Exercises to build your bootylicious factor

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image Contributing blogger Troy Meyers is a certified personal trainer and sports conditioner with more than 10 years of experience. He owns Atlanta-based JockBoyLocker.com and contributes to the site’s Lockerroom Blog.

We’re all blessed with different body types. So some may think of their butt as a blessing, while others would argue it’s a curse. But let’s work with what you’ve got and turn your butt into your sexiest and most beloved body part.

There are several proven butt-building exercises. So when it’s time to train your lower body, pick three from the list below. Consistency is necessary in seeing and feeling results.

imageSquats
Squats are an excellent way to train your gluteus maximus (butt). Add resistance by performing them while holding dumbbells in your hands or with a bar across your shoulders. If you opt for the bar (advanced), make sure you have a spotter unless the resistance is light.

Varying the width of your feet will change the emphasis of the exercise. Work your quads – the muscles at the front of the thighs – with feet that are closer together. Take a Larry Craig stance – you know, feet wider apart – and you’ll feel exercise more in your hips and butt.

You should always have someone check your form to be sure you’re doing squats properly. If you go to a gym, the leg press machine may be easier to use than doing squats with a bar, and it attacks the same region.

Lunges
Lunges are another exercise to work your glutes. Singer Jessica Simpson was noted to have fallen in love with lunges as she sculpted her body to fit her daisy duke shorts for “The Dukes of Hazzard.”

There are several types of lunges: Stationary, walking, alternating and side.

Hold two dumbbells to the side of your body. Bring one leg forward and stand to provide good balance. Bend both legs and allow the dumbbells to bring your body down towards the ground, making sure your front knee does not go past your toes.

At this time the other knee will almost touch the floor; then come back up. Do all of the reps with one leg forward and then continue with the second leg.

imageHip Extension
Hip extension is a movement that I will include when I want my butt to look its best. This exercise, which I have learned as “Flutter Kicks,” will surely make your hamstrings and glutes burn with delight.

On a step or platform — or on your bed if you train at home — lie facedown with hips on the edge of the step, legs straight with toes resting lightly on the floor. (If you are using a bed, your legs will be off the edge and your feet high off the floor.) Squeeze your glutes and hamstrings and straighten the legs until they are level with the hips.

Lift one leg higher than the other and alternate. Move each leg as though you are doing a flutter kick in water. Try doing 3 sets of 20 repetitions on each leg.

Do you want more? Once you have done three sets of Flutter Kicks, in the same position, contract your glutes and hamstrings so that your legs are parallel with the floor and move your legs open, then close. When you close them, have one leg cross over the other. Alternate each rep, which leg is crossing over. Try doing two or three sets of 20 repetitions on each leg.

Deadlifts
Deadlifts are excellent for your hamstrings, butt and lower back. Form, though, is critical.

Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart, and your weights in front of your thighs (bar or dumbbells). Keeping your back flat and abs in, bend forward from the hips and lower your torso until your weights reach your shins.

This is where it’s time to squeeze your butt to raise back up. Keep your weights (bar) close to your legs throughout the entire range of motion, with just the slightest bend in the knees. Make sure that you don’t hyper extend your knees. Do three sets of 8 to 12 reps.

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