Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Try This Move For a Tighter, Sculpted Butt

Let's face it: Butt workouts are a lot of work for a very slow-building reward. If you're like most people, you can squat, lunge, and jump until exhaustion and you'll see more rewards in your quads, hamstrings, and even your calf muscles than your glutes. Why has building a better butt been such a challenge for so many? Chances are that you're doing it wrong by focusing on the butt muscles more than any other muscle group. So let's stop wondering why having the last name Kardashian equates to bigger glutes and start focusing on your glutes and how to build them!

The butt is made up of three main muscles: the gluteus maximus, the gluteus medius, and the gluteus minimus. The maximus is, naturally, the biggest of the three and it is ultimately responsible for the actual shape of your butt. Why? Glad you asked! Good old maximus works every time you raise your thigh, or rotate it, or lift it to the side. Medius and the minimus, while important, work to help the big girl for all the movements she makes. Think of them as your personal gluteal Avengers. They can't all be the Hulk, and the team wouldn't win as often without the Black Widow.

Now that you know how it works, let's get down to how you can build that butt to superhero, Scarlett Johansson super-kicking-bad-guys-in-leather-pants proportions. What can you do to tighten up your glutes and make them look great? Look no further than the lying hamstring curl - a move that is clearly one of the most effective exercises of all time for the butt, and a move that you probably never do (no judgment - just pointing out the facts).

Before you say that a hamstring curl is a hamstring exercise and that we've collectively lost our minds, consider this: While the move does target the hamstrings, if done with focus, it can be the best move to target all three muscles in the superhero squad that makes up your bum. Why? According to Kendall Wood, NASM CPT and author of Core Fitness Solution, "The lying hamstring curl is the best isolation exercise for the muscles you're hoping to grow and, if you add it to your regular butt workout, you're going to see better results, guaranteed."

The Lying Hamstring Curl

How is this exercise performed? Well, all you need is yourself and a stability ball. Here's how to get it done for the best results!

  • Step 1: Lay down on the floor with your feet propped up on the ball and hands out to your sides with the palms facing down for stability.
  • Step 2: Dig your heels into the ball and lift your hips off the floor like you would in a typical bridge position.
  • Step 3: With your heels, slowly roll the ball towards your body as you bend your knees. Do not raise or lower your hips as you do this.
  • Step 4: Slowly return to the starting position, making sure to focus on the contraction of the muscles in your glutes.

Bonus: If you want to kick it up a notch, try doing the move with only one leg on the ball. Wood told us that "Performing the lying hamstring curl unilaterally is a great way to really boost the intensity and force your glute muscles to activate."

Armed with this move and the intensifier of doing it unilaterally is a sure way to building a better, tighter butt. Just be sure to add it to the end of every leg and glute workout you do and you'll be sporting a superhero-worthy bum in no time!

from POPSUGAR Fitness

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