’No Butts About It:’ Best Glute Exercises
Q: Can you recommend a good exercise to tighten my butt muscles?
A: Absolutely! You are referring to your gluteus maximus, called glutes for short, which are a group of three muscles located at the back of each hip.
While many guys give the "glamour" muscles of the chest, back and arms almost all of their attention in the gym, the glutes deserve attention as they are actually the largest and strongest of the 639 named muscles in the body.
They are extremely important, too, with responsibility for keeping the body upright. They also play an anti-gravity role to allow us to climb stairs and hills.
A toned, round bubble-butt is always an attention-grabber! And the good news is the glutes usually respond quickly to resistance training.
The best exercise to tighten the glutes, hands-down, is the squat.
This compound exercise (meaning it incorporates multiple joints and muscle groups) is largely considered one of the best exercises you can do - period. It works the glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings (front and back of your upper legs, respectively) as well as the calves and core.
There are dozens of variations of the squat ranging from the body-weight squat (great for beginners) all the way to barbell squats using heavy plates (advanced). Search YouTube for video demonstrations of other squat exercises and be sure to incorporate these into your workout program.
To perform a basic Body-Weight Squat:
1) Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your arms stretched in front of you at shoulder level. Your back should be naturally arched.
2) Push your hips back, bend at the knees and lower your body as low as you can.
3) Pause, then use your hips and knees to lift your body back to the starting position. Perform three sets. As you build confidence, try holding a set of dumbbells at your sides while squatting to add to the degree of difficulty.
Another great exercise to tighten the glutes is the lunge. Again, there are many variations of this terrific exercise. Use Google or YouTube for videos or contact me for a free demonstration.
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Organic Ketchup is Better For You
The big difference between store brand and organic ketchup has nothing to do with the amount of calories, sodium, or sugar in either - rather, it’s the amount of the cancer-fighting pigment called lycopene in the organic brands which acts as an antioxidant in the body.
Organically-grown tomatoes have twice as much lycopene as regular tomatoes. Lycopene, which gives tomatoes (and other fruits and vegetables such as watermelon and apricots) their red color, is not produced by the body. It has been shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer in men.