By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine
Sure, this past weekend marked the unofficial end of summer (sniff, sniff) and soon our bikinis will go into hibernation, but we're not going to use that as an excuse to slack at the gym. Especially when it comes to our bum.
After all, we have every intention of pairing chunky knit sweaters with slim-fitting jeans (or, gasp, jeggings) this fall, so a tight, perky rear is going to be key.
To get our booty in shape for fall, we're going to try these moves from Peter Park, fitness contributor to Livestrong.com and Lance Armstrong's strength and conditioning coach. Thankfully, he didn't suggest we bike up a ginormous mountain...
Bulgarian Split Squat: Get in split-squat position with the top of your left foot elevated on a step or bench behind you. Bracing your core and keeping torso upright, lower yourself toward the ground, as far as possible, keeping front heel planted. Push back up to standing. That's one rep. Do 10 to 12, then switch legs. That's one set. Do three. For an added challenge, hold a body bar in front of your chest.
Why it works: During a regular split-squat, your legs split the load 50/50. This one-legged version forces your front leg do most of the work and the balance element calls on oft-missed stabilizer muscles.
Try: The Best Workout for Your Butt Type
Romanian Deadlift: Grab a set of dumbbells and stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Position the dumbbells in front of your thighs, palms facing your body. Keeping knees slightly bent, press your hips back as you bend at the waist and lower the weights toward the floor. Squeeze your glutes to return to standing. That's one rep. Do 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps, resting 30 to 60 seconds between sets. To make it harder, do it on one leg.
Why it works: It targets a variety of muscles in the posterior chain (the muscles that make up the back of your body) including glutes, lower back, and hamstrings.
Step-Ups With Knee Raise: Stand facing a 12- to 24-inch-high step or bench. Step up with your left foot, bringing your right leg forward and up and bending your knee until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Lower your right leg to starting position, then the left. Repeat with the other leg. That's one rep, do 10. That's one set. Complete 3 sets resting 30 to 60 seconds in between.
Related: Check out this killer stop-cellulite workout
Why it works: Anytime you step up, you're isolating the butt and hip muscles -- so it's nearly impossible to cheat. The balance element calls on bum-stabilizing muscles and your core.
What are your go-to bum toners?
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Photo Credit: WWD