We are a nation of people who sit too much, whether it's in front of the TV, in our cars, behind our desks, in the pub etc. etc. and the bits of us that suffer the most when we do this for long periods are our gluteal muscles and our backs.
Our bottoms are part of the back ex tensor chain, as are our hamstrings, and so it follows that if we have weak butts our backs are more than likely going to be weak too.
How many people do you know who have bad backs? And how many sick days do we lose each year through back ache alone?
So how can we strengthen our glutes, and ultimately help our backs?
The best way to work your posterior is to move it! Surprise, surprise! With walking being up there as the number one movement for overall fitness for anyone, without risk of injury. Walking uphill will work it even harder. If we all hit the 10,000 steps it is recommended we do each day, our backsides and our backs would suffer less.
Fitflops/MBTs and Sketchers are all footwear that can help us whilst walking. They support the foot arch and have negative heel technology that helps posture, and so bottoms and backs - they also encourage glute activation. When you wear them for the first time you'll know about it the next day! They are also supposed to allow you to burn more calories!!
Superb exercises for the glute muscles are squats, and lots of them. Focus fully on the glutes as you come up to standing, and you'll feel it right where you're meant to.
One legged squats for the more advanced of you are even better, focusing more on glute activation than the traditional squat. I get first time clients to do this as part of the fitness assessment as it's a great indicator of glute strength. It's very unusual not to get some knee wobble!
The bridge exercise is also a good one, done lying on your back with bent knees, you lift your bottom in the air and squeeze. There are many variations, including pulsing and one legged bridges but focus your attention on your butt and you'll feel it.
The clam will assist particularly in the outer glute muscle. Lie on your side with knees bent and together. Open up the top leg as high as your knee will go without pulling hips out of line. You'll really feel this after a couple of sets if you're doing it correctly. (persevere if not it can take a while to get correct form on this one).
Power jumps on and off a step are fab butt strengtheners, and will get your heart going too. Use your arms for greater power and do several sets in one go, after warming up!
Start working your butt today and watch how quickly you can have lovely firm,pert cheeks! Try getting up from your desk for ten minutes every hour, and walking around, or do some body weight exercises that require no equipment and so can be done anywhere. Pedometers are cheap and will count your steps, giving you an idea of how many you're falling short and giving you a target to reach!
Go for it!