Pilates: How To Strengthen Your Glutes
Pilates: How To Strengthen Your Glutes
Improve the strength of your glutes with this great VideoJug Pilates film. Once you've tried pilates, you'll never go back to any other exercise routine!
Step 1: You will need
- 1 exercise mat or thick towel
- some comfortable clothing
- 1 small towel or cushion - optional
- a clear wall space
Step 2: Exercise One: Single Leg Kick
Step 3: To prepare
Start by lying face down on your mat or towel and resting your forehead on your hands. Keep your shoulders down and legs and feet together.
If you feel any pressure on your lower back in this position, place a small towel or cushion under your hips for support.
Before we break down the exercise, have a go at practising the simple mechanics.
Remember back to when you were young and you'd lie on your belly to watch the TV or read a book and at the same time, kick your legs up and down. This is basic the action of the exercise.
Step 4: Breathing
This is how the breathing will be when you're lying down. Inhale deeply through the nose to prepare, aiming the breath towards the back of the rib cage and exhale twice, deeply through the mouth as you perform the movement.
When you exhale, think of flattening the abdominal region. Imagine gently pulling your belly button towards your spine.
Step 5: The exercise
Inhale to prepare then half exhale and draw one foot in a straight line towards your backside, squeezing it and the back of your leg,
half exhale to pulse the foot again, still squeezing, then inhale to return to the centre and prepare for the other side.
So that's inhale, prepare, exhale squeeze, exhale squeeze, inhale down.
Repeat this 8 times in total - alternating legs each time and paying particular attention to your pelvis - it shouldn't move at all during the exercise!
You will feel your hamstrings and gluteus muscles working.
Important tip - make sure you don't just 'kick' your legs up and down. The movement needs to be controlled and guided to be effective.
Step 6: Exercise Two: Leg Extensions
Step 7: To prepare
Stay lying down in the same position, but slightly rotate the legs and feet outwards. Check that your shoulders are still relaxed.
Step 8: Breathing
The same principles apply as before but this exercise will be performed in 2 breaths.
Step 9: The exercise
Inhale to prepare, then as you exhale lift and lengthen one leg off the floor. Inhale and slowly bring the leg back down ready to alternate to the other side
Repeat this 8 times - 4 times on each leg, paying particular attention to, once again, keeping your pelvis stable.
You will feel the same muscle zones working as in the previous exercise and also the hip rotators.
Step 10: Exercise Three: Side Leg Kicks
Step 11: To prepare
Roll over onto one side, lining yourself up with the edge of the mat. Rest your head in your hand and use the front arm as a light support.
Move both legs forward onto a diagonal, more or less aiming towards the bottom corner of your mat.
Step 12: Breathing
The breathing is similar to that in exercise one but here in reverse.
You will inhale deeply twice to begin the movement and then exhale once to complete it.
Step 13: The exercise
On the first inhale, move your top leg forwards as if lightly kicking a football, inhale again and repeat the action then as you exhale, extend the leg backwards stretching from the hip and pointing the toe.
Repeat this five times - picking up the pace as you go.
Pay particular attention to your posture. Keep the pelvis as still as possible. It should just be the leg that moves.
You will feel your quads, hamstrings and gluteus muscles working.
When you finish, change sides and repeat the same sequence with the other leg.
Step 14: Exercise Four: Hamstring Press
Step 15: To prepare
Stand up and go the wall. Position yourself about 1ft away. Have your legs and feet together and gent