How do you fancy a firmer, tighter bum? Just follow these easy moves and it could be yours...
1. The ‘Jane Fonda’
Start in a four-point kneeling position with your knees directly below your hips and your hands directly below your shoulders. Maintain a neutral spine (naturally curved) and keep drawing your belly button towards your spine. Send one leg behind you with a 90 degree bend at the knee so your heel points straight up, then pulse the knee upwards towards the ceiling 20 times, making sure you don’t change the shape of your spine or twist your hips. Squeeze those glutes! Repeat on the other side.
2. The Oyster
Facing a chair, start with your feet parallel and slightly apart. Bend your knees a little, lean on the chair with your arms and then transfer your weight to the right, bending your left foot behind you. Keep both your knees in line with each other and maintain a 90 degree angle in the left one. From here, slowly lift your left leg out and up like an oyster opening its shell. Make sure you don’t change the shape of your spine or twist your hips. Reach the left knee away from you the whole time. Repeat 20 times and then do the same on the other leg. Note: the bum cheek on the side supporting your weight will also get a workout. A slight burn is normal!
Start with your legs stepped wide and your feet, knees and thighs turned outwards. As you stand there, squeeze your bum and you will get a little more ‘turn out’. From here, bend the legs at both knees, squatting down into what is called a plie. Keep squeezing your bum and push your knees backwards. Your knees and your toes should always be pointing in the same direction. Try to stay tall and upright with your spine and tuck your bum underneath you (rock the pelvis forward slightly). Repeat 10 times. For extra bite, add a little pulse for 10 seconds on the 10th repetition. Pretty ballerina arms are optional!
4. Make a lunge for it
Start by facing a chair or windowsill. Step your foot behind you and allow your body weight to shift backwards to be balanced between your feet. Slowly bend all your leg joints and sink down, making sure that you keep your right knee above your right ankle. Stay tall and upright with your spine and move up and down 10 times. Squeeze the buttocks at all times and add a 10-second pulse on the 10th repetition for extra bite. Repeat on the opposite side.
5. Squat to it
Start facing a chair or windowsill. Keep your legs, knees and thighs together throughout and only use the hands to support you. Squat down as far as you can go while still keeping your heels on the ground, then straighten back up again. On the way back up, squeeze your bum as if you’ve collected a walnut from a chair behind you and you’re going to crack it when you stand upright!
And you’re done! Now lie down on the floor, bring your knees towards your chest and roll back and forth to stretch the muscles out.
Workout devised by Joakim Valsinger, lead instructor at Balans Pilates.