Sure, a toned butt looks amazing in your cutoffs, but the benefits of a sculpted rear go way beyond the visual—like protecting your back, helping you run faster, and amping up your body’s overall power. That said, sitting at a desk for long hours each day can wreak havoc on those buns, leaving them weak and unable to fire properly. The good news: This strengthening series will bring those lazy glutes back to life, no ifs, ands, or butts about it!
Do 30 reps of each move in the series on one side, then repeat the sequence on the other side. Tracy also recommends 30 to 60 minutes of cardio six times a week.
Rolling Attitude and Kick
Start on all fours; lift right knee up and out to side until thigh is parallel to floor (A). Holding the position, lower leg so the right knee is facing down and is slightly in front of the left (B). Extend right leg straight back (C). Lower right leg, pulling right knee forward and coming back to “B.” Return to “A” and repeat.
Sitting Lunge and Arabesque
Start on your hands and knees; step right foot diagonally forward into a side lunge, placing right hand on right knee (A). Swing left knee in, rotating hip to come to sitting (B). Return to “A,” and then extend right leg back and up (C). Repeat.
Twisted Sit with Leg Lifts
Begin on all fours (A); twist at waist to sit on left hip (B), and then return to “A.” Keeping a slight bend in knee, lift left leg up (C). Lower left leg, crossing left knee behind right (D); lift left leg again, this time extending it straight up and out, as you bend arms and lower chest slightly (E). Return to “A” and repeat.
Knee Pull and Butt Squeeze
Start on all fours; bring left hand to hip and extend left leg back and up (A). Bend left knee, pulling it in toward chest (B). Extend left leg back out as you rotate torso to come into a tabletop bridge, with left foot and hand down (C). Rotate back to “A”; repeat.
Lunge Stand and Kick
From kneeling, place right hand down, left hand on left thigh and extend left leg straight back (A). Lower left leg, stepping it forward and lifting right knee to come into a deep lunge (B). Pull right leg forward, stepping right foot next to left to stand with both palms down (C). Reverse motion to return to “A” and repeat.
Butt Buster Plank with Alternating Leg Sweep
Kneel with your left forearm and right hand down; extend left leg straight out with toes on ground (A). Lift left leg up on a diagonal (B). Place left foot back down, and keeping arms in place, lift right leg up with a bend in knee (C). Lower back down to “A” and repeat.
Alternating Butt Lifts
Start on hands and knees; keeping a bend in knee, lift right leg up (A). Return to start, this time dropping left forearm down as you extend left leg up (B). Continue alternating.
This is a partial workout. You can find the rest of the moves at Life by Daily Burn.
When you look at a slam ball, leg and glute exercises may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But incorporating this soft weighted ball into your booty routine will work your lower half hard. Weak hamstrings, glutes and hips can lead to knee and back pain. So if you’re looking for a way to strengthen these muscles, while building power, the slam ball can kill two birds with one big, squishy ball.
Gerren Liles, PROJECT by Equinox master trainer and Reebok ONE Elite ambassador likes to use it for a quick leg workout. “The slam ball is a simple tool that allows you to move in multiple dimensions and directions, and can serve as a load to develop strength and power,” Liles says.
In addition to tightening and toning, the slam ball creates an unstable environment that forces your body to work harder to balance weight. (Stability challenge, anyone?) And because you’ll move in different planes of motion, you’ll work your core, legs and arms, too.
“The ball can be used as a prop to challenge your stability, as you’ll see in the Bulgarian squat and soccer tap drill. It can also be used as a form of resistance in the squat with front push and hamstring curls,” Liles explains. Check out just how versatile this space-efficient piece of equipment can be in the six exercises below.
RELATED: The 30-Minute Slam Ball Workout
6 Slam Ball Exercises That Build Lower-Body Strength
These moves will not only blast your lower half, they’ll help improve your ankle mobility, agility and reflexes. Add some intensity, and they’ll get your heart rate up, too, Liles says. Do 8 to 10 reps of each exercise for two sets.
