Vigorous walking is a great way to get in your cardio exercise, but what's even better is that you can tone your butt while tackling those hills. As per the American Heart Association, 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise is recommended to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Including some uphill exercise while enjoying the great outdoors will have you feeling great and your butt toned in no time.
The Skate Walk
Try the skate walk to challenge yourself and tone that butt. While you're walking, step forward with your right leg, toes pointing forward, sinking into a lunge and bending your knees at a 90-degree angle. While in a lunge position, bring your left elbow to your right knee, swinging your right arm in a straight line behind you. Breathe out as you push off your left leg, bringing it forward and past your right leg, out diagonally and then landing in the same position as when you first started. This exercise is much like a speed skater. Perform two sets of 25 alternating each leg.
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Walking lunges not only tone and strengthen your butt, but your thighs, calves and quads are being toned as well. While walking uphill, lunge forward on your left leg, knees bent at 90 degrees. Make fists with both hands and with bent elbows, swing one arm behind you and one in front. Shift your weight on your left leg, pull yourself up while straightening the left leg and lunge into the same position with your right leg, breathing in deeply as you come back to the starting position. Alternate legs for a count of 25.
The Knee Crossover
The knee crossover not only firms the butt, but it also helps strengthen your core because while walking you're simultaneously moving your upper and lower body in unison. While you're walking, lift your right knee as high as you can, keeping your abs tight and bending your elbows at 90 degrees. Cross your left elbow to your right knee, hold for a count of 10 then step forward and continue onto the other side. Breathe for healthy oxygen flow. Perform 25 reps on each side.
The Mountain Climb
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Because your butt and legs work harder against gravity, adding that extra 5 percent incline at 3 mph will get you burning 346 calories. As you begin walking uphill, take one large step in front of you, heels first and toes pointing forward, leaning slightly forward with your upper body. Use your arms for balance as you alternate swinging them from front to back, as you lunge into the same position with the other leg, breathing out as you alternate legs. Perform 25 repetitions on each leg.
Serina Ruggeri has been a fitness coach and nutritional consultant for four years and is attending college to become a dietician. Serina has been writing articles for many online health and fitness blogs and health magazines for two years.