The muscles of the buttocks, called the gluteus maximus and the gluteus medius, help the body walk, jump, lunge and climb. As a result, these muscles power running, climbing, cycling, skating and just about any activity or sport that involves heavy use of the legs. You can tone your buttocks and your legs by practicing these sports instead of spending hours in the gym.
If you can't see yourself spending hours on the treadmill or cruising your neighborhood at first light, work out your glutes by participating in a sport that requires a significant dose of running. Soccer, lacrosse, field hockey and football all involve heavy use of the legs -- and the glutes. The sudden sprints in each of these sports forces the body to make energy anaerobically, which improves explosive strength. This type of exercise also burns a high percentage of calories from fat, and the length of the games increases endurance -- the best of both worlds, fitness-wise.
Skating and Cross-Country Skiing
If you push off and slide with your feet, you are engaging your glutes. Skating, in addition to being excellent cardiovascular exercise, heavily works the buttocks. Not a fan of the cold? No problem -- purchase a pair of in-line skates and take your game out on the sidewalk. If skating isn't for you, try cross-country skiing. Not only does cross-country skiing work the glutes, the pole-planting action exercises the muscles of the upper body, in addition to the heart and lungs.
Scaling New Heights
Any time you climb, you heavily engage your glutes. Rock climbing and hiking are excellent examples of sports that work the glutes and your endurance at the same time. If possible, pick a route with large boulders that you can climb up and over. Don't worry if you don't live near the mountains -- walking or jogging up steep hills engages the muscles of the rear leg -- including the hamstrings and calves -- as well as the buttocks. Squeezing your glutes with every step maximizes your results.
Cycling, Tennis and Beach Volleyball
Cycling is an effective lower-body low-impact workout that strengthens and tones the glutes and legs. Further engage the glutes by staying seated during tough hill climbs, or pushing your buttocks back over the seat when you're in a standing position. If you prefer exercising indoors, try a cycling class -- the constant resistance works legs continuously without the annoyances of traffic, road hazards and weather conditions. Finally, any sport that involves squatting and lunging works the buttocks. Tennis and beach volleyball make excellent choices -- not only do they exercise the buttocks, they provide an ample full-body workout.