butt-exercises

My 2 Favourite Butt Shaping Exercises

Reshaping, Lifting & Firming your butt can be easy when you know what to do.

Did you know our Legs & Butt make up the largest muscles in our body? So when we focus on exercises for these large muscle groups we burn the most calories to help lose the most body fat. Pilates and Barre exercises target the legs and butt, along with the core, to help rebuild and reshape your body with incredibly fast results. These simple, easy to do exercises, are 2 of my favourites to sculpt and firm your bum and are great to increase core stability and strengthen your tummy and hips. Combining them with a 20-30min walk each day, which is also great for using both our legs and glute muscles (butt) is the perfect pair up. Best of all the exercises themselves only take a few minutes to do and can be done anywhere, at home, the gym or even during your park or beachwalk. These exercises are ‘isometric’, which means supporting a weight (in this case, your body weight) without moving your muscles very far—for example, holding at the top of the Bridge position before lowering down. Keeping your muscles in a fixed position increases the time they’re under tension, which makes them stronger, longer and more defined. In other words, you’re not doing yourself any favours by rushing through these exercises… Take your time and make them slow and controlled, flowing in each direction, focusing on your form, posture and breathing to get the best benefits for your body and butt.

1. Pelvic Curl

Basic Bridge, Pelvic Curl
This one exercise can be done anywhere to firm, lift, tighten and tone your butt and has lots of variations to go with it. ‘Basic Bridge’, or Pelvic Curl as it’s known, works your main butt muscle (glute max), your hamstrings and also helps strengthen your pelvic floor and one of those exercises you can feel working as soon as you start doing it.
  • Press your hip bones upwards making sure to draw your belly button in towards your spine to activate and engage your core, as you press up through the soles of your feet raising your hips towards the sky
  • Try and keep a straight line from your chest to your hip bones to your knees
  • Lower back down
  • Repeat 20 times
  • Exhale to press up, inhale to lower back Pulses
TZ Logo Graphic TIP:  Hold at the top of Bridge position with your tummy drawn in and body in a straight line, still pressing strongly through the soles of your feet, press upwards in tiny to pulses/squeezes 15-20 times for a little extra burn.

Need more of a burn then try my favourite exercise…

2. Single Leg Bridge

Single Leg Bridge To advance the basic Bridge or Pelvic Curl exercise further:
  • Lift one foot off the ground at the top of the exercise, hold, then replace to the ground and lower your body back down slowly.
  • Balance yourself by pressing down strongly through the sole of the foot of your supporting leg to really help firm and strengthen your butt
  • Remember you’re aiming for a straight line from your chest to your hip bones to your knees when you raise your body up so press strongly through the soles of your feet to really strengthen and tone your butt
  • Remember to exhale up, and inhale to come back down

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pilates-vs-hiit

Pilates vs Bootcamps and HIIT

surf pilatesIs Pilates More Beneficial For Women Than Bootcamps Or High Intensity Workouts? Let’s find out…

Anybody can benefit from taking Pilates classes, regardless of gender, age or fitness level. However, it is particularly beneficial for women as it targets their bodies in ways that even bootcamps or high intensity workouts are unable to do. Pilates, done my way not only burns calories and tones those trouble spots, it also increases flexibility and the extra strength you will achieve is absolutely tremendous, plus my exercises and workouts can be done anywhere. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of Pilates…

Improve Your Posture (added bonus: this make you look slimmer)

Thanks to Pilates, you will massively improve your posture. After just a few sessions, you will be standing taller with better posture and automatically keeping your core muscles engaged to help support your back. Because of this, you will actually look a lot slimmer (by as much as 4 kgs ). Pilates is a lifestyle. This means that when you finish your class, you will still want to continue performing the movements learnt in the workout in everyday life. You will notice yourself engaging your abs more regularly, you will automatically stand taller and will move with grace while feeling relaxed (especially in your shoulders). Compare this with a bootcamp, for instance, where your so wrecked afterwards you walk out the door, slump down on a chair and become a couch potato for the rest of the day. The added benefit of better posture and looking slimmer is that you will have increased your confidence, improved your muscle tone and all the compliments you’ll receive will encourage you to keep going with your body transformation goals.

Pilates Stretches and Strengthens

One of the key things about Pilates is that it stretches and strengthens. Most other workouts, including high intensity training and bootcamp, only focus on the strengthening element, except during warmup and cool down. With Pilates, you take part in dynamic rather than static stretches, meaning you engage in strength-building exercises at the same time. A single leg stretch, for instance, will build massive abdominal strength, as well as ensuring that you are at less risk of developing injuries in your legs and lower back.

