Sometimes you need to throw your body a curveball to break out of a rut and supercharge your results. That goes for glute training, too. If you’ve been focused on traditional weight-training moves to shape your glutes and the results have started to sag (literally and figuratively), why not turn up the heat by adding a burst of cardio?
“This workout will fire up your metabolism and your rear, torching calories and stimulating lean muscle gains in your glutes, hams and quads,” says Kelly Von Schleis, certified health coach, personal trainer, and information technology health-care consultant.
The session combines six movements into three superset pairings with a focus on engaging the hips during each exercise to maximize results. “The hips are often a forgotten area of emphasis when you exercise, but the benefits of getting the hips fully involved can be astonishing,” Von Schleis explains. “You can slim down, tone up, and firm your outer thighs and butt. Say goodbye to your ‘hip dip’ and say hello to your new curvy silhouette!”
Equipment required: Exercise band. (Kelly recommends Booty Bands dumbbells and bands. Shoppers who use the link provided will get a 10-percent discount.) Ankle weights are optional but also highly recommended for added toning benefits. (Kelly recommends Bala Bangles ankle weights. Use code KELLYSCHE20 to get 15 percent off all products on the site.)
Suggested warm-up: Do the following circuit of bodyweight moves with no equipment: 10 slow air squats, 10 side-to-side lunges, 30 jumping jacks and 20 standing alternating toe touches (opposite arm to opposite ankle).
Workout overview: Perform each two-exercise superset three times through before moving on to the next pairing. You’ll do each movement within the superset for 45 seconds, as hard as you can go, and rest only 15 to 20 seconds between each superset.
“Each of these circuits starts with a banded hip-focused movement alternated with an intense 45-second cardio burst,” Von Schleis explains. “Keep the hip-toning movements slow and steady, focusing on your form and breathing, and as you shift to the cardio bursts, empty out the tank using all your effort.”
To increase your energy output, you can wear ankle weights during the workout or add dumbbells to each of the hip-toning exercises. All exercises will require the band placement just above the knees for the entire sequence, with the exception of the plank jack, in which the band is best positioned around your ankles.
Kelly Von Schleis’ Booty-Blast Workout
|1||Band Alternating Squat to Lateral Leg Raise||2 minutes|
|Band Squat Jump||45 seconds|
|2||Lateral Band Walk||2 minutes|
|Band Popcorn Jack||45 seconds|
|3||Banded Clam||1 minute (per side)|
|Band Plank Jack||45 seconds|
Band Alternating Squat to Lateral Leg Raise
How-To: Loop a resistance band just above your knees and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Keep your hands clasped together at your chest or on your hips. Bend your knees and lower your hips to sit back into a low, controlled squat. Return to standing, then slowly lift your right leg out to the side of your body as high as you can, keeping that knee straight. Slowly lower that leg and repeat on the left side.
Kelly’s Pointers: “It’s important to keep your back and neck straight: Don’t let your chest creep forward during the movement, and pull your bellybutton into your spine. When you go low into your squat, sit back into your heels. The movement should be slow and smooth, and you should tighten your core and feel the burn in your outer glutes and hips. For an extra muscle torch, you can add tiny pulses for the last 10 to 15 seconds. Advanced exercisers can hold a single dumbbell at their chest to increase the intensity of the movement.”
Band Squat Jump
How-To: With the band still around your knees and your feet shoulder-width apart, hinge at your hips into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Using your arms to propel you, launch yourself up into a high jump as you slightly straighten your legs in the air before returning to a squat position, allowing your knees to bend to 45 degrees as you land, and immediately jump again.
Kelly’s Pointers: “Really use your arms to launch yourself in the air. This movement should leave you feeling quite tired — give it all you’ve got! If you get too fatigued to continue jumping for the full 45 seconds, just continue by coming up into a toe raise instead of a full jump.”
Lateral Band Walk
How-To: With the exercise band still positioned just above your knees, stand with your feet hip-width apart. Squat down into an athletic “ready” stance, keeping your weight evenly distributed over your feet and your eyes facing forward. Shift one leg to step to the side while maintaining your athletic stance. Depending on the space available to you, continue stepping to the right side for a few counts before switching to the left side.
Kelly’s Pointers: “Your goal is to maintain your athletic stance throughout the duration of the exercise and keep your weight as evenly distributed as possible over your feet. Your head, neck and spine should be in a neutral position. Maintain a slow and steady rhythm and fully engage your glutes throughout. To add intensity, consider adding ankle weights or hold a single dumbbell with both hands behind your head — that positioning will help you maintain a straight posture.”
Band Popcorn Jack
How-To: It’s recommended to leave the band above your knees, but if you prefer, you can move it around your ankles instead for this movement. From a low, athletic “ready” stance, jump up and bring your feet together and then open them again. As you land, drop your hips down into a squat — if you have the flexibility, get low enough to just barely touch the floor with one hand in between your knees. Then powerfully propel yourself back up into a jump and repeat the sequence, this time lightly touching the floor with your opposite hand.
Kelly’s Pointers: “Think of this as an athletic drill more than a standard exercise. The movement should be controlled yet performed at a quick pace. Don’t let your knees collapse inward, and get as low as you possibly can while maintaining tension on the band throughout the movement. Be aware of your core activation throughout the exercise.”
How-To: With the exercise band above your knees, lie sideways on an exercise mat with your knees together and pointing forward, bent at a 45-degree angle. Keeping your feet in a fixed position, lift your upper knee about 8 to 10 inches away from your lower knee. Hold this extended position for a second before lowering your knee back to its starting position.
Kelly’s Pointers: “Keep your hips, pelvis and upper body stationary throughout the entire movement. Your feet also remain together for the entire exercise. Try doing three counts up, hold at the top for a second, and three counts down. If it is uncomfortable to do these lying down, you can try the movement seated and just extend your legs inward and outward. You can add a light dumbbell atop the lifting leg, holding it near your knee, for added resistance.”
Band Plank Jack
How-To: Move the resistance band to your ankles and assume a push-up position on the floor, your legs close together and your hands directly under your shoulders, elbows straight. Next, explosively lift both legs off the floor a couple of inches and “jack” them out to each side, landing on your toes in a wider position. Repeat the lift to bring your legs back to the starting position. Continue the pattern in a rapid-fire fashion, which will help keep tension on your core and glutes throughout.
Kelly’s Pointers: “Maintain level hips throughout this movement — don’t let your booty rise toward the ceiling, and do not shift into Downward Dog. If the plank position bothers your wrists, you can go down onto your forearms for the movement, or you also have the option to switch to standing jumping jacks with the band.”