About Targeting Your Mid-Section and Sculpting the Perfect Bottom
When you take on this 4-week challenge, you’ll want to do everything you can to make sure you get the best results. In addition to the actual exercises, you’ll want to maximize your fat burning and keep your diet in order. This will help you slim down while you sculpt your butt and mid-section.
The hip raise challenge exercises target both your glutes and your core. It’s important to know that although “hip flexors” might sound like a leg muscle, they’re actually an important part of your core. So by targeting your hip flexors with hip raises exercise, you can build a booty while toning your abs too. And even without the satisfaction of looking amazing in jeans, hip raises have important health benefits as well.
Unless you’re lucky enough to have a standing desk, you probably spend most of your waking hours seated. Sitting shortens your hip flexors over time which can lead to low back pain and weak glutes. Hip raises exercise will stretch out your hip flexors and strengthen your glutes, making them the perfect remedy for a desk job.
These strength training exercises are great for building muscle which helps your body burn fat faster. But for a slimming boost, add some additional fat burning exercises.
If you train at home, consider adding a bodyweight circuit of squats, push-ups, walking lunges, and squat jumps to get your heart pounding. If you’re at the gym, hop on the stepmill to torch your glutes and thighs while tackling one of the hardest cardio machines out there. For nature lovers, keep fit by hiking or running.
The added cardio helps you burn more calories which means you’ll be able to see the results of your 30-day challenge that much sooner!
You’ve heard it before but I’ll say it again: all the cardio in the world won’t undo a bad diet. This isn’t about starving yourself, but you should be making good decisions in the kitchen if you want great results.
If your main goal is building your booty, don’t cut too many calories during the challenge. Eating enough food and plenty of protein will help your glutes grow while you train. Just make sure every calorie counts. Making smart food choices means you’ll feel full and satisfied. If you’re eating junk food, it’s far too easy to binge and you’ll wind up gaining more fat than muscle.
You might want to aim for a 5-10% calorie deficit if you’re taking on the hip raise exercise challenge to slim your thighs. If you’re cutting calories, it’s important to make sure the foods you eat are nutritious and satisfying. If you eat too many empty calories, you won’t have the strength to do the exercises. Try to include foods like eggs, dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes, chicken, and fish.
Hip Raise Workouts for Women that Work
What are hip raises? This is the main event of the hip raises exercise challenge so be sure to get your form right. Make sure your glutes are doing most of the work here. If your hamstrings are cramping, that’s a sign of weak glutes. Keep working on them!
Lie on the floor on your back with bent knees and both feet flat on the floor. Keep your arms out to the side at about a 45-degree angle with palms up. Brace your core, squeeze your glutes, and lift your hips off the floor until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees. Lower back to the floor.
Weighted Hip Raise
To add some intensity to your hip raises exercise, up the resistance with a weight to really get those glutes firing.
In this weighted variation, place a weight plate or dumbbell on your hips and then perform the exercise exactly the same as above. Your hands will hold the weight instead of being out by your side.
Hip Raise Tips
Follow these tips on how to do hip raises and you’ll have nothing but success.
- Lift your toes off the floor to make sure you drive through your heels.
- Can’t brace your core? Pretend like you’re about to get punched in the gut – now you’re braced!
- If you start to cramp, take a short rest before finishing your prescribed reps.
- For an added challenge, hold the top position of any hip raise for 3-5 seconds before lowering.
Hip Raise with Knee Squeeze
This variation targets the inner thighs and helps strengthen weak hip adductors.
Place a rolled-up towel or the narrowest side of a yoga block between your knees. Your goal is to keep the object in place, without letting it slip, as you complete a hip raise. This forces you to activate the inner thigh muscles in addition to your glutes.
Single-Leg Hip Raise
This is the most challenging hip raise variation and you’ll really feel your glutes burning.
Set up as you would for a traditional hip raise. Then raise your right leg until it’s lined up with your left thigh. Brace your core, squeeze your glutes and push through your left heel to initiate a lift off the floor. Again, your hips should raise until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees. Slowly return to the starting position. Complete your reps for the left side before switching legs and working the right side.
Now it’s time to throw in some side hip raises. Clamshells work a different part of your hips, the hip abductors and, specifically, the glute medius. This tiny muscle on the side of your hips contributes to the shape of a rounded, sculpted bottom. They’re also great for runners or anyone with knee issues.
Lie on your side on the floor, with your hips and knees bent 45 degrees. Your legs should be stacked one on top of the other and your heels together. With your feet still touching, raise the top knee as high as you can (think of a clamshell opening!). Return to the starting position. Repeat all reps for one side before switching sides.
Because your hip flexors are an important core muscle, it’s important to add some core exercises. V-ups are a great alternative to sit-ups, and they really target your “six pack muscles.”
Lie on the floor on your back with straight legs and arms. Reach your arms back and hold them out straight above the top of your head. In one motion, lift your torso and legs at the same time as if you’re trying to touch your toes. Your body should be in the shape of a V in this position. Slowly lower back down to the starting position.
Reverse crunches directly work your hip flexors and hit your obliques.
Lie on the floor on your back with your arms down by your sides with palms down. With your legs up in the air, bend your hips and knees 90 degrees and keep your feet together. Lift your hips off the floor and feel a slight “crunch” in your abs. Slowly lower your legs towards the floor, maintaining the same bend in your knees the whole time.
Leg Lowering Drill
Lie on the floor on your back with your arms extended straight out to your sides, palms up. Lift your legs straight up in the air, feet together, and with a slight bend in the knees. With a rigid core, slowly lower your legs back down to the floor. Try to take 3-5 seconds to lower the legs. Keep your back firmly planted into the floor; if you end up with an arched lower back, don’t lower your legs as much.
Ready? Let’s get those hips off the floor and those glutes burning!
(2 of 3)