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Best Stomach Shaping Exercises

Build a Better Butt

Everyone wants to improve his or her rear views. For some, it's too flat; for others, too saggy. Still more people think it's just too big. The thousands of different complaints at the back end indicate that the majority of people dislike the way their buttocks appear. Fortunately the rear end is one of the easiest muscles to firm up and will respond to exercise very quickly, usually within three weeks. Shaping up the buttocks is not just about looks - a strong and toned rear end can make your daily tasks easier as well as increasing your calorie burn during cardiovascular exercise. The muscles in the buttocks are used to walking, sitting, standing, and many more movements. When your backside is powerful and well-developed, you will be able to move better through the day since your muscles can respond to your body's needs better than ever before.

The muscles in the buttocks are actually considered part of the lower back. A group of muscles known as the gluteals, provide support and play important roles in development of both the legs and the torso. The largest one, the gluteus maximus, lies on the backside of the hip on each side of the body and makes it possible to extend and move the thighs outward. Just in front of the gluteus maximus are the gluteus minimus and medius, which enable the thigh to turn outward. The delicate and complex relationship between the gluteal group of muscles and the rest of the body allows you to squat, raise your body back up, step to the side, and perform dozens of other common daily actions. When your gluteal muscles are strong and fit, they can do a much better job of supporting your body throughout your challenging days.

Before you embark on a program to build a better butt, it's important to assess your attitude. Do you consider your back end to be a nuisance because of its shape? What are your reasons for changing it? While most Western cultures place some measure of sexual appeal on the shape, size and firmness of buttocks, your goal should be to appreciate what you have regardless of condition. Without being aware of it, your buttocks are working for you every moment, even when you're sitting, to keep your body centered and balanced. Work to change your butt because you want the strongest, healthiest body you can have. If your butt fills out your jeans better than ever, that's great, but let the change be for the sake of your body.

In terms of reshaping your buttocks, this can be one of the fastest and most rewarding fitness goals. If you are overweight, you will still see results but be aware that burning calories through aerobic exercise will reveal more of your newly firm buttocks. Because the muscle group is so large and is used almost constantly, it responds quickly to conditioning exercises. Most people see a difference within three weeks and many actually feel the difference in a matter of days. The exercises below are all wonderful for firming and strengthening the gluteal muscles, and should be done in 3 sets of 25 repetitions. Be sure to maintain good posture with your back straight and shoulders back. Work on your gluteal muscles three to four times a week and you will be amazed and pleasantly surprised at the fast response and amazing muscle tone that quickly becomes evident.

Squats: Prepare for squats by standing about six inches in front of a straight-back chair with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. You may want to put your hands on your hips or raise them in front as you squat. Begin to slowly lower your body backwards as though you were going to sit down in the chair. When you feel your buttocks just barely touch, slowly stand up.

It is vital to maintain excellent posture during squats to get the maximum benefit from the movement. Use your heels as the primary weight-bearers and imagine yourself pushing down through the heels to the floor. Because the gluteus maximus is so large, it requires plenty of calories to fuel its movement. Incorporating squats into an aerobic exercise is a powerful way to torch even more calories.

Leg Press: Use the leg press machine at the gym for this exercise. If the machine is weight-based, adjust the weights to the appropriate level. If it is hydraulic-based, simply sit down and position your feet. You should place your body in the seat so that you are sitting up with good posture. Your legs should reach the pressing platform without stretching or feeling uncomfortable. Place the entire soles of both feet against the platform and slowly push away. When you have extended your legs almost fully, slowly allow the weight to push your legs back.

Performing this exercise slowly is the key to building up strength. Be sure to avoid using only the balls of your feet since that builds the calf muscles rather than the buttocks and thighs