Strengthen your core and get the body you want.
A stronger core improves your balance and posture
A tight and perky rear casts a sexy silhouette, but it goes beyond just skinny jeans.
Strong butt muscles also help you perform daily movements better, lower your risk of back pain and injury and improve sports performance, says personal trainer Heanney McCollum.
This is because the buttocks – formally known as the gluteal muscles, or glutes – are the largest muscle group of the body and virtually every movement carried out by the lower body requires their activation.
Whether you’re walking, running, squatting, jumping or climbing, strong glutes will help you move faster, McCollum says.
They also provide hip stability, which helps stabilise the spine and minimise the risk of lower back injury.
In tandem with strengthening the butt muscles, it’s also important to strengthen the core muscles, she adds.
The core supports the spine and is connected to the legs, and aids our balance and posture.
Here, McCollum demonstrates a circuit that works both the butt and core, and will take you no more than 30 minutes to complete in your home or a local park.
Strapping on ankle weights adds resistance.
Perform each exercise continuously at a high intensity for 50 seconds, resting for 10 seconds between each exercise.
Complete the entire circuit four times and finish off with the bonus exercise.
Method: keep your upper body straight, shoulders back and relaxed, chin up and gaze forward.
Engage your core.
Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle.
Make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle (look down to check you can see your toes and your knees are not blocking the view).
Keep the weight in your heels as you push your back leg forward to return to standing position.
Repeat with the other leg and continue alternating sides while moving forward.
Method: stand upright in front of a step with feet shoulder-width apart.
Step up, one foot at a time, placing feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart.
Bend knees and squat, keeping upper body upright and sending the hips backwards as though sitting on an imaginary chair.
Engaging the core, return to standing position, driving through the heels.
Step off, one foot at a time.
Repeat entire move, stepping up first with the other foot. Continue alternating sides.
Method: find a waist-high support structure to place your hands.
Keeping hips squared, extend one leg straight backwards.
Focus on lifting the leg slowly using the butt muscles until it’s in line with your body, but not so high that your back becomes arched.
Hold the leg in the air for two to three seconds, then lower and repeat with the other leg.
Continue alternating sides.
Method: start in plank position with palms on the ground and your spine perfectly aligned.
Bring your right knee towards the right elbow, hold the crunch for two to three seconds, then return to plank position.
Repeat with left leg and elbow and continue alternating sides.
Method: lie on your back with your legs straight up.
Squeeze your abs to fill the space between your lower back and the ground.
Lift your head and shoulders off the floor, extending your arms straight and reaching for your toes.
Method: lie on your back with feet flat on the ground and arms extended by your side.
Lift head and shoulders off the ground and engage your core.
Bring your torso forward and up about 10cm to the right side and touch your right heel.
Slowly return to starting position and repeat on left side. Continue alternating sides.
Method: lie down with knees bent, feet flat on floor and back straight.
Place hands out to the sides for stability.
Raise butt and toes off the ground to ensure you’re pushing through your heels.
When the back, hips and thighs form a straight line, stop and hold for one second.
Lower hips to just above the ground and repeat 99 more times.
– South China Morning Post/Jeanette Wang