It’s officially summer and time for BBQs, swimming and sun! But are your buns and thighs ready? Ready to sport those shorts, swimsuits and even that little red, white and blue bikini for the 4th of July?
Buns and thighs (also known as the glutes, quads, and hamstrings) are often our biggest trouble spots. When covered by the blanket of energy we call body fat, they can look dimpled, thick, and unsightly! However, these are the biggest and most powerful (and most beautiful) muscle groups in the body! When we shape and develop them the right way, they can quickly become our biggest asset (no pun intended ;)!)
Here are my top three buns and thigh exercises to maximize shape and development to look your best in those skinny jeans, shorts and swimsuits!
Exercise #1: Squat
Proven to stimulate more of the glutes and hamstrings than any other exercise . . . the squat is the go-to for exercise #1. Try starting with 3 sets of 15 repetitions.
1. Start by standing in front of a chair, facing away from the chair. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, your toes pointed slightly outward and your hips and knees fully extended.
2. Keeping your weight on your heels, slowly lower your hips onto the seat of the chair, as if you’re being pulled backward by your belt. Reach backward with your hands to help guide you.
3. Sit on the chair and allow the weight in your hips to shift backward, as you would when sitting normally.
4. Shift your weight forward, still keeping your weight on your heels, and stand up to the starting position, with your knees and hips extended. Use your hands to push off of the chair if needed.
Exercise #2: Lunge
Overall HUGE compound movement for the glutes, hamstrings AND quads…you’ll feel these more than ANY other movement…not just during, but for the next two days!! Try starting with 3 sets of 15 (hanging on to a stable object or in an open space).
1. Start by standing with your hips and knees fully extended, holding onto a chair or other stable object.
2. Take an aggressive step backward with your right foot, fully extending that leg and touching the floor with the toes of that foot. Allow your left knee to bend and your body to lower slightly to adjust for the movement.
3. Keeping your left knee directly over the toes of your left foot, drive through your left heel and draw your right leg forward to bring your body to a standing position.
4. Take an aggressive step backward with your left foot, fully extending that leg and touching the floor with the toes of that foot. Allow your right knee to bend and your body to lower slightly to adjust for the movement.
Exercise #3: Bridge Up/Marching Soldiers
This is a wonderful fine-tuning movement that really isolates the glutes and hits the hamstrings hard. Try doing 3 sets of these in a slow and controlled manner for 60 seconds each and you will not be able to ignore the burn! Get your glutes to talk to you!
1. Start lying faceup on the floor with your knees bent, your feet flat on the floor, and your arms relaxed at your sides.
2. Driving your left heel into the floor, raise your hips as high as you can and keep your right knee bent while lifting it as far as you can toward your chest.
3. Lower your right leg back to the floor and return to the starting position.
4. Quickly switch sides and drive your right heel into the floor, raising your hips again. Keep your left knee bent while lifting it as far as you can toward your chest.
5. Lower your left leg and hips back to the floor and return to the starting position.
After consistently working out your glutes, quads, and hamstrings with these 3 exercises, the only meaty thighs and fluffy buns that should be around will be those you buy to grill up for a summer BBQ dinner.