You may be wanting to round out that booty to fill those pants so nicely, or to rock that new swimsuit with confidence! But there is so much more to a well-trained backside than just the looks.
This post comes to you from Hawaii-based Kiwi mama, Mona Jane, who will be sharing cardio, strength & conditioning with full-body HIIT home workouts, all month long!
The tush is definitely one of the most popular body parts to build, tighten and tone. But there is so much more to a well-trained backside than just looks. It is by far the strongest and largest group of muscles in the body, which in itself should tell us how important its role is in body movements. Working together with the hamstrings it extends, rotates and abducts the hip, as well as internally and externally rotate the hip. It also contributes to pelvic stabilization, specifically during walking, running and even climbing. Long story short — they’re super important but are often underworked and weak.
Many jobs require us to spend so much time sitting that our glutes “turn off” or stop firing as efficiently, effectively and strongly as they should. This can result in our hip flexors tightening up and can lead to injury and even lower back pain. When you build a stronger booty, here are a few of the benefits you can expect over and above the good looks.
Strong glutes and hamstrings can help improve posture, alleviate lower back, hip and knee pain, enhance athletic performance, reduce bone density loss and increase functionality and power for many movements.
This workout targets different parts of the glutes as well as the surrounding muscles; hamstrings, quads, lower back and core. The goal? To raise the heart rate, building strength and power with the larger plyometric movements, and then focus on breath for toning and tightening once you move to all fours with controlled movements. Be sure to really think about which parts of the muscles you are using for each movement and concentrate on engaging them to execute the movement over momentum.
Complete 15 reps of each exercise (15 each side).
Once you are on all fours, be sure to do all 6 exercises on one side before switching to the other. Repeat from start for 3-4 rounds.
Jump Squat Twist
Beginning with feet together and posture erect, jump the feet out a bit wider than shoulder width, whilst simultaneously lowering into a squat position by keeping chest up and sitting the hips back, ensuring to keep the knees behind the toes. At the same time without rounding through the back, twist the upper body, reaching the right arm to the left foot. Return to start position by twisting the upper body back into neutral as both hands reach up to the sky as the body stands upright, while extending the hips and jumping the feet back in together. Repeat on the other side to complete one rep.
Start standing, and keeping hips square to the front, step your left leg behind you and crossing behind to the right , bending both knees as if you were curtsying. Make sure to keep front knee aligned with your front ankle. Pushing up through the front heel, return to standing, and switch sides to complete one rep.
Reverse Lunge Knee Drive
Begin with feet together, step the left foot back into lunge position, spine aligned from head to back heel, with front knee aligned above front ankle. Then putting all weight into the front foot drive the back knee forward and up towards the chest as you lift the chest up into standing position and power through the front heel to jump off the ground. Landing softly on that same foot, take the left foot back into lunge position to complete one rep. Repeat all reps on the same side before switching to the other leg.
Lateral Ski Jumps
Start in a standing position, feet close together, toes and hips square to the front.
Keeping chest up, back straight, glutes and core engaged, squat slightly by bending your knees and lowering your butt, like you are skiing down a slope. Ensure knees do not go over toes. Pushing up through your heels, launch your body up and sideways, to land about 2 feet to the right of where you left off. Landing softly, sink into the squat position again. Without pausing repeat the movement to the other side to complete one rep. Use the arms for added momentum.
Rainbow Leg Lifts
Begin on all fours, back and neck in line, knees shoulder width apart and shoulders directly over wrists. Engaging the core belly button to spine, straighten one leg out to around a 45 degree angle, so the tips of your toes are touching the ground. Keeping your core tight, lift your straight leg up and cross over in a rainbow arc behind you to the opposite side. Try to keep your torso still and abs tight the whole time, so only your leg moves! Touch toes down on the other side behind you to complete the rainbow arc, completing one rep. Then bring your foot back in a rainbow arc to the starting position to complete another rep. Repeat all reps on one side.
Leg Lift Knee Tuck
Begin on all fours, back and neck in line, knees shoulder width apart directly under hips and shoulders directly over wrists. Engaging the core belly button to spine, extend one leg straight directly behind you engaging the glute. Lift the heel towards the ceiling, then lower the leg level to your body then bend at the knee driving it toward the chest as you engage the core. Extend the leg back again to starting position to complete one rep. Flow continuously through the movement and avoid excessive arching or rounding out of the back.
Leg Lift Pulses
Starting in the same position as the above exercise with one leg extended straight back. Following the same instructions to perform a leg lift behind you, continue to engage the core and especially the glutes as you pulse the leg up and down about 3-4 inches for the set amount of reps.
Start on all fours, knees directly under your hips, and hands directly below your shoulders. Keep your back and neck straight. Keeping your knee bent at a 90 degree angle, raise one leg out to the side until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Engage the core in, and keep your pelvis stable and square to the ground. Slowly lower your leg back to starting position to complete one rep.
Hydrants w/ Leg Extension
Repeat the same exercise as above, but once the leg is raised out to the side and thigh parallel to the floor, extend the leg out straight, then bend back to 90 degrees before lowering back to starting position.
Lateral Leg Extension Pulses
Start on all fours, knees directly under your hips, and hands directly below your shoulders. Keep your back and neck straight and core engaged. Extend one leg straight out to the side, parallel to the floor and pulse up to the ceiling for set amount of reps before lowering leg back down into starting position. Aim to keep hips square to the floor.
After all exercises have been performed, it feels good to sit back in to child’s pose, perhaps rocking from side to side to stretch out the back and glutes before starting the next round.