By: Darrell W. Butler
– TFW/Parisi Sports Performance Coach; ACE, NFPT CPT
J.Lo and Kim K and CoCo – oh my! These are just a few of the famous derrieres, in the world today but the list goes on…and with good reason! A well-defined set of glutes is not only eye catching and aesthetically pleasing, but also the basis for speed, power and strength. It’s no coincidence that most of the top sprinters and gymnasts in London this past summer had buns of steel.
“Ain’t got a motor in the back of your Honda”? No worries my friend, here are seven moves that you can do at home to help bring up the rear view! Please note that it’s always best to first consult with your physician before starting any new exercise or nutrition program.
1. Squats (with a Jump) – A squat is exactly what it sounds like, but if you’re unsure how to perform this movement, pretend that you’re sitting in a chair – or if imagination isn’t your thing, you can literally sit on a chair. If your knees can handle it, instead of merely standing back up, jump as high as you possibly can, then land softly and repeat for a full minute!
2. Single Leg Sit and Stand – Sure, there’s a nerdier fitness trainer name for this exercise, but hopefully this name will remind you how to perform this movement later. All that you have to do is sit on a sturdy chair or bench, raise one foot into the air and then stand up using the other. It helps to focus on something that’s not moving, exhale and apply the weight to your heel not your toe.
Still having issues? Use a higher chair or if need be, quickly touch the floor with the elevated foot to help you, but the goal is to eventually do this without “cheating.” Aim for 10 on each leg.
3. Alternating Lunges – Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart. Take a large step forward with your right foot. Hold that position as you bend your left knee towards the ground until your right knee forms a 90 degree angle. Hold this position for a second and then return to the starting upright position.
Repeat this movement on the opposite side by stepping forward with the left foot. Continue to alternate between legs for a full minute.
4. Step up to Knee Raise – Position yourself in front of a platform or sturdy bench. Place your entire right foot on top of the platform. Exhale, and drive your right heel into the platform as you step up with your left foot. Raise your left knee toward your chest then return your left foot to the floor. Repeat for a total of 10 repetitions. Reverse your foot positioning to perform this movement on the opposite side.
5. Mule Kick to Glute and Hamstring Raise – Kneel with your hands on the floor. Draw your right knee in toward your chest then extend your right leg straight behind you. Repeat for 30 repetitions, then place your forearms on the floor. Extend your right leg behind you and raise it as high as possible. Lower your right leg until your toe touches the floor, and then raise it as high as possible once again. Repeat for 30 repetitions, then perform both movements with your left leg.
6. Hip Lift to Single Leg Hip Lift – Lie on your back. Bend your knees to place the bottom of both feet entirely on the floor, shoulder width apart. Support your weight with your feet and upper back as you raise your hips as high as possible. Hold this top position for a three count, and then lower yourself back to the floor. Repeat this movement for a total of 15 times.
Now raise your right leg into the air, and repeat this movement only using your left. Switch legs and repeat, making sure to do the same amount on each side so that you don’t end up walking in circles later!
7. Butt-blasting cardio! – Remember how I said that sprinters tend to have great glutes? Well then why not train like they do? Literally run as fast as you can for a predetermined distance or time, rest and then repeat. Walking on a high incline (hill or elevated treadmill) is also great for enhancing your bootyliciousness, just make sure not to sprint uphill as this could strain your knees. Also, try not to hold on to the treadmill for long periods of time, because it could affect the way you walk since holding on tends to cause you to shift your hips and waddle!
Stair climbers and step mills are also great options, but an actual flight of stairs is even better! Try hopping up and down from the floor to the bottom step (hold on to the rail for safety) 15 times, then running up and down the stairs (not holding on if possible). Repeat this as many times as you can handle!