I like running. I like running on a crisp autumn day. I like running to clear my mind (and how a good long run can magically turn my irrational thoughts rational). I like running for fitness, both the superficial and heart-healthy kind. And, I like running with a buddy, who can motivate me even on the earliest (and sometimes chilliest) of mornings.
Thanks to my friend L, I've been running a lot more lately. And when I run a lot, I tend to burn a lot of extra calories and lean out quite nicely (!). That said, while most of us are happy to lose a few inches around our waists, when I'm running as much as I have been lately, I start to fear the loss of one thing: my butt.
Oh no, you didn't.
If there's one thing I don't like about running, it's the potential to lose that nicely formed curvature I've worked so hard for just to be left with this
I spent one summer running a lot. And while I was able to lose the extra weight I put on in the first two years of my undergraduate degree, my backside had dwindled down to nothing. There I was - ten pounds lighter and without a single curve. No posterior. No derrière. No junk in the trunk. Nada. It was gone.
Genetically, I think I could go either way on the butt bandwagon. Round or flat? I'm Portuguese and Chinese, you figure it out. Regardless, running as much as I did that summer really showed me what a lot of cardio and a lack of strength exercises can do to shaping my natural physique (whatever that may be). In order to get my butt back, I employed a couple of simple exercises. Cue: squats, lunges, more squats, even more lunges.
Obviously, I began to worship squats and lunges.
And now that I'm running a lot more again, I've amped up my workouts to always include some kind of lower body exercises (squats and lunges evidently being my favourites).
I threw together this lower body workout a couple of weeks ago. I like it because it's quick and straight forward. It's 100 reps each of five different exercises, for a total of 500 reps (hence Lower Body Blast 500). It is entirely up to you how you would like to complete the 500 reps. If you find it too difficult to do all 100 reps of one exercise at a time, split the workout up into two, three, or even four rounds. For example, you could do 25 reps of each exercise four times through, still completing a total of 500 reps.
This workout is meant to exhaust the leg muscles and get that booty burning, so regardless of how you complete the workout it should be very challenging. I chose to do 100 reps of each exercise straight through, and was definitely struggling near the end.
Include this routine as part of a larger workout! Or if you don't have much time, this routine is also great on its own. By the time you're finished, your legs and butt should be burning (my hamstrings were sore three days later!).
Lower Body Blast 500
Do 100 reps of each exercise:
Sumo Squat Kicks
As you can see, there's no video for this workout. Instead, I've included a link for each exercise. In case you're not sure what the exercise is or you just want some further instruction about form and function, click on each exercise and it will take you to a short demonstration.
Hey, look! My love for a shapely behind isn't anything new - check out this post from my former blog.
image via women's health mag
DISCLAIMER: I am not a nutritionist, physician, or any kind of health professional. Everything that you find on my blog is based on my own knowledge and opinion. If you require specific health and fitness advice, please seek a qualified health professional.