Wish you had a little more junk in your trunk? Do three sets of these four butt-lifting exercises from Ryan Rannelli—certified personal trainer and owner of No Excuse Fitness & Training in Hamilton, Ont. —twice a week, alongside two 60-minute cardio sessions of your choosing, and prepare for lift-off.
Note: When choosing weights, be sure to challenge yourself; you should struggle to complete each set. (A good rule of thumb? Start with 10-pound dumbbells and trade up if you’re not exhausted after 10 reps.)
1. SINGLE LEG ROMANIAN DEAD LIFT
Holding weights in each hand, stand with your feet hip-width apart, your right foot raised off the floor and your right arm extended in front of you. Hinge forward from your waist, keeping your back flat and your abs contracted, lifting your right leg straight behind you until your body forms a T and your right arm hangs down from your shoulder. Squeeze your glutes. Return to the starting position. Do 10 to 15 reps.
2. REVERSE LUNGE
Holding weights in each hand, stand with your feet together. Take a long step back with your right leg, bending your left leg and making sure it’s directly over your ankle. Lower your right knee until it almost touches the floor. Press into the heel of your left foot and squeeze your left glute to return to the starting position. Do 10 to 15 reps.
Wearing a pair of ankle weights (optional), lie on a mat on your left side. Extend your left arm and rest your head on it; bend your right arm and plant your right hand on the ground in front of your chest. Draw your knees up to a 45-degree angle. With your feet and knees together, open your right leg out like a clam while keeping your heels together. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement (when your knees are parallel to sides of your hips), then slowly lower down without touching your knees together. Do 10 to 15 reps.
4. REVERSE HYPEREXTENSION
If your gym doesn’t have a reverse hyperextension machine, you can adapt this move using a Swiss ball. Wearing a pair of ankle weights (optional), lie on your stomach across the bench of the machine (or the ball) and extend your arms over your head and grip the edge of the bench. (If using a ball, plant your hands on the floor.) Lift both of your legs behind you in a controlled motion until they are parallel to your hips. Squeeze your glutes, then return to the starting position. Do 10 to 15 reps.