The Butt Factor

Face it, especially if you're a woman... it's why you're reading this article. It's why you go to the gym. It's why you climb the stair machine... never, EVER reaching the top. It's why you run, jog, cycle and scream obscenities at the Special K cereal TV model while in front of that full length mirror.

It's the butt. Most women are obsessed with theirs. The Buns of Steel video workout didn't sell 13 million copies because of the acting.

So, how do you get your glutes of steel? Women's Sports & Fitness attempted to do just that by enlisting the "butt" expertise of a professor of exercise biomechanics at San Diego State University, Peter Francis, Ph.D.

Together, they rated the top 10 exercises to firm, tighten and shape your buns. Together with a sensible diet, adequate cardiovascular exercise (to burn fat) your butt will be eternally grateful.

One-foot Squat

Seems pretty simple. Like walking a straight line at a DUI checkpoint. Stand on one foot without locking your knee. Lift your other leg in front of you to help maintain your balance. Stick both arms straight out to the sides as if your balancing on a curb... er a high wire. Once you're balanced, slowly bend at the knee and lower yourself as far as you can towards the floor while keeping your foot flat on the floor... no lifting your heel! Slowly return to the starting position and repeat as many times as you can while maintaining your balance. Switch legs and repeat for the opposite leg. Note: don't do this in public for fear of looking like a Karate Kid flash back!

Kickback

No, not with your friends at a bar. Get down on your hands and knees. Lower your elbows to the floor to support your upper body weight on your forearms. Lock your hands together and rest your forehead on them. Taking turns, bend one leg to a 90-degree angle and lift toward the ceiling. Be sure to keep your back straight, no arching! Repeat as often as possible; switch legs and repeat with the other leg.

Sumo squat

Just like it sounds but without the 400-pound sumo wrestler or that revealing thong. Fold your arms out in front of you like you're about to begin a Russian dance. Stand with your feet apart, knees bent in a 90-degree angle pointing over your toes. Lower your butt toward the ground until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Lift yourself back up and repeat until it burns!

Lunge

With your hands on your hips, take one exaggerated step forward without extending your forward knee beyond a 90-degree angle. Keep your other leg pointing backwards for support. Your extended knee should not go too far forward; make sure you can still see your toes over the knee of your bent leg. Reverse lunge back up to the standing position and then lunge forward again on the same leg as many times as you can. Repeat with the other leg.

Deep Squat

Lift an empty barbell (or a light barbell depending on your fitness level) behind your neck and rest it on your shoulders. Firmly grasp the bar with both hands and keep it placed on your shoulders. Keep your back straight and then squat until your thighs are parallel to floor. The range of motion is not very much and both feet should remain planted on the floor... no lifting your heels! Push back up to the starting position and repeat.

Step Up

Using a four-to-eight inch high sturdy wooden box, an aerobic step, a crate or whatever... step up on the box with one foot and then back down to the floor. Keep your arms at your sides swinging back and forth.

Bridging

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Your arms should be at your sides with your palms facing down. Lift your pelvis off the floor as far high as you can while keeping your back straight. Your body should form "a bridge" (hence the name) or straight line between your bent knees and your shoulders. Hold until you feel the burn, return to floor and repeat.

Squat

With your feet hip-width apart, balance an empty barbell or weighted barbell either behind your neck on your shoulders or in front of you on your chest. Keep your back straight and bend at the knees to lower butt to ground. Stop when your knees are bent at a 90-degree angles. Push back up to the starting position and repeat.

Leg Press

On a leg press machine, select a weight that is 30 percent of your body weight. With your feet remain planted and without lifting your heels, push the weight out being careful not to lock your knees at the end of the movement. Slowly lower the weight until your knees form roughly a 90-degree angle and the slowly press the weight back out. Stop lowering the weight if you feel your tailbone or lower back lift off the backrest. Repeat. Rest. And enjoy your great new butt!


This information and other information on this site is intended for general reference purposes only and is not intended to address specific medical conditions. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice or a medical exam. Prior to participating in any exercise program or activity, you should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional. No information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition.