Got a resistance band and a dumbbell lying around? That’s all you need to grow your glutes with Em’s booty burning circuit.
Em’s words of wisdom on how to get those glutes all fired up will help you get the most out of this workout:
“I know that training at home can sometimes feel like you’re not working ‘AS HARD’ or it’s not as ‘CHALLENGING’. But honestly, it’s only as hard and challenging as YOU make it. Show up, give your ALL to every rep, squeeze, feel, pause, move, hold — your body & mind are your greatest tools. USE THEM”
We asked PT Joe Nixon to talk us through each of the exercises, which muscles they’re working, and how to get the most out of them too.
Dumbbell banded hip thrust
Dumbbell banded hip thrusts are a great way to isolate the glutes whilst engaging the core. The added resistance of a dumbbell provides a heavier load on the glutes than would otherwise be possible with simple bodyweight alternatives, whilst the abduction band introduces an isometric contraction that provides some real muscle tension. Overall, a fantastic booty-builder with minimal equipment.
Step by step
1. Sit with your shoulder blades against a chair and feet firmly planted on the ground, about shoulder-width apart. Place a dumbbell on your lap and hold it with both hands for stability. A resistance band should be worn about halfway up the thighs.
2. Keeping your core braced, lift your bum off the ground by pushing through your feet and ‘thrust’ your hips into the air. Contract hard at the top.
3. Slowly return to the start position, keeping your bum a few inches off the ground at the bottom. Brace the core throughout and keep tension on the resistance band by pushing outwards during the whole movement.
When it comes to the lower body, squats are king. It can be difficult to get an effective squat workout without throwing a barbell on your back, so the placement of this exercise is crucial. The glutes, hamstrings, and core have been pre-exhausted by the dumbbell banded hip thrusts, which forces those big muscles of the quads to take on a bigger portion of the workload. Just about every muscle from the chest down goes to work here.
Step by step
1. Stand with your feet around shoulder width or slightly wider. You may stretch your arms out for balance.
2. Brace the core and drop slowly into a squat, maintaining tension on the quadriceps.
3. Pause at the bottom and contract forcefully back into the standing position.
Feet elevated glute bridges
Essentially the same movement as the banded hip thrust, the glute bridge involves slight changes. With elevated feet, you’re reliant on really digging your heels in and keeping your knees at a 90-degree angle, which transfers the load to the posterior chain and builds bullet-proof hamstrings. A hard contraction and slight pause at the top will really tax the glutes.
Step by step
1. Lay flat on your back, with your heels up on a chair and knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Keep your shoulders blades together and arms out to your sides, about ten inches from your hips. This will keep you stable.
2. Dig your heels into the chair and thrust your hips into the air. Contract hard at the top.
3. Keeping your core braced, lower yourself to the starting position, keeping your bum a few inches off the ground.
Dumbbell frog pumps
A strange-looking movement, the frog pump might be the most effective booty-builder in this workout. By sticking the heels together and pushing the knees out, you begin in an abducted and externally rotated hip position. The result is that the hamstrings are eliminated from the equation entirely, with almost all of the effort coming from the glutes. As you are isolating the glutes, the metabolic stress of the exercise is low when compared to heavier compound movements. Great for finishing up a workout.
Step by step
1. Lay flat on your back with your knees bent and the soles of your feet touching eachother. Hold a dumbbell on your lap and keep your shoulders contracted.
2. Using your glutes, thrust your hips into the air. Hold the contraction at the top.
3. Lower your hips to the starting position, keeping your bum a few inches off the ground before you start the next rep.
Lying banded abductions
Abductions work the muscles that open your legs such as the gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, and tensor fasciae latae. Simply put, they add (lean!) width to your hips and assist in the bigger more powerful movements. A band is all the resistance you need and after a few reps, you’ll be feeling it. Keep the spine and core braced against the ground to add stability.
Step by step
1. Lay flat on your back with your arms out to your sides. Wear a resistance band around your upper thighs and bend your knees around 90 degrees. If you can, balance your feet with the outer sides on the floor, this will allow a fuller range of motion.
2. Pull your knees apart and hold them at the sides. You should aim for around a foot of movement before the resistance gets too much; this is the point you should hold at for a second or two.
3. Bring your knees slowly back together, maintaining tension throughout.
Take home message
If you’re limited on space and short on equipment, then this booty burner from Em Ricketts is sure to send your heart rate soaring and get those glutes growing. This workout is what you make of it, so squeeze every inch out of the exercises and take your time to perfect each move.