do dumbbell rows plus kickbacks. Rest your left palm and knee against a weight bench and hold a dumbbell with your right hand. Raise your arm along your body and form a 90-degree angle. Just moving your forearm, extend the weight back. Return to the 90-degree angle, lower the weight toward the floor and repeat. Do dumbbell chest flyes. Lie flat on a bench with your arms extended out from your sides. Hold a dumbbell with your palms facing up. Bring the dumbbells together in a hugging motion, return to the starting position and repeat.
Days Three and Seven
Walk outside or on a treadmill as a warmup. Start with standing gate openers. Stand on one foot with your other foot bent at the knee and perpendicular to your hip. Keeping your torso facing forward, rotate your leg, pointing your knee inward. Maintaining a stationary core and bending at your knee, point your knee outward as far as you can. Maintain balance and repeat, switching legs when the set is complete. Next do dirty dogs. On the ground, position your hands below your shoulders and your knees below your hips. Keeping your core tight and your right leg bent, arch it up and out from your body. Return to starting position and repeat. Do wall kicks. Stand with both palms at shoulder height against a wall with a slight bend in your elbows and knees. Hinge forward slightly and raise your left leg back to hip-level. Bring your heel toward your butt before extending your leg. Return to starting position and repeat, switching legs after set is complete.
Days Four and Eight
These will be the days you relax. Working hard is important, but pushing yourself too much can lead to injury. In addition to injury prevention, you also want to give your muscles ample time to recover so that you can see the most definition in your body. If you still want to exercise, walk outside or on the treadmill for 30 minutes.
Tips and Safety
Deep squatting places stress on the knees, so if you have problems there stop when your legs form 90 degrees. Keep your back straight and your core tight for all exercises. Your muscles should be fatigued by the end of each set, but you should still be able to maintain proper form the entire time. If you cannot complete at least 12 reps with proper form, lower the weight. You want to take your time and maintain control, but your muscles need to fatigue within 90 seconds of your first rep.