Buns of Steel is the name of a glute-busting workout designed by Anchorage, Alaska-based fitness trainer Greg Smithy in 1987. The original Buns of Steel videos look pretty dated by today's standards -- all leg warmers, leotards and big hair, but the workouts are based on sound exercise principles and make use of some great moves. To develop your own buns of steel, perform two to four sets of 15 to 20 repetitions of each exercise two to four times a week.
Supine Hip Bridges
A buns exercise you can do anywhere? You bet. This great exercise can really help lift your butt and is one of the gems used in the Buns of Steel workouts. Lie on your back with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor. Push your hips up to the ceiling, lower yourself down and lightly touch the floor. You can do this exercise one leg at a time for a more demanding workout.
Squats are one of the cornerstones of the Buns of Steel program and for good reason; they work. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on your hips. Push your hips back, bend your knees and squat until your knees are bent to around 90 degrees. Stand and repeat the exercise. Squats are a great body-weight exercise but are even better if you hold weights in your hands or rest a barbell across your shoulders.
In this exercise, you'll look a bit like a dog cocking its leg against a fire hydrant. It might not be pretty, but this aptly named exercise is another great glute-buster. Kneel on all fours so that your shoulders are over your hands and your hips are over your knees. Keep your body still and raise your bent leg up and out to the side. Lower your leg and repeat.
Lunges are a total leg exercise that place a lot of emphasis on your butt. Performed with or without weights, you can make this exercise even more effective by stepping onto a low step. This subtle change increases the range of movement at your hip and means your butt has to work harder than ever. Start with your feet together and then take a large step forward. Bend your legs and lower your rear knee to the floor. Push back up and do another rep on your opposite leg. Keep alternating legs for the duration of your set.
Side-lying Leg Lifts
Despite being decidedly old school, this is still a great Buns of Steel exercise. For a tougher workout, strap on ankle weights or loop an exercise band around your knees. Lie on your side with your head resting on your arm. Bend your bottom leg for balance. Lift your top leg to around 45 degrees. Lower it and repeat.
While the Buns of Steel workout is 25 years old, the exercises that make up this best-selling workout have been around for even longer. Often, exercises go out of vogue as sport and exercise scientists analyze movements and discover that an exercise once believed to be good for you is now in fact bad. With the exception of very high side-lying leg lifts and lifting your leg too high when performing the Rover's revenge exercise, the Buns of Steel workout is still safe and effective. The Buns of Steel workout DVDs have also been updated so that they are aligned to modern exercise practices.
- Buns of Steel: Home
- Buns of Steel Total-Body Workout; Leisa Hart
- Workouts For Dummies; Tamilee Webb and Lori Seeger
- Delavier's Sculpting Anatomy for Women: Core, Butt and Legs; Frederic Delavier and Jean-Pierre Clemenceau
Patrick Dale is an experienced writer who has written for a plethora of international publications. A lecturer and trainer of trainers, he is a contributor to "Ultra-FIT" magazine and has been involved in fitness for more than 22 years. He authored the books "Military Fitness", "Live Long, Live Strong" and "No Gym? No Problem!" and served in the Royal Marines for five years.