4 exercises to kick your butt into shape

Is your sagging bootie bringing down more than your jeans?

If your bum isn't filling out your jeans or you are wearing long shirts to cover it up, then chances are you have bigger problems than booty-shame. You probably have nagging back or hip pain.

And movement heals, so a healthy bootie is also a good-looking bootie. A sagging bootie could mean you haven't been getting enough exercise or that the muscles at the backs of your legs are extremely tight or both. Back and hip pain result.

Your bum is not a layer of fat between the back and the thighs, it is a muscle that needs to be worked if we want to look good and feel even better. The tush is made up of very large muscle and that muscle is the reason you see some people with high round booties and some with no booties at all, some with jiggly bits on their booties and some with no jiggly bits.

It is a natural part of aging for your booty to sag, the back to hurt and the hips to ache ONLY if you are sedentary and do not exercise. In fact, the non-exerciser will lose muscle at a rate of .5% a year after the ripe old age of 25. That study was done on men, I would assume that women would lose muscle mass even more quickly. That .5% per year adds up as our booties began to rapidly race to our knees.

Movement heals. A healthy bootie is also a good-looking bootie.

  • Bridging: Lying on your back, knees bent, feet placed slightly outside your sit bones and fingertips reaching for your heels. Lift your hips off of the floor as you articulate the spine to roll up to about mid-spine. Exhale lift. Inhale return to start position.

  • Kneeling Donkey Kicks: Kneeling on all fours with the stomach lifted and the chin slightly pulled towards the neck, reach the right heel to the ceiling. Only reach as high as you can without allowing the shape of the spine to change. Once lifted, bring the knee back to tap the mat. Repeat 10 times. Exhale, lift the knee. Inhale, tap the knee.

  • Side-Kneeling I: Kneeling on the right knee, place the right hand on the mat. Left hand on the side of the head, elbow bent and looking directly side. The left leg is reaching long and off the mat so that the leg is parallel to the floor. Carry the left leg forward without allowing the shape of the torso to change or without any jiggling happening in the torso. Inhale, carry the leg forward. Exhale, return to start position.

  • PNF Hamstring Stretch: Lying on your back. Place the hands behind the thigh or calf. With your leg as straight as you can get it, pull the leg toward your abdomen. Once you are as far as you can go, brace your arms and push as hard as you can into your hands for 10 seconds. Release and now pull the leg closer. Repeat 3 times.
For information about Karena Thek Lineback, go to www.osteopilates.com

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