Boost the Booty - Minus the Squats (yes, we're serious)
Get a tushier tush
It seems like everyone is in the market for a full perky peach these days (thanks Kim K). For a long time, the only option to attain that pert physique were squats. *collective sigh* Yes, they may be somewhat effective, but I think we can all agree that it’s probably one of the most boring exercises out there. Plus, many people don’t properly activate the glutes when squatting. You feel all the burn in your legs which means all the hard work is essentially for nothing. Good thing there’s a plethora of lesser known exercises out there for even better results.
*Disclaimer*: While body ideals and trends are never a good reason to change what nature gave you – this is one change that really benefits your health. The gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and minimus are the biggest and strongest muscle group in your body. Working on your glutes leads to better posture, pain management, injury prevention, increased bone density and fat loss. Look good and feel good.
Spice up your regime and add a little more effectiveness to your workout is with these tushy tightening moves.
Boosting the booty
Lie face up on the floor, knees bent, feet flat on the ground, arms at your side with palms down.
Lift hips off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line. Squeeze those glutes hard and keep your abs drawn in so you don’t overextend your back.
Hold your bridged position for a couple of seconds before easing back down. Don’t push from your heels as the power comes from the hips.
Aim for two sets of ten bridges two to three times a week as part of your routine.
Once you master the basics amp it up with single leg glute bridges, medicine balls and barbells thrown in.
QUADRUPED BENT-KNEE HIP EXTENSIONS (or donkey kicks for the less scientific among us)
A study from The American Council on Exercise (ACE) discovered that this exercise is the most effective at activating the glutes. Even ahead of the traditional squat! It’s also a great one for beginners as it’s easy and requires no equipment.
Starting position = on all fours: knees hip-width apart, hands under your shoulders, neck and spine neutral and kept straight by looking downwards.
Brace your core. Lift your right leg with the knee staying bent, foot staying flat and hinging at the hip. Use your glute to press your foot directly toward the ceiling and squeeze at the top. Ensure your pelvis and working hip stay pointed toward the ground. Ensure the back stays straight throughout.
Return to the starting position. Complete 20 reps on each leg for 4-5 sets.
Once you get to grips with the basic traditional move and build up your strength, there are add ins you can do to intensify and kick it up a notch. Add in resistance bands next and then work up to using smith and cable machines.
Simple but effective moves
Starting Position = Kneel with knees directly under your hips and hands directly under your shoulders. Stiffen your core and abdominal muscles to position your spine in a neutral position (no excessive sagging or arching).
Keeping the back and hips stable, reach the right arm forward and the left leg back simultaneously, keeping them both straight and parallel to the ground. Also keep hips parallel to the floor - do not allow hips or shoulders to move side to side or for the back to sag. Reach through the leg to feel the muscles in your bum.
Gently return to starting position and repeat with the opposite limbs to count as one full rep. Do 5-10 reps.
These moves are a great starting point as they’re so simple and easy for beginners to add in to existing routines. Once mastered there are more advanced moves to conquer next. If you’re looking to work on the derrière and to shake up a boring routine, then look no further.