Routine by Amanda Kotel, B.Sc Exercise Science, online nutrition and fitness coach, Los Angeles, CA
Photos by Paul Buceta

Exercises that build a booty are all the rage these days, but some of us are at a disadvantage when it comes to growing our glutes. That’s because their size and shape are largely determined by genetics, age, and of course, lifestyle. I know what you’re thinking: “But I live a healthy lifestyle!” But even if you hit the gym on the regular, spending the rest of the day seated (at the computer, in the car or watching television) can cause glutes to “turn off,” a major bummer, otherwise known as gluteal amnesia.

But not to worry. If you’re like the millions of women out there that want a strong, J. Lo-esque silhouette, this resistance band workout has you covered. It may not be the heavy squats and lunges you’re used to, but don’t be fooled — this high rep routine will have your booty burning. Now remember, in order to turn on those lazy muscles, you must focus on the movements coming primarily from your glutes, otherwise sneaky muscles like your quads end up doing most of the work. Keep the tension on the target area, and get ready for maximum results.

The Goal: Activate the glutes to stimulate muscle growth and develop shape.

Equipment Needed: 1-2 resistance bands of varying tension.

Why it Works: Using a resistance band creates constant tension on the muscles, making them work more throughout the movement than using regular weights.

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How It Works: Complete 3-4 sets of 20-30 reps (per side where applicable) of each exercise. You can either complete all sets of one exercise at a time, or do a circuit. Keep the reps quick and your rest periods between sets to a max of 20 seconds.

Single-Leg Glute Bridge

Single-Leg Glute Bridge

Setup: Lie on your back on the floor and place one foot in a resistance band, extending it toward the ceiling. Bend your other leg and keep your hips pressed into the floor.

Action: Press through your grounded foot and raise your hips, as shown. Lower back down and repeat. Complete all reps, then switch sides.

Single-Leg Kick Back

Single-Leg Kick Back

Setup: Kneel on the ground holding one end of the resistance band in one hand. Secure the other end to one foot (A).

Action: Kick the foot attached to the band out behind you and slightly upwards (B). Hold at the top, then very slowly return to the starting position, and repeat. Complete all reps then switch sides.

Hip Thrust

Hip Thrust

Setup: Wrap the band around your quads and lie on your back on the ground with bent knees, holding the ends of the band at your sides (A).

Action: Squeeze your glutes and press through your feet to raise your hips until you’ve created a straight line from your knees to your chest (B). Hold at the top, then slowly lower back down with control. Repeat for all reps.

Band Shuffle

Band Shuffle

Setup: Hold an end of a resistance band in each hand at your sides and stand on the band with feet hip-width apart. Make sure the band is tight to the sides of your feet (A).

Action: Take a big step to the left, pushing the band out with your foot (B), then step back to center (C). Take a big step to the right, then back to center. That’s one rep. Repeat for all reps.

Band Squat

Band Squat

Setup: Continue standing on the band as you did for the Band Shuffle, but bring your hands up to shoulder-height as if you were holding a barbell, to increase the resistance (A).

Action: Keeping your chest lifted, hinge at the hips and lower into a squat (B), then drive through the ground to return to standing. Repeat for all reps.

Kneeling Donkey Kick

Kneeling Donkey Kick

Setup: Kneel on the ground holding one end of the resistance band in one hand. Secure the other end to one foot (A).

Action: Flex the foot attached to the band and raise it straight up towards the ceiling until the thigh is parallel to the floor (B). Lower back down, and immediately repeat. Complete all reps, then switch sides.