Aside from being one of the most talked about body features, having a strong and perky tush has many other benefits… Tighten your glutes with this workout.
A tight tush isn’t as easily achieved as what Kim Kardashian thinks. It takes a little more than one visit to a plastic surgeon and eight pairs of spanx. While rock-hard six packs are mostly made in the kitchen, firm glutes are built in the gym, with a well-designed training regime that torches fat and strengthens those muscles. This workout requires one kettlebell – plus focus and determination. The combination of dynamic movements and iso holds will put metabolic stress on the glutes, causing a serious burn and pump in the targeted areas. It also takes only 20–30 minutes, and you can do it at home. So chuck out those spanx and get squatting!
Kickback extension in a push-up
Start in the push-up position, with your hands and feet on the ground, back completely straight and core tight. Bring one leg in towards your chest and touch your knee to the opposite hand or elbow. Kick your leg back and extend the opposite arm out. Make sure your body is in a straight line, from your heel to your fingers – don’t dip your waist down. This will allow for full activation of the glutes.
Side plank leg raise
Start in the side plank position: Left elbow in-line with your shoulders and torso facing forward, keeping the core tight to build up an isolation phase. Your left leg is flat on the ground and bent at 90°, while your right leg is straight and angled upwards. Keep your body still while you move your right leg up and down. This targets many muscle groups, one of which is your gluteus medius, an underworked muscle on the side of the pelvis that helps to stabilise the hip joint.
Warrior single Leg extension
Stand with your feet together and lean forward, raising one leg towards the back while bending the other leg, and stretching your arms out in front of you. Do this slowly and controlled, focusing on your balance. Lean forward far enough so that your back leg and torso are straight and parallel with the ground, and your front leg is bent about 45°. Keep the weight on your heels – don’t teeter on to your toes, as you’ll quickly lose your balance that way. Hold this position for 30 seconds on each leg.
Don’t get confused between a squat and a sumo squat: It’s all about the placement of your feet. The wider stance of the sumo squat helps to target the muscles in the inner thigh. Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes turned outwards. Hold the kettlebell upside down, against your chest. Focus on keeping your weight in your heels and moving your waist back while you squat down.
Start by lying flat on a bench, torso facing down, with the lower half of your body off the bench. Hug your arms around the bench, pulling your chest into the bench. Keep a slight bend in the knees and use your glutes and hamstrings to raise your legs off the ground until they are in-line with your waist. Hold this position for a few seconds, then repeat.
Kettlebell side lunge curtsy
Start off by standing straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the kettlebell against your chest. Step outwards, keeping your body straight. Lean into the foot you have stepped out and bend your knee. Your knee and foot should be in a vertical line. Drop low enough so that your thigh is parallel with the ground. Explode up and go straight into the curtsy.
Clam hip raises
Lie on your back, bend your knees outwards and rest the outer part of your feet flat on the ground, creating a diamond shape with your legs. Position your feet about half a metre in front of your waist. Push down into your feet and bring your waist up, squeezing your glutes the entire time. Keep your core tight to prevent your lower back from taking strain. Hold for two seconds at the top of this movement before dropping down.
Stand with your feet set very wide and toes pointing slightly outwards. Place the kettlebell between your legs – stand over it. Squat down and the grab the kettlebell with both hands. Keep your arms straight and inside your legs during this movement. The key here, for the glutes, is to drive your hips into the kettlebell at the top of the squat, squeezing your glutes and pulling your shoulder blades together.
Words: Rayhaan Toefy | Photography: Jotham van Tonder