Whether on land or in the water, working the upper back muscles is relatively simple. However, working the muscles of your gluteus maximus, derrière, rear or the butt, whatever you choose to call it, is a much harder task. You might call it the bitter end. Target toning those muscles requires some finesse but, if done properly, those muscle will have a dramatic effect on your appearance, posture and self-esteem.
Yes, there are machines and videos, so why do so many struggle with toning this area. The reason is simple - the awkward positioning of the body - you feel like you are upside down - and in reality you are! Secondly, it feels very strange at first. Throughout all of this, the fact remains the gluteus maximus is a demanding muscle group to target tone. And yet, after the leg muscles, the gluteus maximus is a large muscle that we must not ignore for changing our metabolism. More muscle equates to a higher metabolic rate. Because these are large muscles you can see how being fit in that region will burn calories.
In order to create that shelf butt, a butt that is firm and well shaped, we will cover various exercises that target our rear end from land exercises complete through to swim fitness exercises:
- Frog Butt Exercise
- Clam Dig Exercise
- Shelf Butt Exercise
- Swim Fitness Frog Legs
Our review of buttock exercises would not be complete without famous derrières in the news along with the latest undergarment clothing that can short curt your workout routine and provide some added support in this region of the human body - both for women and now, yes, for men too!
Derrière is a french word that is nice substitute for the backside of the human anatomy that is more commonly referred to as bottom, booty, backside, boo-tey or the buttocks. In anatomical terms, the muscles that make up the buttocks are primarily the gluteus maximus muscle (see the diagram below for more details) and the gluteus medial.
Derrière is often misspelled as "daireaire". source: the urban dictionary.com
The Buttocks - Gluteus Maximus Gluteus Medius Muscles
The buttocks are formed by the masses of the gluteal muscles or 'glutes' (the gluteus maximus muscle and the gluteus medius muscle) superimposed by a layer of fat.
Target Toning for Beauty and Health
Cosmetically, working all the muscles is the key to a great body visually and functionally. Health is more than just being thin with a sun tan, it takes muscle tone which demands hard work. So why tone this muscle? Because it is a hot fashion item - for both men and women. First we will explore the many celebrities and then the new fashion trend for men - yes, I said men and then we will explore the equipment and the land exercises for targeting toning this muscle group.
Will toning the buttock eliminate our fat? Not necessarily. The only way to eliminate fat is through diet and cardiovascular exercise. Can we have muscles and fat too? Most certainly. So what is the purpose of target toning you might ask. Target toning has the ability to change the strength and tone of our muscles. Research has shown that IF we gain more muscle, our metabolism changes. Making these changes may change our appearance but most importantly, strength generate a healthier body. A body that has a high metabolic rate, a body that is functional through the entire day, a healthy body that can more easily house a healthy mind - these are the real goals of our target toning - beyond the beauty - healthy too!
Celebrity Derrières J Lo - Beyonce and Jennifer Hawkins and More!
Celebrity Derrières in the News
The buttock muscles have come into fame with Jennifer Lopez and other recent celebrities such as Beyonce and Jennifer Hawkins. Many have commented that Jennifer Lopez looked more stunning the year before her gold dress that highlighted her derrière yet the talk everywhere was not about the dress but her rear end!
Whatever the reason, the fashion season loves the derrière. From the red carpet to purple leather skirts to every evening gown imaginable, the derrière has achieved the very height of fashion.
While I believe all the women showcased in this section are stunning, I hate to see the front and the face of the women not take center attention. So while I believe in fitness and know the importance of all the muscles, the best of the best remains in the eyes. My mother always stated the eyes are the window to a person's soul - she is right. The fashions may come and go, the main item here is a full body workout, where you are healthy and are targeting every muscle in your body including the muscle we sit upon many hours of the day!
Men's Padded Briefs
Fashion Trend for Men Too!
Men you are not exempt in this fashion trend for what Nike calls "big butts".
The proof is in the products - look there are a multitude of products specific for male swim suits and underwear to help you enhance your male booty!
My husband is a man of the latest fashion but I am not going to even mention this to him. Perhaps I am too much of a baby boomer?! I don't know....
Your thoughts? Would your male loved ones appreciate this new product? Is it reserved just for the young at heart?
Please feel free to share your comments/thoughts below on this topic!
Gluteus Maximus Muscle
Machines that Target the Derrière
Life Fitness has sadly named one of their best machines the Glute Machine. I say sadly because that machine targets more than just the gluteus maximus, it also targets the hamstrings which are an important muscle that balances with the largest muscle in the human body - the quadricep. Often if we have tight hamstrings that have not been stretch, we will have a bad back. Why? Because the muscles are inter related. The sign of good personal trainer is when they design a fitness program that balances your muscles. The hamstrings are the back side of the muscle group for the quadriceps.
Shown to the right are several machines that target tone the derrière, including the Glute machine produced by Life Fitness.
Isometric exercise is a type of strength training done in static positions, rather than being dynamic through a range of motion. "The joint and muscle are either worked against an immovable force (overcoming isometric)..."
Frog Squats - Safe on the Knees
The Frog Leg EZ Swimmer movement is much even than the Frog Squat - an isolation, compound movement - very safe on the knees.
An isometric contraction is where you have no movement or contraction.
The Frog Squats on land are surprisingly comfortable - even for the person who has knee problems.
The Frog Legs with the EZ Swimmer is targeted toning for the buttock using the resistance of the water.
The hips are not engaged in either the Frog Squat or in the Frog Legs. In the Frog Squat, the quadriceps are engage, in the Frog Legs, the quadriceps are not engaged.
