I love to dance! Not just because it is fun or a great cardio workout (although it is!) – but because of the incredible things it does for your legs and glutes. After so many years of gymnastics and dance, I wanted to share some of my favorite, do anywhere moves that have helped shape my glutes. Low impact, but highly intense, when you do these moves slowly and methodically, you will really feel the burn in your legs and glutes.
I designed this workout to be done as a circuit with little rest between each exercise. Complete assigned reps of each exercise then move on to the next exercise. Rest and stretch for 2-3 mins between each circuit. In all, complete 3-5 rounds of the circuit depending on your fitness level. Alright! Get moving and shape those glutes with my Dancers Leg & Glute Workout!
1. Side Leg Raise with Squats
Begin with the theraband around your ankles adjusted to have a modest amount of tension when your feet are shoulder width apart. Squat deeply, being sure to keep the weight evenly through your whole foot. As you rise up, straighten through one leg and lift it out to the side. Squat back down deeply, then rise up and lift the opposite leg up and outward. Alternate sides to complete a total of 20 reps on each side.
**Julie’s tip – Be sure to activate your glute as you laterally lift your leg through this movement!
2. Standing Rear Leg Pulse
With the theraband still around your ankles, bring one foot backward to be about 6 inches behind your front foot. Using your glute and hamstring muscles, lift the back foot up and off the ground by about 1 foot. You really have to squeeze your glute on this one! Complete 20 reps on one foot before switching to the other side.
**Julie’s tip – It is easy to lean forward on this one! Be sure to stand straight up with your chest lifted. If that is challenging, you can hold on to a chair or wall for support.
3. Figure Four, Lift Off, Side Single Leg Squat
This great combo movement is done slowly allowing your quadriceps to really engage! Begin standing with your feet together, hands at your side. Raise one foot up off the ground keeping your knee bent as you raise your hands into the air. Balancing on a single leg, keep your abs tight! Come down into a figure four stretch by placing the ankle of the leg that was up across the front of your other leg, just above the knee. This should stretch into your glute and along your IT Band. With control and balance, raise back up to front leg lifted position with hands over your head. With control, squat down bringing your lifted leg behind and to the side slightly. Hands can come down in front of your chest. Return to starting position. Complete 10 reps on the right, then move to 10 reps on the left.
**Julie’s tip – This movement is all about control. Slow your breathing and work through the movement with your breath. Rise into the up position with a deep inhalation and squat down into the figure four and the side single leg squat with and exhalation.
4. Ballet Side Leg Raise
Begin standing with feet next to each other, bring one leg behind the first turning the toes under and placing most of your weight in the standing leg. Arms round down slightly at your sides. With momentum, bring the back leg up and out laterally as high as possible. Keep your knee facing upward and toe pointed. Arms come straight across to a T position. Return to starting position with control and head straight into another side leg raise. Complete 20 on one side before moving on to the second side.
**Julie’s tip – How high your leg goes to the side is less important than doing the movement with control. Slower is actually more difficult here! Slow things down and use your oblique abdominal muscles to aid in the lifting of your leg.
By: Julie Lohre, IFBB Fitness Pro & Women’s Fitness Expert
Julie Lohre shares her Dancers Leg & Glute Workout – a sure way to tighten and round out your glutes!