Hot Bikini Buns
You don’t see it most of the time — but you never forget it. Your butt.
For years . . . miniskirts, jeans and bikinis have been prompting women to search for the perfect posterior. The bottom line is that these slopes and curves are a source of fascination and frustration for both men and women. In fact, there is an entire art exhibit called “Buttocks in the History of Art.” So, our butt gains a lot of attention considering we spend much of our time hiding and sitting on it.
I recently watched a comedy routine by Ellen DeGeneres. Her style of comedy is called observational humor, which involves making comments about everyday life. In the routine, Ellen ‘acted out’ a woman trying on clothing in a fitting room. Then she ‘acted out’ a store clerk who tells the woman the item makes her butt look fabulous so that the woman will buy the item. The character Ellen plays then becomes enthralled with her own butt and of course, she ends up wanting to buy the piece of clothing. The routine is hilarious – and it rings true.
If I don’t like the way something makes my butt look – I don’t buy it. And a simple comment from my husband can determine whether a piece of clothing stays or goes. Sound familiar?
But our posteriors are more than seat cushions and eye candy. Some of the most powerful muscles in the body lie beneath the layer of fat known as the buttocks. These muscles determine the shape of our derrière, and the good news is that these muscles respond beautifully to “body contouring” exercises that zero in on this region.
The buttocks are a group of muscles composed of the gluteals or “glutes.” The largest group is the gluteus maximus, and the smaller groups are the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. The glutes help the body to regain an upright position after stooping, and they are involved with hip abduction (movement of a limb away from the body’s midline) and adduction (movement of a limb toward the midline). The glutes also hold the pelvis upright, and other muscles in this region work together with the thigh muscles to lift the legs and rotate the femur (the bone reaching from the pelvis to the knee). The buttocks play a key role in posture and back care, and a link exists between the hamstring, or posterior thigh muscles, and those of the buttocks and lower back.
Asedentary lifestyle can lead to flaccid buttocks or a sagging butt. Excessive sitting is a prime culprit. The term “secretarial spread” has some truth to it . . . though today it might be called “computer spread.” So if you have to sit for long periods of time, remember to take frequent walk and stretch breaks.
When sitting, maintain proper postural balance. Adjust your weight so that you’re sitting on the “sit bones” located in the buttocks. To find them, grab the flesh of your butt and roll it out to each side. It might sound odd, but it works. This technique is used in Yoga classes. A good Yoga instructor will remind participants to use the “sit bones.” And when sitting, avoid crossing your legs at the thighs because this can interfere with blood circulation to and from the buttocks. Instead, cross at the ankles. And be sure to wear clothing that does not pinch or bind — a proper fit is both flattering and functional.
The plan to beautify your bottom is simple and effective. Bear in mind that walking, running and most aerobic exercise programs will tone and strengthen the buttocks, so stay active. Experts recommend a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise 5 days per week. But you can firm and tone the buttocks with exercises that isolate the large gluteal muscles for an uplifted appearance. Your buns will be so hot they’ll be smokin’. It works for me, and it can work for you. Here’s the plan . . .
Think: A T M (because it pays off) – Assess, Tone, and Maintain
Assess – Determine your body shape by standing naked in front of a mirror. If your hips are wider than your shoulders you can balance your physique by building up the muscles of the shoulders, chest and upper back with weight training exercises. My background was in ballet and for many years I had the body of a dancer…my legs were strong, but my upper body was thin and weak. I began lifting weights for competitive bodybuilding. The plan was to build the upper body and trim the lower body to create a more symmetrical physique. It was an effective plan. Within a few months I was able to reshape my entire figure. I avoided exercises such as wide-leg squats and heavy weights in the lower body.
If you tend to have a flat or droopy fanny and you want to give it a lift, read on…
Tone – Tone the buttocks. My butt gets a good blast from Karate, but Karate isn’t for everybody. You can get the same butt-toning effect from kickboxing. So if you can get to a kickboxing class, go for it. If you belong to a gym, do standing leg curls, lunges, and kickbacks with cable pulleys. Elliptical machines, hiking, mountain biking, walking hills or walking on a treadmill set on an incline will give your butt a good burn, too. And this is what we want – hot buns!
Part of toning should include what I call cosmetic pampering. Remember – bikini body fitness is a state of mind. It’s all about feeling sexy and vivacious at any age, so learn to love your own body and pamper yourself. That goes for your butt too. Confidence and caring about your own body automatically “ups” your sexy factor.
I’ve been using loofah sponges for years. They do wonders, and they’re inexpensive. Use a loofah or nylon sponge each time you shower or bathe. It helps to stimulate the flow of blood to the skin’s surface and it acts to exfoliate the skin, which allows your skin to “breathe.” Yes – your butt needs to breathe! Work the sponge in a circular motion, going in the direction of your heart. After a shower or bath, use a moisturizer that does not clog your pores because this area of the body can collect sweat and oil. I like Aloe Vera based products, but you can find a lot of great oil-free moisturizers on the market.
Believe it or not, “butt facials” are getting popular. It’s about time! If you can’t get to a spa – do it at home. Give yourself a “butt mask” once a month and then follow up it up with an oil-free moisturizer. I like using a mask that contains honey. It gives a whole new meaning to “honey buns.”
For shaping a sexy backend, perform exercises that concentrate on the gluteus maximus. Forget about the old fire hydrants on the knees. One of the hot new exercise accessories is a large exercise ball. You can do leg lifts on the ball. The reason I prefer the ball is because it is comfortable on the pelvic region, plus it is more fun…
First, be sure you are wearing functional exercise apparel, including athletic shoes. Experts recommend lying face down on the ball with your palms on the ground approximately shoulder-width apart. They should be positioned in the same way as if you are doing push ups. Keep your elbows straight and make sure your hands are planted firmly on the ground. The ball should be comfortably positioned on the lower abdomen and upper thighs. As with any exercise, do not lose your focus. You must learn to concentrate on the muscles you are working and avoid distractions. This is a vital component for optimizing the results of any exercise routine, and it acts to prevent injuries. Do not perform this exercise if you have a lower back injury. Do not cause pain.
Keep your feet about 6 inches apart. Position your legs parallel to the floor. Now slowly drop your left foot to the ground and stabilize yourself on the ball. Then, begin lifting the right leg to perform leg lifts. Remember to breathe. Isolate the movement. The lift should come from the hips and the movement should be smooth and controlled. Do not hyperextend your back. It is not necessary to lift the leg very high. Simply lift from the floor until the leg is level with the rest of your body and hold for a count of 3. Focus. Perform 6-10 repetitions. Take a 1 minute rest, and then do the same thing with the left leg. Gradually work up to 20 repetitions on each leg and build up to 3 sets over a 3-4 week span. Perform this exercise 3 times per week, for example Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, instead of doing it on consecutive days.
Follow up this exercise with a relaxing “cat stretch” to release the lower back and then perform gentle hamstring stretches to maintain flexibility.
Maintain – Keeping your bikini buns hot requires maintenance. It’s a fact of life. Once you start a program, stay with it. If you get bored, find another activity.
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