A Better Behind with Lisa
They might be used extensively for sitting, but according to fitness trainer Lisa Lynn, our gluteus maximus muscles usually don't get much of a workout. In fact, even when we walk, most of us lead with our toes, placing the stress on our thigh muscles, rather than those atop them. Nevertheless, you can give your buttocks a thorough workout, Lisa explains, with the following exercises. Keep in mind that it's important to stretch before and after exercising; to breathe consistently while working out, inhaling through your nose and exhaling out your mouth; and to only hold a position for as long as it feels comfortable. In addition, always make sure to consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program.
Begin with rear leg raises. While standing straight, bring your right foot in back of your left foot, forming a "T." Hold onto the back of a chair or counter for balance, and keeping the right foot perpendicular to your left, lift your right foot straight back. Perform 1 to 2 sets of 40 repetitions. Another exercise is the side leg raise. Stand straight, and lift your leg away from your body until you feel a strain on your buttocks. For each leg, perform 1 or 2 sets of 40 repetitions. Once you're comfortable with the exercise, you can try it using ankle weights.
Lisa also suggests an exercise she calls the "hydrant." Begin on all fours, with your body supported by your knees and forearms (pull your arms in). Keeping your leg bent, raise your leg so the sole of the foot is parallel to the ceiling. Squeeze your buttocks, and keep raising your foot toward the ceiling. Make sure to keep your leg flexed. For each leg, perform 1 or 2 sets of 40 repetitions. Lisa also recommends laying on your side and forming an "L." Bring your top leg over to the side, creating a 90° angle with your bottom leg. Lift the top leg up toward the ceiling. Perform 1 or 2 sets of 15 repetitions.