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Posted by J.J. Ellis on 12/20/2020

Top tips for a toned booty, abs and triceps

Top tips for a toned booty, abs and triceps

There are many different ways to tone your abs, butt and triceps. If you were to generally be active on a regular basis, eat healthily, and get enough sleep on a regular basis, there is a good chance that you would achieve this. But if you want to be quite targeted with your approach, then here is a good way to go about it.





Straight off the bat, I would like to address one common misconception in regards to getting abs (or the washboard image). Many people think that doing a lot of crunches will achieve this. If all that you did was crunches, then it would be almost impossible to achieve this. Yes, crunches will work your abs, however there are better ways to tone your abs. Everyone has abs – you just need to lower your bodyfat percent sufficiently to see them. This involves a healthy diet, consistently getting enough sleep, and exercising. One of the best ways to reveal those abs is by running (yes, running not only burns a lot of calories, but also places a physical demand on your abs). But if you want to GROW your abs, there are some more effective exercises than crunches.


If you don’t have any issues with your back, then marching planks is a great exercise to strengthen and work your abs. To do these, just perform a plank and then raise one foot off the ground for a second and then place it back down again. Then do this with the other foot. Continue to do this for as many as you can. ( If you can do more than 20, then you are already quite strong. ) By reducing the points of support to only three ( ie. two elbows and one foot), your abs and core need to brace up much tighter. However this exercise can place a fair degree of strain on your lower back, so stop as soon as it begins to feel uncomfortable there.


The next exercise that I recommend is ab roll-ways. To perform these you will need a fit-ball (the large blow up balls that you see at the gym). Place your elbows on it, then straighten your body out until you are in a plank position. Hold this position and then roll the ball forward with your elbows (whilst keeping the rest of your body in a strict plank position). Your abs will have to work quite hard to maintain the strict plank position. This exercise is also quite demanding on your lower back, and it is unlikely that you will be able to roll the ball more than a couple of inches forward before you start to feel strain there. But even if you only roll it a few inches, you will still feel it working your abs. See if you can do 10 of these.


For both marching planks and ab roll-aways, perform three sets. If this is the first time that you’ve done either of these exercises, just do two sets, otherwise you might be quite sore for a few days.


Other exercises that will instigate a high degree of muscle fibre recruitment in your abdominal muscles are most weights exercises (as long as you’re trying to lift heavy). Examples are cable bicep curls, cable tricep push-downs and front barbell shoulder raises. Weighted squats and farmer’s carries will also require a high degree of activation in your abs. Deadlifts are another great exercise to work your abs, however they are an exercise that have a high degree of inherent risk for injury to your back and therefore should only be performed under the instruction of a professional until you have some experience in how to perform them properly. And they should definitely not be attempted if you have any issues with your back.


If you do have issues with your back, you may be restricted to doing crunches. If you want to see results however, you will need to ensure you incorporate methods of lowering your bodyfat percent. This could be by increasing your levels of activity, or by increasing your basal metabolic rate (how much energy your body expends whilst at resting state). This is primarily a function of your muscle mass. Thus by doing weights and increasing your muscle mass, you will automatically be burning more energy all of the time. Another exercise you can try if you have issues with your lower back is one that is similar to marching planks, however conduct you would conduct them on your knees instead of your toes.



If you are not a member at a gym, then find a bench in a park or a chair at home (just make sure that it is stable), and do as many dips as you can. Complete this 3-5 times. However, if you are just starting out, only do 2 sets otherwise you will be quite sore for the next few days.


If you do have access to a gym, then cable tricep push-downs will really target your triceps. To perform these, adjust the cables to the top of the rung. Then attach either a rope or a bar. Grip this, then hold your elbows by your side and straighten you arms. Repeat this ten times for three sets.


Bench press and shoulder press exercises will also recruit your triceps. In fact, some people will only do these two exercises as they find that they see enough results for their triceps by just doing these two.


