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Activate Your Abs and Glutes With This 10-Minute Do-Anywhere Workout

Rachel Lapidos

Rachel LapidosApril 6, 2020

Each month, a new trainer takes us through four of the most grueling workouts they have in their back pocket. Follow along weekly for new ways to sweat it out with us. See All

We love a two-for-one combo deal, especially in workouts. Any strength training exercise routine that targets two major muscle groups in one sesh not only saves you time, but gives you more bang for your buck. Thanks to star trainer Charlee Atkins, founder of Le Sweat, we’re getting an abs and glutes workout that you can do at home.

As this week’s Trainer of the Month, Atkins is starting our week off right with a multitasking set of 10 exercises that only takes 10 minutes. Don’t be fazed by how quick it is: Your glutes, hamstrings, obliques, and, well, your entire core are going to be on f-i-r-e, because each move is carefully crafted to be efficient and effective.

If you think that breezing through it as fast as possible is going to up the ante, Atkins says this is not the case. “You’d think that going quickly through these exercises makes it harder, but in fact, going really slowly makes it more challenging,” she says. So really feel all of your muscles activating through each move, let it burn, and remember to keep breathing. Keep scrolling to get sweating.

Try this 10-minute abs and glutes workout

Do each exercise for one minute each. 

1. Lateral bird dog: Come into quadruped position, and extend one leg out on a 45-degree angle. Pressing through your heel, reach your opposite arm out at the same angle towards the front, then alternate sides. This is an east-and-west edition of a traditional bird dog. When you press through your leg, you’ll feel the glute fire up. As your opposite arm extends, you’ll be engaging your core. Keep your back flat and keep alternating.

2. Downward dog + knee drive: Start in downward dog. If your hamstrings are tight, you can bend your knees slightly, but keep your tailbone lifted. Then pull yourself into a plank position, and take one knee to the opposite elbow, then step your foot back into downward dog. Switch sides, bringing your other knee in to the opposite elbow. When you’re doing the knee drive, make sure your elbows are right over your wrists and that your back is flat.

3. Dumbbell swing: Standing up straight, bring you feet a little bit wider than hip-width distance apart. Grab a dumbbell and let the weight hang down in front of you. Start to move your hips to get some momentum. Use your hips to press the dumbbell forward. You’re not swinging your arms—you’re using your hips to press the dumbbell forward. This is easier with a heavier weight. Fire up your glutes to swing that dumbbell out. You should feel this in your hamstrings as well.

4. Weighted supine leg lower: Hold onto two dumbbells while lying flat on your back. Bring your legs up to the ceiling and press the weights just over your chest, then lower one leg down, then the other. If you want an added challenge, you can lift your shoulder blades off of the mat, pressing your lower back into the ground. Make sure your feet stay flexed, and never let your heel touch the ground. You can do this without weights, too.

5. Rainbow + knee drive—right: Come into quadruped position and step your right leg just outside of the mat to the side. Do a rainbow shape with your leg, keeping your back flat, then pull your knee in towards your elbow. Think about keeping your core engaged, and your shoulders right over your wrists.

6. Rainbow + knee drive—left: Repeat the exercise with your left leg.

7. Sit up + overhead press: You can use both weights for this or just one. Lying on your back, knees bent, reach your arms up overhead. Sit up with the weight reaching overhead, then lie back down. If it’s too much, you can hold the weight at your chest rather than extending overhead, or you can skip the weight altogether.

8. Reverse curl: Lie down on your back with your hands flat down the ground. Bring your knees to a 90-degree bend, then pull your knees towards your chest, using your core, before slowly lowering the hips back down. The pull-in isn’t a huge curl—it’s just a slight lift of the hips off of the mat, then lowering back down. Your gaze stays up towards the ceiling as your palms press into the mat.

9. Single-leg glute bridge: Extend one leg up towards the ceiling from glute bridge position, lift your hips up three times, then switch legs. If there’s a slight bend in the extended leg, that’s fine. For a modification, you can do a regular glute bridge with both legs down as you lift your hips up.

10. Heel taps: From your back, bend your knees with your feet on the floor and make sure your hands can reach the back of your heels. Lift your heart towards the ceiling, bring your shoulder blades off of the mat, gaze up, and reach for your heels with both of your hands. This is also known as a penguin crunch. As an added challenge, you can reach for the inside of the ankle, holding for a bit longer on both sides.

Fatigue your upper body with this Pilates arm workout with weights, then wind down and recover with this Pilates stretching workout to open up the body. 

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