Mini abs and glute workout

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Want a simple workout you can perform anywhere – from the comfort of your living room to the beach or on a weekend away? Try these mini resistance band moves for abs and a bum you’ll remember.

Trainer source: Christine Johnson

Before you begin
Find the right band – opt for a cloth-based band over latex that won’t irritate your skin, and make sure the inside of the band has grips for leverage so it won’t pinch or move during the exercises.

Find the right length band to suit your height and frame, which will make the exercises more effective and also prevent injury.

How to progress
Once you can perform the reps comfortably, progress to a stronger band. Resistance can also be added by placing a second band just above the current band.

MOVE #1 – Banded quadruped hip extension with leg lift

 

 

 

 

Do: 3 sets of 20 | Rest for 45 seconds

Targets: Glutes, hips, abs, hamstrings

Achieves: Builds glute muscles; strengthens hips, abs, and hamstrings

Starting position: Keep your hands under your shoulders with your fingers closed and facing forward. Place your knees under your hips shoulder-width apart, maintaining a 90-degree angle. Keep your head and spine neutral. Place the band slightly above the knees.

Step 1: Press your right leg out and bring it to hip height.

Step 2: Lower your leg to return to starting position.

Repeat with the opposite leg.

Trainer tip: Always keep your toes pointed out, engage your core, and contract your glutes. As you get stronger, add more reps to ensure you don’t plateau.

Benefits: The hip extension is a highly effective glute workout, which stimulates the most gluteal growth. It helps prevent lower back pain and lower extremity injuries, while improving posture.

MOVE #2 – Leg raises

 

 

 

 

Do: 3 sets of 30 | Rest for 45 seconds

Targets: Anterior hip flexors, abdominal muscles, internal and external obliques, lower abs, quads

Achieves: Improves back stability; improves flexibility; builds abdominal strength.

Starting position: Lie on your back, facing upwards. Let your arms lay on your sides with your palms facing down.

Step 1: Raise both of your legs slowly so they are perpendicular to the floor.

Step 2: Pause at the top and slowly lower to the floor without resting your legs on the ground.

Repeat.

Trainer tip: Place your hands under your glutes (with your palms down if more stability is needed). Brace your core and avoid arching your back. Increase resistance by adding cables, bands or a dumbbell between your feet.

Benefits: According to one Harvard study, improving the core leads to better posture which can lead to a leaner and taller appearance. It also helps us perform day-to-day activities more easily, such as carrying those pesky shopping bags.

MOVE #3 – Glute bridge

 

 

 

 

Do: 3 sets of 20 | Rest for 45 seconds

Targets: Glutes, hamstrings, spine, adductors (thigh muscle), abs, external and internal obliques

Achieves: Sculpts glutes; helps prevent lower back pain

Starting position: Lie on your back with your arms beside your body, palms facing down. Bend your knees at 90 degrees. Place the resistance band above your knees and keep your legs shoulder-width apart.

Step 1: Lift your hips and push through your heels. Engage your core and glutes.

Step 2:
Push your knees outwards at least 30 degrees and roll to the outer sides of your feet.

Step 3:
Bring your hips and butt down slowly to starting position.

Repeat.

Trainer tip: Keep your spine neutral and toes pointing slightly outward.

Benefits: Bridging with hip adduction yields the highest glute muscle activity, which is important for growth.

MOVE #4 – Scissor kicks

 

 

 

 

Do: 3 sets of 30 | Rest for 45 seconds

Targets: Hip flexors, abs, external obliques, quads

Achieves: A stronger core

Starting position: Lie with your back flat on a firm surface. Keep your arms beside you, palms facing down. Keep your legs on the floor less than shoulder-width apart, bending your knees slightly.

Step 1: Lift your right leg up to a 45-degree angle with your toe pointed out. Bring your leg down.

Step 2: Lift your left leg up to a 45-degree angle with your toe pointed out. Bring your leg down.

Repeat.

Trainer tip: Press your lower back into the floor, bracing your core. Don’t let your legs or feet touch the ground.

Benefits: A strong core helps prevent lower back pain and improves flexibility, helping to perform other activities and exercises.

Photography: Joe Mikoli

For more quick and effective workouts, purchase a print or digital copy of our February/March magazine.