A well-rounded butt has health benefits

A pert, well-rounded butt not only sets your vanity quotient soaring but also has many health benefits. Fitness instructor Dilip Heble tells you how to get it

It's almost inexplicable - the obsession with one's butt. And it's not without a reason. Tightly-shaped buns accentuates a man's V-shape - the wide shoulders and narrow hip girdle. In a woman, it enhances the flare of her waist blending into the hips, giving her a shapely hour-glass figure. Is it any surprise then that a leading actor reportedly uses bum-bags to add volume to his posterior?

Health matters
Bio-mechanically, the butt (or the gluteal muscles) help propel the body forward. They help us walk with an efficient gait and stride. A tight, strong butt minimises the chances of lower backache. Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell are examples of athletes whose butts are strong and powerful, and not without a reason. The fitness of their posterior pays off dividends in the sorting field. Sprinters and football players develop powerful gluteals for acceleration and speed strength.

The shape of it all
The correct (long-term) way out is to whip your buns into shape. Depending on the present condition of the body, one would either need to lose the extra inches by trimming excess fat, or add muscles to beef it up.

The gluteals can be geographically divided into the rear (or derriere) on which you sit. This is the outer area of the hips that's in line with the side-seam of your jeans. In between the two, where a jeans' rear pockets rest, are the saddle-bags.

To lose inches, train the glutes and upper-most part of the legs by doing about three sets of 15 to 20 repetitions each. To gain inches, the same exercises need to be done with heavier weights and lower number of repetitions.

The following exercises are the simplest ones. Most of them can be performed by canalizing only the body weight as a source of resistance. However, here's a word of caution: Do not focus on the butt alone. Exercise the whole body.

Advantages of having a strong butt
Good stride and gait.
Muscle tone helps create a strong support base. It relieves pressure on the lower back.
Strong gluteals improve posture, and can help with heavy lifting.
They help keep the body posture upright.

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