I’ve got something a little different for you this week. Here’s my 10 minute Booty Burner routine (as featured on my Bedroom Body DVD, which also features two additional workouts: Buff Body Blast and Core & Pelvic Floor) which lifts, shapes, firms, and strengthens the glutes. All you need is an exercise mat or towel. Pelvic Lifts Muscles Worked: Glutes, lower back, legs, abdominals
Start Position: Lie face up on the floor with your knees bent and your feet hip-distance apart. Be sure to keep your knees in line with your hip bones; avoid letting them drop open. Engage your abdominals, but allow a natural curve through your lower back. Place your arms at your sides, keeping your head, upper and mid back, gluteals and feet flush with the floor.
Movement: Inhale, then exhale as you lift your hips off the floor, tilting the pelvis up slightly and rolling up one vertebrae at a time. Hold this position, engaging your glutes, then release and lower your hips back down to start position. Repeat.
Reps/Set: Perform three sets: 16 reps (1 second up, 1 second down); 16 reps (3 seconds up, 1 second down); 16 reps (1 second up, 3 seconds down). Fitness Note: Make sure your movement is slow and controlled, and avoid forcefully driving the hips up, causing your lower back to arch. Keep your center strong and feel the power through your gluteals.
Single-leg Bridge Muscles Worked: Glutes, lower back, legs, abdominals
Start Position: Lie face up on the floor, with one knee bent and the other leg extended and straight. Tuck your tailbone under and tilt your pelvis up slightly. Engage your abdominals and squeeze your glutes to avoid arching your lower back. Place your arms comfortably at your sides.
Movement: Start by lifting your hips and raising your extended leg toward the ceiling, pointing your toes as you lift. At the top, hold the position, allowing the gluteals to fire, then lower your hips and bring your extended leg back down, slow and controlled, flexing your foot as you lower. Keep your abdominals engaged and your center strong throughout the movement. Repeat.
Reps/Sets: Perform 16 reps on each side. Fitness Note: Work with your body's natural range of motion and avoid forcefully driving the hips up, causing the lower back to arch. Focus on the power through your gluteals as you lift and lower.
Quadruped Hip Extensions (Bent-Leg Raises) Muscles Worked: Glutes, hamstrings, core
Start Position: Come into a quadruped position on all fours. Place your palms on the floor directly below your shoulders, your knees directly below your hips. The top of your feet should rest comfortably on the floor. To stabilize your spine and find a neutral position, exhale and arch your back, then inhale and sway. From there, settle into a neutral position. Keep the head and neck in line with the spine and avoid lifting the head or letting it drop down. Engage your abdominals and keep your center strong. Your hips should be square and stable.
Optional: Place a light dumbbell behind one knee.
Movement: With your abdominals engaged, exhale and lift the loaded leg (the leg with the dumbbell behind the knee) toward the ceiling to a 90-degree angle, no higher than hip level. Come up to where the foot is parallel to the ceiling and your body is in a straight line from the crown of your head to your bent knee. Hold the position, allowing your glutes to fire, then release and lower down, slow and controlled.
Reps/Sets: Perform three sets each leg: 8 reps slow (two up, two down); 4 reps with pulses (up and pulse three times, lower down on 4); 8 reps single (one up, one down). Switch sides and repeat the three sets. Fitness Note: Avoid leaning on the support leg. Take a wider stance if necessary for more support. Engage your abdominals and hold your center strong -- imagine someone taking a picture of you from the side.
Stretch: To stretch out your glutes, start by lying on your back. Inhale, then, as you exhale, hug your knees to your chest to feel your back and your glutes lengthen and relax. Hold, then release. Repeat at least three times and hold for 10 seconds each.