I’m not one for making excuses. But if I were, my radio silence over the last couple weeks might just warrant your forgiveness. Two major life events happened. Firstly, my husband and I successfully bought our first house. Which means in three short weeks it’s goodbye to East London and hello to a shiny new SW postcode. It also means there’s a lot to do and not a lot of time to do it.
If that wasn’t enough, I’ve also been squeezing in training and assessments at London’s Heartcore fitness studios – best known for ruling the roost in Reformer Pilates, and becoming increasingly famed for its high-intensity TRX classes and limb-lengthening Barre programme. For those of you who know me well or have spent some time perusing my posts, you can probably guess where you’ll find me! As of this Saturday, I’ll be teaching at least five TRX classes a week in the Chelsea and Fulham studios. Which means my official foray into professional fitness instructing marks life event number two, and gives me the opportunity to bring some of the passions I’ve shared with you here to the realm of real-life! Check out the schedule here, and don’t forget to say hi if you come along to a class.
To celebrate the end of an era, I did something a little naughty… I really wanted to film one last workout for you in my East London surrounds, just somewhere a little different. So I snuck into a private garden I’ve recently stumbled across in my weekend adventures. One with fountains, ponds, lily pads and marble benches. It was seriously serene, and proved a lovely backdrop for the following bum-toning workout… That is, until I had to take cover when the site security guard made an appearance.
But don’t be fooled – even a pretty setting won’t distract you from the day-after burn these bodyweight moves will deliver. They will remind you that your bum is not just for sitting. It is also for standing to attention and looking incredibly pert – a major win during the final weeks of bikini season prep. Even if you’re not in possession of a sunseekers’ holiday itinerary, autumn is just around the corner and your favourite jeans are waiting for you to fill them out with your best-ever bottom!
4-Step Kickback Series
Step 1: Time to give yourself a real kick in the bottom. From a table top position, with your shoulders stacked over your hands and your belly button scooped in, bring your right knee into your chest then point the toe and extend it as long as possible behind you. Do this 15 times.
Step 2: Now hold the foot out behind you and slowly lower and lift it to the ground. Think about firing from the glutes throughout – you’ll know you’re doing it correctly when that right cheek starts to burn. 15 reps here, too.
Step 3: OK, now hold the foot out long and flex it as you curl the heel towards your bum. You should feel the heat spread through your hamstrings. You guessed it – 15 times.
Step 4: Finally, hold at the top and keep that foot flexed as you pulse the heel towards the sky. Keep this movement small and controlled – your hips should stay squared to the ground throughout. Go on, give me 15. All done! Best do the left cheek, too…
Plank Leg Lifts
Get into your perfect plank position on your forearms. Remember your checklist: glutes clenched, abs engaged, back flat. Ready? Now slowly peel your right foot off the ground and lift it a V-motion over your left foot, tap the ground, and return to the start. Keep those hips stable throughout. Yep, you’ll feel this one through the core, too – but who ever said no to a flat, toned tum? Work to fatigue, then take a rest before repeating with the left foot. I recommend 10 reps on each side.
Hip Bridge Pulses
Roll over to your back and plant your feet on the ground a few inches from your bottom. Reach for the stars – literally! Point your right toe to the heavens and peel your bum and lower back off the floor by clenching your left glute. After 15 full reps, hold at the top of the movement and try to pulse the hips one inch higher for a further 10 reps. Switch sides! No cursing – the gods of great glutes are watching!
By taking your squat into one leg and out to the side, you’ll activate deeper into your gluteus medius – the muscles down the sides of your hips. The more toned these are, the better you’re going to feel in sexy high-cut swimwear. Body confidence spells uninhibited beach fun, and you deserve nothing less! Stand with your feet together, then take a wide step to the side with your right foot. Keep your feet on an even plane as you sink back through the right hips. Try to get your thigh parallel with the ground before pressing off the heel and returning to the start. Complete all your reps on one side (12-15 should do the trick) before switching.
Sweeping Squat Hold
As you’ve just nailed your dynamic squat form, take the next step and challenge yourself with a static hold. Sink into a narrow stance squat and take the weight into your right foot. Now sweep the left foot from front to back, keeping the movement slow and controlled. Pull the shoulders back, switch on the core and try to sink a little deeper towards the final rep (that should be roughly the point your thigh starts to shake).
Single Leg Deadlift and Split Kicks
No one knows the way to a pert bottom and long lean legs like a ballerina, so the final move is inspired by traditional ballet training. From standing, slowly bend from the hips and lift your left leg straight behind you. When your body forms a perfect T, plant your hands on the ground and take the leg up even higher. Ballerinas and barre regulars call this the ‘standing splits’, but my tight hamstrings don’t take me into anything quite resembling the splits. However high you can take your leg, turn out and pulse the foot just a centimetre or two higher. Go for 3 pulses, then return to standing. Slow and steady – your core and hamstrings will keep you in control. This is one rep – aim for 10, then switch sides.
Enjoy your workout! Wishing you booty confidence for the beach and beyond – don’t forget to send me the evidence on Instagram ;).