It may have a silly name, but don’t be fooled: The butt kicks exercise offers serious benefits for every runner and fitness enthusiast.
What are butt kicks, exactly? They’re a moderate-impact movement that raises core temperature, lubricates joints, and stretches and activates lower body muscles.
That makes this exercise especially effective for getting your body warmed up for exercise, says New York City-based strength and conditioning coach Kristian Flores, C.S.C.S.
Just 30 seconds of this drill will fire up key running muscles like your glutes, hamstrings, and core. Plus, the quick leg turnover can help you improve your running form.
Before you try butt kicks for yourself, brush up on form and technique with these step-by-step instructions.
Trainer tip: “Don’t force your heels to your butt if it feels too effortful,” Flores says. “This should be an easy move that feels smooth.”
For slightly more advanced butt kick variations — which can also help you achieve proper running form — Flores recommends A-skips and B-skips.
Hop forward or in place on your right foot, bringing your left knee to waist height, and swinging your right arm forward. Land gently on the ball of your left foot and repeat, alternating between the two sides.
B-skips are similar to A-skips, except you’ll kick and extend your lead leg forward instead of bending your knee.
There’s a reason butt kicks are a go-to warm-up exercise for runners everywhere.
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