By Toby Massenburg
Originally published on Advocate.com August 05 2009 12:00 AM ET
Don't stop at buns of steel -- get the legs and abs too.
The glutes and hamstrings are often the neglected stepchildren in regular gymgoers' workouts. Working out these large muscle groups together boosts metabolism-increasing hormone release and will build lean body muscle mass. The Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift targets the glutes and hamstrings as well as the core. To perform the exercise, stand with your feet together, holding a dumbbell horizontally in your right hand.
Squeeze your abs and hinge forward at the hips to lower your torso as you simultaneously lift your right leg behind you. Continue lowering until your torso and leg are parallel (or nearly) with the floor and your body makes one horizontal line. Hold the dumbbell close to your left shin and directly under your shoulders. Pause when you feel a stretch in the back of your right thigh and return to the starting position. Then repeat with the left leg and arm. That's one rep; do three sets of 10. While performing the move, keep your head up and your eyes directed toward a stationary spot in front of you.
Workout Videos That Make the Grade
In a perfect world you'd have a personal trainer and many hours to spend in a fully equipped gym. But limited time and funds make workout DVDs a viable alternative. Not all such DVDs are equal, so I've taken three top-sellers and graded them on how well they motivate.
P90X: By far one of my favorites, this 12-DVD home fitness program is a total body workout that ranges from weight training and plyometrics (rapid movement) to yoga and martial arts. I found creator-trainer Tony Horton very motivating throughout, which should help make even the biggest bum buff. A+Beachbody.com; $119.95
Barry's Bootcamp: "Bootcamp" Barry Jay and trainers offer a fast-paced workout with this five-disc set. The routines are challenging, but I was disappointed more modifications weren't offered. And though I loved his energy, I found Jay to be a little disconnected from his audience -- literally: At one point he's completely off-camera while yelling cues. BMyBarrysBootcamp.com; $59.95
One on One Training With Jackie: A private session with Jackie Warner normally costs an arm and a leg, but her three-disc set helps you sculpt those arms and legs for considerably less. I really wanted to like this video, but it fell short for me. While her workouts are tough and challenging, her verbal directions for executing them are often unclear. CJackieWarner.com; $12.99