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May 16, 2007

Get a Beach Body Fast

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Nix Your Underbutt
Manage beneath-the-swimsuit bulge with these four moves.

SQUATS
Place a barbell or body bar across the back of your shoulders; hold the bar slightly farther than shoulder-width apart. Stand with your feet just beyond hip-width — this activates your main butt muscle most effectively. Keep your spine straight and move your hips back as if you're about to sit in a chair. Bend your knees and squat until your thighs are slightly past parallel to the floor (if you can). Straighten your legs and return to the starting position. DO: Two sets of 20 repetitions; rest one minute between sets. Do this one to two times a week.

HIP EXTENSIONS
Stand in front of a cable machine and place the strap around your ankle (or, at home, wrap a stretch band around your ankle and something immobile). Keep your leg straight, slide it behind you, and lift your foot slightly off the floor so your butt contracts. DO: Two sets of 20 repetitions; rest one minute between sets. Do this one or two times per week.

ROWING MACHINE
Rowing isn't just about your arms; it's a powerful toner for your lower body, especially the largest muscle in your butt. DO: 30 minutes once a week at an intensity level of 7 or 7.5 on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being exhaustion). Increase by 10 to 15 minutes every three weeks. Bored? Download iRow ($6.99, iTrain.com) to your iPod, and it's like having a coxswain guide your workout.

HILL RUNNING
Running on an incline not only burns calories like crazy, it works your glutes big-time. DO: 10 minutes of warm-up, then set the treadmill to a 10 percent grade. Run at a sprint for 20 seconds, then run/walk with a .5 percent grade for three minutes to recover. Repeat eight times. Do this workout once a week.


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