The Best Butt Exercises

New Research from the American Council on Exercise on the Most Effective Exercise for your Glutes

Quadruped Hip Extensions - On your hands and knees, slightly contract your abdominals to stabilize your torso and spine. Lift one leg up, keeping the knee bent at 90 degrees. Lift the leg until the bottom of the foot is pointing toward the ceiling and the leg is lined up with the body. Repeat on the same side for eight to 12 reps. Change legs.
Step-Ups - Stand with good posture behind a tall step or box [approximately 15 inches (38 cm) high] while holding a dumbbell in each hand. Place your left foot on top and transfer your weight to that leg. Push down with your left foot (especially the heel), straightening your leg, to come up on top of the box. Use the left leg only; keep the right leg passive, especially as you initiate the step-up. Repeat on the same side for eight to 12 reps. Change legs.
Lunges - Hold a dumbbell in each hand, standing tall with good posture. Step forward with the right foot, keeping the head up and spine neutral. Drop your left knee toward the floor by bending knees, making sure to keep the front heel down and the knee directly over the center of the foot. Push down and forward through your heel to return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side, alternating for eight to 12 reps per side.
Four-Way Hip Extensions - Stand upright and grasp the stabilizing bar of the machine. The resistance pad should be placed at the knee on the back side of the exercising leg. Move your thigh to the rear until your hip is fully extended backward. Repeat for 8 to 12 reps and change sides.
Click here to Read the complete study results from the January/February 2006 edition of ACE Fitness Matters magazine.

Fit Facts are reprinted from ACE FitnessMatters® magazine permission granted.

Interval training: Can it boost your calorie-burning power?

Do you wish you could burn more calories without spending more time at the gym? Consider aerobic interval training.
Interval training is simply alternating bursts of intense activity with intervals of lighter activity.

You'll burn more calories.
You'll improve your aerobic capacity.
You'll keep boredom at bay.
You don't need special equipment.

After warming up, you might increase the intensity for 30 seconds and then resume your normal pace. The next burst of more intense activity may last two to three minutes. "The intervals can vary throughout your workout," says Tom Allison, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.. "How much you pick up the pace, how often and for how long is up to you." A personal trainer or other expert can help you time the intensity and duration of your intervals based on your target heart rate, the ability of your heart and lungs to deliver oxygen to your muscles (peak oxygen intake) and other factors.

Interval training isn't appropriate for everyone. If you have a chronic health condition or haven't been exercising regularly, consult your doctor before trying any type of interval training. Also keep the risk of overuse injury in mind. If you rush into a strenuous workout before your body is ready, you may hurt your muscles, tendons or bones. Instead, start slowly. Try just one or two higher intensity intervals during each workout at first. If you think you're overdoing it, slow down. For more information click here to read the whole story at the Mayo Clinic website.

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