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Getting a bikini-ready bottom
Getting a bikini-ready bottom

If the thought of stepping into a pair of bathers or slipping on those short shorts puts you into a panic, never fear — it is possible to tighten that derriere. You just need to go about it in the right way.

US fitness guru David Kirsch and author of The Butt Book ($12.50, self-published) said that the biggest mistake people madke when trying to tone their bottoms wasis to focus on cardio.

“Cardio is great, but to really build muscle and see results you need to perform moves that target the butt,” he said.

Personal trainer Steven Swanson, of Renouf, explained that this was is because the body fat around the hips and buttocks was “very stubborn”, particularly in females.

“It’s tough to break down using traditional methods, such as jogging or running,” Mr Swanson said.

“The best way to work the buttocks is to work around them.”

His favourite three butt-blasting moves are squats, lunges and deadlifts.

“In my opinion, nothing can beat the deadlift for sculpting the bum, the back of the legs and any love handles,” he said.”

Lloyd Johnson, of Aspire Personal Training, recommended a weekly program of two cardio sessions and three resistance sessions a week.

“This allows you to build lean muscle in the targeted areas and to strip down body fat at the same time,” Mr Johnson said. It also gives allows for recovery days, which is important too.”

The buttocks are the biggest muscle group in the body and can be difficult to switch on when performing moves such as squats and lunges.

“The main problem is the buttocks are inactive and dormant in most people,” Mr Swanson said.

He recommended activation drills like glute pummelling (kneading the buttocks) or hip thrusts before your workout.

“This wakes the muscles up and lets you perform the exercises better,” he said, noting also that it was important always to pay attention to your form to help you get the most out of your workout and avoid injury.

Glute raises (sets of 15-20 repetitions).
Lie on your back, knees bent, arms relaxed by your sides (palms up). Breathe out and press heels through the floor, raising hips off the ground until in line with kneecaps. Pause at the top and slowly return hips to the floor. Lightly touch bum on the floor and repeat. Increase difficulty in week two by putting heels on a step. During week three, use a fit ball or medicine ball.

Double-hand kettle bell swings (20 seconds effort, 10 seconds rest, for three minutes).
Grasp kettle bell with two hands, feet shoulder-width apart. Keep spine neutral and core tight. Press firmly through heels while keeping arms relaxed. Swing kettle bell through legs, hinging from pelvis and breathing in. As you swing kettle bell upwards to chin height, breathe out and snap hips and glutes forward.

Single-leg squat (15-20 repetitions each leg).
Slowly raise one foot off floor while firmly pressing through heel of the other leg. Keeping a tight trunk, slowly sit back and lower body into a single-leg squat, keeping weight firmly through the heel with kneecap of the raised leg pointing forwards. Try to remain in one plane of motion through kneecap as you sit back into squat from the hip and then raise yourself out of squat.

Explosive box lunges (20 seconds effort, 10 seconds rest, repeated for three minutes).
Place one heel knee-height, step and lift opposite arm. Press through heel as you pull down with arm and exhale as you drive body up into the air. Alternate feet mid-air so you land with opposite foot.

Single-leg Romanian deadlifts (15-20 repetitions each leg). Demonstrated by Jenna Betteridge.
Hold a low-weight dumbbell in one hand. With weight pressed firmly through opposite heel, slowly tilt forwards from pelvis, keeping back straight. Move dumbbell downwards to front of toes on opposite foot while allowing back leg to swing backwards. Press through heel and raise upper body back to a standing position with dumbbell back at your hip. Repeat and then switch legs.
Perform these exercises in order, three times a week for three weeks.