Fire Up That Booty


The glutes (AKA - Booty, Bottom, Gluteus Maximus or Minimus), are really not worked during exercises that do not involve hip movement, such as leg extensions or hamstring curls.  So, here is a 30 minute leg workout, that will not only increase your hamstring and hip strength, but will help you "Beef Up" that booty and prepare you for those long runs where the front of the leg muscles seem to take over and leave the posterior muscles (this includes the hamstrings) behind.  Remember, you will need to actively contract your glutes and abdominals, at the same time, lengthening the thighs.  

  1. Warm-up by taking the CoreRippic with a side of Hams Indoor Cycling class...(click here for details and playlist)

  2. Moving onto the strength training, you will want to start your 30 minute workout with a compound exercise for the legs such as Squats.  Although there are several variations of squats, Plie Squats are definitely my favorite.  Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes turned out.  When squatting, keep your knees over your ankles at all times, and lengthen out of the torso by contracting the abdomen and pulling back the shoulder blades.  Press through both feet, equally distributing your body weight through the entire foot, with some emphasis on the heels, and squeeze your glutes as you come up to standing.  You can increase your squat strength by up to 25% just by developing your hamstrings…

  3. Contrary to what I just said, we will start with 3 sets of Leg Extensions, with a maximum of 15 repetitions.  You should feel as if you cannot physically complete even 1 more of these quadricep strengthening exercises by repetition number 15.  These Leg Extensions will fatigue the quadriceps, forcing you to actively use the posterior leg muscles during the following exercises.  Remember that sitting up straight in the seat of the Leg Extension machine forces you to contract more abdominal muscles and helps you to focus on the postural muscles while completing each repetition.  Also, make sure to flex the feet through each repetition as this forces the quadriceps to work even harder.

  4. Always start hamstring training with a compound exercise.  Stiff-Leg Deadlifts are one of the best mass building exercises for the hamstrings.  To perform Stiff-Legged Deadlifts, grab a barbell and place a moderate or light weight on it.  Be sure to begin this exercise using light weight until you learn the proper form.  Place the weighted barbell on the ground grabbing the bar with both hands.  Lift the barbell up and down, making sure that you keep your legs straight and tense.  Be sure to move the hips back and out of the way as you lower the bar.  Lower the bar down as far as you comfortably can, as to not force yourself to go lower than you naturally can.  Your focus should also be on contracting the abdomen, bringing the navel up and into the spine.  Do not worry about using a lot of weight with these exercises.  8 repetitions are just fine with Deadlifts, as using too much weight or too many repetitions can sometimes irritate the lower back muscle.  Be especially careful of Deadlifts if you have any lower back issues.  Unless done with an extreme cautious form, these can add strain to that specific area of the body.

  5. Leg Curls are the main strength training exercise weight lifters use for their hamstrings.  Leg Curls put more emphasis on the lower portion of your hamstring, and can be done lying, standing, or in a seated position.  Same positioning applies here as with the leg extensions.  While seated, sit up straight with abdominals contracted with postural muscles defined.  Rather you are performing lying, seated or kneeling curls, always keep the feet flexed throughout each repetition as to keep the primary muscle the quadriceps contracted and therefore supporting the hamstrings throughout the movement.  Again, 3 sets of 15 repetitions with a weight that maximizes the 15th repetition, is required for optimal conditioning.

  6. Walking Lunges are a great final exercise to finish off the energy in your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.  Simply place a lightly weighted bar behind your head and across your shoulder blades.  Lunge forward with the right foot, planting the foot completely before lowering into the lunge.  Repeat with the left leg and alternate legs as you walk around the gym or outside track.  I have even been known to perform Walking Lunges up and down the sidewalks of my neighborhood.  I recommend no more than 100 lunges starting off.  Increase your repetitions but not necessarily your weight as you progress.  This specific part of your workout is focusing on warming up those leg muscles.  So again, not too much weight is recommended.  In my opinion, walking lunges are the best exercise for the booty.  Try them…You too will feel the effects immediately.  Also, instead of the weighted bar on the shoulders, try grabbing a weighted medicine ball and reaching both arms down toward the floor outside the front foot, as this motion really assists in targeting the glutes specifically….

***Going back to hamstring versus quadriceps strength…If your hamstrings are inferior to your quadriceps, give them a training day of their own with 100% of your attention…When training your hamstrings, you should always do at least three exercises and do it at least once a week***

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