I was delighted to be asked to write a feature about getting perfect posterior for summer for the July issue of West Essex Life. You can read the article in full below or click here to view it as a PDF.
The Bottom Line
Want the perfect posterior for summer? Woodford-based Pilates instructor Sonia Noy shares her glute workout that's guaranteed to sculpt and define your derriere...
The layers of clothing are starting to shed now the warm weather is upon us. Here are some quick and easy exercises to sculpt, lift and tone your glutes ready for your summer wardrobe. These exercises can also help to reduce back pain.
All can be done without any equipment but using a resistance band around the thighs will make them more challenging. Repeat all exercises ten times, on both legs for the single leg ones, building up to 2-3 sets.
It’s one we all know, the trusted squat. The squat is a fantastic exercise for lifting and toning those bum muscles. The key to really making your squat count is how you do them. Stand with your feet hip width apart, feet parallel or as close to parallel as comfortable, with your arms reaching out in front of you, shoulders relaxed. Fold at the hips, bend your knees and aim your bottom backwards as if sitting on a chair behind you. Keep your back straight. As you go into your squat, make sure your knees don’t come forwards but stay in line with your ankles. That way you’ll really work the glutes, rather than the knees and thighs. Add hand weights for some arm work.
Resistance band side squats
This is a great exercise for the upper and side part of your bottom. Stand with feet hip distance apart, bend into your squat then step your right foot slightly out to the right, staying low into your squat. Step your left foot towards the right keeping the tension in the band. Repeat on the other side. Try to keep your hips level and pelvis steady. Move the band to your ankles for extra work.
Some of you may recognise this Jane Fonda favourite, as great for lifting and strengthening the glutes now as it was then. Come onto all fours, knees under your hips, hands under your shoulders, toes tucked under. Keeping your knee bent, raise one heel up towards the ceiling and slowly bring it back down. Try to keep shoulders away from the ears and back and hips still throughout the exercise so the work is in your glutes, hamstrings and core, and doesn’t strain your back.
Resistance band clams
This is a fantastic exercise to strengthen and firm up the glutes, hips and outer thighs. Lie on your side with knees bent, head resting on your hand or arm and your feet, hips and shoulders in line with each other. Place your top hand on your hip to make sure it stays still throughout. Keeping your feet together, engage your abdominals and open up your top knee as far as possible without moving your hips or back. Slowly lower your top knee back down.
A classic exercise used by rehab specialists and fitness professionals the world over. Lie on your back with knees bent, hip width apart and arms by your side. Lift your hips up towards the ceiling until your ribs, hips and knees form a diagonal line. Be careful not to over arch your back or pop your ribs upwards. Hold at the top, then lower back in one straight movement. Lift your heels for extra work.
After all that hard work, let’s stretch out the glutes to make sure the muscles stay mobile as well as strong. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Place your right ankle just above the left knee, allowing your right knee to turn out to the side. Draw your left knee towards your chest, holding onto the back of the left thigh with both hands. Hold each side for 30 seconds, trying to draw the knee in a little closer after 15 seconds.
Sonia Noy Pilates