Do watch the entire video BEFORE trying! Do take a few seconds to try this movement on land. The coach will give you three different movements with the final being the "True Frog Squat". Don't stop the movement.
Key Points for the Land Frog Squats
- Keep weight through the heels.
- No bouncing.
- Lower your hips to a comfortable position - not a wide range of motion.
- Keep range of motion limited.
Clam Dig Exercise Targeting the Glute
Clam Dig aka Flutterfly Flutter
The Clam Dig with Rotation is another great exercise but it also works the upper body at the same time. When we are working on land or in the water, having an exercise that demands coordination and that works both the lower and upper body is preferred. We need to make our workout as efficient and as fun as possible. Challenge yourself and try this efficient exercise.
I call this the butterfly flutter. A butterfly has both an upper and lower wing. When we move our arm with the barbell we are working our upper body. When we move our leg, we are engaging our lower body muscles - targeting the Glute.
- Start on your right side lying on the floor with your head cradled by your right hand.
- Bend both knees.
- Place a light weight barbell 3-8 lbs in your left hand.
- Keep your elbow next to your body - not resting just within 1-2 inches.
- Life (aka flutter slowly) both your left knee with your barbell toward the ceiling about 90 degrees as shown in the photo above.
- Hold this upward motion for about 2 second, return slowly. Repeat for 8-15 repetitions.
- Switch sides and repeat.
This butterfly flutter is a great floor exercise that works your upper body and your target tones that difficult to isolate the gluteus maximus and gluteus medial. Great for the buttock and the hips.
Five Great Videos that Target Tone the Buttocks
Can't get to the swimming pool for exercise? Anxious to get started on your bikini body? Are you fully motivated after all the celebrity photos? We have you covered. Here are 5 great videos that offer a variety of exercises that target tones our thighs and our buttocks.
Bikini Butt Exercise by DeStorm
The Best Butt Exercise Video
This video is the longest and is available only if you go to YouTube site. It is a great workout and highly recommended. It is nearly 500,000 views. DeStorm and Kelly show you each exercise with clear and concise instruction.
The recommended repetitions are 12-15.
This video includes alternative exercises for adding stability along with advance exercises to take your fitness routine to the next level.
Shelf Butt Exercise
In this exercise, you will note the excellent breathing technique she is also demonstrating. Remember, we want to exhale upon the exertion, inhale upon the return movement.
Summer Shape Up Exercise with Stability Ball
Another video with great instruction for your proper breathing during the exercise.
Hamstring Curl Up - take care not to arch your back.
Stability Ball Knee Tuck - avoid hiking of the hips or sagging of the back.
Short Ball Workout for Your Butt
Targeting Your Butt and Thighs
Four great exercises to target your butt and thighs and great stretches too!
- Hamstring Curl Up
- Bridge Lift
- Single Leg Bridge Lift
- Roll and Lift Bridge
- Hamstring Stretch
- Lower Back Stretch
Remember to never hold your breath, keep the back and neck neutral.
Tageting the Glute on the Balance Ball
This exercise movement is a lifting movement that also engages your core and your hip flexors. Another great exercise that will target that difficult to train backside of ours.
As you will note, this video calls this movement the frog leg - this is the same position as the aquatic frog leg movement where your knees are wide.
Butt Lift Exercise DVDs
More Butt and Thigh Exercise for the Home
If you desire to have more exercises at home right at your fingertips, here are some great items from Amazon from video to target toning.
Try the YouTube Videos First - Free with a Play List
If you want to try these targeted toning exercises for free first, why not try loading the videos into a play list and simply following along at home.
Whatever you choose, remember the only way to get results in exercise is through repetition. Repetition equals results.
Water Workout Swim Board for Target Toning
Targeting Your Glutes with the Aquatic Frog Legs
The frog leg exercise in the water, is most similar to the clam dig exercise we saw above. While the clam dig is a single leg, in the water, we can move both legs - a time savings that also ensure equal number of repetitions.
In the shallow part of the swimming pool, with your feet wider than your hips, stand firmly upright, then slowly rest your chest upon the the buoyant fitness tool called the EZ Swimmer in the water. You will be face down towards the water. Find your balance, make sure you are comfortable. Remember not to arch your neck or your back. Breath deeply throughout the exercise.
Take your feet off the floor of the swimming pool, extend your outward in the position that a frog would have their legs. Slowly move your knees so that your feet move outward. Return your feet inward and there you have it! You will feel your gluteus maximus muscles engaged! First session do just 3-5 to make sure you retain proper form. Second exercise session, incorporate into your normal fitness routine as another exercise in your circuit.
Fun Swim Board - EZ Swimmer
The Fashionable Derrière Summary
The derrière is very fashionable - always has been and always will be - long before even Jennifer Lopez and Jennifer Hawkins. Remember the Victorian dresses and the puff in back? See - the buttocks have always been an important part of our fashion. Add some target toning to your exercise routine to complement your workout. Remember we have 640 muscles in our body. Our fitness program is best when we mix it up. Target toning the buttock is a great way to supercharge our fitness and not just look great but feel good and feel good about ourselves. Target toning is more than just for appearance, it is for strength and function and our overall health. A healthy body houses a healthy mind. Rejuvenate your spirit, change up your exercise routine - add in frog squats, butterfly flutters, or the aquatic frog legs. Most of all enjoy your exercise!
Kelly Kline Burnett from Madison, Wisconsin on January 17, 2011:
You are most welcome. This was a tough subject to pull all the different exercises together. The glute is a hard muscle to target tone beyond the lunges. Thank you so much for stopping by.
sherrylou57 from Riverside on January 12, 2011:
Thank you for all the great information.