Have you ever felt something dragging behind you, only to turn and discover its your butt…on the ground? Yep. As we age, that lovely friend, Gravity, comes to visit and parts of our bodies begin that descent downtown.
BUT, this doesn’t have to happen quite as quickly or as definitively as it seems.
One certainty is that if you add muscle to your glutes, hamstrings and quads, they’re going to stay “perky” and lifted longer than if you don’t.
A suggestion is to begin doing step ups, or if you’re already doing step ups, add some dumbells to create weighted step ups.
I’ve found that, in addition to a happier butt, my bike strength, hill running and climbing (hikes) have all benefited massively from doing this exercise over the years. Even every day chores like walking upstairs with a load of laundry or getting up from a chair will benefit.
Here’s a simple program to begin: (always check with a doctor before beginning any brand new exercise program)
Beginner: (check video attached below if not clear from reading)
- Choose a stair, step or box that is 12 inches off the ground.
- Stand about 4-6 inches back from the box, with feet side by side.
- Place left foot flat on box, so that left leg is at a 90 degree angle.
- Step up onto the box, using your glutes to lift your body. Do not lean forward. Instead aim to keep your upper body straight and upright.
- Step back down, using your quadricep strength to help lower yourself.
- Do NOT remove your left foot from the box. Keep your foot on the box throughout the exercise.
- Repeat this exercise 10 times on your left leg.
- Once left leg is complete, shift to the right leg and complete the exercise 10 times with the right leg.
- Once both legs have been completed, repeat the same set two more times, so you finish with a total of 30 step ups on each leg.
- Be sure to stretch your quads after you are finished.
- Complete the exercises above, but consider using a box that is 18 inches off the ground.
- Consider doing 20 step ups for each leg, each set for a total of 3 sets.
- Total set should be 3 x 20 step ups per leg.
Advanced version (consider this if you are already a regular weight lifter or in very fit condition):
- Complete 3 x 20 step ups as noted above, using either 10, 12, 15 or 20 lb weights in each hand. As an example, if you are using 20 lbs weights in each hand, you are effectively stepping up with 40 lbs of weight on your individual stepping leg.
For the first week, repeat this exercise two days of the week.
Second week, do this exercise three times (but do not do this on consecutive days….consider Mon, Wed, Fri).
I PROMISE, if you continue building (Beginner moving to Intermediate and so forth), you WILL see a difference in your leg and gluteal muscle definition.