Just because she’s graced the cover of almost 30 magazines worldwide — including Oxygen — doesn’t mean Natalia Kern is unfamiliar with the struggles of staying fit and healthy. As an overweight teenager in a small village in the Ukraine, she didn’t have many choices available when it came to living a healthy lifestyle. The only way she knew to get a better body and a fit butt was to control the amount of food she ate — and that led to an eating disorder.
Kern knew that wasn’t a long-term solution, so she began searching for answers. When she moved to the United States at age 21, she discovered fitness magazines. She loved that Oxygen gave practical advice and examples of workouts that really worked — like the best exercise for buttocks and thighs. She began following them and the results quickly showed.
“I especially loved that the women featured weren’t high fashion but women who look like they work out and are real,” Kern says. “I knew I’d found my family, and I’ve been a loyal subscriber ever since. It’s also how I became obsessed with getting on the cover of magazines.”
Unable to afford a gym membership or a personal trainer, Kern decided that wouldn’t be an excuse she could live with. So she trained at home with her trusty magazines by her side. “When you don’t have resources, you become resourceful,” she says. “There’s nothing wrong with going to a gym. But you don’t have to in order to get great results! You can do everything at home.”
By age 24, she was prepping for bikini competitions in her living room and took home some of the biggest titles in the industry, including Ms. Bikini Universe and Fitness Model world champion.
How to Get a Fit Butt
Aside from not having to join a gym, you also don’t have to spend a lot of money on fancy equipment or a dedicated space to have a great workout. Kern says all you need is a pair of dumbbells (or even a couple of water jugs), a good jump rope, resistance bands and a non-slip mat. She also encourages everyone to look at the not-so-obvious equipment already surrounding them.
“For instance, I run the stairs in my building — 44 flights — every morning,” she says, explaining that she owes her fit butt to this practice. “You don’t even need a baby sitter because you aren’t going anywhere. And all you really need are two flights of stairs to make it work.” Kern likes to do full-body workouts, so she does push-ups and triceps dips in between her stair sets.
In this video, Kern gives us an inside look at what she calls her “playground” — her living room, where all her workout magic happens. She’s created the ultimate fit butt workout for you to follow along with a leg and glute workout at home. Since Kern prefers combining a few moves into a superset, she’s added in weight resistance and plyo moves, as well.
“Your booty is the largest muscle in your body, so you’ll need some resistance,” she explains. “Don’t be afraid of weights making you bulky. If you want a rounded, perky and beautifully fit butt that’s actually lifted, you’ll need to use some weights for resistance. Choose a weight in which the last two reps of each set are very challenging while maintaining proper form.”
In this workout, you’ll be doing two supersets with 10 reps per move(There are three moves in this superset). Repeat at least twice. Do a warm-up beforehand and stretch afterward.
- Lateral Lunge (both sides)
- Deadlift (Use your glute muscles to get up, not your lower back.)
- Jump Touchdown (adds a cardio element)
- Curtsy Lunge (It works all the muscles of the legs and works the booty from all different angles.)
- Plié (It targets the inner thighs and booty, so squeeze your glutes as hard as you can.)
- Plyo Plié Jump (Do this move without weights.)
The more resistance you add to your muscles — in the form of heavier weights — the quicker you’ll see results.
Kern’s Tips and Tricks
Carving out time for creating a fit butt isn’t easy when you have a busy schedule, and Kern completely understands. “Ever since I had kids, I wake up before the rest of the household to ensure I have time to take care of myself,” she says. “Some moms think that self-care is selfish, but I say it’s sacred. It heals and helps you nourish yourself. And it makes you better able to care for your loved ones and helps you stay more emotionally connected to yourself and everyone in your circle.”
Here are her favorite tips for staying consistent with your workouts — which is the key to successfully achieving a fit butt and thighs:
- Grab heavier weights. Too many women are still scared of lifting heavy, for fear of bulking up. “Muscle doesn’t grow that fast, unfortunately,” says Kern, who regularly uses 30- to 40-pound weights for lower-body moves. “I wish it did.”
- Do something you love. Be more active in your everyday life, but don’t overthink it. “Do things that bring you joy, like dancing, Zumba classes, marathon prep or swimming,” Kern says. “Do whatever you like. Be creative and make time for it.”
- Mind-muscle connection. Working out is more than just a physical experience — it’s mental and emotional, too. “Breathe through your exercise,” Kern urges. “Consciously work out versus trying to get through it quickly as possible.”