Everyone wants to have a firm set of "glutes," meaning gluteus maximus, an unpretty Latin word for something that, when you have good ones, can really be a head-turner and indicator of being in great shape and having a solid foundation for health.
Lots of exercises will whip the glutes into shape, says personal trainer Carol Garner of Snap Fitness in Ashland, but the main ones are:
Leg press — sitting and pushing weights away from you on a machine
Lunge — taking a long step forward from the standing position, bending the front leg to a 90-degree angle, then recovering
Straight-legged dead lift — lifting a barbell from the floor by bending at the waist, with legs slightly bent, and raising the weight to below the waist
Back extension — lying facedown on a padded bench, letting the upper body dip below horizontal then raising back to horizontal, but not farther
Standing leg pull — securing yourself with your hands and lifting one leg at a time to the rear and the front, going side to side or in circles. It also can be done on hands and knees
Garner says she does four sets of 10 to 15 repetitions for each exercise and slightly increases the weights, if any, each time. All of these, she notes, should be done while pulling in the abdominals, keeping a natural arch in the lower back, lifting the rib cage and tightening the glutes. This is good form, and it takes time to get in the habit, adds Garner, who after decades in competitive body-building has the glutes to show for it, even at 65.