Essential Exercises for Women:  Firm Your Booty!

Posted by Stephanie Khan on Apr 11, 2018 4:45:49 PM

Summer will be here before we know it and most of us are looking for ways to firm up our backside. Aside from looking great in a pair of shorts, strong glutes help improve posture, balance, and athletic performance. In addition, strengthening your backside can help to reduce knee and back pain and is a great way to prevent injuries. Adding these four exercises in this addition to our Essential Exercises for Women series to your routine can help you develop glute strength and lift and firm your backside. All you need for this workout is a loop resistance band and a mat. Perform 15 reps of each exercise, completing the entire circuit three times for a complete total booty workout!


BANDED LATERAL WALK: Place band around ankles and come into a quarter squat position (knees bent with slight hip hinge) Keep the toes pointing forward, step right foot to the side. Perform 15 reps to the right, then reverse direct, performing 15 reps to the left. 

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                                  Position A                                                         Position B

 

SQUAT WITH HIP EXTENSION: Stand with band around the ankles with feet hip width apart. Hinging at the hips and bending the knees (take care not to extend knees in front of toes) sit back into a squat. Squeeze glutes as you straighten legs and extend the right leg behind you, keeping spine neutral and core engaged. Repeat with left leg for one rep. If you want a great way to really target and tone your butt this is a great one!

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                                 Position A                                                         Position B


BOOTY BURNING BRIDGES:

Lie on back with band around the thighs. Place feet on the floor about hip distance apart. Press heels into the floor as you squeeze glutes to lift hips, keeping the back in neutral alignment with the lower belly drawing in. Lower hips to hover over floor. For an additional challenge hold the last rep and perform 10 pulses up, then 10 pulses pressing out against the band. Glute bridges are a must-do, butt lifting exercise!

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                                 Position A                                                         Position B

 

BOOTY LIFTERS:  Place band around feet, so that it is looped around the sole of your shoes. Position yourself on to elbows and knees and engage core to keep low back neutral. Flex right foot and extend heel towards the ceiling, keeping right knee bent.  Perform 15 reps on right side, then repeat on left. #Feelthebootyburn

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                                 Position A                                                         Position B

 

Put all four of these exercises for women together for a power packed, butt toning workout that you can do right at home! 

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Topics: exercises for women, exercise while travelling, leg exercises, butt toning, thigh toning, fitness for women, exercise at home

7 Things You Need to Know About Proper Squat Technique

Posted by Angie Quehl on Jan 28, 2014 12:04:00 PM

You're Doing It Wrong...Maybe

It is no secret that the squat is one of the best lower body exercises around that targets those hips, buns and thighs that are troublesome spots for many women. While this exercise for women can really help you tone and sculpt those areas, it also very easy to perform this fatburner improperly thereby diminishing the power it packs and risking injury. Fear not friends! We have put together 7 tips on proper squat technique for women to ensure that you get the most out of your squat every time.

1) Proper Squat Technique: Hip Hinge

When most people try to squat, the knees protrude far over the toes, the rear end goes straight down, and the heels come off the floor. This happens because proper squat technique requires some hip flexibility, proper balance, and a “hip hinge”. Each time you squat you should hinge your hips so that your rear end moves backwards during the downward phase of the squat, your knees will no longer protrude well over your toes (if you are tall, this may happen, but make sure it does not put pressure on your knees). Finally, the pressure of the squat will be on your heels instead of your toes and you will be able to get more depth to your squat.

2) Proper Squat Technique: Straight Head Position

One major mistake people make when they squat is rounding their necks, or looking down at the ground. The spinal alignment is automatically thrown off, which makes the squat a very dangerous exercise, especially if you are using a lot of weight. Sometimes we can pick a spot on the wall that’s in line with the eyes as I standing straight, then as you squat down, keep the eyes on that spot. The head is automatically in the correct position.

3) Proper Squat Technique: Chest Out/Shoulders Back

A key theme with the squat is to make sure your spine is in proper alignment. By keeping your shoulder back and your chest out, your lower back will most likely have the correct natural curve. If you instead round your shoulders and sink your chest in, your spinal alignment will be thrown off.

