Could there be a magical workout to lift your buttocks in just 7 days? Well, maybe…yes…maybe? Being a fitness professional for over 25 years, I am amazed by the different trendy workouts that have come and gone over the years. However, one workout goal has been linear over time: a great looking backside. Some people are looking to build their gluteal muscles with a larger, more rounded look. Some people are looking to firm and tone their backsides. Some people are merely trying to relieve back pain in the most effective way possible: strengthening the glutes. What seems to be the goal for anyone focusing on toning the backside is to lift it from where it is currently.
Given the time constraint of needing to firm this area in 7 days, is tricky…but maybe not so tricky. Like the deepest layer of your abdominals, which go virtually underused unless we really focus on strengthening them first, the glutes are left to be weak and underused unless we train them to do their job.
One of the weakest muscle groups in the human body is the hip abductors or medial glutes. Simple exercises such as a resisted bridge with a resistance band placed around the knees, the clamshell with resistance band around the knees and squats with a resistance band around the knees can be a trifecta exercise routine to really focus on the primary stabilizers of the hips and glutes, allowing us to then strengthen and tone the larger part of the muscle in the back. These exercises can be used by anyone and I highly recommend adding these exercises into your warm up routine.
Above we discussed strengthening. Now, to lift. To properly lift the gluteal area, we must focus on not only the glutes but the hamstrings. The most simple of exercises to engage the hamstrings where they cross the joint by the glutes, is the deadlift. If your goal is to firm and tone: go lighter, but still challenging enough for higher repetitions (20 or more). If you are looking to go for a more rounded, stronger look, challenge your hamstrings with heavier weight for less reps (8-10 reps).
Two other exercises I highly recommend:
- Single leg dumbbell glute lift: Start in the quadruped position and place a dumbbell behind one knee. Bring heel in toward your butt slightly to hold dumbbell in place. Flex heel towards ceiling and simply contract your butt to move your heel slightly towards the ceiling. Remember to squeeze to create the motion. Don’t simply press.
- Resisted glute extension with band: place resistance band around knees and start in quadruped position. Extend one leg straight back behind you with toes starting on floor. Using the same squeeze-contract motion from above exercise, squeeze your glutes to lift heel towards ceiling.
- Resisted Bridge: 15 reps, 3 sets
- Clamshell: 15 reps per leg, 3 sets
- Resisted Squat: 15 reps, 3 sets
- Deadlift: Reps determined by goal, 10-30 pound DB’s, 3 sets
- Single leg dumbbell glute lift: 5-15 pounds, 12-20 reps, 3 sets
- Resisted glute extension: 15 reps per leg, 3 sets
I am not guaranteeing that after 7 days, you will have a completely finished product, but I can assure you this: if you work these exercises in combination everyday or every other day for the next week, you will feel those muscles engaging more than you ever have and you’ll be on the fast track to the backside of your dreams.