The benefits of being a tight-arse

Everyone knows a drinking buddy who suddenly goes AWOL when it's their turn to buy a round.

Being a tight-arse at the pub is a buzz killer, but at the gym, a furiously firm bottom comes from hard work and discipline.

When you get to know a few bum facts, it becomes clear that being a tight-arse is, in fact, a seriously good thing.

Want to tighten up that trunk? Here's what you need:

Maximum maximus

Your bum is made up of three muscles - the gluteus minimus, medius, and maximus. They're important for spinal alignment, lateral movement, up-down-back-forward movements, hip extension, back health, and more. Glutes are big, strong muscles, and healthy glutes create a balanced body.

Out of sight, out of mind

We often neglect a healthy posterior chain because we're too focused on our abs, arms, chest, face, hair, and everything else we can see in the mirror. Only when on a shopping spree surrounded by many mirrors do we realise something is amiss back there.

Fire up the glutes

If you don't use it you'll lose it. Imagine that: you have no arse. It's a reality as we ride to work, sit, ride home, and then lay down again. One of the easiest, and most functional exercises for glute activation is a bodyweight squat. If you've even thought about exercise, you certainly know the squat – it's like sitting (without a chair), then standing.

Upon standing, be certain to extend the hips while activating your glutes – if your glutes aren't firing, you're cheating. You can do them at home, in the park/gym, or every time you stand from your chair at work. Just remember: fire those glutes.

Don't forget legs day

When your body shape resembles a flamingo, it's time to concentrate on the lower half. Many exercises call for glute activation, and some of the best are: the deadlift, weighted squat, multi-directional lunge, Bulgarian split squat, and kettlebell swing. There are many other exercises that help lateral movement and strength.


Strengthen every step

Call it OCD, a phobia, or just because I like to move, but I hate slow walkers. So for all you slow walkers out there with weak bums, it's time to change it up and walk faster. When you move up the street with intensity, your glutes will be working harder.

During your next walk, active your bum with every step (just the back leg, then rotate to the other leg). Concentrate on every step you take. It's a workout – it's not easy, and you will strengthen your bum day by day, walk by walk. You'll swagger and swivel a bit more, but it works. Increase the intensity by simply walking uphill.

Healthy on the inside

Achieving a round bum with perfect squats and deadlifts without regard to food and wellbeing is like dropping a '74 Holden engine into a Ferrari chassis.

Rev your engine with fibre. Without it, you'll be constipated and sluggish. With it, you'll be having healthy times for gut and butt. Australian diets are lacking in fibre because we're not eating enough fruit, vegetables, and whole grains - let's change that.

Try Tabata

Tabata training is alternating 20 seconds of intense work (typically one exercise), with 10 seconds of rest, then repeating until the clock hits four minutes. Mix it up by trying step-ups alternating into sit-ups (20 seconds of step-ups, rest for 10, then 20 seconds of sit-ups, then rest for 10) for six minutes.

Have a breather, then try hip raises into push-ups, lunges into side planks, and squats into burpees. These Tabata sessions should kick your arse into shape for good.

How do you look after your rear end in training?

Passion for lifestyle change is the cornerstone for everything Michael Jarosky does. A Sydney-based personal trainer, he cajoled thousands of Executive Style readers to undertake his 'Cut The BS' diet, and champions a charity weight-loss event, Droptober.

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