Whether you’re male or female, young or not-so-young, it seems everyone wants a flatter belly and a higher, tighter butt. All you have to do is look at the latest cover of your favorite fitness magazine and you’ll see: flat abs and toned glutes are pretty much always “in fashion.” While of course it’s nice to be able to zip up a pair of jeans and feel confident in your body, belly and butt exercises benefit so much more than just your appearance. Strong abs not only look good—they keep your back healthy while protecting your entire mid-section and promoting better posture! In the mean time, toned glutes not only look more lifted, but as the largest muscle group in your body, strengthening your glutes helps with total-body strength and stability. So what’s the best way to fine-tune those butts and guts? Let’s take a look.
Tips To Make The Most Of Your Ab Exercises
Before you get to work with our 10-minute workout, here are four things you should be doing to help these tummy-toning moves work their best!
1. Target Your Transverse Abdominus
If you want to tone your tummy, you have to do more than just the occasional sit-up. You have to learn how to work on your transverse abdominus. This is the small muscle located in the lower abs that stabilizes your core and pulls your tummy in tight; it almost acts as a “girdle” that goes around your waist. When it’s toned, your low abs have a flat, lean appearance. The exercises we provide in the workout below will target the transverse abdominus while also working your obliques and other core muscles needed for success.
2. Check Your Diet
If you want to tone up your tummy, you need to be sure to eat good, clean, whole foods. Stick to things that come from the earth (i.e. fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds), good animal and plant protein, healthy fats such olive oil or coconut oil and stay away from packaged foods which contain lots of preservatives and fillers. Also, lower your sugar intake and keep in mind artificial sweeteners cause belly bloat.
3. Get That Cardio In!
You can’t spot-reduce body fat; if you want to lose weight, you need to lose weight all over. (Spot-toning of certain muscles is possible, as we’ll outline with the core-targeted exercises below. But you can’t see a toned six-pack if it’s buried underneath a sheath of fat!) The best way to slim down is by mixing both strength training and cardiovascular exercise that will burn some of that belly fat. Aim for 30 minutes of cardio, 5 days per week.
4. Stay Hydrated
Finally, drink lots and lots of water. Hydration makes a big difference in your hunger signals, your energy, your appearance and your overall health. Plus, contrary to popular belief, staying hydrated won’t make you bloated; it actually helps flush toxins from your body and keep you trim!
Related: One Week Hydration Challenge
Tips To Train Your Glutes The Right Way
Perhaps the number one thing standing in the way of a nice,well-rounded (pun intended) butt is the way you are training. The type of exercise you choose and the form you use when performing it will make all the difference in your results. Here are some ideas.
1. Don’t Skimp On Strength Training
Strength train! The only way to achieve a great butt is to strengthen your glutes. Choose moves that allow you to focus on engaging your glutes; proper squats and lunges are always good choices. Once you master the basics, there are a variety of lunges or squats you can perform to mix things up, keep them interesting and assure you are training all the different muscles in your lower body.
2. Practice Good Form
You can do hundreds of squats and lunges a week, but they won’t make a difference if your form is bad. For instance, to get results from your squat you need sit back, drop your rear end to at least the level of your knees, and push upwards through your heels as you return to starting position. This kind of form will better target your glutes and give you excellent results. On the other hand, doing a squat that only goes down a few inches or one that pushes your knees forward instead of sitting back, will use more leg muscles instead of working your glutes.
3. Choose Glute-Enhancing Cardio
Finally, in addition to incorporating good lower-body strength moves, choose a cardio exercise that not only get your heart rate up, but helps to strengthen your rear end as well. Things like the stair climber, walking uphill or at an incline, or going backward motion on the elliptical are good choices. This will help you not only get your cardio time checked off, but also add the bonus of a better butt along the way.
10-Minute Belly and Butt Workout
So let’s get to it! Here’s an amazing strength workout that will focus on the butts and guts. This workout will take you back and forth between the two areas: first a belly move, then a butt move, and so on. There are 10 moves total, adding up to a simple 10-minute workout. Do 10-15 reps per move (except the Pilates 100 which you only do once for a count of 100!) Try this workout 2-3 times a week in addition to your cardio exercise and, when you’re ready for more, we have a longer workout called Butts and Guts found in our Rock Your Body Bootcamp on GetHealthyU TV!
Click to learn how to do V-Ups.
Click to learn how to do Plié Squats.
Click to learn how to do Pilates 100.
Click to learn how to do kick through lunges.
Click to learn how to do oblique crunches.
Click to learn how to do a booty pop.
Click to learn how to do sweeping scissors.
Click to learn how to do cross-behind lunges.
Click to learn how to do a side plank scoop.
Click to learn how to do a single leg hamstring bridge.