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Bulgarian Split Squat
The split squat is a great exercise that you’ll feel all day.
- Place the ball of one foot on a stable, elevated platform behind you. Put your weight mainly on your front leg that is in front of the platform. When you perform the squat your knee should be directly over your foot at your lowest point. This determines for far in front of the platform your foot should be.
- Bend the knee of your front leg and lower yourself down into a single leg squat. Keep your core tight. Lower yourself until your knee is directly above your foot and your other knee is an inch or two above the floor. Hold for 2-3 seconds.
- Squeeze your glutes, raising yourself back up to the starting position. This is one rep.
- Repeat for the other leg.
High Plank Glute Kickback
To mix in some glute exercises with your abs, as well as upping the difficulty, try some glute kickbacks.
- Whilst in a standard plank position, tense your glutes one at a time, raising your leg slowly and holding for 2-3 seconds at the top.
- As you’re resting on one less limb, the plank will become more difficult to hold also.
- Repeating once with each leg is one rep for this exercise.
The romanian deadlift is a great variation on the standard deadlift to really work your hamstrings. Perform it in the same way as a standard deadlift, but don’t bend your knees. As you lean forwards, you will feel a stretch hamstring. As this builds, squeeze your hamstrings to bring your torso back upwards.
As with standard deadlifts, be extra careful to do them slowly and carefully. Do not arch or curve your back, you will instantly regret it.
On Side Hip Raises
This is a great way to use your bodyweight to really work your obliques.
- From side plank position, making sure your elbow is directly underneath your shoulder, lower your body until your hips touch the ground. You can have your feet scissored (as shown) or on top of each other.
- Tense your obliques (side abs) to raise your body back up to a proper side plank position, with your neck and spine in a neutral position.
Squats are a key exercise for working your whole body, so getting the basics right is important for developing those curves!
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, or slightly wider, with your toes slightly pointing outwards. Make sure your spine is in a straight, neutral position. Make sure your weight is through your heels.
- Squeeze your leg and core muscles as you lower your body downwards, putting your hands out infront of you for balance if needed. Lower yourself until your butt is an inch or two off the ground. Hold for 1-2 seconds.
- Continue to squeeze your leg and core muscles as you raise yourself up again. This is one rep.
Swimmers are a great way to work your whole body whilst giving your lower back a workout.
- Lie on your stomach and squeeze your glutes as hard as you can, raising both legs off the ground.
- Reach forwards with your arms, keeping your palms facing downwards a few inches above the ground.
- Lift your alternate arm and leg up into the air, squeezing all of the muscles from your shoulders down to your glutes. This is one rep.
- Repeat with the other arm rapidly.
- Start with your feet hip width apart, place your hands on your hips. Keep your back straight and your shoulder blades pulled together.
- Send one leg out to your side, squatting down on it whilst providing support with your stationary leg and hands. Hold for 2-3 seconds.
- Push back off your bent leg, returning to a standing position. This is one rep.
- Repeat on the other side.
Glute Bridge to Leg Raise
This variation of the glute bridge helps remove some stability whilst working your legs.
- Perform a standard glute bridge.
- At the top of the glute bridge, tense your hip flexors and abs, bringing one knee up until it’s directly above you.
- Return your leg slowly back down to the ground. This is one rep.
- Repeat with the other leg.
Bodyweight Pistol Squats
The pistol squat is the king of lower body, bodyweight exercises. It’s very difficult to master, but amazing at building leg strength and size without weights. Plus, it’s a great party trick!
- Stand on one leg, getting you balance and making sure your weight is through your heel. Put your arms out straight in front of you, and raising your other leg so your knee is bent. Your raised leg will form a counterbalance to give you stability.
- Really squeeze your core and the leg you’re standing on. Slowly bend the leg lowering your torso downwards. Take it slow.
- At the lowest, your butt should be an inch or two off the ground and your other leg should be extended out straight in front of you.
- Squeeze your leg again, slowly raising your body upwards again. This is one rep (congratulations)!
- Repeat on the other leg.