Better Booties Part 2: The Butt Lift
image: Yelena Isenbayeva (World Record holder for Pole Jump) courtesy of http://ivetlalova.webcindario.com/
BOTTOMS. Buttocks. Rear-ends. Tushies! You’re probably sitting on yours right now. How does it feel? Squidgy or solid? And now take a look at some more, wherever you are. Are they flat, wide, long or sticky-outy? Us girlies obsess about what goes behind. Even in my Pilates class this morning, where we’d usually be obsessing about abs, we were discussing those pesky gluteals. So Better Booties Part 2 is all about getting saggy bottoms to head north!
In Better Booties Part 1: Quick Fixes, I said that flat bottoms are often a sign of weak, inactive glutes. And in my experience, it is rare to find someone with a weak butt that doesn’t experience lower back pain at some point in their lives.
Think of your back like a bike chain. If one of the links is not oiled, or broken, the bike won’t work very well. And if one of the links is missing, it won’t work at all! Your butt is part of your back extensor chain. The links on either side are your lower back and your hamstrings (it’s a little more complex than that but we’re talking pert buttocks here, not looking for a Masters). Put simply, if your behind isn’t pulling its weight, it is often your back (and quads) that takes the load.
Why do we get saggy bottoms?
Aside from your gene pool (you know who you are ladies), environmental patterns such as sitting at a desk for long periods or in your car are the main culprits. If we aren’t used to activating our glutes for nine hours at a desk, 45 minutes in the gym isn’t enough to get them all fired up. And given that we are predisposed to lose muscle as we age, older women tend to find those little glutes heading south.
STOP PRESS … it doesn’t have to end like this. Stay tuned for the holy grail of blogging ... maintaining your metabolism well into your free Oyster card years.
How can we get perky tushies?
Put simply: get those sleepy muscles to wake up AND isolate your buttocks! This could be a simple as giving them a good prod before and during your workout! Don’t believe me? Think about other areas of the anatomy that require stimulation (please draw your own conclusions here). Muscles are all about nerve responses. If the nerve pathways from your brain to your muscles aren’t open, we need to give them a helping hand.
Look at sportswomen who have fabulous bottoms and copy the actions they do. Sprinters. Jumpers. Gymnasts. Skiers. Ice skaters. Their sports all require stability, strength and power from their butts. So when you want to train yours, at home or in the gym, use all three elements to create your workout.
Here are my favourite exercises for better booties:
1. STABILITY - THE PILATES SHOULDER BRIDGE
This is a great starter exercise. Hold this position and to ensure the buttocks are awake, give them a good prod with your fingertips. When you feel the glutes are taking the load you can progress the exercise by lifting one leg at a time.
2. STRENGTH - SINGLE LEG SQUAT
Stand on one leg in front of a chair; sit down; and then stand up again on one leg. Use your arms for balance. Repeat on both legs.
Can't stand up on one leg? Those glutes need some serious attention!!
3. POWER - BENCH JUMPS
Starting with a gym step, stand with your feet either side of the step and jump both feet onto the step. Then jump back down to a squat. Repeat. Focus on jumping from a slightly squat position and really try to squeeze your buttocks as you jump!
Got a question?
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or via my website www.klhfitness.co.uk.