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  • Alina Sedano

3 Pilates Exercises To Tone Your Booty



Want a booty that looks good in everything from swimsuits and leggings to denim and summer shorts? Summer is around the corner and everyone knows having an aesthetically pleasing backside is bootyful! Butt, you know what's even better?


(Sorry, those puns are too much fun! Ha, ha - ok all jokes aside. Although, I'm really tempted right now to quote Sir Mix A lot or Missy Elliot.)


What's better than having a perky backside? Having a backside that protects your low back and helps you run, jump, and play. Ask any Privé Pilates client and they will tell you my sessions always include sculpting the booty. Aside from sculpting a nice toned derrière, a key benefit of incorporating glute work into your daily sessions is strengthening the base of your powerhouse. Where's the base of your powerhouse located? Imagine your spine as a high-rise building with each vertebra as a floor and the glutes as the foundation of your building; the base of your powerhouse aka core are your glutes.


Therefore wouldn't it make sense to build a strong foundation for your hips, core, and spine? Most people think they only have to work their abs in order to protect their low back and build a strong core. What you may not know is the gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the human body. It is large and powerful because it has the job of keeping the trunk of the body in an erect post. The glutes also help up with daily movements such as sitting, standing, walking, running, and your favorite sports.


So if you want to sculpt a booty that's not only Bootyful, butt most importantly powerful. (Sorry, I can't resist the puns. lol). Incorporate my 3 favorite exercises that will have you playing on the beach in no time.


To get the most out of these exercises, alignment is key!


Ensuring proper form will help you get the results you want, when you learn how to move properly.

  • Aim to keep your rib cage in alignment with your pelvis.

  • Avoid arching your low back, even if your booty looks good when you do that. That's a No, no!

  • And avoid flaring the ribs and sticking out your chest.

  • Aim to create a straight line from the front of your shoulder to the bottom of your rib cage and down to your hip bone.

What you are aiming for is neutral spine alignment. This will enable you to target the gluteal muscles correctly and tone your booty effectively.



BRIDGING


Alignment:

Lie on your back with your feet hip-distance apart and stack your heels underneath your knees. Lift your hips up off the ground and create a straight line from your shoulder to your hips and to your knees. Avoid arching your lower back and flaring out your ribs. Now's a good time to do an alignment check. Have a look at yourself in the mirror, smile and adjust accordingly. ;)


How to:

Hip Hinge - hinge at the hips and drop the glutes down to hover over the floor, deep exhale lift the hips up back to your starting position. Avoid squeezing your booty at the top of your bridge and focus on pressing through your feet and lifting your hips, in order to protect your low back. Keep your feet and all 10 toes connected to the floor.


Pulses - pulse your hips up at the top of your bridge. Be mindful of your ribs and low back, careful not to lose your alignment on this move. Drop your hips down an inch or 2 and pulse up. Relax your glutes and press through your feet. Play some good music and pulse to the beat of the song, this makes the pulses fly by. ;)


Reps:

3 sets of 20

Lower and lift the hips 20 times

Add 20 small range pulses at the end of each set




QUADRUPED WITH LEG LIFT


Alignment:

Get down on your hands and knees. Stack your hands underneath your shoulders and knees underneath the hips. Make sure your hands are shoulder-width apart and knees hip-distance apart and lengthen your spine. Straighten one leg back and square off the hips. Make sure you are not hiking the hip and the knee is pointing down to the ground. Check your form.


How to:

Lift the leg straight up behind you to the height of your hip. Slowly lower the leg down.

Aim to keep your low back steady by keeping that optimal alignment between your ribs and your hips. Avoid dropping your head and shrugging your shoulders. Press the ground away with your hands and keep your core engaged.


Reps:

3 sets of 20

Lower and lift the leg 20 times. Repeat opposite side

Add 20 small range pulses at the end of each set


*Added Bonus: Do this exercise again with a bent knee, instead of a straight leg.



STANDING SIDE LEG LIFT


Alignment:

Standing with your feet hip-distance apart. Place your hands on your hips and draw your thumbs up to your bottom rib. Notice the space between your ribs and your hips. Make sure it is equal on both sides. Root down through your right leg and hover your left leg off the floor. Can you keep the space between your ribs and your hips equal as you lift the left leg up towards the side? The goal is to lift the leg up only as far as you can keep the space constant on both sides of your waistline. So if your hip hikes up, then you've gone too far. Aim to keep equal space on both sides of your waistline.


How to:

Leg Lift - Root down through one leg and create a strong base of support. Float the opposite foot off the floor and slowly lift the leg up to the side. Aim to lift the leg up only as far as you can keep the space in your waistline. ( This is key, that's why I'm repeating it. So don't kick your leg up to the side and lose the connection.) You want to target your inner thighs, outer thighs and glute med. Not your obliques. I highly recommend you keep your hand on your waistline as feedback for your alignment. Slowly lower the leg down.


If you are having trouble balancing on one leg then by all means use a chair, counter, or foam roller for support.


Pulses - pulse your leg at the top. Be mindful of your ribs, low back and waistline. Careful not to lose your alignment on this move.


Sets:

3 sets of 20

Lower and lift the leg 20 times. Repeat opposite side

Add 20 small range pulses at the end of each set


Xo, Alina



Not sure if you are targeting the glutes correctly? Learn how to fire up your glutes and sculpt long lean legs with LOWER bodyBurn. Sculpt the backside of your body and get that added lift in your backside with this quick, yet effective workout. . Try "Lower bodyBurn" a killer quickie on The Core Collection™ studio site.



My optimal goal as a Pilates Instructor and Functional Anatomy instructor is to help you move well, play often, and sleep better. ;)









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