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4 Essential Moves to Tone Back, Glutes and Hamstrings

Most of us focus on our abs and trying to get perfect flat stomachs for summer, but what about your back, butt and legs? I challenge you to work the mostly ignored backside of your body and watch how your body transforms. It's time to get your sexy back!

Your upper back muscles dictate your posture. Nothing is sexier than a woman or man with perfect posture because they ooze confidence. Whether you want a booty like JLo or a David Beckham backside, you need to be doing strength training for the lower body.

Try these essential exercises to tone the muscles of your back, lift and tighten your glutes and shape your hamstrings!

BACK EXERCISES

Rows
Get your body into a tabletop position by kneeling one knee on a bench and supporting yourself with one hand on the bench. The other hand holds a weight that you are comfortable lifting. Engage your core and lift the weight up to your armpit level and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Then lower the weight to starting position. Choose a weight that you will max out at 12-15 reps and do at least two to three sets at least twice a week.

If you're having a hard time visualizing the proper form, check out this great short video that shows exactly how to do this exercise.

Planks
Yes, a plank is one of the greatest exercises for your core. Your core includes your lower back, which when toned, accentuates your waist! Get into a plank position either on your forearms or your hands (like a standard push up position). With your core engaged and your spine in properly aligned, hold this position for as long as you can without breaking form. Work your way up to one minute or longer twice daily.

Here's a quick video that demonstrates the proper plank form:


GLUTES AND HAMSTRINGS EXERCISES

Squats
Be sure to stand with your feet at least hip distance apart. Your toes can face forward if you have the hip flexibility or slightly outward as long as your knees track over your toes. With your core engaged, sit back as if you were sitting into a chair with your weight in your heels. Go as low as you can without breaking your form and stand back up. Do at least 50 reps every other day for a firm round booty. For added challenge, try adding some weights.

To make sure you get the form right, check out this helpful video.

 

Dead Lifts
Don't be fooled by the name, this exercise won't kill you or your back. Just be sure to get the form down, and do it correctly. Choose a weight that you are comfortable lifting and stand with your feet hips width apart. With your core engaged and a flat back, hinge at your hips and lower the weights until your back is at a 90-degree angle with your legs. Make sure that your weight completely maxes you out after 15-20 reps, and do two to three sets. Be sure to include deadlifts in your routine at least twice a week.

Here's a great video that shows how to achieve the correct form.

Get to it, and always remember that form is fundamental in strength training. Once you have the form down, build up to heavier weights for an extra challenge.

Jennifer Cassetta is a third degree black belt, clinical nutritionist and personal trainer. She loves kale, chocolate and wine. She loves to punch, kick, lift weights, meditate, and dress up in stilettos. She empowers people to be strong, safe and sexy through nutrition, fitness and self-defense, and you can read more at www.jennifercassetta.com.

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>> Read more of Jennifer Cassetta's articles here! <<

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