While you can tone, lift, and tighten your booty with bodyweight moves like squats, deadlifts, hip thrusts, and lunges, you’ll need to take it up a notch for real booty gains, according to celebrity fitness trainer Kira Stokes.
One way to amp up the intensity is by incorporating fitness props — and nope, there’s no need to visit your gym’s weight room. Instead, try these unobtrusive pieces of equipment, each of which costs less than $20 on Amazon and easily can be stowed under the bed between workouts.
NYSC Lab certified personal trainer Bianca Vesco swears by these bad boys for moves that tap into the gluteus medias, which gives your butt shape while protecting your hips, she says.
USE IT FOR: Banded Clam Shells
With the band around your thighs, lie on the floor on your side with legs stacked and knees bent at 90 degrees. Keeping the heels together, slowly lift the top knee, then return to starting position to complete one rep. Repeat 20 to 30 times.
Although looped bands are amazing when worn above or below the knees, they can ride around and cause discomfort when placed in other positions for booty building moves like kickbacks. This double-loop resistance band is designed to make things easier — and it comes with a book full of moves to help you make the prop worth every penny.
USE IT FOR: Kneeling Kickbacks
Begin on all fours with one loop around your left knee and one around your right heel. Keeping your right knee bent at 90 degrees with your foot flexed, lift the sole of your right foot toward the ceiling. When your right knee is in line with your right hip, pause, then return to starting position to complete one rep. Do up to three sets of 10 to 12 reps, then repeat on the opposite side.
“Ankle weights are super versatile as they can be added as extra weight to most lower body exercises without adding too much strain on the joints,” says Vesco, who warns against using momentum in favor of controlled movements, which are kinder to your lower back.
USE IT FOR: Single-Leg Deadlifts
Wearing your ankle weights with your feet together, keep your left knee soft as you extend your right leg straight behind you and hinge forward at the hips to bring your upper body parallel to the ground. Return to starting position with control to complete one rep. Aim for up to 15 reps on each side, and repeat up to three times.
Because simply standing on an unstable surface makes muscles work harder to keep your balance, booty exercises as basic as the squat feel extra intense when performed on this inflated disk.
USE IT FOR: Forward Lunges
Stand about two feet behind the disc. Keeping your shoulders stacked over your hips, step your right foot into the center of the disk. Bend both knees 90 degrees to lower into a split squat. Extend both legs and step back to starting position to complete one rep. Do up to three sets of 10 to 12 reps, then repeat on the opposite side.
With one slippery plastic side that moves easily on smooth surfaces, and a foam surface that helps your sneakers get a good grip, sliders are a go-to booty builder for Megan Roup, certified group fitness trainer and founder of Sculpt Society. (She even makes her own version.)
USE IT FOR: Cross-Back Lunges
Start with your feet together and your right foot on the foam side of your slider. Keeping your shoulders stacked over your hips, use your right foot to move the slider diagonally behind your left leg as you bend the both knees 90 degrees. Press into the left heel to return to starting position with control and complete one rep. Aim for three sets of 10 to 12 reps, then repeat on the opposite side.
“If you want the butt, you have to work the whole area,” Stokes says — one reason why she recommends a Pilates ball (or playground ball) to keep the inner thighs engaged during moves that build your booty.
USE IT FOR: Pelvic Thrusts
Lie on your back with your knees bent and soles of your feet on the floor. Position the ball between your upper thighs, and squeeze. Raise your hips as high as you can, squeezing your butt at the top before you lower down with control and without dropping the ball. That’s one rep. Repeat up to 30 times.
“There’s no need for a complete set of fancy equipment to have a fit butt,” says certified fitness trainer Reggie Chambers, who’s all about the weights. And there’s SO much you can do with a single kettlebell.
USE IT FOR: Sumo Squats
Begin holding the kettlebell with both hands at chest level with your feet positioned shoulder-width apart. Keeping the chest high, bend both knees into a low squat, then extend the legs to return to starting position to complete one rep. Do three sets of 10 to 12 reps.
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