I don’t have much of a booty. I blame my mom for my flat-ish fanny. Bad butt genes, I guess. But that doesn’t mean I’m going down without a fight. I try to pump up my posterior every chance I get – and yes, that means during cardio too. Here’s how you can build a better tush on the treadmill…
Stretch out your hip flexors first to fire up your glutes. Before you even step foot on the treadmill, stretch out those hip flexors. Hip flexors move your leg forward while your glutes move it back, but when your hips are tight (blame sitting at a desk all day), you can’t fully activate your glutes. Try a lunge stretch: push the left hip forward and hold for 20 seconds on each leg.
Set the treadmill at a slow pace. Fast isn’t always better. When you slow the treadmill down, you can really focus on your form, which is the key to great glutes. With each stride, kick your leg straight behind you for full gluteal flexion. If you can go slow enough to lunge, even better!
Push off the ball of your rear foot. Focus on your rear foot to propel you forward. This causes your calf to contract and forces you to naturally tighten your tush. Bonus: It can also help you run faster.
Up your incline. Striding uphill better engages your butt muscles. Vary the incline every couple minutes to keep your muscles guessing and engaged. For example, go from a 3% incline to a 10% incline to a 5% incline… you get the drift.
Add in explosive movements. Turn your treadmill workout into a circuit-style workout for greater glutes. Do five minutes on the treadmill, then 15 reps of power-up moves off (repeat 4 times). Any kind of jumping exercises will jumpstart your glutes: try box jumps (jump two feet up on a box), explosive lunges (jump up and switch legs in midair) and double leg tuck jumps (tuck your legs mid-air).