Even though I work out and am not overweight, my butt has gotten flatter—which makes me look old. What can I do to get a younger-looking butt?A
It can be discouraging when you’re keeping yourself fit but your bum still looks like it suffered a landslide.
But here’s good news for you: There are certain exercises that can not only strengthen your hip bones and spine, reducing your risk for falls and fractures—but also give you a better-looking derrière.
One reason buttocks flatten is from spending too much time sitting. Long periods of sitting cause butt muscles (specifically, one muscle called the gluteus medius) to weaken and sag—what physical therapy experts call “gluteal amnesia.” An easy way to help counteract this butt slump is to just get up and walk around for a few minutes every hour.
Another effective way to strengthen and firm buttocks muscles is with yoga. The following three poses are especially good for butt firming. Do them daily for the most benefit—but even doing them a few times a week will help. (Check with your doctor before trying these if you have osteoporosis or are being treated for a medical condition.)
Chair pose (builds strength and endurance in glutes): Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and tighten your butt and abdominal muscles. Raise your arms up above your head, elbows straight, while you bend your knees and slowly lower your butt back—as if you were lowering yourself into an imaginary chair. Hold the “sitting” position while you take eight breaths. Then slowly lower your arms and straighten your legs back to standing position.
Locust pose (strengthens your lower back and tightens butt): Lie facedown with your arms stretched out in front of you, palms facing each other. (This is a variation of the traditional Locust pose, where your arms are at your sides.) Tighten your abdominal and butt muscles as you raise your legs, upper body and arms a few inches off the floor. Hold the position for six to eight breaths. Then lower your upper body, arms and legs to starting position. Rest for one or two breaths, and repeat the move three more times. Note: If you feel pinching or pain in your lower back while doing this move, lower your legs.
Bridge pose (helps counteract “gluteal amnesia”): Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor with heels several inches from your butt. Tighten your abdominal and butt muscles, and raise your hips off the floor until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Hold the position for four to eight breaths—don’t let your hips sink!—then slowly lower your hips back to starting position. Rest for a few breaths, then repeat three times. Note: If you feel any pain in your lower back while doing this move, lower your hips slightly.