GIFs: Tiffany Ayuda / Life by Daily Burn
1. Bulgarian Squat
This variation of the squat challenges your balance. To keep your foot from rolling off the ball, engage your core so you can move with more control, Liles says.
How to: Stand with your feet together in front of a slam ball. Step your right foot back and place your toes on top of the ball (a). Keeping your weight in your left heel, slowly lower your body into a lunge, bending your right knee towards the floor. Your left knee should form a 90-degree angle to the floor. Be sure your left knee is stacked above your ankle (b). Straighten both legs and return to standing (c).
2. Lying Hip Bridge With Hamstring Curl
Take your glute bridges to the next level with this variation that also strengthens your hamstrings. The lack of surface area on the ball is an added challenge to making the movement slower.
How to: Lay on your back with your hips lifted off the floor and your calves and heels on top of the ball. Plant your hands on the floor at your sides (a). Draw your heels in toward your butt with control, bending your legs. Your hips should elevate even higher as you squeeze your glutes to bring your heels in (b). Slowly extend your legs back out to the starting position (c).
3. Lying Quad Extension
Your quads, hamstrings and glutes are some of the biggest muscles groups in your body. This simple move fires up all three, helping you torch more calories per workout.
How to: Lie flat on your back and place the ball between your calves with your knees bent. For an added core challenge, you can lift your head off the floor and bring your chin towards your chest (a). Without moving your hips, bring your legs straight up towards the ceiling (b). Then, bend your knees until the ball touches the back of your legs. Remember to press your low-back into the floor throughout the entire movement (c).
Muscles are not exclusively for men. Australian fitness influencer Chyanne Weatherby knows this, and often shares photos of herself flexing her muscles. But she recently decided to take a stance after some followers commented that she looked “manly.” In a side-by-side photo, Weatherby posed in a dress on the left and in her underwear on the right. On the first picture, she wrote, “Not manly,” and over the second, she wrote, “Still not manly.”
"Whack me in a dress and you wouldn’t even think I lift,” she wrote. "So many people are so quick to judge a woman based on her flexed posed.. but I can guarantee that they’re probably the same type of person who’d cat call or stare at her while she’s walking down the street.”
“I’m sick of people feeling as if they can comment on my body saying I look manly,” she wrote then. “Lifting weights will not make you manly. It will make you shapely! What people don’t understand is the amount of effort it takes to look how I do! I flex in my photos because it shows off my muscles, it doesn’t mean I walk around looking like that all day long.”
Aesthetics aside, there’s no reason to associate muscle tone and sex. Both men and women can (and should!) strengthen and tone their bodies. The benefits of weightlifting range from boosting your metabolism to improving sleep.
It’s encouraging that Weatherby is using her platform to promote wellness and self love. For her, self care involves hitting the gym. We believe that any healthy way you find stress relief or some form of self-improvement deserves a thumbs up—not judgmental comments.
Want to turn your body's fat-burning potential up a notch? Check out these five ways to wake up and up the calorie burn.
Exercise. That dawn workout doesn't just put a pep in your step; exercising in the morning also helps boost your metabolism, more than exercising at other times of the day. Studies have shown that people who exercised in the morning burn more calories than those who exercise at other times of the day, so lace up your sneaks and greet the sun for an added calorie burn.
Add intensity. Good news for the time-strapped: a recent study found that a simple intense 2.5-minute burst of exercise can lead to an increased afterburn all day — up to 200 calories worth, in fact. Need ideas on how to add intensity to your workouts? Here are five short exercises that will help you burn extra calories fast.
Don't delay breakfast. Don't skip breakfast just because your day is hectic; eating in the morning helps keep your body at its metabolism-boosting best. Eat a filling breakfast soon after you wake up so your body will be ready to burn energy; try these make-ahead healthy breakfast ideas for grab-and-go mornings.
Muscle up. Overdoing it over the holiday may have still you upping your cardio, but don't forget to add strength-training to your routine as well to build more calorie-burning muscle. Start your day off with this 10-minute muscle-building workout to increase your metabolism and look your best this holiday.
