Workouts for Women with Children: Butt Workout
If you’re a stay-at-home Mum, it isn’t always easy to get to the gym or an exercise class. I’ve often found that my children try to climb on me when I’m in the middle of exercising (as they “like to help!”), so why not use them as the weight instead? It can also be a great bonding experience. Right, lets get on with a butt workout for women, featuring some of my favourite glute exercises…
20 Minute Butt Workout—Overview
- Frequency: 2-3 times a week, with at least 1 rest day in-between.
- Time to complete: 20 minutes including warm-up.
- Rest: for optimum fat burning and increased cardiovascular fitness, try to reduce your rest times to 15 seconds or less between exercises.
- Child (if you have a choice, perhaps start with your lightest child first and work up to the heavier one, as you get stronger)
- Stopwatch / timer
- Foot stool, or other sturdy item you can comfortably rest your shoulders on
Do a 5 minute warm-up before you start the exercises, consisting of some movements to warm up your joints, and a little bit of cardio at an easy pace.
- Squat with child.
- Hip thrust with child.
- Standing side leg raises.
Cool down: finish with some 10-15 second static stretches for your quadriceps (front of thighs), hamstrings, calves and glutes.
Number of circuits: repeat the butt workout circuit 3 times. Slowly build to this many circuits, if you are not used to this type of exercise.
Disclaimer: Make sure you have been cleared to exercise by your Medical Physician, particularly if you gave birth less than one year ago. Please hold your child safely and securely, but not in any way that may cause harm or injury—if you have any doubts, then don’t do it! Be careful not to squeeze them. Only use your own children, not other people’s. Children have short attention spans, so if at any point they aren’t interested any more, then let them watch. They may prefer to copy you instead of participating. See the footer at the bottom of this page for more interesting disclaimers…
1. Squat with Child
- Tempo: 4 seconds to lower.
- Number of reps: 8-12
Squats should be in most butt workouts, as they are a fantastic exercise—they also work the thighs. If your child is small and unable to hold on by herself, then you can hold them gently at the front of your body against your chest and tummy, in the same way you would normally carry them around.
If your child is large enough and strong enough to hold themselves safely, then a piggy-back may be more comfortable for both of you.
- Stand up straight, with your feet hip width apart.
- Feet slightly flared out—around 30-degrees is typical, but do what feels comfortable.
- Bend at the knees, hips and ankles, as you take 4 seconds to lower until your thighs are parallel with the floor, or slightly below (only lower as far as you feel safe to do when holding your child). Your knees should track in the same direction as your toes.
- Keep your weight evenly distributed on your feet.
- Keep your back straight—don’t round it at any point.
- Squeeze your butt as you rise to the starting position.
2. Hip Thrust with Child
- Tempo: hold for 3 seconds at the top.
- Number of reps: 8-12.
This is my favourite exercise for the glutes. You’ll also be able to maintain some good eye contact with your child, as you move up and down.
- Sit on the floor with your legs bent, hip-width apart, and your upper back on a weight bench, foot stool, or other sturdy object that has some padding for comfort.
- Place your child across your lap and hold onto them safely.
- Maintain a very slight downward tilt of your head and crunch your abs throughout.
- Imagine that a broomstick runs all the way down your spine, from your neck to your hips—your upper body should stay rigid throughout this exercise; this is to protect your lower back.
- Push through your heels, to raise your hips until they are parallel to the floor (if you can manage it), and pivot / slide on your upper back as you rise.
- Remember to keep your torso tight throughout.
- Hold the top position for 3 seconds.
- Lower to the starting position, keeping your torso tight and pivot on your upper back. Try not to rest your butt on the floor, in order to increase the time under tension for your glutes.
3. Standing Side Leg Raises (Standing Abduction)
- Tempo: Burns — for 1 minute.
- Number of reps: 1 minute each side.
I won’t lie. You’ll feel the lactic acid burn on this one. My clients often groan when I put it in their workout!
- Stand sideways to a wall or a sturdy chair, and hold for support.
- Without leaning, lift the leg opposite the support out to the side—high enough to feel the contraction of your glutes.
- As we are not using any weight, we can keep constant tension on the glutes by performing ‘burns’—these are partial reps within the top 6-12 inches; keep moving up and down. After half a minute, you’ll realise why I call these ‘burns.’ 😄
- Once you have exercised one leg for a minute, then exercise the other leg for a minute.
- The next time round on the circuit, it would be good to start with a different leg.
Let me know how your glutes felt doing this workout.
George D. Choy
Personal Trainer & Calisthenics Instructor
Gymnacity in Oxted, Surrey, United Kingdom