Your butt is made up of three major muscles: the gluteus maximus, the gluteus medius and the gluteus minimus. These muscles are collectively referred to as the glutes. The gluteus minimus is the smallest muscle, located right where your butt meets your thighs, and training this muscle gives your butt a more rounded and lifted appearance.
Deadlifts are an excellent way to target your glutes, especially your gluteus minumus. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a 10- to 15-pound dumbbell in each hand. Holding the dumbbells close to your body, tip forward at the hips to allow the dumbbells to slide down the front of your legs, taking care to keep your back straight. Squeeze your glutes to bring yourself back to the starting position. Perform two sets of 15 reps.
Straight-legged pulses allow you to target one side of the glutes at a time. Kneel on your hands and knees on the floor. Keeping your shoulders and hips square, extend your right leg back until it is straight and above parallel with the floor, keeping your foot flexed. Squeeze your glutes, and pulse your heel straight up toward the ceiling. Perform two sets of 50 pulses with your right leg, then repeat on the other side.
Plies are an excellent way to work your glutes and thighs. Stand with your feet wider apart than hip distance, with your toes pointed out. Sink down into a plie until your thighs are parallel with the floor, ensuring that your knees are in line with your ankles. Squeeze your glutes as you rise back to the starting position. Perform two sets of 30 plies.
About this Author
Louise Tremblay recently finished an M.Sc. in molecular and cellular biology in Ontario, Canada, with years of cancer research experience. She has experience writing articles and Web content on science, heath and fitness, diet and personal wellness.