As Kim Kardashian sought to “Break The Internet” with snaps of her exposed derriere, social media went wild and gym buffs flooded the web with their own advice on attaining a photo-worthy behind.
Here are three fitness tips to shape your own derriere, for a stronger lower body while also making sure you don’t injure yourself.
Looking at evolution, it is clear that our lower bodies are powerful and work efficiently as a result as our key differentiator is the fact we are bipedal – we walk on two feet.
Our culture of long periods of sitting down has led to many dysfunctions in our bodies, and as a result the muscle sin our bodies simply don’t operate the way should. Taking this important factor into consideration, the workout routine below will not only help toward toning your rear end but will also ensure you remain pain and injury free in the long run.
Exercise 1: Myofascia release for the hips and front of the thighs
Before we can work the muscle at the posterior chain (back side of our bodies), we must release the muscles at the front of hips and legs which are short and tight.
For this technique you can use different tools – such as a medicine ball, PVC pipe or Baseball – but the tools should be dense in material as this is key to help break down the tight fascia that is restricting mobility in the muscles and joints.
Step 1: Lie face down with your thigh on a PVC pipe, available at any hardware store.
Step 2: Try to keep the thigh you not rolling on, out to the side
Step 3: Bend your elbows at 90 degrees – they will be used for support throughout the exercise
Step 4: Making sure to get the full spectrum of the of the thigh muscle, start to roll along the PVC pipe, beginning from the top of your thigh to just above your knee for 2-5 minutes
Step 5: Be sure to NOT roll on the knee joint itself
Step 6: Switch to the other leg and repeat the process
Exercise 2: The functional lunge
There are many common dysfunctional patterns in traditional lunges, from hips shifting over to one side to poor joint stacking which means more pressure is placed on the knees rather than the muscles. Traditional lunges take a long stride with the feet closer together, but this means we cannot stack the joints in a correct manner and inhibits the body from maintaining a neutral spine.
The functional lunge focuses on joint stacking as a starting point, which reduces pressure on the joints.
Step 1: Stand with your feet a hip’s distance apart, pointing straight.
Step 2: Take one step forward into a lunge position, ensuring that most of the weight is distributed on the front leg.
Step 3: Lift the heel of the backmost foot up.
Step 4: On the lead leg, your joints the ankle, knee, hips and shoulders - should be aligned to make sure you are not tipping to one side.
Step 5: Keep an open posture and keep your navel drawn in throughout.
Step 6: Press off the front heel to step back. If this lunge is performed correctly, you will feel a significant amount of muscle activation in your back of things and rear end.
Perform 8-12 reps for each leg, and 2-3 sets.
Exercise 3: The pendulum lunge
This exercise is more dynamic as it requires the body to apply a principle called the summation of forces (moving the body with gravity).
Step 1: Assuming the same position as a lunge in exercise 2, take a kettle bell in the leading arm and start to generate a mild swing with your arms locked straight.
Step 2: You can allow a slight rotation through your upper body but be sure to keep pelvis straight.
The key is that you should move with the kettle-bell rather than you moving the kettle bell yourself with force.
Step 3: When the kettle bell swings back, time your movement so you hinge your hips back. When the kettle-bell moves back down and past the hip towards the floor, then hinge your hips back.
Step 4: Use the other arm in conjunction with the movement, pulling back the shoulder blades as the kettle-bell swings to the ceiling.
You will find that if your timing is correct you wont have to apply that much force to get the kettle-bell up as high as necessary.
You will feel a significant amount of muscle activation in the rear end of the body and it will also increase your heart rate, helping you burn more calories
Perform 10-15 reps with each arm, and 2-3 sets.