It may be the middle of winter but that doesn’t mean we’re not envying for a tighter backside in time for spring. With skinny jeans and leggings still all the rage, I bet there isn’t a woman out there who’d turn down the opportunity to perk up her curvy assets. While there’s no “magic trick” to firming up your backside, there are plenty of moves you can do to sculpt lean muscles and burn a little fat at the same time.
This week’s Saturday Drill is packed with exercises that focus in on your backside and make your skinny jean dreams a reality: Six moves that require no equipment, and can be done in the comfort of your own home.
Each exercise is listed with a recommended repetition count, but complete more if you’re wanting more of a challenge. As well, complete the entire circuit 2-4 times all the way through to reap even more benefits. You could also incorporate cardio into this routine by jumping rope or running in place for 60 seconds between each move.
Back kicks – For this first move you’re going to channel your inner kick-boxer. Start with feet hip-width apart and bend your knees and lower into a slight squat. Then, lift your right leg and kick it out straight behind you, focusing on engaging your glutes and buttocks throughout the motion. Return your leg to starting position and repeat with your left leg. One kick on each side is one rep – complete a total of 24 reps.
Walking lunge with left lift – Lunges are a great exercise on their own, but add a leg lift at the end of the motion and you’ll tone your entire backside while you’re at it. Complete walking lunges by lunging forward, being careful not to extend your knee over your toe. When you push yourself up for your next lunge, lift the leg extended behind you up toward the sky, flexing your glutes and buttocks as you lift. Then, continue into another lunge with the opposite leg and repeat the motion. Each lunge and lift is one rep – complete a total of 16 (8 on each side).
Fire hydrants – If you’ve ever done donkey kicks then you’re not far off from a fire hydrant. Start by getting down on all fours (using a mat if you’re on a hard surface) and then lifting your right knee out until it’s parallel with the ground. It should look like a dog lifting his leg near a fire hydrant, hence the silly name. Hold the position for 2 seconds and then lower back down to starting position. Each lift is one rep – complete a total of 20 on each side and feel the burn.
Plie squat jumps – Plie squats are excellent at sculpting the inner thighs and buttocks, and adding a jump only intensifies the burn. Start by spreading your feet out wide and turning your toes outward in opposite directions. Next, bend your knees until your legs are parallel to the ground and then jump up as high as you can, reaching your hands overhead as you do so. Land and return to starting position. Each squat jump is one rep – complete a total of 20.
Single-leg squats – To complete this move stand with feet hip width apart. Lift your right leg off the ground and extend it slightly in front of you. Next, lower your body down toward the ground, balancing on your left let. Get as close to parallel to the ground as possible before rising back up to starting position, engaging your glutes and buttocks as you complete the motion. Each single-leg squat is one rep – complete a total of 10 on each side.
Plank with leg lift – Planks are notorious for being difficult to perform, even for hardcore fitness junkies. But they’re hard for a reason: They work. To incorporate a backside toner into this move, simply get into plank position by first getting into a push up position and then lowering down onto your elbows. Next, lift your right leg off the ground and lift your heel up toward the ceiling in small pulses, flexing your buttocks and engaging your core throughout the motion. Each pulse is 1 rep – complete a total of 20 on each side.
Complete this workout 2-3 times per week with a rest day in between and you’ll have a naturally tighter backside in a matter of weeks. It may be challenging, but it’s worth it, and your skinny jeans and spring wardrobe will thank you for it.
February 2nd, 2013