Building Buns of Steel
By Tom Bonanti
As a new year unfolds before us, I
thought it would be nice to throw a few new routines out there
so that we can all tackle our resolution to get to the gym more
regularly and get the most out of the time spent in those
hallowed halls. I thought a great place to star would be
addressing the derriere, more crudely described as your ass.
Actually there is nothing new about any of these
exercises, but as far as shaping, building, and strengthening
your butt muscles these can’t be beat :
The muscles that make up your behind are the gluteus maximus and minimus. The glutes are the strongest muscles of the body. These muscles help you walk, run, jump, and move into an upright stance from a sitting or squatting stance. Regular cardio like stair stepping and running will give you a strong, tight ass, but weight training will insure a bubble butt that will turn heads and cause a commotion.
For building gorgeous glutes you MUST do lunges; I prefer step-up lunges. Stand facing an aerobic step or stair of about mid shin height or a little higher. Your feet should be a long stride away from the stair or step. Begin by taking an exaggerated step forward with your right leg, stepping with your foot onto the stair or platform. Bend the forward knee in line with the floor, but keep your rear leg as straight as possible as you drop it down to stretch the glutes. Push back off the front foot (the front leg does all the work; the back leg merely helps your balance) and return to the starting position. Now step forward with your left leg onto the platform and repeat the exercise. Alternate legs and do 12–15 reps of two to three sets per leg.
You can do walking lunges using the same exaggerated lunge movement if you have the space in the gym or if you have access to a parking lot or track by your home. Holding a dumbbell in each hand as you lunge adds resistance to the exercise and makes it tougher.
Another great glute buster is the wide-stance squat. Stand erect while holding a barbell positioned on the back of your shoulders. Assume a stance with your feet spread wide apart and your toes pointed outward. Now squat down until your upper legs are parallel to the floor. As you descend keep your chest elevated, shoulders back and abdominals tight. Push back to standing position immediately upon hitting the low point. Pause when you reach the top to consciously squeeze the glutes for one to two seconds. Perform three sets of 10 –12 reps.
Here’s an ass shaper that requires no weight, just a flat bench: Kneel on the edge of a flat bench with the left knee, holding the bench with both hands for stability. Hang the right leg toward the floor with the knee bent 90 degrees, keeping the back flat and your head up. Pause with the leg lifted as high and as straight as possible, then lower the leg back to the starting position. After 10–12 reps, switch legs and repeat the exercise. Do several sets per leg.
The above exercises are not only great for glutes, they are also excellent overall exercises for your entire lower body. Remember that squats and leg presses, which are the backbone of any leg routine, are great ass builders as well. Always be to maintain proper form during all exercises.
TOM BONANTI IS A CERTIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER AND
OWNER OF PUMP’N INC GYM AT 1271 NE 9TH AVENUE
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL 33304, www.pumpnincgym.com.