Bikini and shorts’ season is fast approaching ladies. Christmas and New Years has likely left most of you with a few extra pounds to trim away from your buns, legs and waistline, requiring us all to break out the sweats for some intensive glute training sessions to make up for all those treats you we ate over the holidays.
The following 6 exercises should be performed as a circuit, one after the other. If you’re feeling extra energetic you can (try to) go for a 15 minute run or fast walk after you’ve finished all of them, to further increase the calorie burn.
If you dare, you might also try to do 2 or even 3 rounds of each exercise!
Exercise #1: Bodyweight (or weighted) Squats
Squats are one of the most effective butt-shaping exercises you can do to create sexy, shapely buns. Bodyweight is best if you’re just looking to tone, but you can use some smaller dumbbells (or a small child!) if you’re looking for some extra resistance.
Stand with your legs slightly wider-than-shoulder-width apart, then squat down with your arms held straight out in front of you until your upper legs are parallel with the floor. Pause for a count of 5, then go back up. Repeat 20 times then move on to the next exercise.
Exercise #2: Hip Thrust
Lie down on your back with your hands at your sides and legs bent, with feet squarely planted on the floor. Lift your butt off the floor using your hips until your glutes completely contract. Hold this position for 15 seconds (or more if you can handle it), then lower.
As you become more comfortable with this exercise, try focusing on one butt cheek at a time: extend one leg fully and let it relax on the floor while you perform the thrust only using one leg at a time, alternating back and forth. Repeat up to 20 times, then move on to the next exercise.
Exercise #3: The Ballerina
You might have heard this exercise being called the “Plié” before too. If you’ve never heard of this exercise at all, you’ve most likely seen them performed during ballets or other dance shows. This exercise can seem a little complicated when you’re just reading about it, but try it and you’ll see it’s easy.
Stand with your legs a little wider than shoulder width, with your toes pointed to the sides as much as feels comfortable. Hold your hands out in front of you, then simultaneously squat down while rising up on your toes using your calf muscles. Hold at the bottom for 2 – 5 seconds than thrust back up using your glutes. When you reach the top, lower your heels to the floor, then repeat the exercise 20 times before moving to exercise #4.
Exercise #4: Donkey Kicks
Your entire butt and legs should be fully warmed up by this point. Now’s the perfect time to really hit them hard with another glute-burner (here). While you might have seen some donkeys and horses kick with both legs before, you’re going to do this exercise on leg at a time.
Get down on your hands and knees, ensuring your head and back are parallel with the floor. Lift one knee off the floor and then “kick” backward using your butt. As you extend your leg, lift it upward using your butt and contract at the top. Try to hold the top position for 5 – 10 seconds then lower your leg to the bent position with your knee hovering above the floor, before placing your knee back down. Alternate with each leg for 10 – 20 repetitions before moving on to #5.
Exercise #5: Jump-Ups
Your gluteus maximus should be burning quite a bit at this point, but you’ve still got a little more work to do! The name pretty much gives this exercise away, but you’re going to use more of your “butt” than you normally would when jumping at the volleyball net or basketball hoop.
Jump-ups utilize the exact same foot positioning as regular squats do, but your going to drive a lot harder out of the bottom and jump as high as is comfortable for you. After landing, you can gain your footing if needed, but try not to rest; go right back into the bottom of the squat and leap back up again. Don’t hold the bottom position, this is a plyometric exercise designed to fire up those buns and your fat-burning metabolism at the same time.
Exercise #6: Lunges
You’re almost there! Lunges are going to be the sixth and final exercise in this butt-shaping routine. If you’ve been following the instructions for the previous 5 exercises, you’re probably at the point where you’re ready to fall over anyway (especially after the jump-ups!)
Stand straight with your head straight up. With your hands on your hips, stretch one leg out in front of you and bend down til the knee of the other leg touches the floor briefly (with your back straight) then lift and lunge forward with the outstretched leg, pulling the back leg with you into the standing position again. Alternate back and forth walking yourself across the floor for at least 10 repetitions per leg. As your butt and legs get stronger, try to do the exercise without letting the knee of the trailing leg touch the floor. You can also hold your arms straight out in front while lunging, to add a little extra challenge to the exercise.
Don’t Forget to Eat Right
We all know how important diet is to burn fat away and expose those shapely buns. However, it’s so much easier to work up a sweat than it is to skip the cake and ice cream after dinner, isn’t it? Exercise is just a small part of the equation though. You have to cut out some calories to get the results you want.
Use this calorie counter to determine how many calories you should be eating to burn away those extra pounds, so everyone can see how shapely the workout above has made your butt look. After you’ve figured out how much you can steal away with to still lose weight, head over to Calorie King and plug your favorite foods into their search engine to find out how many calories are in your favorite foods.
Now it’s time to get your butt in gear!
Summer’s coming fast…