Butt Kicker Exercises
Butt kicker exercises of any kind are excellent for working your hamstrings and butt muscles. These dynamic movements can be performed at a low intensity as part of your warmup or more intensely as an interval portion of your routine. Perform butt kicker exercises on three nonconsecutive days a week to lift, strengthen and shape your butt and hamstrings.
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Butt kicks are an effective warm-up exercise as well a beneficial exercise for runners who are trying to improve their stride. This exercise intensely works your hamstrings.
How To: Perform this exercise while jogging in place or jogging over a distance. Keeping your torso erect, begin to jog. As you're jogging, emphasize your back stride and bring your heel to your butt in an attempt to make contact between the two. Bring your heels up as high as you can. Perform this exercise for one to two minutes.
The butt kicker exercise targets your gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and hamstring muscles. Sometimes this move is referred to as donkey kicks. It makes an excellent addition to a strength-training routine for your lower body, especially if you squeeze a dumbbell between your calf and thigh as you raise and lower the leg.
How To: Begin on all fours with your hands directly below your shoulders and your knees aligned beneath your hips. Stiffen your torso and contract your abdominal muscles. Keeping your knee bent, lift your right leg to hip-height with your foot flexed. The sole of your foot should be pointing toward the ceiling. Keeping your leg bent, contract your glutes to lift the sole of your foot toward the ceiling and then lower your leg back to hip-level. Complete 20 to 25 reps and then switch legs.
Read More: 17 Exercises to Shape and Tone Your Booty
Single-Leg Butt Kick
The single-leg butt kick is a Pilates-based exercise that gently works your hamstrings. It also helps provide stability in the muscles of the lower back.
How To: Lie face down on the floor with your legs extended. Place your elbows on the floor to prop your upper body up. Pull your belly button into your spine, contract your abdominal muscles and lengthen your spine. Bend your right leg and bring your heel toward your butt. Kick your heel in three distinct pulses and then lower your foot back to the floor. Repeat the exercise with your left leg. Complete eight to 12 reps per leg.
Jen Weir writes for several websites, specializing in the health and fitness field. She holds a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from Montana State University, is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist and maintains a personal trainer certification from the American College of Sports Medicine.