How To Get A Downhill Skier’s Glutes
“Does this make my butt look big?” If you've uttered this cliché, you certainly aren't alone. But have you ever seen an Olympic downhill skier from behind? Skiers' glutes are so sculpted and defined that you’re probably wondering what their secret is. When training, Olympic skiers often stick to classic lower-body exercises. If you’re looking for a similarly sculpted bottom line, why not add a few of their moves to your own workout program?
“Strengthening the glutes will improve an elite skier’s performance on the slopes, but can boost anybody’s balance, agility and endurance,” says William Kraemer, Ph.D., director of research at the University of Connecticut's Human Performance Lab. Even if you aren't rapidly shooting downhill in a crouched position with an enormous amount of support from your glutes, hip flexors, calves and quads, you can add squats to your workout to work the same muscles.
The squat is essentially the king of butt workouts -- and luckily, there are so many different types that it won’t be hard to keep your workout interesting. Here are three exercises to get you started. If an increase in size is a goal, add three- to five-pound handheld weights to the mix. Do three sets of any of these variations, for 10 to 15 reps each.
Stand tall with your feet spread shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower your hips and bend your knees as if you were sitting in a chair. Keep your knees over your ankles. Once your thighs are parallel to the floor, slowly return to a standing position. Repeat.
Lace your fingers behind your head and spread your elbows outwards, so your forearms are parallel to the floor. With your torso tall and straight, bend your knees as if you were on a springboard. Explosively jump into the air, as high as you can. Try to keep your knees over your ankles when you land. Explode out of your bent-knee landing and into another jump.
If you’re using dumbbells, hold them at your sides with your palms facing one another. Step deeply forward -- almost into a lunge position -- with your left foot. Slowly lower your hips as far as you can, bending both knees. Try to bend the left knee so it’s at a 90-degree angle and over the ankle. Return to the starting position. Do a full set with the left leg in front, then switch legs.
The trick is to keep at it even after you’ve seen progress. “When people start a program and quit after getting in shape, they can never really improve over time,” Kraemer says.