Bikini, tight dresses and short-shorts season is just around the corner! What better way to prepare like trying out new and easy exercises to lift and tone your derrière! I asked my good friend Emily Ferris, a bikini body competitor, to give me her most effective workouts targeted to strengthen the glutes! Emily is an amazing workout partner, super motivating and her body is super inspiring! I love working out with fun people who know what they’re doing. Here’s a picture of Em that motivates me when I think I’m too tired to go to the gym…
These exercises that we put together aren’t too complicated and we tried to make them look as simple as possible! Working on your gluteal muscles will not only make you look more toned and feel more confident but it is also important for good health and posture. Having strong glutes can help carry out everyday activities (ex. lifting something) properly in order to prevent back injuries like strains or herniated discs and chronic pain. In today’s society, there is a lot of time spent sitting down whether at work, on the computer, in the car, etc. That is why you should never neglect your butt. It is so beneficial to do these exercises at the gym a few times a week, take the stairs instead of elevators/escalators and go for mini walks during breaks throughout the day. Emily shared a tip for anyone wanting a firmer bum… “go out and buy yourself resistance bands”! I already bought some for myself after this workout had me begging for more! This girl definately knows what she’s talking about. My glutes were on fire all day and the day after we worked out together. I found these bands online that are comparable to the ones she trained me with: Resistance Bands at Sportschek, $19.99. Here are the 10 workouts that you can add into your routine to get your best booty yet. The first 4 are great for warming up the glutes so try to do them in this order when you’re at the gym!
- Bridges (Resistance band*)
Feet are hip-width apart. I’m using the MEDIUM band just above my thighs and Emily is using the STRONG one for more of a challenge. With every hip thrust, squeeze and hold for a second at the top. Don’t let your knees come together, there should not be slack in the band at any time. Your arms should be relaxed by your side and shoulders are anchored. Lower down and just as your bum taps the ground lightly, lift off again. (20x)
- Clam Shells (Resistance band*)
This one is great for the sides of your butt for that hour-glass shape. Same position as the last move but you keep both legs flexed. The inside edges of your shoes should be stacked and glued together. Try to keep hips stacked as you open the knees away from each other. Squeeze at the highest point, then slowly let the knees come back closer together. Lift them apart as soon as the knees are about to touch. (20x each side)
- Side Leg Raises (Resistance band*)
Lay on your side with one arm supporting the head. Knees are flexed almost at 90 degrees to the torso, legs stacked on top of each other. Resistance band is still on the thighs just above the knee. Extend the top leg at the knee with a flexed foot. Lift the leg upwards. You will feel this burn in the sides of your butt. To feel it even more, bounce the leg at the top 1-3x before bringing it down to hover. Never let the leg flop back down to the ground. (20x each side)
- Fire Hydrants (Resistance Band*)Get onto your hands and knees with a flat back. Keep hips level (no tilting to one side) as you lift one leg to the side and up, knee remains bent. Check your posture throughout this movement. Make sure all of the weight is distributed evenly and you are not too heavy in the hands. Squeeze the side of the butt with every lift. (20x each side)
- Cable Kick Back
Loop the handle of a resisted cable around a flexed arch of your foot. Start with a flat back, hips level and not tilted. The other knee is stabilized on a bench. Kick the foot attached to the cable backwards and up. Feel the squeeze at the top while keeping hips level. Try not to arch the back and keep neck in line with the spine. Keep that foot flexed to really target the glutes. (20x each side)
- Bulgarian Split Squats
Emily is using a 45lb bar resting on the back of her shoulders (I would do 20 lbs to start!). When doing the lunge, make sure your knee doesn’t go too forward that it passes your toes. (20x each leg)
- Hip Thrusts (Resistance Band*)
Emily is wearing a resistance band just above her knees. Feet are hip width apart. Her upper back is resting on the edge of the bench. The 40lb bar is resting just below her hip bones near the pelvis. Start with your butt hovering the ground and then thrust the hips up while you pinch the glutes together at the top! The squeeze is the most important to help you raise that bar! (25x)
- Squats with shoulder bar (shown without squat rack) (Resistance band*)
Emily wears a resistance band just above her knees. Feet are slightly turned outward and are slightly wider than hip-width. She rests the 40 lb bar on her shoulders from underneath the squat rack (if you don’t have a squat rack, have someone assist you with placing the bar on your shoulders so you do not throw your back out). Sit back into your heels to squat down and when you come up, of course, squeeze the glutes as you come to the top. (As many as you can before your glutes reach the exhaustion point)
- Shin drags
Hold the bar (Emily uses a 45 pounder) with your hands shoulder-width apart. Feet hip-width apart. With back flat as can be, tilt forward, look in front of you, and let the bar drag down your legs until past your knees. Your knees can bend slightly at the bottom. To stand back up straight, slowly thrust hips forward and squeeze. Take this exercise slow for more glue activation. (20x)
- Squat Kettle Bell
I told Emily that when I do kettle bell swings, I always feel like my back feels a bit strained the next day. She showed me this variation instead and it is much more effective for me. Basically just treat it like a squat as in exercise #8 but you are holding a kettle bell (15 lb) close to your chest with relaxed shoulders.
(As many as you can before your glutes reach the exhaustion point)
We hope you like these workouts. Try to mentally visualize the contraction of the glutes while working out! This helps you focus on squeezing that muscle more so that your quadriceps or core aren’t helping out too much with some of the glute moves. Any comments that you have needing clarification, Emily will be answering them in the comment box below! If you have a suggestion for a body part that you want to see workouts for next… let me know in the same comment box! Also stay tuned for the Anti-Cellulite blogpost coming up soon in order to perfect your backside after working on these exercises.