A nice, strong rear end isn’t just important because we’re in the era of skinny jeans. It improves everything from sprinting, jumping, and roughhousing with your kids, to your posture and the power behind your golf or softball swing.
“A strong ass will help just about every activity you want to do with your kids,” says Chris Stevenson, CSCS, certified TechnoGym Master Trainer, and owner of Stevenson Fitness in Oak Park California. “Playing catch, picking them up, even coaching a team — you’ll need strong glutes to do all of them.” Weak glutes, Stevenson warns, can cause injuries and problems in the hamstrings, knees, and lower back, as well as imbalances in the hips and overall posture.
“A tight butt keeps your pelvis in the right position to take the pressure off of your lower back,” Stevenson says. “And, if you’re not one of those guys enamored with the idea of a ‘Dad Bod’, strong glutes can help that, too. Essentially, a strong ass will help camouflage that Dad Bod by keeping you from distending your belly, and helping you stand up straight.”
Nearly one in every four males experiences lower back pain which, according to Stevenson, can be attributed to our mostly-sedentary lifestyle.
“When you’re sitting, like most men do while working or commuting, your hip flexors – which are responsible for movement in your hips and lower limbs – tighten,” says Stevenson. “As they do, they essentially ‘turn off’ your glutes. So, just by living a day-to-day lifestyle that includes a lot of sitting, most people automatically encourage weak glutes.”
This problem is far worse than you think, because of a phenomenon called “the sedentary athlete.”
”That refers to anyone who works out hard in the morning, but then goes to drive for an hour, sits for eight more hours, and drives another hour home. Because of the way this lifestyle treats your body — sitting for an average of nine hours each day, not burning a recommended amount of calories — studies are starting to show that it can negatively affect more people than smoking.”
So, what can you do to kick your own ass into gear? Well, for one, be consciously more active. Stand at work. Go for regular walks. Prioritize working out. Speaking of which, it’s important to focus on your butt at the gym (rump day anyone?). To help you out, here are some simple workouts will have you sitting (and standing) pretty in no time. Good news: Done regularly, the workout will also earn you a solid core and an overall level of functional fitness.
How Often: 2-3 times per week (alternating, with a day of rest in between)
- Barbell Squats
- Walking Lunges w/dumbbells
- Stiff leg deadlifts
- Barbell hip thrusts
- Box jumps
How to do it: Perform four sets of 8-12 reps of each exercise, resting for 60 seconds between sets.
Make Sure to: Choose a weight that you can do safely but is very challenging by the last rep. If you can perform 12 with no problem, then you aren’t lifting heavy enough.
On the road or can’t get to the gym? Try this ass-kicking, no-equipment-needed circuit workout
- Body weight squats
- Alternating bodyweight lunges
- Alternating body weight step ups
- Continuous squat jumps
How to do it
- 3-5 rounds
- 60-second intervals
- 2 minute rest periods in between