4) Proper Squat Technique: Slightly Arched Lower Back

As you can see in the picture below the bottom of the spine (known as the lumbar spine) has a slight arch. You should keep your lower back flat, to slightly arched as you squat. Hyperextending your lower back by arching too much, or rounding your back can put significant pressure on the intervertebral discs, which are soft gel like cushions that protect each vertebrae. If the disc ruptures because of too much pressure, a portion of the spinal disc pushes outside its normal boundary, which is called a herniated disc and may require surgery to repair. Not enough emphasis can be made to make sure your lower back is flat to slightly arched throughout the entire squat movement.

woman doing proper squat                 WebMD.com

5) Proper Squat Technique: Athletic Stance, Toes Pointed Out

Use an athletic stance for the squat so that your knees are slightly bent, feet are firmly planted on the ground, and toes pointed outwards slightly, which helps with stabilization. The wider you put your feet, the more it works your glutes and hamstring (back of the leg), and the easier it will be to stabilize. The closer in you put your feet, the more your quadriceps will be emphasized (the front of the leg). One common mistake when people use too much weight is that one, or both knees will cave in towards their center. Make sure to keep your knees out and choose weight that is appropriate for your level.

6) Proper Squat Technique: Exhale Up/Inhale Down

Breathing is very important for squatting in particular because it is a challenging exercise. Improper breathing can make you light headed, or nauseous, and in extreme cases, some people even black out. As you are lowering yourself, remember to take a deep breath in, then as you are pushing up, breathe out forcefully. Always keep this breathing pattern. Towards the last few reps, you may consider taking a few extra breaths at the top of the squat position as you are standing for some extra energy.

7) Proper Squat Technique: Depth of the Squat

The depth of the squat primarily depends on your hip flexibility. If your hips are very flexible, then you may be able to squat “below parallel” (hamstrings are below parallel with the floor) and if you have poor hip flexibility, then you will be “above parallel”. In general, try to shoot for your hamstrings about parallel with the floor, which deeply engages your thighs, hips, and glutes. If you can go lower than parallel that’s fine, just make sure you don’t experience any pain in your knees, or lower back, and always keep your lower back flat, to slightly arched.

A couple other tips to keep in mind is as you are practicing proper squat technique for women is to look at the profile of the squat as you are standing sideways towards the mirror. You may also consider videotaping your form as well.

 

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Adapted from an article which originally appeared on builtlean.com.
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Topics: exercises for women, leg exercises, butt toning, hip toning, Strength training for women

Finally Get Shapely, Toned Calves You'll LOVE to Show Off

Posted by Angie Quehl on Apr 24, 2013 3:08:00 PM

Stand and Deliver

Every woman wants to have a great pair of legs...you know those gorgeous gams you see peeking out of skirt or leading up from a terrific pair of shoes? Shapely toned calves are a big part of creating that look, but they are also very important for stability, posture and mobility. The low-intensity exercise of calf raises is a simple but excellent way to strengthen and tone your calf muscles, when done regularly and why we chose it as this month's Essential Exercise for Women. 

 

Standing Calf Raise

standing calf raise

Stand tall, with feet a comfortable distance apart, no more than a few inches. Make sure that feet are pointing straight. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. This is your starting position. Raise yourself slowly until you are standing on the balls of your feet, squeeze the lower leg muscles and hold for 1 second. Slowly lower yourself to the starting position. Repeat for 2 or 3 sets of 12-15. Need help with your balance? Grab on to the back of a chair or place you hands against a wall until your calves are stronger and you can maintain your balance more easily. 

 

Step it up!

calf raises with step

Kick those calf raises into high gear and stand on a step to do this exercise. This increases the level of difficulty. 

Note: Beginners should perform this exercise on the floor and it is advised to perform the exercise in front of a trainer, to be sure you are performing it correctly!

 

Get Sexy Legs from Hip to Ankle with these Great Moves:

 

What Can We Show You?

We love, love, love showing you moves you can use each month but we want to know what you want to see! Drop us a note in the comment section below or click to button to submit the body part(s) you need the most help with and we will share with you some ways you can target those trouble spots and get results! So what are ya waitin' for? Click. Type. Send!

 

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Main article body submitted by: Pennie Waston, Director of Personal Training at The Women's Club

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Topics: exercises for women, leg exercises, strength training

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