Want a Nice A**? Kick'in Glutes Can Be Yours: Exercises of the Week

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So with the summer ahead and everyone starting to look at cute swim suits and shorts that hug our butt like your best pair of jeans, you might be wondering how you can tighten up the rump.  The truth is,  if I were standed on a desert island and needed to stay firm, strong, athletic, flexible and tight I would only need these exercises for my legs.  They are without a doubt the best exercises for your butt, hips and hamstrings.  

So if you want a butt like this, add these exercises to your routine.  You will thank me. I choose these rear ends because they were some of the best ones I could find on the internet.

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I didn't want you to think I was writing something that will make you feel like I am setting you down the body builder's path.  I want to show you the type of butt I wish upon you for the summer ahead.  So if you are looking to:

1.  trim it down
2.  like your overall shape, but want to firm it up
3.  tighen the back of your thighs (hamstrings)
4.  get a butt lift ................
.........these exercises will do it. Additionally, the type of activities I am suggesting will make you feel the specific muscle action after a handful of workouts.  I will list the best of the best for the butt - but I am featuring two specific exercises that take 1st and 2nd place in the TIGHT ROUND RUMP CONTEST.

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(For the record, none of these are pictures of me, I am not that brave, but I will testify that they worked for me after 3 babies in 3 years and 2 months).

Best Exercises for the Best Butt
1. Kickbox Your Heart Out, This Includes Muay Thai. Roundhouse Kick
I do not mean crappy cardio kickboxing style classes that have you jumping off the walls and bouncing in-between kicks.  Learn the technique and you will maximize the muscle recruitment which will involve all in the glut family (there are 3 of them).  More proper muscle involvement means less injury and more muscles being tighten, firmed and rounded.
The exercises featured highlight the side kick and roundhouse.  Different from the round kick in Thai.  The roundhouse is a perfect exercise. It targets the gluts like no other exercise.  On top of it, the snap back or recoil of the kick is an explosive hamstring curl that firms the back of the leg.  (pictures below)

2.  Kickboxing Has Even More to Offer. Side Kick
The side kick is the other exercise featured in the slide show below.  Is offers the same glut intensity as the traditional roundhouse.  It involves the hip flexors more than the roundhouse.  But like its perfect counterpart, when you have amazing technique it sculpts the core, obliques, butt and hips. (pictures)

3.  Lunges Stepping Back - Often called the split squat.  It can be done in many directions, forward, side and in place.  I prefer the rear stepping lunge because I find it easier to control the placement of your weight into the center of your foot.  A lot of people complain of discomfort in the knee when doing lunges.  I plan on featuring this exercise specifically soon and providing you with a break down of the proper biomechanics, as well the options.

4.  Plie Squat Jumps - Taken straight from ballet class.  This explosive move requires the inner thighs to fire and are recruited in the right way.  Additionally when done properly, the gluts tighten.  Beginning in a plie squat (toes turned out and feet about 2-3 shoulder width apart), jump off the ground in small bunny jumps.  Stay in place.  Ideally point your toes when you do this exercise to ensure all the muscles in the inner thigh and gluts to contract when you are at the peak of the jump.

5.  Step Up with a Side Leg Lift (Abduction) - Fairly Functional and Standard.  There are some fancier exercises that are great for getting a tight butt.  But step ups are completely functional and train your balance.  Keep the height of the step around 6 to 12 inches (maintain a right angle at your knee).  When you reach the peak of the step up, slowly lift the free leg to the side of the body via abduction (using the glut).  You can alternate sides on this exercise or isolate one leg at a time. 
Kim Samborski is a trainer at Equinox who has an amazing athletic and strong female body (and her butt's pretty nice too).  She is doing the roundhouse and side kick with cables.  This is a much more intense version of the exercises given above.  You should begin without the cables, coping the same exact form.  If you want to learn to do it right- it is worth learning how to kick with perfect form.
TOMORROW'S BLOG will give you a specific program with these 5 kicking exercises.
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