We all wish we could have the perfect backside: round, perky, fabulously toned. But in our undying quest to one day look like Beyonce (we can dream, can’t we?), there seems to be one tiny problem holding us back — OK, so maybe it’s more like two not-so-tiny problems: it’s our saddlebags.
No, we’re not talking about those things you use to carry your stuff when you take your horse out on a ride through the Malibu hills. We mean those unsightly fat deposits that hang on the sides of your hips and turn your would-be hourglass shape into something more like a sharp triangle. They can be caused by a number of factors, including a diet heavy in refined carbs, but a lot of the time they show up because your booty’s missing muscle. When it actually sits on your thighs, fat can get pushed out onto and up your hips.
Lucky for you, there are some easy exercises you can do on a daily basis to get the most out of your natural curves. Including these four moves into your regular cardio routine will get your butt in Beyonce shape in no time!
Side Saddle Leg Lifts
You know it’s good for saddlebags when the word “saddle” is actually in the name of the exercise! This move is great for toning the derriere, as well as both the inner and outer thigh because it works everything. Trust us, you’ll be feeling the burn!
Start on your side, legs extended. Keep your top hand on the ground in front of your stomach throughout the exercise, while your bottom arm supports your head. With your bottom leg straight on the ground, lift your top leg six to eight inches off the floor. Pulse your leg 20 times. Next, keeping your top leg raised, move your heel in small circles for 20 reps. Finally, bend and straighten your raised knee 20 times, making sure to keep it raised in its highest position. Repeat on the second side.
Forward and Back Lunges
The trick to these babies is to go as fast as you can without sacrificing good form. After a couple of rounds, your thighs might feel like Jello, but after a few weeks, they definitely won’t look like it!
Start standing, legs together. Hold your arms bent in front of you with your hands clasped, for balance. Starting with the right side, lunge forward, making sure your knee stays over your ankle. In a single movement, stand up and move your right leg behind you into a deep back lunge. Repeat 20 times on each side.
Squat Press to Jump
While this move is fab for those saddlebag areas, it’s also an uh-mazing way to get your blood pumping!
Start standing, legs as wide apart as is comfortable. Keeping your back straight and your butt tucked underneath you (don’t bend forward!), squat down until your fingers touch the ground. Jump up to stand, reaching your arms above your head for height. Repeat 20 times (and don’t forget to land softly!).
Lunge Leg Lift
So this move will probably be as much of a challenge to your balance as it is to your backside, but it’s totally worth the effort! And if you’re feeling a little wobbly, you can always modify the pose so your hands are against a wall.
Start standing, feet shoulder-width apart. Take your right leg behind you into a lunge while you raise your arms in front of you to shoulder height. Stand up straight, bringing your right knee up to hip height in front of you. Then, extend your right leg behind you and hinge forward, keeping your hands on your hips (or at the wall in front of you) — your body should look like a capital T, with your back and extended right leg forming the top portion of the letter. Return to the previous knee lifted position before stepping back into lunge position. Repeat 20 times on each side.
xx, The FabFitFun Team