Happy Holidays everyone! This workout will target those areas that get hit the hardest during the holiday season…with all those christmas goodies – your gut and your butt!
Complete 3 sets of these exercises, resting about 30 seconds-1 minute between moves. Start with a 5-10 minute warm-up of your choice. Be sure to keep your core engaged during ALL of these exercises.
Rocking Plank (30 reps) – Start in elbow plank with your feet together. Keeping your abs engaged rock forward and then back on your toes (1 rep). This will work your core and your legs.
Hip Thrust (12 reps) – This is one of my favorite glute exercises. Begin seated on the ground with a bench, chair or stability ball behind you. Place a weight of your choice on your lap and lean against the bench/ball. Lift your hips off of the ground and position feet such that your shins are in line with your ankles, and only your upper back is on the bench or ball. Then, thrust your hips up vertically— your shoulder blades and feet should be supporting your weight. Slowly lower and repeat.. I use either 2-10lb dumbbells or a barbell. You can also do this without any weight
Kettlebell/Sandbag Swings (15 reps) – This will not only work your glutes, but it will also engage your core as well. I use either a kettlebell or a sandbag….both are great! Begin with legs about shoulder-width, grasping the weight with both hands. Push glutes back, bend forward at the hips and let your arms swing backward through legs. Then drive hips forward to swing kettlebell to shoulder height. Your body should be in a straight line at the top of the swing. The power for the swing should come from your glutes, and keep your core engaged throughout. You can also use a dumbbell for this and hold it with both hands on one end.
Good Mornings (12 reps) – Another one of my faves – it’s more of a hamstring exercise, but it will work the entire back of your legs/butt. Position a sandbag or barbell on back of shoulders and grasp the sides. You can also do this holding a dumbbell on top of each shoulder. Keeping back straight, bend hips to lower torso forward until parallel to floor. Raise torso until hips are extended. Repeat. Begin with very light weight and add additional weight gradually to allow your body to adapt. Throughout lift keep back and knees straight and do not lower weight beyond a mild stretch through hamstrings. Full range of motion will depend on your flexibility.
Windmills (12 reps) – Lay on your back with your arms straight out to the sides and your legs extended straight up over your hips. Keeping your lower back on the ground slowly lower your legs down and to the side – as far as you can go while keeping your lower back to the floor. Use your core to lift your legs back up, and then drop them to the other side (1 rep). This should be a slow and controlled movement – the slower your lift and lower your legs, the more strength you use from your core. (Cat buddy is optional!)
Extended Leg Lizards (10 reps/side) – This exercise will work your glutes and core at once. Come into plank with your hands on a bosu or ugi ball, or you can do these with your hands on the ground. Using an unstable surface increases engagement and strength of your core. Lift your right leg straight up to engage your glute, then bring your knee up to your right elbow, crunching your obliques. Your leg should be bent out to the side and parallel to the ground. Straighten your leg back behind you and lower it slightly, but keep it from touching the ground. Lift it again and repeat. Complete all reps and then switch legs. Your glutes AND core should be engaged the entire time.