In a world of a gazillion booty workouts, there is one part that sometimes get’s let out…and talking about the side parts.
If you really want the greatest burn on your glutes, shift some attention over to the sides or the hip abductors.
While we tend to spend a large focus on that gluteus maximus (and it is the largest muscle of our backside), there are actually multiple muscles that make up the booty area. Adding specific exercises to hit all the areas is super important!
To get the biggest booty burn during your workout, add exercises that hit the hip abductor exercises. It’s the perfect pair to your booty burning working.
Let’s start this off by saying Jane Fonda has the magic sauce when it came to the side booty. Totally talking leg lifts! We are going to include a few of these in our list, we are also going to add some new ones to the list.
Why do I need to do hip abductor exercises?
The hip abductors are a group of muscles that help us create movement and stabilizes as we move around. They could be said to be part of our core as they partner with both our abs and back muscles to keep us standing, having balance, and getting that good posture.
There are four muscles that make up this group:
- Tensor Fascia Lata
- Gluteus Minimus
- Gluteus Medium
- Gluteus Maximus
When the hip abductors are on the weaker side, you can be more prone to an injury as there is an increase in pressure on your joints….and can be felt in your hips, knees, ankles, and feet.
How do we strengthen this muscle group?
The best method is to add in a few exercises that will hit the hip abductors vs. only focusing on the large booty muscle. Check out a few ideas that you can add to your leg day.
#1 Side Leg Lift Series
For this one, we are going to break it down into 3 moves and make it more of a series of moves. It will it both the outside and inner thigh.
- Start out lying on your side with your legs out straight.
- Support your head with your hand or lay your head down on your arm
Move 1: Lift the top leg to the top diagonal (or 45 degrees) and lower back down. Go slow. Think muscle up and muscle down
Move 2: Cross the top leg over the bottom. Lift and lower the bottom leg.
Move 3: Lift and hold the top leg. Bring the lower leg to meet the top and lower back down. This is the VIP of this series!
#2 Banded Hip Lift Series
Oh girl….go get a resistance band…like STAT. This is going to take your booty workout from a 10 to a 100 in nothing flat.
- Place your resistance band around both legs and sits right above your knees.
- Lay flat on the mat with bended knees and flat fleet on the floor.
- Keep your neck neutral and arms by your sides.
Move 1: Hip Lift. With feet shoulder-width apart, lift and lower your hips off the mat
Move 2: Now, we march. Lift your hips off the mat and squeeze the heck out of those glutes. March your knees right and left with a focus on keeping the booty squeeze.
Move 3: Lift your hips off the mat and hold at the top. Open and close your legs into the resistance of the band
#3: Fire Hydrant Series
Keep that resistance band!
- Place your resistance band around both legs – right above your knees.
- Position yourself into table top position on hands and knees. Take the band and tuck it under the knee of the leg that will stay on the floor.
- During the entire series, focus on keeping your weight center vs. pushing to one side.
Move 1: Good ol’fashion fire hydrant. Working leg raises out to the side and down. Keep the bent knee
Move 2: Fire Hydrant Circles. With your core engaged and back flat, lift your left leg out to the left, keeping your knee bent. Continue to circle your leg back until it is behind your body and the bottom of your foot is facing toward the ceiling. Make sure you are squeezing your butt throughout. Slowly bring your leg back to starting position
Move 3: Fire Hydrant Kicks. Lift into the fire hydrant and hold. Using your heel – drive your leg back on the diagonal. Pull leg back into the fire hydrant position and lower.
Our next two series are all standing….switching things up just a bit and we don’t always have to be on the mat.
#4 Curtsy Lunge Series
That resistance band is going to stay for this and the last series. It’s that good.
- Place your resistance band around both legs – right above your knees.
- Shoulder-width position with your legs/feet with knees and toes facing front
Move 1: Curtsy Lunge Pulse. Tuck or cross a leg behind the other and lower straight down. Keep the pulse here. Don’t forget the other leg!
Move 2: Alternating Curtsy Lunge. Curtsy lunge with one leg. Return center and repeat on the other side
Move 3: Curtsy Lunge with Kick. Curtsy and then raise the leg into a hip lift (or kick). Same leg works all reps and then switch.
#5 Banded Walks
- For this series, the resistance is moving down to our ankles.
Move 1: Side (lateral) walks. Standing in a shallow squat with your feet shoulder-width apart. Sidestep to the left x 4 and then back to the right x 4. Want more? Lower down into that squat.
Move 2: Side leg lift. Same starting position with the shallow squat but make your stance a little wider (hip-width) apart. Start with one leg – lift and lower for a side leg left. Go get that other leg.
Move 3: Banded Jumping jacks (these can also be walked out vs. jumping). Back into that shallow squat with your hands close to your chest. Jump your feet (or walk them) in and out staying in that squat position. Want more? Go lower with your squat.
These exercises could be done individually or put them all together for one heck of a highly effective home workout. The best part? You just need you, a comfortable spot on the floor, and a resistance band.
My favorite (and number one go-to piece of exercise equipment) is available on Amazon. Click HERE to check out a pack of 5, comes in it’s own bag, and under $15.
Want more info?
Check out these recent studies that showed positive results of training hip abductors.
A 2008 study trusted Source showed positive results with a six-week exercise program that included strengthening the hip abductors. Physical function was significantly related to hip abductor strength at two, four, and six weeks
A 2011 study looked at the effectiveness of a hip abductor strengthening program among 25 participants, 15 of whom had PFPS. They found that after three weeks, participants with PFPS saw an increase in strength and a decrease in pain.
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