By Orjiugo Oguguo (pictured) – our resident health, fitness and wellness expert. She is the creator of Live In Wellness, fitness trainer and wellness coach. Her contributions to the NAW are unmissable!
Let’s talk about the glorious derrière, the huge muscle group and protector of mobility.
We all know that a well-rounded “Beyoncé” behind is sexy, but these cheeky bad boys do a lot more than just look perky. Keeping our backside at attention is no mean feat. With all the sitting around behind desks and watching TV that we do, we can develop “gluteal amnesia”, that’s what happens when your bum becomes… well, a bum. When your gluteal muscles get lazy, they force the hamstrings and lower-back muscles to do their job of rotating the femurs in their sockets and extending the hips. This leads to pains in our backs, hips and knees and also a downward-facing backside. Add our propensity to store body fat around our lower bodies and the instability and pain in the lower body joints can be immobilising. Long story short, we don’t only need lifted booties, we need strong ones, too.
Building buns of steel is not easy, but it will burn fat and improve your metabolism by increasing your calorie-burn rate as well as make a kick-arse statement when you walk away. Have I got your attention yet? Bodyweight booty boot camp, anyone? Have a go at this guide to taming that tush in a six easy-to-grasp routine.
Stand with your feet a hip-width apart, then sit back and down into a squat (bum to knee-line). Jump up, reach your arms overhead, and spread your legs apart. Then land softly and lower into a squat, reaching both hands towards the floor. Repeat 15 times.
Cross Crawl Squat
Without dropping your chest forward, raise your right knee towards your left elbow and then sit back and down into a wide squat (bum just below knee level and feet wider than shoulder-width apart). Push through left heel and bring the left knee to the right elbow. That makes one rep. Repeat 15 times.
Plyometric Lunge Hops
Step your right foot back and lower into a reverse lunge. Shift your weight onto your left leg. In one movement, bring your right knee forward, and jump, lifting your right knee to hip level. Land lightly on your left foot and step your right leg back into a lunge. Repeat for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
Warrior plié Squat
Start standing with feet shoulder-width apart and then sit back and down until your bum is just below knee level. Push off your right leg until straight and tip from the hips (hands together and arms fully extended overhead) until left leg to fingertips are straight and parallel to the floor. Come back to squat and repeat on left leg. Repeat this 15 times. Beware of the balance challenge on this exercise. Glutes and core will need to work hard to keep you stable.
Single leg bridge
Lie on your back with arms extended, core braced, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Keeping the knees together, extend one out to 45 degrees. Press the foot that is on the floor down and lift your hips by squeezing your glutes. Repeat 15 times per leg.
Superman (or woman)
Lie down on the floor face down with your arms overhead and straight on floor. Squeeze your glutes, inner thighs and heels together and brace your core. Then lift arms and legs off the floor, hold for two seconds and release. Repeat 30 times.
Notice the difference in the distance between your feet for the squat exercises. This will allow you to hit different muscles in the glutes family. Keep your joints soft and your abs braced always. Repeat this circuit 1-3 times, 2-3 times a week.