08 July, 2011
Buns of Steel Workouts
Buns of Steel was originally the brain-child of fitness trainer and presenter Greg Smithey. Smithey, an ex-competitive pole vaulter, launched his program in early 1990s and produced a number of fitness videos that have since been relaunched on DVD. Smithey's Buns of Steel workout involves performing a variety of exercises targeting the hips, thighs and butt.
Lunges work your entire lower body but place an extra emphasis on your buns, correctly called your gluteus maximus or glutes for short. To perform a lunge, stand with your feet together and hands at your sides. Take a large step forward with your left leg, and bend your knees, lowering your right knee to within 1 inch from the floor. Push back up into the starting position, and perform another repetition leading with your right leg. Continue alternating legs until you have completed the desired number of repetitions. Make this butt exercise more challenging by holding weights in your hands or across your shoulders.
Squats are an integral part of the Buns of Steel routine. To perform squats, stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands at your sides. Push your hips backwards, and bend your knees. Squat down until your thighs are as close to parallel to the floor as possible. Push down through your heels, and stand back up. Intensify this exercise by holding weights in your hands or across your shoulders.
Fire hydrants work your butt without using your knee joints. This exercise is easier than squats and lunges and effectively isolates your glutes. Kneel down on all fours. Make sure your shoulders are directly over your hands and your hips are over your knees. Your lower back should be neutral and your neck long. Keeping your torso still and your leg bent, lift one leg out to the side just as a dog would raise its leg to pee! Lower your leg back down to the starting position, and repeat for the desired number of repetitions before changing legs and performing the same number of repetitions with the opposite leg.
Lying Hip Lifts
Use an exercise mat so that you can lie on your back in comfort. Bend your legs, and place your feet flat on the floor. Position your feet so they are as close to your butt as possible. Rest your arms at your sides with your palms facing up. Push down through your feet, and lift your hips off of the floor so your weight is supported on your feet and shoulders/upper back only. Hold this top position for a second or two before slowly lowering your hips back to the floor and repeating. You can make this exercise more challenging by performing it using one leg at a time.
Side Lying Leg Raises
This exercise focuses on the sides of your hips and outer thighs. Lie on your side so your hips are stacked one above the other and your legs are together. Extend your bottom arm, and rest your head on it. Place your upper leg on the floor in front of you for balance. With your toes pulled up towards your shins and your leg tense, raise your upper leg up until your foot is around 24 inches off of the floor. Slowly lower your leg back down into the starting position and repeat. Rest a moment, roll over and perform the same number of repetitions on the other side.
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