8 Days to a Beach-Ready Body

Brooke Siler is a Pilates guru and owner of re:AB Pilates studio in NYC. Among other areas of expertise, she knows how to get glutes in Gisele-like shape. For those bum procrastinators, BAZAAR recruited Siler to break down a plan to get your derriere in shape just in time for 4th of July bikinis. Read on for eight days of butt-changing moves.
By Kerry Pieri

Harper's Bazaar Harper's Bazaar

Day One

Hold Me Up, Push Me Out: Palms flat against wall, arm distance, shoulder height. Lift right knee to hip height hold for 3, point knee as far to right as possible without turning hips, hold for 3, return knee to front hold for 3, press heel back (right knee passes left knee) without tipping pelvis forward hold for 3, return knee to front hold for 3. Repeat 8x times then switch legs.

Day Two

Pelvic Lift: Lay on back with knees bent and feet flat on floor. Heels under knees, arms long by sides. Curl pelvis toward nose and roll up pressing pubic bone to the ceiling. Do not arch the low back. Hold for a count of 3 without allowing knees to open past hip width. Roll back down one vertebra at a time until back is flat. Repeat 8x.

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Side Splits:
Straighten both legs up to the ceiling and place hands in a triangle shape, palms down, under tail. Keeping pelvis stable, s-l-o-w-l-y split legs apart as if ankles were connected with a rubber band. (You can also actually use a resistance band around your thighs or ankles here). Hold open for a count of 3, then allow them to return to starting position. Repeat 8x. (Added benefit: tight abs!)

Day Three

Side Kick Circles: Lay on your side, shoulders and hips in line with back edge of mat or towel. Both hands should be layered behind your head with straight legs slightly forward of body. Kick top leg up as high as possible, without wavering in shoulders, and lower down again. Repeat 10x then switch sides and legs.

Thigh Stretch: Kneel on a mat or folded towel with arms stretched forward at shoulder height. Keeping your head weight forward (i.e. chin to chest) inhale as you pitch backward remaining in a straight line from knees to hips to shoulders. Hold for 3 counts and exhale as you return to start. Arms remain extended as a counter-balance throughout.

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Day Four

Shoulder Bridge: Lay on back with knees bent and feet flat on floor. Heels under knees, arms long by sides. Curl pelvis toward nose and roll up pressing pubic bone to the ceiling. Do not arch the low back. Extend right leg long and point toes. Kick leg up, flex foot and draw leg straight down, point toes and kick up again. Repeat 8x. Roll down 1 vertebra at a time and repeat sequence with other leg.

Single Leg Kicks: Roll over onto stomach and prop yourself up on your elbows. With elbows directly under shoulders and palms down in front of elbows lift chest and abs and draw inner thighs together. Holding inner thighs together, and tops of thighs off mat, kick your right buttock twice with your right heel and then kick left buttock twice with left heel. That's 1 set. Complete 8 sets.

Leg Pull Down: Get into a plank (push-up) position with inner elbows facing one another. Without moving hips, lift right leg straight up and kick twice into air. Return foot to floor and repeat with left leg. That's 1 set. Complete 8 sets.

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Day Five

Kneeling Side Kicks: Kneel on your mat or folded towel and prop yourself up on one hand to your side, aligned underneath your shoulder (fists, fingertips or hand on a book all allowed). Reach top leg out long and keep hip over bottom knee. Stabilize shoulders and hips as you swing leg forward and back 8x then circle leg forward 8x and back 8x. Switch sides and legs and repeat sequence.

Front Split: Kneeling on your mat or folded towel step right foot f-a-r forward and lean body out over right thigh. Place hands or fingertips on floor on either side of right foot. Allow front of left thigh to stretch as you tuck left toes under and try to straight back (left) leg. Hold for 3 and then lower knee to mat again. Repeat 3x and then switch legs for 3.

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Day Six

Helicopters: Straighten both legs up to the ceiling and place hands in a triangle shape, palms down, under tail. Keeping pelvis stable and legs straight, split legs apart as wide as possible (with control) and rotate them around one another as if your feet were turning the blades of a ceiling fan - or helicopter propeller - above you. Alternate directions of the blades 10x. Make sure your top leg stays lifted above your belly button. (Added benefit: tight abs!)

Double Leg Kicks: Roll over onto stomach with your hands layered behind your back, as high up as you can manage with elbows down on mat. Turn head to one side, with cheek on mat. Squeeze inner thighs together and keep thighs off mat as you kick your bottom three times with your heels. Then stretch legs out again and lift upper body up simultaneously, reaching hands back in the direction of your heels. Return to starting position turning face to other side and repeat sequence. That's 1 set. Complete 4 sets, then sit back to heels (child's pose) to counter-stretch low back.

Day Seven

Kneeling Side Circles: Kneel on your mat or folded towel and prop yourself up on one hand to your side, aligned underneath your shoulder (fists, fingertips or hand on a book are allowed). Reach top leg out long and keep bottom hip over bottom knee - tailed tucked. Stabilize shoulders and hips as you swing leg forward and hold, lift straight leg up toward ceiling and hold, reach leg back as far as possible without taking hips with you and hold, return leg to starting position. Repeat 4x then reverse 4x. Then switch sides and legs and repeat sequence. Remember hips and shoulders remain as still as possible throughout this movement sequence.

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Swimming: Lay on your stomach completely outstretched on the mat with your fingertips reaching long to the wall in front of you. Draw your abs in and away from the mat and lift your right arm and left leg simultaneously into the air. Hold them there as you lift your head and chest off the mat and switch to lift left arm and right leg. Continue alternating pairs of arm/leg lifts as you inhale for 5 counts and exhale for 5 counts. That's 1 set. Work your way toward completing 10 sets.

Day Eight

Grasshopper: Lay on your stomach with forehead resting on layered hands. Draw your abs in and away from the mat and squeezing legs together tightly behind, lift both thighs up off mat. Holding them up, bend knees bringing heels to bottom, then straighten out again clap inner thighs together as you lower them to the mat. Repeat 10x.

One Leg Push Up: Stand balancing on one leg with arms up in the air, biceps by ears. Keeping your standing leg perfectly straight, bow forward keeping arms by ears and lifting back leg up behind you until you have created a T shape with your body. Hold for 3 counts then bow forward more, placing hands on floor and walking out into a push-up position. Keep back leg lifted behind you and either hold plank or complete 3 push ups. Keeping leg lifted fold chest toward thigh and come up into T position again. Hold balance for a count of 3 then lift body, arms by ears, and close legs. Repeat sequence with other leg lifted.

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