Just because the squat challenge is nearly over doesn't mean you have to stop your booty-building efforts. Here's what you need to know to keep those glutes strong.
The fourth and final week of LIVESTRONG.COM'S 30-Day Squat Challenge is here, which means you only have a few days left of this booty-rocker! Have you been feeling it? If you're looking to build on what you started during the challenge, here are a few ideas to keep you going.
1. Try more booty-toning moves.
Sure, squats are one of the best, most versatile and most accessible lower-body exercises that pretty much anyone can do. But for a well-rounded butt (pun definitely intended), you'll want to do some of these other great exercises as well.
- Glute Bridges: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet at your butt. Keep your arms along your side. Press into your heals and lift your butt and back off the floor. You'll be supporting yourself with your shoulders, arms and feet. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds and release.
- Lunges: Stand up straight and take a step two to three feet forward. Bend both knees to 90 degrees. Press off your front foot and return to the start. Once you've mastered the basic lunge, move on to other variations.
- Kick Backs: Start on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Using just your glutes, lift one knee off the floor and raise your foot to the ceiling, keeping your knee bent. Return to the start and repeat on the other side.
- Hip Thrusts: Hold a barbell (loaded or unloaded) over your hips and lean your upper back against a weight bench. Bend your knees and place your feet by your butt. Press through your heels and lift the weight off the floor until your back is parallel to the floor. Lower back down with control.
- Deadlift: Using either a loaded or unloaded barbell, stand in front of the bar with your feet facing forward and about hip-width apart. Hinge at your hips and pick up the bar. Don't arch your back, and neither bend nor lock your knees. The effort should come entirely from your glutes and hamstrings.
Or take a cue from some of your favorite Instagram fitness stars like Jen Selter, Emily Skye, Katie Austin and the Tone It Up girls.
Read more: 17 Exercises to Shape and Tone Your Booty
2. Choose a fun butt-sculpting workout.
Looking for a way to mix up your booty workouts? You'll definitely want to try out the above squat workout from @iamthedaisha. It's only 10 minutes, and you can modify for your fitness level. Do each of the 10 moves for 60 seconds each or split your time between 45 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest (or 30 on, 30 off).
And there are plenty others to choose from, too. Here are a few of our other favorites:
- Nicky Holender's 5-Minute Fat-Blasting Booty Workout
- Tone It Up's Lift & Tone Booty Routine
- Ashley Borden's Booty Band-It Workout
- Holly Perkins' 10-Minute Workout for a Better Booty
- Roamaroo's Brazilian Booty Beach Workout
3. Pick the best cardio for your backside.
While running on the treadmill may seem like the only cardio you need, it can actually be counterproductive if you want a perkier butt. So instead of slogging it out for endless hours on the track, give one of these options a try:
- Stairs: You can either find a set of stairs at a track or head to your gym and hop on the stairmill. To keep from getting bored on the gym machine, switch up your pace or walk up sideways (hold onto the railing). If you're outside, sprint up the stairs and then recover on the way down.
- Hill Sprints: Find your favorite hill (or set the treadmill to a steep incline) and get ready to race up it! Sprinting up a hill requires a lot more glute activation than walking on flat land, helping you achieve those booty gains.
- Walking Uphill: If you need something a little lower-impact, walking uphill burns calories while targeting your glutes. Bonus points if you can find an amazing uphill hiking trail to enjoy the great outdoors and fresh air.
- Rock or Ladder Climbing: Some of you might be lucky enough to belong to a gym that has a climbmill, ladder climber or VersaClimber. Any of those are great options to target your glutes in a way that you don't usually — and that's a good thing!
4. Stay consistent!
Beyoncé wasn't built in a day, and neither is the picture-perfect backside. Whatever you do, stick with it! The 30-day squat challenge is a perfect place to start, but it's only the beginning.
What Do YOU Think?
Have you joined the LIVESTRONG.COM 30-day squat challenge? It's never too late! And make sure to check out the challenge Facebook page too. Then tell us! What are your favorite booty-sculpting moves? Did any of them make the list? What kind of cardio is your favorite? Share your suggestions and questions in the comments below!