The 3 secrets of a better bum!

Kim Droze

Flabby... Loose... Tubby... Saggy... Frumpy... Dumpy... Flat...

No, they aren’t Disney's rejected names for the Seven Dwarfs. They are the seven unflattering ways to describe your behind! Perhaps you know the kind we’re talking about. One with a life of its own - you walk one way, it jiggles another.

If you’re under 40, maybe you’ve yet to feel the effects of gravity. Maybe your bum is still tight and toned. Well, it's never too early (and certainly never too late) to concentrate on toning your tush.

It takes more than just a healthy diet to keep your derriere looking dynamite - use it or lose it! After the age of 30, women start to lose muscle mass. Even if the bum doesn’t have much fat, it will sag. That’s why it’s imperative you start a suitable exercise routine.

For women, the glutes are one of the hardest muscle groups to whip into shape. That’s because the bum is generally a storehouse for fat. It isn’t that it's necessarily hard to tone the glutes, but it is harder to see the muscles when they are blanketed by a layer of fat.

That’s where the 1-2-3 punch comes in. To best firm a backside, you must follow a healthy diet, perform regular cardiovascular exercises and do weight training several times a week.

A healthy diet will ensure you are getting the right calories to meet your needs, avoiding weight gain. Cardiovascular exercise will help you burn up excess stored calories and weight training will tone those muscles right up!

And you don’t need a gym membership to get active! While a treadmill or exercise bike may come in handy, there are other things you can do that cost next to nothing. Jogging, skipping, walking up and down stairs or riding a bike all fit the bill. The key element to an effective cardio workout is keeping your heart rate elevated.

Toning exercises should be done a maximum of three days a week with 48 hours rest between each session. You can do cardio and weight training on alternate days, or you can do both workouts on the same day, using the in-between days as a rest.

To get the most out of the workout below, do the proper amount of reps of the first exercise - 8 to 10 using heavy weights, 15 to 20 using light weights. After completing the first exercise, move on to the second and third exercises without resting. When you have completed all three exercises, rest for 30 seconds and repeat the entire set. After the second set, rest 30 seconds and repeat a third and final set.

Unilateral hip extension
Begin by placing your left knee on the bottom of an incline bench. Bend your elbows and place your forearms across the top of the bench so they support your body weight. Slowly raise your right leg as high as comfortably possible, keeping it straight throughout the move. Contract your glutes and then reverse direction, returning back to the starting position. After performing the desired number of repetitions, repeat the process on your left. If you don't have access to a bench, just use a chair for this exercise.

Standing leg curl
Begin by attaching an ankle weight to your right ankle, if you have one. Working without a weight will be almost as effective. Grasp onto a stationary object and slowly curl your right foot upward, stopping just short of touching your bum or as far as comfortably possible. Contract your right hamstring and then reverse direction returning back to the starting position. After performing the desired number of repetitions, repeat the process on your left.

Lying abduction
Begin by lying down on your left side. Bend your left leg at a 90-degree angle and bring your left foot to rest underneath your right knee. Keeping your right leg straight, slowly raise it as high as possible. Contract your glutes and return to the starting position. After finishing the desired number of repetitions, turn over and repeat the process on your left.

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