Gravity Defying Glutes

Boost your rear view with the BOSU.
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The fitness landscape is littered with acronyms for measuring your progress: RPM, BMI, 1RM — you get the drift. But if you’re looking to pump up a “blah” behind, there are only four letters that you need to know: BOSU.

Put simply, a BOSU — which stands for “both sides up” or “both sides utilized” is a half exercise ball with a platform on the bottom, designed keep the user off balance. Standard exercises, like squats and lunges, become more difficult since the body has to not only perform the exercise, but also fight to remain stable throughout the movement.

Aric Sudicky, CPT, BSc, B.Ed, Director of Fitness and Nutrition at Medpoint Health Care Centre in London, Ontario, Canada, uses a lunge with a BOSU as an example. “You’re changing your center of gravity with each part of the rep,” he says. “As you step onto the dome, there’s more tension in your front leg, so you’re emphasizing your front quad more.” And because your front foot is elevated, the glutes in your rear leg are better activated, too.

Related:Bosu Dead Bug

While abs are built in the kitchen, your glutes require a bit more TLC. “A big myth is that you can diet your way to good-looking glutes,” says Sudicky. Following a program that targets the tough-to-tone areas of the glutes while increasing core stabilization — like this plan created by Sudicky — will better your chances of achieving the look you want. Do it two or three times a week using 10- to 15-pound dumbbells; as you progress, increase your resistance to continue seeing changes.

Alternating Lunge

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Target Muscles: glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, hip adductors

Do: 3 sets of 12 reps (each leg)

Set Up: Holding dumbbells at your sides, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and the BOSU on the ground in front of you.

Action: Keep your chest tall and shoulder blades back as you step forward, centering your foot on the BOSU’s dome, and lower into a lunge. Explosively push back to the starting position, and repeat with your opposite leg.

Split Squat & Press

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Target Muscles: glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, deltoids, triceps brachii

Do: 3 sets of 10 reps (each leg)

Set Up: Get into a wide split stance, with the toes of your rear foot on a BOSU. Hold a dumbbell in each hand just above shoulder height with your palms facing in.

Action: Keep your torso upright, slowing bending both legs to lower. As you return to the start, drive your arms up into full extension. Lower the dumbbells back to the starting position, and repeat for your set before switching sides.

Side Squat & Front Raise

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Target Muscles: glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, hip adductors, deltoids

Do: 3 sets of 10 reps (each leg)

Set Up: Stand with both feet on the BOSU and hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing you.

Action: Step your left foot out to the side and bend your knees while simultaneously raising the dumbbells in front of you. (Make it harder: take a big step out to the side and keep the legs on the BOSU straight.) Push back to the start and repeat. Once your set is complete, switch sides.

Single-Legged Hip Extension

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Target Muscles: glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings

Do: 3 sets of 12 reps (each leg)

Set Up: Lie face up on the floor, with your arms extended at your sides and one foot centered on the BOSU. Raise your non-working legs toward the ceiling and bend your knee. (A)

Action: Drive the heel of your working foot into the BOSU and raise your hips (B). Pause briefly and focus on squeezing your glutes at peak contraction. Lower back to the start, finish your set, then repeat with your opposite legs on the BOSU.

BOSU Superwoman Extension

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Target Muscles: glutes, spinal erectors, deltoids

Do: 3 sets of 10 reps (each side)

Set Up: Balance on the BOSU on your hands and knees; your palms will be slightly in front of the center, and your knees will be slightly behind. Keep your arms straight and avoid rounding your spine.

Action: Keeping your chin down, extend one leg back and raise your opposite arm out in front of you until both are parallel to the floor. Hold this position for two seconds before returning to the start. Complete all reps using the same arms and leg before switching sides and repeating.

Single-Legged Donkey Kick

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Do: 3 sets of 12 reps (each leg)

Set Up: Get into a plank position with your forearms on the BOSU and your eyes focused on a spot directly below you.

Action: Maintain this position as you bring one knee toward your chest (A) then extend your leg behind you, reaching it up as far as possible (B). Finish your set, then switch sides and repeat.

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