There's just something about an AMAZING Butt and Thigh workout that feels SO good! As my online studio members know, I'm not one to shy away from that deep burn and bringing out the powerful Pilates moves to challenge those lower body muscles. Showing both the superficial and deeper, intrinsic muscle groups love is important for achieving balance, both aesthetically and functionally, and also avoiding injury.
This butt and thigh circuit workout will help you achieve this! Strengthening your lower body will result in more efficient, effective movement in other workouts and day to day activities. Strong glutes and legs are your literal foundations, these muscles support your hips and lower back and maintain their alignment. The exercises in this circuit for the workout move your legs through every possible range of motion to maximise your results by targeting more muscles efficiently. Get ready to feel the burn! Repeat all of these exercises on the right side three times through, before moving onto the left side and repeating three times through. This should result in a 20-30 minute KILLER Pilates leg workout! Are you ready? Let's go!
Butt Lifting Bridge
Lie on your back and bend your knees, resting your feet on the ground. Keep your ankles knees and hips directly aligned. Lift your heels and keep the toes and the balls of the feet connected to the mat. Press your shoulders and upper back into the floor and pull your navel to your spine.
Inhale to prepare and as you exhale lift your pelvis so you are making a long line from your knees down to your shoulders. Keeping your spine neutral, lower your pelvis just above the ground then lift back up squeezing your glutes and hamstrings. Repeat 20 times.
Lying on your side, bend your knees so that your heels are directly in line with your tailbone. Keep your hips stacked, navel drawn to the spine and prop yourself up so the elbow is directly underneath your shoulder. Try and lift your ears as far away from your shoulders as possible to avoid slouching.
Keep your heels squeezed as firmly together as possible throughout this exercise. Inhale to prepare and as you exhale, externally rotate the top knee in one swift motion, opening up into a diamond shape without rolling backward through the pelvis. Inhale to smoothly return to starting position with control. Repeat this 20 times.
Lying on your side, bend your knees so that your heels are directly in line with your tailbone. Keep your hips stacked and navel drawn to the spine.
Extend your top leg to 45 degrees, lengthening through the leg as much as possible with a slight external rotation. Inhale to bend your knee and return it back to it’s original position. Repeat 20 times.
Kneeling with your elbows directly under your shoulders, palms resting on the ground and knees directly under your hips, draw your navel to your spine, keeping your spine long and shoulders away from your ears.
Inhale to prepare and as you exhale, keep your leg bent at a 45 degree angle as you lift your heel towards the ceiling. Make sure you don’t twist through the body as you lift, keep your abdominals braced and spine in neutral the whole way through. Inhale to tap your knee down on the ground lightly before lifting back up. Repeat this 20 times.
4 Point Kneeling Lift
Start in a kneeling position and lengthen your leg out in a long line with the toes slightly turned out and touching the ground. Inhale to prepare.
As you exhale, lift your leg in line with your hip so you are making the longest line possible through the body. Inhale to slowly bring the leg back to it's starting position, squeezing through the back of your leg. Keep the leg as straight as possible and make sure you’re not twisting to one side. Repeat 20 times.
Side Lying Leg Lift
Start lying on your side, supporting your head with your hand and placing your feet slightly forward of your body. The feet should be slightly turned out and the hips directly stacked on top of one another. Draw your navel to your spine and lift the pelvic floor (a sensation like your holding on to go to the bathroom). When bracing your abdominals, the best way to achieve this is to imagine that you have your tightest pair of jeans on and you are trying to draw your abdominal wall away from the zipper to keep them done up comfortably. Keep the abdominals braced through the entire exercise.
Breathe in through the nose to prepare, and as you breathe out through the mouth lift your top leg as far as you can without letting your upper body and pelvis roll back. To achieve this, visualise you have two spotlights on your hips, they need to face forward and not move throughout the exercise. Inhale to bring the heels back together. Repeat 20 times.