Workout Wednesday has arrived and we are going to switch things into strength training mode this week with tips on how runners can achieve the best butt around Boston. A strong runner requires a strong foundation, so shaping your lower body’s biggest asset is an important part of a runner’s training regimen. Incorporate these top butt strengthening exercises into your training and trust that your butt has never looked so fast!
Runners might assume that running alone builds a strong butt and set of legs, but in actuality we all tend to favor one side of our body, which in turn causes muscle imbalance and the potential for injury. Strengthening your butt muscles (the butt is comprised of several muscles termed the Gluteal muscles, with the Gluteus Maximus the largest) by performing mostly single-leg butt exercises will help to even out any muscle imbalances you may have developed while running and also improve overall muscle endurance.
Try to tack on these specific butt strengthening exercises after your weekly recovery runs, but also make sure to utilize your kicked-up cardio to sculpt your behind as well. After an easy run, add a handful of these cardio-centric, butt-blasting moves:
- Hill sprints: End your run at Summit Avenue in Brookline, Heartbreak Hill in Newton or any steeper slope and do 3-5 hill sprints. Increasing the elevation makes you bend more while running, therefore activating your butt muscles.
- Stair Climbing: End your run on Nickerson Field at Boston University or even near the T station entrance at Government Center to take to the stairs at least 10 times up and down. Stadium stair running is a great way to tone your butt while getting a bit out of breath. Make sure to really push.
- Stationary Bike: If you belong to a local gym, hopping on a stationary bike for 20-25 min post-run is a great way to cool down and build up your butt muscles all at once. Biking engages a variety of your butt muscles and allows you to work on some that don’t get utilized during running.
Once you’ve done some cardio-related butt toning, try some of these simple butt-blasting moves that can really make any runner move their behind!
- Single-leg Squat: Squat down on one foot until your leg is bent about 50 degrees and push back up. Don’t let your bent knee extend past your toes. Do 3 sets of 10 reps; add weight and reps as needed.
- Hamstring Push-up: Lie on the floor with your feet bent at 90 degrees on a chair or ab ball and lift your butt off the floor. Lift one leg off the ball toward the ceiling. Slowly lower your body to the floor, using the hamstring of the supporting leg. Do 3 sets of 12 reps.
- Hamstring Ball Curl: Lie on the floor with your legs bent at 90 degree and heels resting on ab ball. Lift your body/butt off the floor and extend your legs until straight. Curl your legs back into starting position and lower butt back to ground. Do 3 sets of 12 reps.
- Walking Double-pump Lunge: Bring right leg into a forward lunge, push back up and quickly repeat. That serves as one rep. Walk forward and repeat double-pump lunge on left. Do a total of 40 double-pumps (20 on right, 20 on left).
- Explosive Lunge: Lunge forward with left leg and then jump up, pushing off the floor with both feet. Switch legs in midair, landing with right foot forward in a lunge. Continue, alternating sides until fatigued.
- Kick-back Squat: Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and sit back into a squat keeping weight on heels. Lift your right leg straight behind you, keeping your hips forward while extending your arms out. Lower back into starting position and switch sides. That serves as one rep. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.
- Step-Ups: Stand in front of a chair or weighted box with 5-10 pound dumbbells at your shoulders. Step up with your right leg onto the box while driving your bent left knee toward the ceiling and pressing the dumbbells together overhead. Step down with your left leg, bring weights back to original position and perform a backward lunge (with right leg forward). Return to original position. That serves as one rep. Do 3 sets of 10 reps on each side.