Hands up who wants a perky, round bottom? What about shapely legs and defined calves? Yep… thought so… a unanimous EVERYONE. Achieving that perfect posterior requires a lot of hard work – it’s a tailored combination of high and low weight-bearing exercises plus some bodyweight conditioning training. But throw my simple butt burner workout into the mix a couple of times a week and you will be well on your way to an ahhhh-mazing ass. No “butt’s” about it!
1. Shoulder Bridge Series
The Shoulder Bridge Series focuses on isolating the hamstring and gluteus muscles on one side of your body whilst working to keep the pelvis and hips perfectly stable. A killer combo of exercises that is guaranteed to get your butt burning!
If you start to feel any discomfort in your lower back then simply complete the sequence with your hips on the ground and exclude the hip lifts.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor hip-width apart. Rest your arms down by your side, palms down.
- Breathe in to prepare. As your breathe out, keep your spine in neutral and, pressing through your heels, lift your hips up off the ground until you are one long line from your knees down to your shoulders. Squeeze your bottom, ensure that all 10 toes keep in contact with the floor and keep your knees pressing away from each other.
- Breathe in and lower your hips until they hover just above the floor.
- Repeat 10 times.
- Remaining on the same leg with your hips staying lifted, raise your right leg into the air and point your toes.
- Breathe in to prepare. As your breathe out, lower your right leg down towards the floor. Breathe in and lift your leg back up to the sky. Keep your left cheek squeezing and your pelvis in neutral. Don’t let your left hip start to sag.
- Repeat 10 times.
- Continuing on from “Leg Lifts”, keep your hips lifted in the air. Squeeze the muscles around the left side of your body and raise your right knee into the air keeping your pelvis stable and your bottom firm. Extend your right leg into the air. As you breathe out take your right leg out to the side keeping your pelvis stable and circle it down towards the floor. Breathe in, cross your midline and lift your leg up through centre until your leg is straight up in the air again.
- Complete 10 circles in one direction and 10 circles in the opposite direction.
- For the final exercise, raise your right leg into the air and flex your foot. This time, keep your leg straight up into the air and lower your hips down towards the floor. Then push your hips back up as if you were pushing the ceiling with your foot.
- Repeat 10 times.
Now repeat exercises on the left leg.
2. Glute Lifts
This tried and tested exercise has been a go-to since the Jane Fonda days in the 80s.. and for good reason – they work! I’ve added in some lovely variations just to work your bottom a little harder… You can thank me later.
Lift & Lowers
- Kneel on all fours with your hands directly under your wrists and your hips directly over your knees. Extend your left leg behind you and flex your foot. Breathe in to prepare.
- As you breathe out lift your leg as high as you can while keeping your pelvis stable. Squeeze your bottom as you lift your leg.
- Breathe in and lower your leg towards the floor without planting your foot. Repeat 10 times.
- On your final lift, keep your leg elevated and do 10 short sharp pulses each time trying to lift your leg slightly higher than the last. Proceed straight into the next exercise before switching legs.
- Continuing on from ‘Lifts & Lowers’ and keeping your foot flexed, slowly draw an invisible circle with your leg whilst maintaining a neutral spine and pelvis.
- Draw 10 circles in one direction and 10 circles in the other direction.
- Proceed straight into the next exercise before switching legs.
- Keep your leg elevated to hip height and parallel to the floor but point your toe.
- Sweep your leg as far as you can to the side keeping it at hip height and not sinking into your right hip.
- Flex your foot and bring your leg back to the start
- Repeat 10 times.
Once you have completed all the exercises on one leg, switch to the other leg.
3. Standing legs series
Not only will you be working your butt, hips and thighs with this sequence but also your balance and coordination. It is virtually impossible to do this exercise correctly with poor posture so you will naturally want to stand taller.
Wide Squats & Pulses
- Stand tall, feet facing outwards in a wide stance with your hands on your hips. Draw your kneecaps up your thighs and squeeze your bottom. Breathe in to prepare.
- As you breathe out, bend your knees into a wide squat. Ensure your knees are pressing outwards and tracking over your ankles. Keep your torso upright.
- Breathe in and straighten your legs.
- Repeat 20 times.
- On your final repetition stay in your squat position and do 20 slow little pulses making sure you stay at right angles with your knees… nice and deep!
Around The World
- Start in your standing position (as per previous exercise) and breathe in.
- As you breathe out, bend your knees into a wide squat position maintaining a 90 degree angle at your knees.
- Keeping your knees bent, as you breathe in, slowly lift your heels as high as you can without changing the position of your thighs.
- Breathe out, keeping your heels lifted, slowly push yourself back up to a standing position but stay up on your toes.
- Breathe in and slowly lower your heels.
- Complete 10 rounds in this direction and then 10 rounds in the reverse (from standing, come up onto your toes, bend into a squat position staying on your toes, place your heels down still in your squat position then stand up)
For more workouts by Leah Simmons, check out the next phase of her fitness journey, body by leah simmons (a series of pilates programs launching mid-2016), or visit her Instagram and blog for endless fit-spiration.