Another exercise that you can do is push-ups. That’s right, push-ups work your triceps. And they have the added bonus of also working your abs (they are essentially a plank). If you really want to target your triceps, place your hands about shoulder width apart and keep your elbows by your ribs. This will make them quite difficult however, so I would suggest only doing them this way if you can do at least ten, otherwise you would get better results by doing normal push-ups.



The quickest way to grow your booty is to lift as heavy as you can for sets of 8 – 12 reps on squats and deadlifts. If you are just starting out, bodyweight squats may be all that you can manage. This is fine – just give it time. The idea is to do what is challenging for you, and with time you will grow stronger at which point you would start to incorporate a little weight.


In regards to deadlifts, whilst they are a great exercise that will help grow your booty (as well as strengthen the rest of your body, including your abs), they are a risky exercise. Therefore as I iterated before, only attempt them alone if you already have substantial experience in doing them.


When conducting squats, go as deep as you can. Research has shown that the deeper you go, the greater the degree of muscle fibre activation (therefore greater muscle growth) however this may not be suitable for people that have knee injuries. In this case, just go as deep as you’re able to without feeling pain. If you have knee issues, glute bridges and donkey kicks may be suitable alternatives.


One exercise that really targets your glutes is straight-legged deadlifts (also known as Romanian deadlifts). These are similar to deadlifts, however you keep your knees relatively straight throughout the movement. This places all of the load on your posterior chain (ie. your glutes and hamstrings). Do not expect to be able to lift as much on this exercise as you would when doing a normal deadlift, however it will still be working your glutes substantially. This exercise can be performed slightly more safely if done with kettlebells instead of a barbell, however I strongly recommend only doing it if you are already experienced in conducting it (just like a normal deadlift, it places a lot of strain on the lower back).


Another exercise that will work your glutes is pulsing lunges. This is where you bob up and down whilst in the lunge position. If you are strong enough, try holding onto some dumbells when doing them. Aim to do 8 reps, then place the other foot forward and do another 8 reps. Do this for three sets. If you are using dumbells, then you should have enough weight so that the final three reps are quite challenging.


The final exercise that I recommend is step-ups. You can use either a bench in the park, or if you have access to a gym, use one of their boxes or bench-press benches. If you are just starting out then your own bodyweight might be sufficient. But if you find that you can easily do ten reps, then grab some dumbells. To maximise your glute engagement, keep your hips square (facing forward) as you step up, and try not to lean forward.

The above exercises are the best exercises for growing your booty. If however you wish to target the side of your booty ( your gluteus medius muscle), then try side-leg raises. To do these, lay on your side, curl your knees up, then raise one knee towards the roof. Only raise your knee however – your foot will remain resting on your other foot. If you wish to make this exercise more challenging, invest in a band. These can be purchased online or at a sports store, and you wrap it around your thighs just above your knee.


If you are not solely focused on building your booty as quickly as possible, and you’d just like to tone it, stair climbs and hill climbs will help you do this. They will also have the benefit of aiding in building your fitness.   


For those that are just starting out, aim to do all of these exercises 3 times a week. However, if you have been doing them for a few a months and are ready to see more results, you would be better off redesigning your program so that you only did one body part each time you did a workout. However, you would train each body part twice a week. This is because the intensity of your workouts will increase as you get stronger, and therefore you need more recovery time between sessions.


If you wish to not only grow your butt, but also tone it as well, walk as often as you can and for as long as you can. Weekend hikes are a great way to do this. But I would also suggest going for a few 1-2 hour long walks during the week as well.


Exercising right is only part of the equation. Your progress will be slow, or non-existent, if you are not getting enough sleep each night. The majority of muscle repair and growth occurs when you are asleep. A quality diet is also necessary. Ideally have a healthy meal within an hour of finishing a workout – this is when your muscle cells are most receptive to absorbing nutrients and protein, and this is what will help your muscles grow.

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