Get your rear into gear by working it

by Beacon Staff • November 16, 2005

,Many people hate their backsides. They think their buttocks are too big or too small, too round or too flat. While Mother Nature and genetics certainly play major roles in what body shape a person's stuck with, hope still exists.

A few simple exercises can target the problem areas and put that butt in whatever shape you want.

Whether the goal is to be toned (reduce fat) or develop definition (build muscle), there are several exercises which can benefit everyone. Among the best are those that work the quad (thigh) muscles as well as the glutes (butt), according to Emerson College Fitness Center staff member Alexis Smith.

Katelyn Haggerty, ECFC fitness manager, said that tightening the bum muscles during specific exercises places "more concentration on the overall muscle group," which helps make the workout more effective.

Lunges are one way to tone the butt. In addition to benefiting the caboose, Smith said lunges also help tone the legs.

With one leg placed in front of the other at a wide stance, lower the body so the back knee nearly touches the ground. Come to an upright position again, switch legs and repeat.

According to eDiets.com, this exercise can be done when walking by lunging 15 to 20 steps in one direction, then turning around and using the same form to return to the starting point.

For muscular definition, Smith said, these can also be done holding weights.

Smith said another great butt exercise are kickbacks (also known as the kneeling hip extension, bent leg reverse kick up, butt buster floor exercise, etc.)

According to eDiets.com, this exercise is done on all fours and involves getting on hands and knees, then lifting one leg at a time back and up toward the ceiling. Ankle weights can be added to increase difficulty, said eDiets, which would also help build muscle back there on the derri