How to Tone Your Butt and Thighs Even More on Your Runs
Running is not only an awesome form of calorie-burning, heart-pumping cardio, it also doubles as a strength-training workout for your lower body. Run and you'll quickly see how it can tone your tush without bulking up your booty. Want to get even more out of your runs? Incorporate these strength-training techniques and you're sure to notice a difference when you slip on your bikini bottoms.
Both inclines and declines are tough because they're more demanding on your muscles. Run both uphill and downhill to work your calves, hamstrings, quads, and glutes.
Step It Up
Most people run the exact same way every time, in a forward motion, moving 18 or so inches with each step, which means working the same muscles in the same way every time you run. Challenge your muscles in new ways by varying your steps. Run with high knees, big leaps, tiny baby steps, in a zigzag, with your right or left side facing forward, or backwards (while periodically looking over your shoulder, of course). You might feel a little silly, but you'll certainly feel the lower-body burn.
The World Is Your Treadmill
Just as varying your steps can strengthen your muscles, so can varying the surfaces you run on. Mix it up between the treadmill belt, the beach (the sand farther away from the water is even harder to run on), rocky trails, and dirt roads. This type of training will make you a stronger, more efficient runner.
Go Go Go
Sprinting intervals are a must to strengthen your lower body, and because they last a short amount of time, they're easy to incorporate into your runs. Sprint for a certain amount of time (say 30 seconds) or use a visual such as running as fast as you can to the end of the street. As an added bonus, intervals diminish belly fat and also make you a faster runner.
Run With Resistance
Seeing someone running with a parachute may seem like the person's feeble attempt to fly, but they're actually strength training while running. Companies actually make parachutes specifically designed for running that add 15 to 30 pounds of added resistance. Wearing a weighted vest is another method for adding resistance, as is running in deep water. These are all safe ways to work your muscles without harming your joints, so opt for one of these techniques rather than wearing wrist or ankle weights.
Running while pushing a stroller is a great way to entertain your little one while getting a great workout for your upper body. You can hold the stroller with both hands or alternate between right and left to target one side at a time. If you don't have a child of your own, offer to babysit your friend or relative's kiddo.