Figure 4 founder Kate Albarelli, is serious about creating toned, sculpted booties all over New York.
So much so, in fact, that she recently went to Mount Sinai Medical Center where an electromyograph (EMG) was attached to her butt while she squeezed and pulsed, in order test how effective Figure 4 moves are at activating the muscles. The results?
Old-school, large movements, like lunges and squats, fared the worst. “The ones that worked the best were all isometric movements–tiny, isolated movements that focus on squeezing and releasing a specific muscle,” Albarelli says.
Concentrate on really squeezing the muscle. “It’s like making a fist with your butt cheek,” she says. And don’t arch your back, since it will cause glutes to release.
Need an in-person demo? Join us for a very-special class with Albarelli in July!
Otherwise, here are three (scientifically tested!) Albarelli moves to tone your tush for summer (and anytime).
1. Cross Backs, Step 1
Start on all fours. Keep your left knee on the floor and take your right leg out behind you. Turn the knee out and up behind you. And squeeze your glutes. Next…
Then, turn the right knee in and tuck it behind the left leg, then bring it back to the lifted position of Step 1, rotating inside the hip and keeping your hips even. Do 20 reps. Then square off your hips, and with the right leg in the lifted position again, pulse the leg up, keeping it turned out, 20 times. This action should originate in you right glute, not your knee. And don’t let your ankle droop.
2. Clam Shell Variation, Step 1
Lay on your left side, propped up on your left hand, with your right hand on the mat in front of you and your knees bent in front of you at 90 degrees. Bring the knees together and flip the top knee down, focusing squeezing the glute of your (right) top leg. Next…
Then, tap the toes together and open the right knee. After you do ten, reset to the toe-touch position (pictured) and lift the top leg up (keeping the knee bent and the shape intact) and tap it down 20 times. During this move, keep your glutes tight and your hips aligned. Then finish with ten more reps of the first move.
3. Love Handle Blaster, Step 1
Start by holding onto a windowsill (or something super sturdy) with your left foot on the floor. Soften your left knee and take your right leg up behind you. Bend the knee and turn it open, keeping your hips square. Drop the tailbone and tuck it under. Next…
Extend your right arm overhead and then take the right elbow and tap it back onto your right cheek. Repeat ten times, then stay there and pulse (making smaller movements with less range of motion), tapping the elbow to the cheek 20 times.
Want to learn your moves directly from the master? Join us—and Kate Albarelli—for a very special beauty and barre event at Pure Yoga in July.