over the past couple of years "barre" classes have taken over like wildfires spreading all over southern california. the reason why these types of classes are so popular is because not only are they fun and allow people to work out like dancers - who, not coincidentally, have some beautiful behinds - these classes yield great results, especially when it comes to tushies.
well-conditioned behinds, formally and simply speaking, your gluteals - maximus, medius and minimus, are not only sexy but functionally very important. not only do round, toned, gravity-defying tushies look good, they help support our backs and keep our hips from tightening up. in addition, they stabilize our hips in cooperation with our abdominal core and are therefore crucial to maintain healthy postures as we go about our daily lives walking, standing, going up stairs, etc....
the main purpose of the gluteus maximus, the most well-known, outermost muscles of all the gluteals, is to extend the hip, i.e. when we bring a leg back when we walk. it also turns the leg outward and lifts it to the side. underneath the maximus, the medius helps bring the leg out to the side, turns it inward & outward; it pushes the hip forward and also flexes it (like when we bend over). the innermost the minimus also flexes the hip, helps pull the leg out to the side and also rotates it inward.
it's no wonder, therefore, that there are so many different ways to work these all important muscles. they move the leg in so many directions! and how often do we rely on our legs? all the time!! it might be easy to forget to condition them, letting fatty tissue in the area take over (ever heard of the phrase "secretary spread"?) as we spend so much time sitting - at our desks, in our cars, having dinner with friends, etc...but thankfully, there are many fun options in which we can get them nice and healthy.
so now you know a little more about what's "behind" you, get up off of it and find a class near you (mine are at the equinox club in west hollywood on friday mornings at 9a). your back, hips and not to mention, your significant other, will be very happy you did!