It's resolution time! As we ring in the new year, many people often turn their focus from indulgence to moderation and start working to shed a few pounds they gained over the holidays. With this in mind, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) compiled a list of the best moves to target problem areas and keep your body lean and fit throughout winter.
Though you may have a particular body part in mind right now, ACE pooh-poohs the idea of "spot reduction" -- they say it's based on the flawed notion that it's possible to burn fat from one area of your body at a time, which, unfortunately, it is not (so much for those fantasies of shrinking your thighs and adding the leftover volume to your bust!).
However! Though the best way to think about staying fit any time of year is to go for a total-body approach, focusing on cardio and overall strength, it is indeed possible to sculpt your physique by paying additional attention to a few key areas many of us consider to be "problem" body spots:
ACE says research has pinpointed exercises that strengthen and develop the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius, the two main muscles that make up what you may refer to as your butt, rear, or, yes, trunk.
1. Quadruped Bent-Knee Hip Extension - Say what? It sounds more complicated than it is, and, awesomely, it can be done anywhere with no equipment. On your hands and knees, keep a straight, strong back and lift and extend one leg at a time, moving only at the hip and using your glutes to press your lifted foot up to the ceiling. ACE has complete instructions here.