Have you ever noticed the exaggerated way an athlete runs prior to participating in her sport? You may see a funny-looking jog that looks as if she is trying to kick herself in the butt. She is not doing this to be funny or because she has an injury. The butt-kick is a dynamic stretch to warm up the joints and muscles of the lower body.
You can choose to do butt-kicks in place or moving forward. You should wear quality athletic shoes to support your feet during this dynamic movement. You stand tall with your back straight and your chest out. As you jog in place or jog forward bend your knee and lift your heel rapidly up towards your bum. Quickly alternate the butt-kicks at an even speed.
Various types of stretches exist. The butt-kicks are considered a dynamic stretch meaning that it is a stretch that uses movement. A dynamic stretch is useful to warm your body before playing sports, and it often resembles sport-specific exercises. The butt-kick stretch is particularly helpful if you play soccer, jump hurdles or play tennis. A dynamic butt-kick stretch improves your flexibility, increases lower-body range of motion and serves as an effective warm up before your workout.
The butt-kick stretches your quadriceps. The quads are groups of four-muscles located on the fronts of your upper legs. The muscle contracts to straighten your leg from a bent-knee position. When you bend your knee and raise your heel toward your posterior, the quadriceps lengthen and stretch. The dynamic butt-kick stretch keeps your quads flexible. This is important for preventing injuries, such as muscle tears, and to keep a healthy range of motion in your knees and hips.
Prior to aerobic workouts such as team sports, jogging, cycling, skating or walking, use the butt-kicks to warm your legs. Determine your duration based on time, distance or repetitions. For example, do butt-kicks for 60 seconds, rest for 60 seconds and repeat. Or, perform 20 yards of butt-kicks across the football field. You can also count the number of butt-kicks and aim to do 20 to 30 repetitions at one time.
A mother of two and passionate fitness presenter, Lisa M. Wolfe had her first fitness article published in 2001. She is the author of six fitness books and holds an Associate of Arts in exercise science from Oakland Community College. When not writing, Wolfe is hula-hooping, kayaking, walking or cycling.