The muscles of the leg and bum include the glutes, calves, quadriceps and hamstrings and they burn more calories than other muscle groups of the body. The perfect legs and bum are lean and defined. Achieving perfection means completing equal parts strength exercise for definition and cardiovascular exercise to burn fat and reveal toned muscle underneath, resulting in the perfect legs and bum you've always dreamed of.
The squat exercises all areas of the bum and legs -- the glutes, hips, shins, calves, quads and hamstrings. It also burns more calories than most weight-resistance exercises. Begin standing with your feet slightly wider than hip-width and your toes turned out slightly. Your hands are by your sides with your palms facing inward. Begin by shifting your weight to the heels and bending at the knees while keeping your back erect. Lower until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Return to the starting position. Inhale during the drop and exhale while rising. Complete three sets of 12 reps.
The clock lunge works the quads, glutes, hamstrings, and inner and outer thighs. With your hands on your hips, lunge forward with your right foot, lowering until your right knee is bent 90 degrees. Return to standing. Take a big step to the right and lunge again. Step back to center. Lunge back with your right leg. That's one rep. Do 10, then repeat with your left leg. Keep your neck in line with your spine throughout the movements.
Jogging burns fat while toning your lower body. Running on an inclined treadmill or up a steep hill will transfer weight to the glutes, toning your bum more while burning extra calories. Running on a decline will strengthen your hamstrings and quads while increasing your stride speed. Estimate the calories you burned by multiplying 0.75 times your weight in pounds multiplied by the miles ran. If your weight is 130 pounds and you ran three miles, you burned about 292 calories.
If your gym doesn't have a stair-climber, find a flight of stairs with at least 20 steps. Stair-climbing combines high-impact cardio with strength-building leg work. The nature of climbing stairs -- repeatedly propelling your knees upward -- will perfect your legs and bum faster than any other exercise. Keep your body upright, and hips centered over your legs. Making full contact with your heel on the step exercises your glutes and hamstrings rather than just your calves.
Dynamic stretching, as opposed to static stretching, should be completed before leg and bum exercise. Dynamic stretching refers to stretching while moving. Static stretching is completed while not moving and is more forceful on muscles. A brisk walk using wide steps, jumping or high knees qualifies as dynamic; these exercises have come to replace static exercises for their ability to duplicate natural, real-world movement. Dynamic stretching conveniently doubles as a warm-up, while static stretching requires warming up first to avoid muscle tearing.
Matthew Demers is a certified personal trainer based in Windsor, Canada. He is also the co-founder of YourSpace Fitness.