Meet Angie Miller
Angie Miller is a leading health and fitness expert and the star of highly acclaimed exercise DVDs Crave Results, Kettlebell Bootcamp and Core & Strength Fusion. Her latest DVD, and the first in her upcoming Bedroom Body series, will be released in the fall. With a master’s degree in counseling and a background in education, Miller's mission is to empower individuals to create a fit body from the inside out. Miller is an international fitness presenter, freelance writer, personal trainer and group fitness instructor. A proud mom of two, she has been featured in Self, Today’s Diet & Nutrition, American Fitness Magazine, and Competitor Magazine.
Why you need great glutes
In addition to looking good in a bikini or those form-fitting jeans, having a tight tush also improves your body's overall strength. According to Miller, the glutes are your body's powerhouse. "They support your lower back, improve your posture and help you create a strong center." The fitness dynamo calls this glutes workout "The 'wonder bra' for your butt." The exercises are designed to lift, shape and firm your backside, and all you need is an exercise mat or towel.
Booty Burner: Get a tight tush in 10 minutes
You will find this glute workout in Miller's upcoming fitness DVD release, Bedroom Body: Empowering a Fit, Confident You, which features Booty Burner and two additional workouts for women: Buff Body Blast and Core & Pelvic Floor.
Muscles worked: Glutes, lower back, legs, abdominals
Start position: Lie face up on the floor with your knees bent and your feet hip-distance apart. Be sure to keep your knees in line with your hip bones; avoid letting them drop open. Engage your abdominals, but allow a natural curve through your lower back. Place your arms at your sides, keeping your head, upper and mid back, gluteals and feet flush with the floor.
Movement: Inhale, then exhale as you lift your hips off the floor, tilting the pelvis up slightly and rolling up one vertebrae at a time. Hold this position, engaging your glutes, then release and lower your hips back down to start position. Repeat.
Reps/set: Perform three sets: 16 reps (1 second up, 1 second down); 16 reps (3 seconds up, 1 second down); 16 reps (1 second up, 3 seconds down).
Fitness note: Make sure your movement is slow and controlled, and avoid forcefully driving the hips up, causing your lower back to arch. Keep your center strong and feel the power through your gluteals.
Muscles worked: Glutes, lower back, legs, abdominals
Start position: Lie face up on the floor, with one knee bent and the other leg extended and straight. Tuck your tailbone under and tilt your pelvis up slightly. Engage your abdominals and squeeze your glutes to avoid arching your lower back. Place your arms comfortably at your sides.
Movement: Start by lifting your hips and raising your extended leg toward the ceiling, pointing your toes as you lift. At the top, hold the position, allowing the gluteals to fire, then lower your hips and bring your extended leg back down, slow and controlled, flexing your foot as you lower. Keep your abdominals engaged and your center strong throughout the movement. Repeat.
Reps/sets: Perform 16 reps on each side.
Fitness note: Work with your body's natural range of motion and avoid forcefully driving the hips up, causing the lower back to arch. Focus on the power through your gluteals as you lift and lower.
Quadruped hip extensions (bent-leg raises)
Muscles worked: Glutes, hamstrings, core
Start position: Come into a quadruped position on all fours. Place your palms on the floor directly below your shoulders, your knees directly below your hips. The top of your feet should rest comfortably on the floor. To stabilize your spine and find a neutral position, exhale and arch your back, then inhale and sway. From there, settle into a neutral position. Keep the head and neck in line with the spine and avoid lifting the head or letting it drop down. Engage your abdominals and keep your center strong. Your hips should be square and stable.
Optional: Place a light dumbbell behind one knee.
Movement: With your abdominals engaged, exhale and lift the loaded leg (the leg with the dumbbell behind the knee) toward the ceiling to a 90-degree angle, no higher than hip level. Come up to where the foot is parallel to the ceiling and your body is in a straight line from the crown of your head to your bent knee. Hold the position, allowing your glutes to fire, then release and lower down, slow and controlled.
Reps/sets: Perform three sets each leg: 8 reps slow (two up, two down); 4 reps with pulses (up and pulse three times, lower down on 4); 8 reps single (one up, one down). Switch sides and repeat the three sets.
Fitness note: Avoid leaning on the support leg. Take a wider stance if necessary for more support. Engage your abdominals and hold your center strong -- imagine someone taking a picture of you from the side.
Stretch: To stretch out your glutes, start by lying on your back. Inhale, then, as you exhale, hug your knees to your chest to feel your back and your glutes lengthen and relax. Hold, then release. Repeat at least three times and hold for 10 seconds each.
More fitness tips
The opinions expressed in this article are of the author and the author alone. They do not reflect the opinions of SheKnows, LLC or any of its affiliates and they have not been reviewed by an expert in a related field or any member of the SheKnows editorial staff for accuracy, balance or objectivity. Content and other information presented on the Site are not a substitute for professional advice, counseling, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical or mental health advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on SheKnows. SheKnows does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.