Booty! Backside! Derriere! Call it what you want, but it’s time to kick that butt into higher (and tighter!) gear. To make that happen, I enlisted the help of dancer and Pilates trainer, Irene Razze, the fitness director and program creator at the new Best U Studio in Los Angeles, to create a workout to sculpt and tone your backside without adding bulk. Drawing inspiration from her background in dance, Pilates, and other fitness modalities, Irene designed the ultimate sweat-sesh (that’s her demonstrating it below!). The calorie-scorching, circuit-style routine will make you sweat in a matter of minutes as you sculpt your way toward a stronger, leaner-looking dancer’s physique.
It’s easy to do at home—all you need is one 5-pound weight. If you don’t have a weight, try a heavy book or large bottle filled with water.
Run through the whole routine, then repeat 2x for a total of three sets.
Begin on all fours. Bring your right elbow to the floor while keeping your arm flat, and place your left hand flat on the ground. Hover your left knee right above the floor. Kick your left leg back and up at a slight diagonal, foot flexed; hold it there for two seconds. Then bend your knee and bring your leg back down, knee hovering above the ground. “Reach energy through the heel as you work, lengthening the leg from hip to heel and squeezing the glute at the top,” says Irene. “And keep your core engaged through the entire set.” Do 10 reps, then repeat on the other leg.
Begin lying on your side with one elbow on the floor, propping up your head (place the other hand on the floor for stability, as pictured). Knees should be together and bent at a 90-degree angle, with the hips stacked and waist long. Lift the top leg up and then back down with the knee bent, doing 15 to 20 lifts. Flip over and repeat on the other leg.
From the same starting position, lift the top leg so that it’s hovering a few inches above the bottom leg. Keep knee bent at same flexion as you circle the leg forward, up, and behind your body as pictured, to complete one circle. “Engage your core the whole time to maintain a steady pelvis,” says Irene. Do 15 to 20 circles, then repeat in opposite direction, circling from back to front. Then flip over and repeat on the other leg.
Begin standing, legs and feet together, holding the dumbbell in front of your body with both hands. Bend the knees and squat down as though you’re sitting into a chair. Then lift your right heel up off the floor, so that most of your body weight is on your left heel. Pulse the hips up and down. “Emphasize the weight pushing into the heel as you pulse the hips. Keep the abs engaged, and chest open, and challenge yourself to get low without breaking form,” says Irene. Do 10 to 20 pulses, then switch sides, lifting the left heel, and repeat to complete one set.
Stand with legs wide apart and feet parallel. Hold the dumbbell in front of your belly with both hands. Keeping back flat and abs engaged, pitch forward so that your gaze is down toward the floor. Bend your left knee and bring your body weight onto left leg, keeping the right leg straight. Then push through the heel and switch, bending the right knee and squatting to the right. Continue swaying from right to left for one minute.
Kit Rich is Los Angeles-based fitness trainer with endless exercise and nutritional know-how. Hollywood’s hottest stars are addicted to Kit’s unique, multi-disciplined approach that combines cardio, yoga, Pilates, and weight training. Kit’s clients are immediately taken by her funny and honest approach to health and fitness. She treats her clients as she treats herself, “with a hard challenge, sensibility, sensitively, and a good laugh.” Follow Kit on Twitter @kitrichfitness.