Midmorning snack. Snacking is a good strategy for maintaining weight, but make sure you choose ones that are filling and healthy. Choose ones that have fat-burning properties for an extra boost for your metabolism. Winter foods like pear and cinnamon are a tasty way to burn fat; check out more metabolism-boosting foods here!
This article originally appeared on fitsugar.com
As is the case with training for all distances from 800 meters to 100K, optimal 5K training programs incorporate strength and power training to optimize performance. Although strength training is often excluded from many runners' training programs or treated as occasional cross-training to be completed on non-running days, it is the backbone of great endurance training. The following exercises, as well as additional exercises to develop strength and endurance, can be found in Running Science.
1. Side Sit-Up
Lie on one side with both legs extended and raised slightly off the floor. The side of the upper torso in contact with the floor should lie relaxed on the floor. Place the hand of the bottom arm on the floor to the front so that the arm is perpendicular to the body. Place the hand of the top arm lightly on the back of the head. (Do not pull on the head or neck during the exercise.)
Slowly raise the torso, contracting the abdominal muscles on the top side of the trunk and raising the legs at the same time. Slowly lower the upper torso and the legs back to the starting position on the floor to complete one rep. Don't let the upper body fall to the floor in an uncontrolled manner. Complete 15 reps on one side and then 15 on the other.
2. High Lunge
Stand on a six-inch platform or step so that the forward, lunging foot will undergo an exaggerated downward acceleration. Start with erect posture and feet directly under the shoulders; step down and forward with one foot. After the forward foot makes contact with the ground, move into a squat position so that the thigh of the forward leg becomes almost parallel with the ground. The upper body may incline forward slightly as this happens. Emphasize action of the gluteal muscles and hamstrings to reverse the squat and return the forward leg onto the platform, under the trunk. Complete one rep by returning to the start position.
3. Low-Back Extension with a Twist
Lie on the stomach with arms by the sides, hands extended toward feet, and palms touching the floor. Contract the back muscles to lift and twist the upper body to one side during the first rep. Return to the starting position and then lift and twist the torso to the other side during the second rep. Continue alternating sides for the desired number of repetitions. Be sure to fully untwist the upper body each time the trunk moves back toward the ground so that the stomach and chest, not the sides, touch the ground. Perform these movements rhythmically and smoothly while maintaining good control.
4. Sprint Hop
Hop as quickly as possible for 20 meters, or 66 feet, on one foot, emphasizing extremely quick contact with the ground and forceful forward explosions each time the foot hits the ground. Without stopping or resting, hop 20 more meters on the other foot. Without interruption, repeat the exercise on the first foot and then the other foot. Recover by doing one minute of light jogging. Repeat this hopping and recovery sequence five more times.
A key progression with sprint hopping is to begin performing some of the reps on a hill. Start with a gently sloping incline of about three percent and gradually work up to a 10 percent incline, if possible, and hop both uphill and downhill. Maintain good form and balance at all times and avoid the temptation to look down at the hopping foot.
5. Two-Leg Hurdle Hop
Position eight hurdles in a row, 45 inches apart, with the height of each hurdle set at 23 inches. Starting from one end, jump over each hurdle, landing and taking off on two legs until all eight hurdles have been cleared. Maintain continuous movement. Minimize ground-contact time with each landing, and try to be as explosive as possible. Once you have cleared the eighth hurdle, jog back to the beginning point and repeat four more times for five reps in all. Avoid taking little hops between hurdles and making more than one contact between hurdles. This exercise may also be performed on one leg at a time as a progression.
Running Science is a one-of-a-kind resource that offers the most advanced and in-depth coverage on running. In addition to providing detailed information on strength-training exercises for runners, it includes a wealth of insights distilled from great sport and exercise scientists, coaches and runners. The easily comprehended repository of running research offers an array of the most credible and widely used training principles and programs, and is a celebration of the latest science-based know-how of running. It is available in bookstores everywhere or online at HumanKinetics.com.