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.
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.
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”