One of my favorite things at MOD is that they spend almost 15 minutes of every class focusing just on your glutes. I have a real love/hate relationship with the moves, but in the end, there’s no question that they get you results. To help us on our continued journey towards a better summer bod, the MOD gals are here sharing their tried-and-tested tightening exercises…
From Hollie: A strong set of glutes (ahem, your “booty”) will not only make you feel like rocking a pair of shorts or your favorite bikini, but will also improve your low-back and hip health. Use these moves to strengthen, lift, and increase the muscle density in your largest muscle group – you’ll thank us later.
Lunge with Hip Extension
- Stand with your feet directly under your hips, hands on hips. Take a big step back with your left leg, bending deeply through the left knee so that you have two 90-degree angles: one behind the left knee, and one behind the right knee.
- Driving through your right heel, lunge away from the floor reaching your left leg in mid-air long behind you. While creating this upward movement, reach your arms overhead, biceps next to your ears, and pull your abdominals inward and upward.
- Once stable, keep everything still as you lower the left leg until your big toe touches the floor.
- Lift the leg again, without losing the engagement in your abdominals. Carefully lower back down into your lunge position. Repeat this move 20 times on the same side before switching to the other.
Open Leg Lifts
- Start with your hands under your shoulders, knees bent under your hips. Lower down onto your left forearm and slightly turn your left shin outwards for support as you open your shoulders and hips to the right. Extend your right leg long; your big toe should be in line with your right hip.
- Keeping your torso still, lift your right leg high above your hips. While doing this movement, you should feel the muscles on the side of your glutes engage. Keep your abdominals engaged and your shoulders away from your ears.
- Bend at the knee as you bring your right knee towards your right elbow, moving in a diagonal direction. Keep your spine long as you do this.
- Extend your leg straight back to the diagonal position above your hip. Lower your leg to the starting position. Repeat this move 20 times on the same side before switching to the other.
Table-top Leg Lifts
- Start with your hands under your shoulders, knees bent under your hips. Keeping your shoulders and hips squared off to the floor as much as possible, extend your right leg straight so that your right big toe is in line with your right hip. Keep your abdominals pulled in, shoulders pulled down away from ears, and spine long.
- Using the strength of the sides of your glutes, lift your right leg to hip height. You will have to slightly open the hips here, but as much as possible, try to keep them facing towards the floor.
- Maintaining the height in the leg, flex your right foot and bend your right knee, using your hamstring to bring the heel to the seat.
- Point the toes and extend the leg back in line with the right hip, maintaining the original height of the leg. Lower your leg to the starting position. Repeat this move 20 times on the same side before switching to the other.
- Lay flat on your stomach with your forehead resting on your forearms (you’ll want something like a yoga mat underneath you if you’re on a hard floor) with a hand weight nearby. We recommend using anywhere from a 2-pound to a 5-pound weight for this exercise.
- Bend your left knee, tucking the weight behind the knee. Align your body so that your shoulders, hips, and knees are all aligned. Tuck your hips into the floor while lifting your abdominals away from the floor to protect your back. Lift your left leg so that it is hovering off of the floor.
- Keeping the alignment you created in your body, lift the left leg further away from the floor, hugging the weight tight behind your knee. Keep both hips pressed into the floor equally.
- Repeat this series 25 times with the left leg before switching sides.
Modified Push-Up with a Chair
- Grab a chair! You’ll want to be able to rest your fingertips on the back of the chair, so pick one based on your height and turn it away from you.
Stand an arms’ distance away from your chair with your feet under your hips and your hands resting lightly on the back of the chair. Keeping your hips even with each other, lift the right knee towards your chest. Keep your chest lifted, shoulders back, and spine long.
- Hinging your upper body forward, extend fully through the right leg so that it is reaching behind you and as high as your hip. Keep your abdominals pulled in as you do this.
- Bend the right knee, bringing the right heel towards the glute and softly bending your standing left leg.
- Press through the left leg and extend the right leg, straightening both legs. Try to get the right leg as high as it was in the second position. Pull the knee back in towards the chest and repeat 30 times on one side before switching to the other.
- Sliding Hamstring Curls
Grab a towel and fold it in thirds, longways. This move will only work on a smooth surface. Lay on your back with your knees bent and heels resting on top of the folded towel. Your heels should be about 12 inches away from your glutes. Align your shoulder, hips, knees, and ankles.
- Driving through your heels, lift your hips off of the floor. You should feel your glutes and hamstrings engage. Don’t lift your hips so high that your weight is on your shoulders and neck.
- Pressing through your heels and maintaining the height of your hips, slide the towel away from you another 12 inches. As you are sliding, keep your knees aligned with your hips.
- Drive through your heels again and slide the towel back to the second position, keeping your hips still and knees aligned. Slowly lower your hips to the floor before repeating. Do this move 10-15 times – it’s a tough one!