When I talk to a lot of women, and ask them about what they would specifically like to change about their bodies, most of the time it revolves around three problem areas; butts, guts, and legs. Here’s the bad news about that. Fat stores in genetically predetermined places. If you’re super unhappy with your pick in the genetic lottery, blame your parents. I mean, they take the blame for everything else in life, from the bad attitude and mohawk you were rocking in 9th grade, to your career as a copy paper salesman and your 1992 Ford Taurus. Just blame it all on mom and dad, and move on. Easy enough. The other piece of bad news for the ladies is that it’s not only genetics that play into it. A big part is also gender determined. So ladies, that problem will never go away, your fat will always go right back to those hips and thighs. Sad face!
Ready for some good news! Smiley face! You’re lucky because the hips and thighs have some of the largest and most powerful muscles in the body. They’re your prime movers, and some of the stars include your gluteus maximus, your semimembranosus (hamstrings), and quadriceps femoris.
And even though by and large spot reduction is not possible, there are some ways of pulling fat from specific areas. Yes, this is hearsay in many fitness communities and secret health blog societies, but I’m here to educate you dear reader, even though I may burn on the same fires that consumed the shake weight and the thigh master. One of the main reasons that stubborn fat sticks around in certain areas is because of A) twinkies and B) lack of blood flow to the area.
Increase blood flow to the area, and you’ll increase the rate of fat reduction from that spot.
That’s all well and good, but how is it done? Well, if you’re really interested in reading a lot about it, Dr. Lonnie Lowry has a great article about it here. If you want the short version and dislike the thought of being redirected to a site that features pictures of shirtless heavily muscled men lifting cars and phrases like myo-facial release, read on.
There are two keys to increasing blood flow. The first is warming the area. This can be done through bikram yoga, running/leg exercises, or something tight like compression shorts. It doesn’t need to be tight to the point of cutting off circulation, and god forbid that it’s as tight as Chazz (not for the easily offended or people who are not tight).
The second key to increasing blood flow is just working the muscle, causing vaso-dialation within the area you’re working and causing your body to send blood and nutrients there to heal the muscles that you’re ruthlessly tearing apart with your wicked wall sits and grueling goblet squats.
Boom, so that’s it. Easy. An afterthought: If you continue to eat like garbage, or eat garbage itself, you will not lose fat. You will gain it. Then you will be mad at me for lying to you, when in actuality, I did not lie to you. I’m on your team here. So much so that I’m going to include a sweet workout for you to try at home today to build a beautiful bottom on your own. That’s right! Plus it’s only 2 easy payments of 19.95! Pay me later, it’s ok.
These are a great bang for your buck exercise. Whether you step out, or step back,or do them in place, DO THEM. Start with 10 if it’s your first time. Make sure that you form a 90 degree angle with your front knee, and with your back knee. If you’re getting any knee pain, stop what you’re doing, go find a mirror and reevaluate your position. Or call me, I have magic hands, and not the magic hands that cost a quarter at seedy motels.
1-leg Hip Bridge
Lay on your back on a mat, bring your feet up and plant them near your butt, then extend your right leg out, so that it’s at the same angle as your left thigh. Then, squeezing your butt and abs, lift your hips off the ground so that you’re on your shoulders and right foot. Grunt and repeat.
The challenge for you today, is do 100 lunges on both of your legs, then 100 hip bridges on both legs. Do them all at once, in two sessions, 10 at a time as soon as your boss isn’t looking, whatever. Just get them done. If you already worked out or have yet to do so, great! Consider it bonus points. Or make up work, depending on what you did this weekend. My lovely fiance has a rule with her students. The punishment for not doing the work, is doing the work.
Get it done.