I was so sweaty by the time I was finished filming this routine!
I normally like to save Pilates and mat moves for after strength training because I like the way it feels on muscles that have already been thoroughly engaged. The same exercises that feel so pointedly effective after strength also make for a good way to warm up the muscles to work. These lower body exercises are not what I would consider an adequate cardio warm up though (you should do a good general warm up before doing these ranges of motion), so make sure to include a both warm up and cool down on your own.
Related: We just released a new 4 Week Program! Workout videos average 38 minutes a day but you also have the option of lengthening your workout to ~50 minutes if you've got the extra time and energy: FB Burn - Round 2 - Smart HIIT & Strength Program to Get Fit Quick
This workout is fast paced! Don’t feel bad if you are missing a few seconds here and there; I intentionally built this routine to move very quickly in between sets. It makes for less down time, and more of a cardiovascular challenge as well (you are likely to sweat in these short 15 minutes!). If you prefer a slower lifting routine or just feel like taking your time, feel free to follow along with the printable and allow for longer rest periods in between sets.
A lot of these are consided "glute isolation exercises", which I think is misleading. It's very, very difficult (and not entirely functional) to engage the glutes without also engaging the hamstrings, quads, lower back, abs, etc. For instance, the bridge also engages the hamstrings and lower back. Reverse leg lifts are excellent for targeting the glute muscles but the hamstrings (backs of the thighs) also pitch in to complete the movement. Squats target the glutes but not without help from the quadriceps (among many other muscles). Keep in mind that body trends come and go and a lot of what you see on social media is either photoshop or the result of plastic surgery. Try to keep health and functionality your primary focus, instead of pursuing fleeting body trends.
50 Seconds on, 10 seconds rest
Equipment: Dumbbells (optional)
Warm up and cool down not included (though it starts off light enough that you may not need a warm up unless you have been very sedentary)
Benefits: Building lean muscle and shape, increasing strength and metabolism, burning fat, toning, improving/maintaining coordination, balance, and range of motion
Printable Lower Body Workout
Reverse Leg Lifts
Inside Thigh Raises
Assisted Pistol (staggered squat)
Sumo Squat Jumps
6 Curtsy Lunge + Outside Thigh Raise
7 Dumbbell Swings
Is this still effective without weights?
Once you feel confident about your form, weights are ideal for stepping up the challenge - but you can definitely still benefit from this as a bodyweight only workout. If it’s a matter of no access to equipment, you can always get creative by holding onto household items (we’ve heard of people using laundry detergent bottles, gallon jugs, backpacks filled with books, etc).
How much weight should I be lifting for each exercise?
I mention the amount of weight that I’m lifting in the video but it’s important to note that it’s in no way a suggestion of what you yourself should lift. The amount of weight each of us lift varies by each exercise, each muscle group being used, mood, how you’re feeling that day - there are a lot of different influencing factors and I think a big part of avoiding injury and not making yourself hate working out has to do with keeping an open dialogue with yourself on how hard you need to push at any give moment in order to get the most out of your workout. You should aim to feel burnt by the end of the interval, like your muscles are burning and like you don’t want to do any more repetitions. If it feels easy or you aren’t worn out by the end of the interval, check your form (a mirror can be very helpful for feedback) and then increase the amount of weight you’re lifting.
Make sure to do a cool down and stretch when you’re finished. Drink lots of water and make sure to treat yourself to a healthy meal to nourish yourself!