Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Best Workouts for the Butt

Commercials have become something that all of us hate so bad that they actually invented a machine (Tivo) so that you can skip through them entirely.
Well, for those of us who still have to endure the commercial breaks with our favorite TV shows, I've found the cure that not only will make you want a little extra time with those breaks, but will help you feel productive while watching your shows.

After watching TV, I always felt this guilt thinking I should/could have been doing something else. And in most cases, I watched my favorite show rather than exercising. So-I combined my two favorite things together to master my workout and still be able to watch my show without sweating like a dog or feeling like I have to run throughout the entire hour.

Thanks to Jonathon Ross (fitness specialist) and Siri Dharma Galliano (Pilate's guru), both well known fitness trainers for Hollywood, speakers and consultants-they put together the best and most scientifically proven workouts to sculpt your butt to the finest, that we can do all within a commercial break.

Commercial breaks, by law, are supposed to be an average of 3-5 minutes combined. Which, by the end of the hour (your favorite TV show) has given you a perfect 20-25 minutes to do your butt sculpting. I've come to LOVE this strategy, and have made it a habit to do these workouts during each and every commercial break, and to be honest, I haven't felt guilty since.

1. The Squat. One of the best exercises you can do for your butt, hips, and thighs is the squat, say the experts. Stand with feet parallel and shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower your hips, making sure not to let your knees go out past your toes. 20 reps, and for a little extra use some hand weights in both hands. 5-10 lbs.

2. Lunges. Beginning with your feet parallel and hip-distance apart, take a giant step forward or backward. Slowly lower your body, bending both knees. Bend your knees no farther than 90 degrees, keeping your front knee aligned over your front ankle. Step together and repeat.
Alternate legs or do all sets on one leg and then switch for a greater challenge, says Olson: “You’re cutting the rest time by half, and even though you do the same amount, your legs will be working harder.” 1 minute at a time for the "jump lunge".

3. Bridges. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor, hip-width apart. Slowly peel your spine off the floor from the bottom, one vertebra at a time, tightening the glutes and hamstrings (backs of the thighs) until you've created a diagonal line from your shoulders to your knees. Return to the floor slowly, one vertebra at a time.
Olson likes the one-legged bridge: Hold the knees tightly together and extend one leg at knee level while in the bridge position. Do all repetitions on one side, then switch. Hold for 30 seconds, 3 sets on each leg.

4. Step-ups. Using a weights bench (a step would work too-but I usually just use a chair), step one foot on top, then push through the top leg and glute to lift the bottom leg up and tap the bench. Lower and repeat using the same leg.
Add hand weights or a knee lift with the tapping leg for a greater challenge, suggests Olson. Try do do it continually for 1 minute on each leg.

5. Leg/hip extensions. Reaching a leg behind your body is a great way to work the glutes. In Pilate's, it’s done while lying on your side, but you can also do it while lying over a stability ball or standing. Using a slow, controlled motion, extend the leg behind the body while squeezing the glutes and keeping the torso stable. Do three sets of 15 repetitions, then switch legs.

6. Skater plyos. Feeling like a professional skater? Try this plyometric side step. Standing with feet under hips, take a lateral (sideways) hop to the left on your left foot while coming down to touch your right hand to the floor. Alternate sides and try to complete three sets of 20. "This is great for strength, power, agility and toning up," says Durkin, the Pilate's master.

What I'll do is usually switch them daily. Either doing lunges, squats, and plyos for one day, and then switch it up the next. Sometimes I'll focus on just one exercise (ex. lunges) for each break all the way through, then focus on another exercise (ex. bridges) the next break. You can do whichever you want, mix them up, stick to one, or do as many as you can within the break.

Good Luck, and I hope you start enjoying your commercial breaks that much more!