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Get a beach bum for the summer

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The Sumo Dead Lift

Wooohoooo! Finally, the sun has come out! It’s beach weather!

These are the kind of things I’ve been hearing a lot the past few days and, trust me, I’m just as happy as you.

But I’ve also been hearing panicked cries: ‘I can’t possibly wear a bikini yet! Help, my butt has gone all soft and squishy!’

CALM DOWN! I’m here to reassure you it’s not too late. Get to work on your fitness routine today, make a few tweaks to your diet and you’ll be beach body worthy come summer.

The number one body part I get asked about is definitely the butt (or the gluteus maximus for those in the know!)

Sculpting a shapely, firm and toned derrière takes time and consistent approach. The gluteus are big muscles and tend to be naturally lazy unless you make a conscious effort to engage them and challenge them in the gym.

But, if it’s a booty to rival Beyoncé that you’re after, or want a little J-Lo jiggle, then try my top-five moves for firm and fabulous buns of steel!

Give each of these a go for 15 reps and repeat for four sets. Pick a weight that is challenging for you, but also ensure correct form at all times.

1. Hip Thrusts

Sitting on the floor with your feet flat, elevate your shoulder blade onto a bench. Slowly, and with control, lower your hips and butt towards the floor, until you’re hovering about two to three inches from the ground. Hold here for a split second before squeezing your gluteus tight and thrusting your hips up to the starting position. For a more intense move, perform whilst holding a weight across your hips.

2. Step Ups

Holding a set of dumbbells in either hand, step up on to a bench or block by pushing through your heel that’s in contact with the bench. Make sure you fully extend your leg at the top, keep your core tight and stand up straight.

3. Bulgarian Split Squats

Holding dumbbells, stand with your back facing a bench or block. Take a couple of small steps forward and stretch one leg back, placing it on the bench. From here descend into a lunge, keeping your front knee in line with your toes. At the bottom of the lunge press through your heel and straighten your front leg to return to the starting position.

4. Squats

Start with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart and toes slightly turned outwards. Keeping your weight in your heels, abs tight, head up, back straight and chest lifted, initiate the move by pushing your butt back, then bending at the knees as you squat and lower you body towards the floor. Lower yourself down until your thighs are parallel to the ground.

Be sure that your knees do not come forward over your toes. Squeeze through your heels and your gluteus to lift yourself up and return to the starting position. For a more advance squat use weights — and if you’ve been lifting for a while, don’t be afraid to go heavy!

5. Sumo Dead Lift

Position your feet in a wide stance with your toes pointing outwards. Squat down, keeping the back straight and chest lifted. At the bottom of the squat, grasp a barbell or kettle bell with a grip that is narrower than shoulder width. Engage your core and lift the bar by driving the hips forward as you return to the upright position. Keep your weight in your heels, back straight, chest lifted and the bar close to the body throughout the movement.

Becky Wright is a qualified personal trainer, nutritional therapist and international bikini fitness champion. She has worked with various clients worldwide, including royalty. Becky works at Alchemy Fitness: www.alchemy.bm. Contact her at becky@alchemy.bm

Hip Thrusts
Step Ups
Bulgarian Split Squats