Resistance cords are flexible, stretchable and manipulatable snake-like rubber tubes that work your major muscle groups. Like exercise bands, cords are available in different strengths too. But unlike the cheaper flat exercise bands, resistance cords come with handles. Plus, you're toning while retaining muscle strength. Resistance cords won't plump your backside, though, unless you combine butt-targeting strength exercises with them. Talk with your doctor about exercising with cords, especially if you're recovering from an injury.
About Your Butt
Meet your butt muscles -- or the glutes. The star of the show is the gluteus maximus. Go ahead and get to know this big boy --squeeze your buttocks and slide a finger across your bottom. The muscle you just felt was the gluteus maximus. It's the largest of the three butt muscles -- the other two being the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus -- and covers the entirety of your tushy. Your gluteus medius and minimus hang out beneath the large gluteus maximus muscle. Each time your leg rotates in or out, or your foot angles in, those smaller muscles are at work.
Pull, Twist, Stretch
If you're looking to enhance your gluteal region, seek out resistance cord exercises that require you to pull or stretch the band, and twist your body. True, you can do glute-toning hip abductions and adductions, and even squats without resistance cords. But by adding cords, you add tension as if you were working with a free weight. Firm your butt with boisterous hooray squats. Slip your feet into the cords' handles, twist the cord -- making an "X" in front of your knees -- and hold the rest of the cord at chest-level. Place your heels down and your legs hip-width distance. Squat down and quickly raise your arms, and resistance cord, as you stand. Do 12 to 16 dynamic hooray squats, or until you feel tightness in your glutes.
Kick up the resistance with two hand weights. Select weights that will fatigue your muscles by the 10th to 12th rep. Resist-a-squat is a butt-burning, quad- and a-toning squat version using a cord with hand weights. Stand with your legs hip-distance with the resistance cord centered beneath your feet. Twist the ends of each band around the middle of each weight. Hold on to the weights with the ends facing out and the weights parallel to your leg. Pull the weights and bands up as you stand, and lower as you squat. Do 12 to 15 reps, or until your glutes feel tight.
Resistance cords alone won't tone up your tush. You need a dedicated strength and cardio program for that. Buy a resistance cord to assist in your 30-minute strength routines. And don't focus solely on the glutes. Work all the major muscle groups for a slimmer waistline, tighter thighs and toned arms. Do strength exercise two or three times a week, along with at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity. Split your cardio into 30-minute chunks, five times a week.
Having studied at two top Midwestern universities, Catherine Field holds degrees in professional writing and patient safety. Writing since 2000, Field has worked with regional newspapers while publishing fiction online. She conducts medical communication research at a Midwestern medical institution and is slated to write a book based on her research findings.