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Strengthen your glutes and hamstrings with this pulsing exercise by celebrity trainer Erin Oprea



Your buttocks muscles are one of the largest and strongest muscle groups in your body. But to challenge them, you do not have to move them for very long – or for a long time.

In fact, you can get a great glute workout by moving your butt only one inch for four minutes. That's when you try to take a step that Nashville-based star coach Erin Oprea shared on Instagram this week.

Oprea, whose famous clients include Carrie Underwood and Kelsea Ballerini . shared a video of her demonstration of the exercise ̵

1; one-legged bridges – with a caption explaining the intense glute challenge she offers. The move also really affects the thigh muscles.

"KILLER BOOTY🍑 and HAMSTRING Tabata Workout are on TV this evening," writes Oprea. You can check the train here @erinoprea:

The train is relatively simple – but definitely not easy.

The one-legged bridge "seems to be a simple move, but if you do it right, it's no joke," Oprea says to SELF. "These things are burning … [they’re] so effectively."

This effectiveness is due in part to the fact that this step causes several muscles simultaneously including the core, lower back (which is technical) part of your core ), Your hamstrings and the big driver: your glutes. But as Oprea mentioned, you need to do the step right to take advantage of these benefits. To do this, you need to focus on actually taking your lower half while pushing your hips up, and then continue to take those muscles while you're doing micro-impulses.

The overall movement would be much less effective if you do not push your buttock muscles, hamstrings, and the core continuously together, Oprea says, and it would also be less effective – and much easier – if you keep your hips in each repetition push down, instead of making the micro-pulses at the top of the movement. These micro-pulses sustain the tension of your muscles over a long period of time, challenging and ultimately strengthening them.

This is especially effective when executed in a Tabata sequence.

Tabata is a style HIIT (high-intensity interval training) that involves 20 seconds of maximum effort, followed by a 10 second pause. This 30-second series is repeated eight times, for a total of four minutes. Oprea is a longtime fan of this workout style – her book The 4×4 Diet features a daily Tabata workout plan for all fitness levels. She had previously told SELF that she loves the Tabata method because it's fun, versatile, effective and fast.

This special move in Tabata format is a serious challenge because "they basically make two minutes [straight]," says Oprea. Although you get a break of 10 seconds technically every 10 seconds, this break is "like a little teaser," Oprea says, not giving your muscles time to fully recover. During every twenty-second round, "never really relax," she adds. "The tension does not dissipate." Therefore, you will also feel a heavy burn in your muscles.

ICYMI: There are many reasons to strengthen your buttock and thigh muscles.

Strong gluteal muscles are generally important because this muscle plays an important role in the stabilization of your hips which we rely on in so many different daily movements, including running and walking. Strong glutes that turn into stable hips reduce the risk of lower body injuries, especially in the lower back and knees. "Many people have knee problems and do not know they are coming out of their hips," explains Oprea. That's one of the reasons why she "highly recommends" that people exercise their glutes. It also helps to support the knees, and strong hamstrings can help prevent certain sports injuries in the knee area, such as ACL Tears . By performing buttock and thigh centered movements like these one-legged bridges, you can strengthen both important areas.

Here's how the one-legged bridge works:

Although the one-legged bridge is a generally safe exercise for most people, if you feel sharp pain and / or discomfort in the knee or back when going through the rounds. Stop and talk to your doctor or physiotherapist before trying again.

  • Lie face up with your arms resting on your sides, knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip width.
  • Raise your left toe so that only your left heel touches the ground. Press the left heel into the floor and lift your right leg straight up to the ceiling.
  • Press your core, press your butt and push through your left heel to lift the hips until your body forms a straight line of your shoulders on your left knee.
  • Stop at the top of the movement for a moment, slowly lower the hips by 2.5 cm, then slowly raise them by 2.5 cm.
  • Stop at the top again and repeat the process of slow 1-inch countersinks and strokes. Keep your glutes and abs moving all the time.
  • Continue this pattern for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds (during this break you can stretch your right thigh muscles by gently pulling them back to your face, suggests Oprea) and repeat for another 20 seconds.
  • Continue the 20 seconds of pulsing work, rest for 10 seconds until you have covered a total of two minutes.
  • Change legs without resting and repeat for another two minutes.

Try to relax the head, neck, and shoulders as you move your hips, Oprea says. "Do not shrug when you try to push up," she says. "I promise you [those upper body muscles] will not help you." Instead, relax your upper body and focus on supporting your core and using your glutes and hamstrings to push the movement forward.

Also try to keep your heart rate your raised leg as straight as possible. "Reach it to the ceiling," says Oprea. If this is too difficult, you can reverse the movement by bending your raised leg and resting your ankle on your other quad, suggests Oprea. To make the move more difficult, you can put extra strain on your hips, or do a full four-minute round of Tabata on one leg and then change your legs for another four-minute round. Oprea notes, however, that by doubling the time, this workout becomes "fairly advanced."

You can integrate this Tabata sequence as an exercise for the gluteal and thigh muscles into a full-body routine Oprea suggests or you can do this in addition to the variations of the deadlift as part of a specific training on thigh muscles and buttock muscles training. Or, if you do not have the time or energy to do a full-time workout, the 4-minute series is a very efficient way to exercise and do strength training whenever you can get it started your day

No matter how you do it Integrate these one-legged bridges into your routine, "smile through the burn," says Oprea, whose enthusiasm will help.

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