If you want a smaller butt, jump off the leg press machine and step away from the barbells. Lifting heavy weights and performing a low number of reps increases muscle size, according to the National Academy of Sports Medicine’s (NASM) course manual, “NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training.” For a smaller butt, do exercises that use only your body weight to tone your glutes, not enlarge them.
Floor Hip Abductions
The floor hip abduction exercise works the abductor muscles, which are the muscles of the glutes and outer thighs. The hip abductors include the gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, gluteus maximus and tensor fasciae latae. To do this exercise, lie on the floor and roll onto your right side. You should feel your right hip, ankle and shoulder all touching the floor if you are perfectly sideways. Rest your head on your right arm. Then, lift your left leg toward the ceiling. Do not try to lift the leg any higher than 70 degrees from the floor. Lower the left leg. Both legs are straight throughout the hip abductions. Roll over to work the other side.
Stability Ball Reverse Extensions
The stability ball reverse extension exercise engages the glutes through hip extension, not abduction. The stability ball gives you an object to lie on that allows you to do this exercise without risking injury to your back as you might experience if doing reverse back extensions on the floor. Begin by lying face down on the ball with your arms straight and your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor. Your legs should be straight with your toes resting on the ground. The ball is positioned under your stomach or hips with your upper body parallel to the floor. Once you are in position, squeeze your legs together and lift them toward the ceiling, though no higher than your hips. Keep in mind that lifting your legs above the point where they are parallel to the floor puts your lower back into hyperextension, which could cause injury. Next, return your legs to the floor to finish one repetition.
Forward Cone Jumps
Forward cone jumps may sound like a lot of work, but they are a simple exercise to tone your legs and butt. Similarly sized objects may be used in place of cones, such as a stack of books or small pillows. The exercise entails exactly what the name implies. Line up a few cones and jump over them in a row. The distance of the cones from each other is dependent upon how far you can jump, so place the cones a comfortable distance for you, perhaps one to two feet apart. The necessity of jumping over the height of the cone is enough to work your glutes. Land softly by bending your knees and pause briefly between jumps.
About this Author
Sarka-Jonae Miller has been a freelance writer and editor since graduating cum laude from Syracuse University in 2003. She was a personal trainer for four years with certifications from AFAA and NASM. Miller also worked at 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness and as a mobile trainer. Her career in the fitness industry begin in 2000 as a martial arts, yoga and group exercise instructor.