Tighten and Tone Your Butt [CC’s ShapeU]

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Of all the memorable trends of the 90s (Furbies, scrunchies, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) none can compare to that oh-so-special guilty pleasure we know and love: Sir Mix-a-lot’s ‘Baby Got Back.’ Aside from the fact that this song may fall on the low end of the Classy Scale, and is perhaps lyrically questionable at best, you know once you hear it, you grab your girlfriends, you high-tail it to the dance floor and you break it down. And not only is this song a crowd pleaser, if we consider the real message here we may also find that Sir Mix-a-lot was on to something! No, it’s nothing against Jane Fonda or her workout tapes, it’s the importance and pride of having a bootylicious behind!

After all, who doesn’t want a nice butt? As a fitness instructor, I literally spend every day in exercise clothes – it’s kind of just who I am: the spandex leggings, the running shorts, the yoga pants…believe me, I rock them all. That being said, I’m pretty sure everyone has realized that when I say “I’m making sure my tag isn’t sticking out” as I glance at the mirror, I’m really just checking out my butt. But hey, who hasn’t done it? Whether you’re at the gym, about to leave for a nice run on campus or you’ve just finished a workout, there’s no shame in taking a quick peak at those buns of steel! Even for the ladies out there who exercise their right to actually look presentable while strutting their stuff to class (ehem, little-miss-Seven-Jeans), chances are, we can all agree that having a tight, shapely behind is worth our time and sweat.

The gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus, for those who are interested, are the muscles that make up that awesome behind, with the gluteus maximus not only being the strongest of the three, but also one of the strongest muscles in the human body (great party fact, eh?). An important point to keep in mind: while exercises that target your butt will work to tone and shape it, and will also burn some calories as you go, they cannot work to spot reduce fat. If that too is your goal, try adding some cardio into the mix. Most exercises that work the butt focus on the glutes, but also work the hamstrings, quads and thighs.

Obviously those booties are as fabulous as they come, but just in case they need a little extra help, here’s a few moves to tighten, tone, lift, and firm your backside:

So, Sir Mix-a-lot, we salute you for your homage to booties everywhere, and thank you for the sentiment of promoting big butts. Whether you’re tired of magazines saying flat butts are the thing, or you just want to shake your healthy butt, try out this workout for your glutes, and never be embarrassed to check yourself out again! With these quick and effective moves, you’ll work towards an aw-inspiring derrière that will make Becky and her friend bitter for weeks.

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