Fully clothed, the buttocks are probably the most glanced at, gawked at, perved at, stared at, fixated upon body part that is common between both males and females.
The gluteus maximus makes up a large portion of the shape and appearance of the buttocks and is one of the strongest muscles in the human body. It is the largest of the three gluteal muscles. Powerfully controlling the pelvis, it is what maintains the upperbody in the erect posture. And the lower part of the muscle is important in extending and rotating the leg.
Sitting for long periods can lead to the gluteal muscles atrophy due to constant pressure and disuse. Something that I'm sure effects us all with the increasing amount of time we spend on computers these days. This may be associated with lower back pain, difficulty in rising from the seated position, and climbing stairs.
Kinesiology & Physiology
The gluteus maximus is a large, wide muscle that covers the back of the hip joint and comprises the buttocks.
In addition to exercises that involve weight training, other activities that will work the glutes are cycling, aerobics, fencing and even climbing stairs.
The leg press has some impact on the hamstrings and calves but REALLY works quadriceps and glutes maximus when using the leg press that's typically slanted at a 45-degree angle. To get at that area where the hamstring starts to blend into those glutes, thereby giving you a much cleaner line at the bottom of your behind, perform it as follows: Place your feet onto the sliding platform so that your shoes are about halfway off the top of the platform. As you lower the weight carriage you'll notice that your tailbone will rear right off the padded support. That's a sign that your leg biceps are being strongly worked. Hang on tightly for greater support. Lower slowly (don't bounce your knees off your chest at the bottom) and then raise explosively, but never lock out (straighten the legs so the knees lock) on this exercise.
Leg Press Demonstration
This exercise builds the glutes, hamstrings and gastrocnemius. Position yourself at the special glute-ham machine so that your mid-thighs are on top of the curved seat. Lower your body over the seat, keeping it in a straight line from the hips. Place your hands behind your head. Raise up, keeping your back straight until your body is aligned. Then flex your knee joints to continue up as shown. Hold for a second, lower yourself, repeat.
Glute-Ham-Gastroc Raise Demonstration
The full Deep Knee Bend, or Back Squat, is the most important of all exercises for those who train with weights. Powerlifters obviously must squat as this is the first of their competitive lifts. Olympic lifters use Back Squats as their primary assistance exercise for developing leg strength. Bodybuilders employ Back Squats as the most effective exercise for producing massively muscled thighs. Weight training sports people have Squats in their training programmes to provide them with strength and speed from the legs.
The squat is often called "The Ultimate Exercise" or "The King of Exercises" by those in agreement that it is capable of inducing faster and greater muscle growth than any other exercise. The exercises main emphasis is on the quadriceps and the buttocks, but it also involves the hamstrings, lower back and the calf muscles.
Place a barbell on a squat rack and load it with an appropriate amount of weight. Duck under the weight and position it across your trapezius muscles behind your neck, balancing it in this position during the movement by holding onto the bar in a comfortable position. Straighten your legs to lift the bar off the rack and take a step back. Set your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, toes angled slightly outward. Tense all your torso muscles to keep your torso upright during the movement. Slowly bend your legs and descend to a squatting position with your thighs parallel to floor and your torso erect. Without bouncing in the bottom position, slowly straighten your legs and re
turn to the starting point.
It's important that you don't allow your torso to bend forward as you rise out of the squatting position.
Even a two year old can do it!
Other hubs in the series:
- Lower Back
Barry Rutherford from Queensland Australia on October 31, 2009:
swimming with flippers is very good too and your less likely to get injuries and soreness etc...
The Good Cook on June 08, 2009:
You may laugh but I have never had a butt to tone up! I happen to take after my grandmother, who was flat-bottomed all her life. It's quite awful really.
Arby Bourne from USA on June 06, 2009:
Yeah, gotta have both - a good visual as well as a nice description. Some people learn better one way or the other, as LM points out above.
Your hubs are exemplary.
Laughing Mom on June 05, 2009:
Gweneth Paltrow gave Conan some tips on exercising his gluteus last night, and then felt to see if they'd done any good. I like these better. I'm more of a "watch and learn" gal than a "read the directions" individual, so the videos were helpful.
Frieda Babbley from Saint Louis, MO on June 05, 2009:
So what exactly are you telling me darkside? I'm pretty sure my excersizing days are over. Walking and swimming are my cups of tea. But I am going to pass this onto my sister. She and her fiancé are looking for some good excersizes, so thanks.
dianacharles from India on June 05, 2009:
I have come back later...the demos are not showing. I have been sitting on my butt a little too much. Time to get into some action.
Glen (author) from Australia on June 04, 2009:
Without the accompanying videos it makes the description hard to understand. But when you watch the video all of a sudden it all makes sense, and there are things in the description that actually describe it better in some cases than what the videos can (no matter how hard I've tried to find the best video available).
Arby Bourne from USA on June 04, 2009:
This rocks - thanks for throwing the demos in there. I hate reading a long description of how to do a new exercise with nothing visual to go on.
I just turned my email notifications back on & this is the first hub that came to my inbox - wonder if its a sign ...gotta go do some squats. Great hub *pant pant*
Eaglekiwi from New Zealand on June 04, 2009:
Oh wow serious action for a serious butt!. This actually looks like fun in a kinda sadistic way lol. Do you know how I recently toned down ( reluctantly of course) we re-located to a pretty town with no car and an inefficent bus system and I have literally walked my a** off for 3 months now , up hilly streets , down through a forest ,then back home again , 3 sometimes 4 x a week , and all these fantastic cars whizz by me and Im thinking .....oh yeaaa...Im firmer than you baby lol.....motivational hub -works for me.