 

Tania Zaetta - Pilates - Flat Tummy

Image of Tania Zaetta courtesy of Puretan Australia

 

A Stronger Core

Pilates is all about developing and strengthening your core. Every exercise starts by engaging the core muscles. Once engaged, you will start to work another set of muscles, such as your legs, thighs, back or arms. Basically, you start from the center (your core) and work outwards. Doing Pilates even just a couple of times a week will show a massive improvement in your core strength. This also means your abdominal definition will increase, which is great if you are trying to build your own six pack. As women, we often don’t want the biggest six pack in the world but rather just a firm flat tummy and Pilates simply defines what is already there, rather than making it bulge. At the same time, the exercises you will perform on your glutes and thighs will really tighten and lift your bum above and beyond more than any other types of exercises can achieve.

Improvement in Lower Back Pain

Scientists have demonstrated that Pilates is a great way to get rid of lower back problems. Many women who take part in HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) or bootcamp find that they regularly pull their backs or hamstrings and have to sit out training for weeks or months at a time. This is because they haven’t been taught how to properly engage their core, meaning they put too much strain on their lower back as well as being pushed too hard too early before their fitness level and strength increases. Through Pilates, however, you strengthen your core, as well as stretch the muscles in your lower back in a gentle and safe manner. It’s for good reason that many physiotherapists refer their patients for rehabilitation Pilates and recommend it is their preferred method of exercise for all ages for the long term.

A Moment of Focus

Last but certainly not least, Pilates is a great way to spend some time truly focusing on the moment. While you engage in the exercises, you can forget about the rest of the day, the stresses, the bills to pay and the kids to pick up from school. You have to focus entirely on each and every movement that you do and be conscious of engaging your deep core muscles. This means that all you think about in that moment is the moment itself, which is the basis of the practice of Mindfulness meditation as well, or ‘being present’. It is for this reason that people come out of Pilates feeling not only long and lean but also feeling good about themselves. It literally melts the stress away which no HIIT or bootcamp style workout is able to achieve. Trust me, if you have a busy family or work life, these workouts are one of the best ways to relax and wind-down after a hard day – while getting a tight tummy and firm bum. Convenient hey? It is also important to remember that Pilates is not just for the abs, as some people will lead you to believe. It exercises every group of muscles in your body. Yes, it has a strong focus on the core, but a well balanced class actually has seven specific principles that it upholds. 1. The first is that you must be centered, which means you focus on your core. 2. The second is on concentration, meaning that you focus not just on your body but also on your mind. 3. The third principle is control. You move on exhalations and control the speed of your movement. 4. The fourth one is concentration: all you think about is what you are doing. 5. The fifth principle is about precision. You must be aware of your own body and make sure you know how to move it properly. 6. The sixth principle is about your breath, doing diaphragmatic breathing, in through the nose and out through the mouth. 7. The final principle is about flow: Pilates never stops. This is why it is seen by many as being better even than high intensity interval training. tania on the beachMy classes combine the best of Pilates with Barre Pilates and resistance toning exercises resulting in a total body workout you will enjoy and look forward to and will begin to see results immediately. What do you think? Have you tried Pilates and how would you compare it to HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) exercises or bootcamps. Let me know below, I’d love to hear from you…
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Why Pilates Could Be Right For You

3451Being involved with Pilates and using it to keep your body strong and in shape is not a fad, it’s a lifestyle.

Throughout all my Tv and film travels I learnt to utilise hotel rooms to exercise and stay in shape. The beauty with Pilates is once you know the basic principle of how to activate your core you can do all the exercises anywhere without any gym equipment. Pilates works on strengthening and toning the entire body. Its one of the most effective forms of exercise to change body shape and tone up because it targets all of the muscles in the body and is an amazing workout on its own or to compliment any other workout routines you’re doing. Not only are you working to correct your posture and help with any injuries but you’r also having an all over body workout at the same time. “A strong core and a strong body means a strong life, with Pilates you get amazing result. From young girls wanting to get fit, to gym junkies aiming to lengthen their muscles, to mums after having babies, to the over 60’s looking to stay active and toned. It works for everyone and is very addictive. Pilates for Everyone, its a safe, sensible exercise system performed either standing or lying and will help you look and feel your very best no matter what your age, fitness level or condition. Its an AMAZING workout for your entire body and also a posture corrective system where tight, tense areas are stretched and weak ones strengthened. A strong core is essential for balance and stability to prevent falls and injuries plus lessen the wear and tear on your spine through learning to activate your deep abdominals. You’ll be stronger all over with increased tendon, bone and ligament strength, vital for everyday movement, developing a strong core to enjoy your athletic lifestyle for years to come. BANNER2