• When buns go south

  • Pssstt. Just between us "… have you ever looked at those ads for padded derriere enhancers and wondered whether maybe they would improve your rear view?
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  • Pssstt. Just between us "… have you ever looked at those ads for padded derriere enhancers and wondered whether maybe they would improve your rear view?
    Don't waste your money.
    With a little time and effort each week, you can reshape the way your back pockets look in those designer jeans — or swim suit — or that slinky, little, black dress.
    The gluteals — gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus — play a more important role than simple sex appeal. Strong glutes improve lower-body strength and stability.
    Below are some exercises that, done three times a week, will result in a much more natural and permanent solution for those southward-bound buns than any store-bought contraption. Weights or resistance bands can be added if desired. Really concentrate on tightening the glutes as you execute these moves.
    Lunges
    1. Step forward with your right leg and bend both knees until the left knee nears the ground. Keep your head up and spine aligned. To avoid knee injury, do not allow the front knee to extend past the toes.
    2. Use leg and glute muscles to come out of the lunge while pushing off the ground with the right heel and returning to standing position. Switch to other leg. Repeat 10 to 15 repetitions with each leg.
    Single-leg squats
    1. Stand on a secure box or bench with the right leg and let the left leg trail behind. Use a chair or wall for balance if necessary.
    2. Bend the right knee, lowering into a squat position.
    3. Push through the heel to rise back up. Repeat 10 to 15 times before switching to the left leg.
    Donkey kick
    1. Start on your hands and knees, keeping your back supported, hips and shoulders square.
    2. Tighten the abs to keep your torso steady as you bring the right knee in toward your chest.
    3. Extend your leg back behind your body as high as you can, keeping the back straight and the knee bent.
    4. Hold this position for two seconds, feeling the squeeze in your butt, and return to starting position.
    5. Complete two sets of 20 donkey kicks with your right leg and repeat on the other side.
    Fire hydrant
    1. Begin on your hands and knees. Engage your core muscles to support your back and keep your head in natural alignment throughout exercise.
    2. Using abdominals to keep shoulders and hips square, lift your right leg out to the side until it is parallel to the floor, keeping the bend in the knee.
    3. Slowly lower back down to complete one repetition. Perform two sets of 20 repetitions with your right leg, then repeat on the other side.
    Standing hip abduction
    1. Stand to one side of a stationary, sturdy object and hold onto it with the near arm if support is needed.
    2. Raise the opposite leg up to the side and away from the midline of the body. Go only as high as comfort and flexibility allow, then return the leg to the starting position.
    3. Complete 10 to 12 repetitions and repeat with the opposite leg.
    Step-ups
    1. Stand next to an elevated surface with one foot on the elevated area and the other foot on the ground.
    2. Press up through the elevated foot, contracting your glutes and quads into a standing position.
    3. Touch the back foot to the elevated surface, then lower it back to the ground.
    4. Continue for 12 to 15 repetitions, then repeat with the opposite leg on the elevated step.
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