3 Great Butt Exercises for a Better Butt!
So, you're down in the dumps over your sagging rump? Well get your dread out of your butt and set your sights on a fabulous, fat-blasting workout from fitness guru Brad Schoenfeld.
If your glutes regimen has bottomed out and you dont know where to turn, its time to kick it up a notch with Schoenfeld's 12-minute routine. Set aside three days a week (at the most), perform the trio of recommended exercises and you'll kick slimming success in the can... literally.
For many women, the bumpy backside is a frustrating trouble spot. A virtual fat storehouse, a dumpy derriere is often the downfall of an otherwise fabulous figure. It drags down the body -- and your esteem -- like an anchor on a ship.
But you can firm that fanny with some tried-and-true techniques from Schoenfeld, the author of Look Great Naked: Slim Down, Shape Up and Tone Your Trouble Zones in 15 Minutes a Day (Prentice Hall Press) and Sculpting Her Body Perfect (Human Kinetics). The in-demand trainer says the secret to taming your least favorite asset is working it from multiple angles.
The butt is made up of three separate muscles: the gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus and gluteus medius. The trick is to target each of these areas. Schoenfeld stresses that its quality, not quantity, that counts.
Its what you're doing and how you are doing it rather than how long you are doing it that breeds results, he tells eDiets. Less is more, provided you workout properly.
Schoenfeld says that by using improper form when exercising, you not only work the wrong muscles, but you also set yourself up for injury. He says that, on average, about 90 percent of us dont train properly. Thats why we need to get educated when it comes to fitness. Learn the proper way to do the exercises before venturing out to the gym or working out at your home.
Here are four important rules to keep in mind when youre working the glutes:
1. Be careful doing exercises like the stiff-legged dead lifts, back kicks and similar variations, if you have previously injured your back. The muscles of the lower back (spinal erectors) are highly involved in the performance of these movements and can receive excessive stress, especially when you use weights. If this is a concern, you should employ unweighted versions of these movements that safely stimulate the hamstrings and the glutes while simultaneously strengthening the muscles of the lower back.
2. To apply proper stress to your glutes, you must concentrate on contracting these muscles on every repetition. Women generally have difficulty understanding how to contract their glutes properly during exercise. If this is your concern, practice the movement without weights until it becomes second nature.
3. An excellent way to increase the muscle tone of the glutes is to supplement your training with butt squeezes (isotension). This technique is both effective and extremely convenient. You can perform them almost anywhere, including when you are on the couch watching television, in line at the supermarket or in bed asleep. Simply contract your glute muscles, hold the squeeze for as long as possible (aim for 30 seconds or more), then release. After you are comfortable with the technique, try to do them in sets, counting each squeeze as one repetition. Perform three sets of 15 reps several times a week, and youll soon have buns of steel.
4. During open-chain hamstring exercises (leg curls and their variations), you can shift emphasis to various muscles of the hamstrings by varying your leg position. Turning your legs slightly outward (external hip rotation) targets the biceps femoris, while turning your legs slightly inward (internal hip rotation) works the semitendinosus and semimembranosus to a greater degree. Be careful to stay within a comfortable range. Excessive hip rotation, when combined with intense knee flexion, can lead to a joint-related injury.
If youre flat-bottomed rather than fat-bottomed and want to bulk up your booty, try 8 to 10 reps of the following exercises. If you are concentrating on muscle tone and endurance, perform 15 to 20 reps of each set.
Stiff-Legged Dead Lift
Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grasp a straight bar and let it hang in front of your body. Keeping your knees straight, slowly bend forward at the hips and lower the barbell until you feel an intense stretch in your hamstrings. Then reverse direction, contracting your glutes as you rise upward to the start position.
Standing Leg Curl
Begin by attaching a cuff to a low cable pulley and then securing the cuff to your right ankle. Position yourself so that you are facing the weight stack, and grasp a sturdy portion of the machine for support. Slowly flex your right knee, stopping just short of touching your butt with your foot (go as far as comfortably possible). Contract your right hamstrings, and then reverse direction, returning to the start position. After performing the desired number of repetitions, repeat the exercise with your left leg. At home, attach a strength band to a stationary object and then fasten it to your ankle. Grab on to a stationary object and perform the move as described.
Begin by lying down on your left side. Bend your left leg at a 90-degree angle and bring your left foot to rest underneath your right knee. Keeping your right leg straight, slowly raise it as high as possible. Contract your glutes, and return to the start position. After finishing the desired number of repetitions, turn over and repeat the process with your left leg. For added intensity, attach leg weights to your ankles.