Want a Great Butt? The Sharp Rearview

Submitted by SharpHealth Team on Sunday 10th October 2010
In this article
  • The basics about your backside.
  • Get a better butt by doing cardio exercise.
  • Exercises to keep your rear in gear wherever you are.

You sit at your desk. You sit in meetings. You sit on airplanes. Guess what? All that sitting can be hard on the rearview. Check out these SharpHealth tips for keeping that rear end in Sharp shape. These exercises are perfect for doing at home, at the gym, in the office and on the road — and they’ll keep your butt from looking as flat as it feels after being glued to your seat all day:

Intro to Your Butt

Three muscles make up your butt: the gluteus maximus, the gluteus medius and the gluteus minimus. These muscles move your thighs to the sides of your body and allow you to extend and rotate your legs behind you.

The view from behind is not the only reason to get your butt in Sharp shape. Almost every activity you do involves the use of the glutes. If these muscles are weak, you leave yourself more susceptible to injury and pain. Fortunately, the muscles in your butt respond quickly to exercise and toning efforts.

Get Moving

After you have been sitting all day, a workout can be a welcome relief. While you get moving and burn fat and calories doing cardiovascular exercise, you can also improve the look of your backside. Cardio or aerobic exercise not only helps to tone these muscles, but it also helps trim fat in this area, making the definition of the newly sculpted muscles more visible. The StairMaster™ and the treadmill are both great cardio machines that target your butt. For the most effective butt workout on the treadmill, use an incline setting. While on the StairMaster™, consciously keep your glutes tight (that means squeeze your butt, dude).

Another option is the "elliptical trainer." The elliptical trainer is a low-impact machine that looks somewhat like a StairMaster™, but the foot holds stride forward and back rather than up and down, making the movement on an elliptical trainer more similar to walking. Some trainers also have handles that alternate moving forward and back to provide a more total body workout. The elliptical trainer is a great low-impact alternative to running. When using the elliptical trainer, keep it at a medium resistance and alternate going forward and backward to work all the muscles in the butt most effectively.

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Two other cardio options that appeal to many SharpMen are kickboxing and martial arts. Both types of exercise include a variety of kicking and squatting moves that work all the muscles in your butt. If you want to head outdoors to get in some aerobic exercise, try running or inline skating in a hilly area. To make any of these activities a little more enjoyable, grab your headset and stick in a tape like Shape Fitness Music-Cardio 2: Pure Rock. This tape is designed to get and keep you moving!

When training your butt, focus on quality. Do all moves slowly and move completely through each exercise, making sure you feel the work your butt is doing. Also, make sure your hamstrings or back are not doing more work than your butt.

The following are exercises you can do at home, on the road, in the office or at the gym designed to specifically target your glutes:

At Home

Dumbbell squat:

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Stand with legs at hip-width and knees soft (not locked). With a dumbbell in each hand, bend arms so dumbbells sit on your shoulders. Bend your knees slowly, lowering as if you were going to sit down. Keep your back straight as you lower. Lower knees to a 45-90-degree angle, but don’t bend your knees so much that they go farther out than where your toes are. Return to standing position slowly. Do two sets of 12 reps. Use dumbbells that weigh between 8-20 pounds.

Plank leg lift: Hold your body in a raised pushup position, arms at shoulder-width apart and legs hip-width apart. Raise right foot several inches off floor with foot flexed. Hold foot in the air and point toe. Count to four, flex the foot and lower to floor slowly. Keep glutes tight through the entire move. Switch legs and do four or five lifts on each legs.

On the Road or at the Office

One-legged hop: You may want to request a room on the ground floor if you are going to do this move. With hands on hips or folded across your chest, stand on your right leg with the left one bent to a 90-degree angle. Soften right knee and lower body slightly. Spring up quickly and jump off ground. Land on right foot, regain your balance and then lower again slowly. Repeat jump. Do a total of four to eight jumps on each leg, alternating from left to right after two jumps.

One-legged squat: Cross your arms and lift them away from your chest. Stand on right leg and lift left leg in front of you with knee bent. Keep foot four to six inches off the ground while lowering hips and butt into a squat position. Keep your back straight and lower as if you were sitting down in a chair. Stop when right leg is at about a 45-degree angle. Return to standing position slowly and then repeat for a total of 10-12 reps. Do the same on the left leg.

Sliding squat: Stand with your back against a wall, knees bent to about a 45-degree angle with feet hip-width apart. Lower your body slowly until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold for 20-30 seconds and slide up to standing position. Begin entire exercise again after a 20-30 second rest.

At the Gym

Dead lift: This is a great SharpManexercise to do for your butt. Begin with a comfortable weight and increase as the move becomes easier. Stand facing a barbell with knees bent. Squat down and place hand on bar. Make sure your knees are not bent over your toes. Pick up the bar and your straighten legs slowly. Bring the bar to mid-thigh, keeping your knees soft and your butt tight. Hold for two counts and lower. Do two to three sets of ten reps.

Leg curl: Lie face down on a leg curl machine with your ankles under the rollers and your legs straight. With feet flexed slightly, bend knees and bring feet towards your butt. Do not bend knees past a 90-degree angle. Contract your glutes on the lift. Lower slowly to starting position. Do three sets of 15 using 30-60 pounds.

This article last updated on Sunday 10th October 2010
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