Running rocks. It’s one of the most effective calorie-burning workouts you can do, and it provides major health benefits including heart strength and disease prevention. Plus, it can also help you tone your backside. Whether you literally want to run your butt off or just tone it up and increase your strength, running can be your answer. It all depends on your goals.
Total Benefits of Running
Overall, the answer to the question of whether running on a treadmill is good for your butt is a resounding "yes." But it’s about so much more than just a killer rear. Running is good for your health in general. According to Vanderbilt University, it lowers your blood pressure, develops lung strength and strengthens your heart. It also helps fend off a variety of diseases, improves your sleep and boosts your overall mood.
Losing Your Butt
On average, running is the most calorie-torching cardio activity you can do. That’s great news if you want to shrink your butt. As you run, your body will use tons of energy and burn up fat from head to toe. As a result, your butt -- and your entire body -- will get smaller if you combine the exercise with a healthy diet. If you use up more calories than you take in, you can whittle that backside at a high rate by running and eating right.
Shaping It Up
If adding shape to your rear is your goal, running can help you do that, too. This, however, will involve a little more strategy. Because the glutes are more engaged when you perform climbing motions, they can be worked to the max if you choose to add some elevation to your treadmill workout. Without an incline, running works the hamstrings and quads more than the glutes, but the higher you take the angle, the more your glutes have to work to help out. If you increase your elevation, you’ll make your glutes stronger and more shapely.
If you want to blast your backside, “Fitness" magazine recommends adding incline intervals to your treadmill workout. Instead of running at a constant flat level for your entire session, increase your incline every several minutes and keep it up for a minute or two before leveling out again. Not only will this burn calories and build glute muscle, it also will keep your mind engaged -- a definite plus if you tend to get bored on the treadmill. Try climbing three virtual hills per 20-minute workout.
After graduating from the University of Kansas with a bachelor's degree in sports information, Jill Lee served for 10 years as a magazine editor for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). Also a published author, Lee now works as a professional writer and editor focusing on fitness, sports and careers.