Friday, September 12, 2008

S.O.S: Hips, Butt and Thighs...OH MY!


Hips, Butts and Thighs...the Black woman trifecta.

If you're like me, you carry your weight primarily in your hips, butt and thighs. The good news is: Butt fat won't kill you. The bad news is: It will just make life feel longer.

So if you're staring in the mirror and trying to figure out how you're gonna fit your ample behind into your version of the skinny jean, here's a list of the 5 best lower body exercises around. Add in at least 30 minutes of cardio and you will be in those jeans in no time:

Chair Squats

1. Place a chair just behind you and stand in front of it with feet about hip- or shoulder-width apart.
2. Contract the abs and keep them tight as you bend the knees and slowly squat towards the chair.
3. Keep the knees behind the toes as you sit down on the chair for a few seconds.
4. Contract the glutes and hamstrings to lift up out of the chair and begin extending the legs.
5. Fully extend the legs until you're back to standing position.
6. Repeat this for 1-3 sets of 10-16 repetitions.
7. To progress, squat down until you're just hovering over the chair, but not sitting all the way down.
8. Always keep the knees in line with the toes!

Ball Squats

  1. Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, place a stability ball between your lower back and a wall, hands on hips.
  2. Bend your knees 90 degrees, making sure they don't go past your toes.
  3. Return to start and complete 12 times.
Lunges
  1. Stand in a split stance, with feet about 3 feet apart. You want both knees to be at about 90-degree angles at the bottom of the movement, so adjust accordingly.
  2. Hold weights in each hand (or place a barbell behind the neck) for added intensity.
  3. Bend the knees and lower the back knee towards the floor, keeping the front heel down and the knee directly over the center of the foot.
  4. Keep the torso straight and abs in as you push through the front heel and back to starting position.
  5. Don't lock the knees at the top of the movement.
  6. Perform 1-3 sets of 10-16 reps according to your fitness level and goals.
Bridge
  1. Lie on your back with knees bent, feet on the floor, hip width apart.
  2. Beginning with a pelvic tilt (tucking the hips), peel the spine off the floor one vertebrae at a time until you've created a diagonal line from the shoulders to the knees. (The heels should be directly under the knees at the highest point.)
  3. Hold for a few counts, then slowly lower spine squeezing the butt so it is the last thing to touch the ground. Repeat 10-15 times.
Dumbell Stiffed Legged Deadlifts
  1. Beginners start with a light weight (or no weights) until you can perform this exercise with correct form.
  2. Stand with your feet only slightly apart. With a dumbbell in each hand at arms length, bend over from your hips so that your dumbbells are in front of your ankles, beginners - have your dumbbells at your shins.
  3. Your palms should now be facing your lower legs. Keep your body stable with your chest out, midsection firm, knees slightly bent for beginners and legs straight for advanced.
  4. Squeezing your butt and hamstrings raise your body back up to standing position, while also keeping your chest out, midsection firm and shoulders back. Keep the dumbbells at arms length so when returning to starting position the dumbbells should be in front of your thighs.

2 comments:

your "Health Assistant" said...

i really like to improve my butt thighs and hip thanks for this tip ill try it as soon as possible thanks

glennishamorgan said...

Great post that is exactly where all of my weight goes. I'd like to tone down my hips and thighs just a little bit. I'm cool on my butt, lol but, the thighs and hips can definitely be toned. Thanks