David Beckham’s Trainer Shares Her Fave Glute Activation Workout
They’ll get your booty summer-ready in no time.
The only glute activation exercises you’ll need to help tone your booty this summer.
Bubbly, petite, goddess-like, and seriously bendy: These were my first initial thoughts of celebrity personal trainer (who works with the iconic British footballer) and yoga teacher, Shona Vertue, as I settled in for her fitness class c/o Winners at Union Yoga and Wellness. Not only does the Australian-born yogi rock a fabulous coiled set of locks, but the passion she has for creating and living a healthy lifestyle seeps from every inch of her very being.
As for what’s shaped her healthy lifestyle?
That would be her method — the Vertue Method to be exact. This method is an approach to wellness that she lives by daily, which is divided into three pillars: lift, lengthen, and nourish. “You’re either lifting body weight or weights to develop strength, lengthening through stretching and yoga, and nourishing the body and mind through food (such as her energizing green smoothie recipe) and meditation,” says Vertue.
When I sat down with her for a little one-on-one after class, she shared her three favourite glute activation exercises, which she stresses as being the best series to do before any exercise class. But what she loves most about them? They require no equipment and are perfect for executing in the comfort of your own home.
Read on to learn a step-by-step guide for this butt-busting series from her health and fitness book, The Vertue Method (which will be available at Winners in early June), as well as her top tips to ensure that you’ll activate your glutes properly. Every. Damn. Time.
Glute activation exercises: Single leg glute bridge
3 sets, 10-15 reps on each leg
- Lay in a reclined position, bend your knees, and place your feet hip-distance apart and flat on the floor. Raise your left leg, bending it in towards the chest.
- Drive the right heel into the floor to lift the hips in an explosive movement.
- Lower the hips to the floor, maintaining left leg in position.
- Repeat as directed, then switch sides.
Her glute activating tip: “Ensure to tuck your tailbone and drive through the heel as you raise your hips.”
Related: The fitness tips you need to know before joining your next workout program.
Glute activation exercises: Side-lying hip raise
3 sets, 10-20 reps on each side
- Roll over onto your right side, placing your right elbow underneath your right shoulder. Ensure your palm is down and the forearm and wrist are in line with the elbow.
- Bend your right leg at a 45-degree angle, making sure that your hip and ankle are in alignment.
- Straighten your left leg and lift the left ankle off the floor.
- Push into the right knee (with some support from the elbow), lifting your hips off the floor.
- Lower back down to the starting position for repetition.
- Repeat as directed, then switch sides.
Her glute activating tip: “You’ll want to do quite high reps because there’s not a lot of resistance on the leg, so it’s about keeping your core really tight. Make sure that you’re pushing your elbow into the floor so that your shoulder is active and protected, and that you’re tipping your top hip down so that your glute does the work.”
Related: 7 resistance band moves to increase your intensity and strength.
Glute activation exercises: Forearm donkey kick
3 sets, 20-30 reps on each side
- Come into an all fours position on your knees, moving onto your forearms.
- Maintain a tight core and neutral spine as you raise the right leg, keeping the right knee bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Lower the right knee towards the floor, then in a control motion, squeezing the right glute, kick the right heel back up towards the ceiling. This is one repetition.
Her glute activating tip: “Ensure that your core stays really, really tight. There’s temptation to let your spine move about — but if it does, you’ll be working your lower back and not your booty. (Your spine should stay really still.)”
Related: The myths you need to stop believing before you can get abs.