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Health and Fitness Tips
Want a Butt like a Rodeo Star?
Want a better behind? First think, who has great glutes. Rodeo stars, dancers, shortstops, kickboxers, soccer players – all guys who have to take long strides, usually after pushing off powerfully from a standing or crouching start - much like bronco riders.
Now hold that thought. Before we get into specific exercises you can do to duplicate the power-generating moves of these athletes, let's look at exactly what we're talking about here.
There are three gluteal muscles: gluteus maximus, medius and minimus. The maximus is responsible for extending your leg directly behind you.
The medius and minimus work together to lift your leg to the side. The medius is the visible one and provides the roundness on the side of your buttocks; the minimus, which lies beneath it, isn't visible.
Side Leg Lift (This exercise puts emphasis on the gluteus medius and minimus)
Stand alongside an incline bench set at 45 degrees, hands on the bench, legs shoulder-width apart. Shift your weight to your right leg and lift your left leg sideways as high as you can. The side of your foot should stay parallel to the floor. Hold for a second, then slowly return to the starting position. Complete the set of 10 with that leg, then do an equal number of reps with the other. To perform the side-leg lift, you have to anchor the rest of your body. This makes the medius and minimus do the work and keeps all your other muscles out of the action. Your leg will provide plenty of resistance at first; later, you may want to add a light ankle weight. Perform three sets of 10 lifts for each leg.
Extended Lunge (This exercise puts emphasis on the gluteus maximus)
Set up a box, bench or step platform that's eight to 12 inches high. Step back about three to four feet. With your feet together and arms at your sides, step forward with your right leg, placing your foot on top of the step. Lower your body as far as you can; your left knee should almost touch the floor, while your right shin should stay perpendicular to the floor. Push back up and return to the starting position. Repeat the movement with your left leg. That's one rep. Perform three sets of 10 lifts for each leg.
The longer your stride, the harder you'll hit your maximus. Make sure you stretch your quads and hip flexors thoroughly before performing the exercises above. Only when your body is used to the exercise should you add resistance.
Perform these exercises during your regular leg workout. Focus on improving your flexibility and range of motion before adding or increasing resistance. Before too long, you may find yourself enjoying a much higher level of butt-esteem.
Rick Gusler is a certified personal trainer and diet nutritionist who serves his clients through Gusler Body Sculpting Fitness Center in central Denver. To schedule a free consultation, or to learn more about the Gusler method of body sculpting, spin yoga, or Rick's Boot Camp, please contact him at 303.860.7131 or online at www.guslerbodysculpting.com.
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