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Toning Up with Angles and Reps: Glutes Edition

January 23rd, 2012 8 Comments

Cederick – my new trainer and owner of Next Level Fitness in Houston – has a unique approach to toning:  “Angles and Reps.”

As women, we know in order to stay slim and not bulk up, we should use light weights and do more repetitions.  Cederick intensifies this philosophy by also changing the angle at which you perform the exercise so you target the muscle in a different way.

Over the next few months, I’ll post pictures of how you can utilize this strategy with machines and free weights. Thus far I’m loving it!

Today, I’m talking about glutes because that has been the most notable change for me.

Seriously, my saddle bags are GONE on the sides of my legs and my butt is much firmer…even a little bigger.  TMI, I know, but you need to know what you’re after, right?!

Here are three different exercises that target your gluts using angles and reps.

Incline Leg Press

You can do this on the incline leg press as I am above and add plates (I use 2 45 lb plates) or on the horizontal machine (90-100 lbs on the stack).  Or you can do both because laying flat and being at an incline CHANGES THE ANGLE of the exercise!

The angles I will focus on here involve your feet.  Hopefully yours aren’t as gigantic as mine :)

In the first position your feet are at 90 degrees and hips’ distance apart.  The second, you take your heels to the edge of the platform and turn your feet out.  The last position, you bring your feet together at the bottom of the platform.

In each position do 20 reps WITH MINIMAL REST.

Dead Lifts

If you do not have a board to change the angle of your feet use two plates next to each other.  I borrowed “Bunny’s Board” for this pic – I’m guessing since the exercise was successful in toning her butt they commemorated her with a personalized board!

To preform a dead lift:

  • Grab 15-40 lbs of weight total.  I use light weight because I have a bad back.
  • Pull your core in, stand tall.
  • With a flat back, pulling your shoulders down from your ears and back towards the wall, hinge forward to drop the weight down to mid-calf.
  • Make sure your legs are straight.  My left one is a little bent in the picture.
  • Pushing through your heels, keeping your core engaged, and squeezing your glutes, push yourself up to standing with a flat back.

Do 20 reps at each angle.

Abductor Machine

You’ve all been on this machine I’m sure, but I’ll bet you never thought to bend over while you’re seated.  I hadn’t, but I’m glad to know about this angle.  I believe this has been one of the key movements in toning my gluts.

In this exercise I use 80 lbs (although not in this pic because I could barely move my legs!).

The first set of 20, I put my feet on the lowest step and sit up tall (not against the cushion) with my core tight.  Immediately following that set, I bend over, move my feet up to the top step, and push out 20 more reps.

Finally, I wanted to add one more exercise you can incorporate during this circuit that doesn’t involve weights.  It’s like a dead lift and warrior 3 position from yoga combined to tone your gluts and improve your balance.

The slower you go, the harder it is and the more progress you’ll see.

Do 20 in a row on each side as dynamic rest in between your lifting sets.  If you want to intensify this movement add weights or bring your arms out straight in front of you as you lower yourself parallel to the ground.

For a complete glutes workout:

  • 20 minutes of cardio (StairMaster or the elliptical on 12-14 incline are best for your butt)
  • 30 walking lunges with 10 pounds in each hand
  • Complete all 3 exercises at each angle.
  • “T Dead lifts” (video above)
  • Repeat all 3 exercises.  Decrease weight if necessary.
  • 30 walking lunges with 10 pounds in each hand.
  • Hamstring curls on the machine with 40-50 pounds, 20 reps.
  • “T Dead Lifts”
  • Stretch!
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  • Geekgrrl

    You do know you’ve misspelled glutes, right?

  • Melanie T.

    Mary, for someone so dedicated to fitness, I’m surprised to see you hawking something that’s been debunked for AGES! There is absolutely no truth to the myth that women will “bulk up” if they lift heavy weights, and/or that a “low weight, high rep”-based workout is the best way to look “toned.” Bulkiness comes from testosterone; unless a woman is taking steroids, it is pretty much impossible for her to get as “bulky” from lifting weights as a man will. 3 sets of 6-8 reps at the heaviest weight possible IS the best way for women to get sleek, toned musculature. Please feel free to do a little more research on your own if you don’t believe me – I promise you, this is true!

    • Melanie,

      Actually we are both missing the point.

      Changing your routine and challenging your body is what makes you bulk up…along with countless other methods.

      It’s like when women claim spinning makes their quads bigger. That’s not te case over the long run, but initially your quads will swell because the exercise is unexpected.

      There are plenty of theories, but the truth lies in your own body. Generally speaking, women who lift heavier weight get bigger not only because of the weight, but also due to their good consumption. Intense workouts will provoke more appetite, especially did protein. Another factor: Light weight and more reps won’t get your heart rate up as much as the strain of heavy weights.

      I’m not an expert, but I’m educated and trying to relate to my readers on a level we all understand.

      There is power in faith and tradition. Don’t underestimate that.

  • amy

    You inspire me! 2012 will be a good year for glutes.

  • i did this workout last night and loved it! thanks for giving us a full 1hr workout – maybe an arms one next? :)

    • You’re welcome leMel. Back exercises are next!

  • Jenny

    Did this workout this morning and was a huge fan! I agree about sending through others – arms or abs? Thanks!!