Each winter, I am inundated with e-mails and messages from women wanting to tone up their derriere in time for spring so that they can feel confident rocking their warm-weather wardrobes — including, of course, the infamous two-piece.
I am with you girls: Just like all of you, I want to look and feel my best when I walk out in a pair of shorts on a warm day or in a bikini on the beach, weather I’m enjoying a staycation at home or travelling somewhere warm on holiday.
However, this isn’t just about cellulite or a toned tush, but strength, body confidence, and doing those skimpy shorts justice. About 18 months ago, I set about creating a plan that in just 15 minutes a day, combined with a few very simple lifestyle tips, could transform your bottom from orange peel to “oh let me feel.” (Obviously, I do not advocate walking around groping others bums, reader.)
This fat-blasting, cellulite-smashing programme, all of which you can do at home, will shape and tone your butt in just a matter of weeks.
The bad news is, you will need to lay off the Prosecco (and other alcohols for that matter), also sweets, treats and chocolates for a few weeks, and increase your lean protein – chicken, turkey lean mince beef etc and boost up your fibre, too, with plenty of green veggies — if you really wan to maximize your results.
Your butt is one of the biggest muscles in your beautiful body, but it’s not all one big muscle; in fact there are a few layers that need to work, and that means that squats alone aren’t going to cut it (though they’re certainly a good start).
To complete this workout, all you need is a resistance band. It’s possible one of the cheapest and easiest to store pieces of fitness equipment that you can own.
These rubbery little tubes are seriously underrated, in my opinion. Versatile, strong and effective, I love them and use them with loads of my personal training clients and in my fitness classes. In fact, I often tell people to slip one in their suitcase when they are off on their travels so they can keep their workouts going!
First things first: You need to make sure that you are warmed up and ready to blast the fat away before you start your workout. Spend a few minutes marching, jogging, climbing the stairs or doing step ups, add in a few jumping jacks and spotty dogs to get your hips nice and warm and then crack on.
Grab your smart phone to time your exercises, because counting reps is so last season.
We are doing an AMRAP workout, what does that mean? As Many Reps As Possible.
Complete as many reps as possible for 30 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and move on to the next exercise. Once you have completed all 12 exercises, have a 1 minute break before starting again and completing as many more sets as you can in the 15 minutes.
For the first few moves, warm up those glutes with just your bodyweight; then, half-way through, you’ll pick up your bands and really get to work.
PART ONE: START WITH BODYWEIGHT
Start from standing, and step your left leg behind you and to the right so your thighs cross, bending both knees as if you were curtsying. Make sure your front knee is aligned with your front ankle. Return to standing, and switch sides to complete one rep.
Reverse Lunge With Front Kick
Keeping your abs tight, step back with your right foot and lower into a reverse lunge. Squeeze your glutes as you push down through your left heel and kick your right leg in front of you as you straighten your left leg. That’s one rep.
Squat And Lateral Kick
Stand with your feet shoulder-width distance apart. Bend your knees, lowering your hips deeply into a squat, keeping weight back in your heels. Don’t let your knees track past your toes. Then rise back up, straightening the legs completely and lifting the right leg out to the side, squeezing the outer glute. As you step the foot back into shoulder-width distance position, squat down again. Then stand up and do a side leg lift on the left side. Lower the leg back to the starting position.
Kneeling Glute With Cross-Over Kick
Position yourself on all fours in tabletop position. Pull working knee forward as if trying to touch the shoulder, then travel the leg back as you reach and straighten the leg back at a cross diagonal direction. Repeat. 25 x each leg.
Narrow-To-Wide Squat Jumps
Stand with your feet touching. Bend your knees, lowering your hips deeply, bringing your thighs parallel with the floor if you can, lowering into a squat. Be sure to keep weight back in your heels. Then, explosive jump up and hop your legs up out so you’re in a wider squat. Lower hips, keeping your weight in the back of your heels into a deep squat. Then jump back into a narrow squat. then raise back up and hop back to a narrow squat. Continue alternating between these two squats.
Self explanatory! Find a step or stair and do these as quickly as you can.
PART TWO: ADD SOME RESISTANCE
Catch your breath if you can, because the next few exercises is where it gets tough. Grab your resistance band and get ready to feel the burn.
Tie your resistance band around your ankles and pull against it with each step to the side, go four steps in one direction and then back again.
Tie your resistance band to something solid, place one foot in the loop and pull the leg straight from the hip back behind you, keep your upper body tall whilst your move and repeat.
Tie the band around your legs, placing it just below your knees and then lay on the floor on your side with your legs bent and knees together, keeping your feet touching and on the floor. Open the hip but lifting the top knee outwards.
Resistance Band Plank Jacks
Leaning on your forearms in a plank position on the floor, wrap the band around your ankles. Jump your legs out and back in quickly, bracing your abs as your do to protect your spine and pull the legs outward against the resistance. Return to the start position and repeat. Do taps if jacks are too tough.
Tie your resistance band around something solid and place your leg inside the loop, turn to the side, pull your leg away from the resistance and in front of the other leg, keep your upper body still and tall.
Walking Squats/Monster Walks
Tie the resistance band around your ankles and widen your stance, step forward and as you do, swing your leg in an outward semi circle motion. Alternate legs, and then back up in reverse.
You can intensify this workout by adding 5, 10 or 15 minutes to the workout. It all depends on how much time you can spare.
In addition to your butt killer workout, there are a few lifestyle tweaks that you can make to really accelerate your butt-beautifying regime. Always remember to stretch your muscles after your workout — downward facing dog, toe touches or anything that gently pulls on the back of the legs and glutes. Don’t pull too hard though, and hold each stretch for at least 20 seconds to help improve flexibility and blood flow.
Finally, stand up for your butt — if you spend a lot of time sat down at the office or driving, get up and move around regularly. Spending too many hours glued to your seat will reduce blood flow to the area, and prevent your body from flushing away any broken down toxins or fat. Keep it moving to keep the fat stores at bay.