Working the glutes and thighs are usually a top priority in many of fitness routines. Sleek legs and a toned back side are great fitness goals. While lifting heavier weights and performing loaded exercises are definitely excellent options, sometimes gym equipment is not available… and sometimes, you just flat out do NOT want to go to the gym. Banded exercise and body weight training are definitely great options to tone and strength train. Perform the following routine with a short bout of cardio (~20 minutes) to get a great workout and booty burn!
Place a resistance band that is more difficult above the knees and a medium resistance band above the ankles. The band above the knees will help increase the activation of the glut med & min (and subsequently the burn) during the squat. Just make sure to push your knees OUT against the band to keep them in LINE with your 2nd/3rd toe. Sit back and squat down, keeping the weight in your heels. Perform squats through full range.
Perform x 30 seconds
Banded Squat Walks
Follow up the 30 second squat routine with banded squat walks. This is where the band around the ankles will really increase the work of the hips. First, take 5 steps to both the right and the left, followed by 5 steps forward and then 5 steps backwards. Repeat
Repeat squat to squat walk sequence 3 times!
Reverse Table Top Hip Thruster, Single Leg
Keep your hands under your shoulders and squeeze your glutes to lift your torso off the ground on one leg. Keep the other leg elevated into the air, roughly keeping your thighs parallel. Squeeze the glutes as tight as you can at the top, pause, and then use your hips to lower yourself back down.
Perform 10-15 reps on each side
Reverse Table Top Hip Thruster, Double Leg
Similar set up to the single leg version, just now both legs are supporting the torso. Use glutes to lift torso in line with knees and shoulders. Squeeze glutes tightly at the top, pause, lower back down leading with the booty.
Perform 15 reps. Following 15 reps, hold at the top for an isometric burn for 20 seconds
Table Top Hip Extension (Donkey Kicks) with Band
Come into a table top (quadruped) position with your hands under your shoulders. Hips will be roughly positioned on top of your knees. With a medium to medium-hard band placed above your knees, extend one hip by squeezing the glutes and punching your heel towards the sky. Ensure that you continue to evenly distribute your weight between your right & left sides to keep appropriate activation in the core (if your left leg is lifted, you should be able to lift your right hand off of the ground, for example).
Perform x 20 repetitions on one leg followed by a 30 second “pulse” or mini movement at the top of the motion on the SAME leg before switching sides.
Repeat reverse table top and table top (quadruped) sequence again!
Clamshell Plank with Band
Wrap a band around your lower thigh just above your knee. Come into a modified side plank (on your elbow and knee). Your body weight should be supported by both your elbow and the outside of your lower thigh/knee. Make sure you squeeze your lower side body and hip to ensure the torso stays in line with the shoulder & knee and does not “dip down.” Keep your feet together, rotate at the hip and lift the top knee away from the bottom knee. You should feel this burn in the hip facing the sky.
Perform 10 repetitions. Follow this by a static modified side plank hold x 20 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.
Table top Hip Abduction (Firehydrant)
Come into a table top (quadruped) position with your hands under your shoulders. Hips will be roughly positioned on top of your knees. With a medium to medium-hard band placed above your knees, rotate at the hip and move the thigh out towards the side, as close to perpendicular to your body as you can get with good form. Ensure that you continue to evenly distribute your weight between your right & left sides to keep appropriate activation in the core (if your left leg is lifted, you should be able to lift your right hand off of the ground, for example).
Perform x 20 repetitions on one leg followed by a 30 second “pulse” or mini movement on the SAME leg at the top of the motion before switching sides.
Sidelying Hip ABDuction
This is a simple exercise, but quite effective for the side of the hip. I save it for the very last move in the routine to get more bang for your buck (as you already have a level of fatigue in the hip). Form set up is crucial with this exercise to avoid using the tensor fascia latae (TFL) muscle instead of the glutes. So, lay on your side and roll the hips slightly forward. The bottom leg should remain straight and the top leg should stack on top of the bottom leg with the toes pointed forward (not up). As you lift the top leg towards the ceiling (*this is important*), make sure that the leg moves either straight up or straight up and slightly back. The ankle should stay in line with the hip or be positioned slightly behind the hip. MAKE SURE that the leg ankle are not “kicked” in front of the plane of the hip joint.
Perform x 20 repetitions. Follow by “mini” circling the leg x8 forwards & x 8 backwards
Repeat Clamshell Planks, Firehydrants, and Hip Abduction again!