- Jillian Michaels is a celebrity fitness trainer and creator of the My Fitness app.
- Michaels gravitates toward functional moves, or exercises that strengthen muscles for daily movements.
- To tone up your rear end, Michaels told INSIDER lunges, two types of deadlifts, and squats are the way to go.
- She also stressed that you can’t spot-reduce fat, so if your goal is to shed fat, total-body workouts like high-intensity interval training are a must.
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Jillian Michaels, a celebrity fitness trainer and creator of the My Fitness app, knows a thing or two about losing weight and toning physiques.
But before she’ll tell you her secrets to ripped abs or toned arms, she’ll make sure you know one thing: If your main goal is to lose weight, even in a specific area of your body, you need to exercise more than just one part. “You can’t spot reduce fat,” Michaels told INSIDER. “To get love handles away, that’s a total body workout.”
Michaels suggested high-intensity interval training, including the use of dumbbells and other free weights, plus a clean eating routine to shed fat. Once you’re there, the following exercises can further help you tone up and make your butt and leg muscles look super defined.
Here are Michaels’ go-to butt exercises, all of which require little to no equipment.
Lunges can strengthen and tone your butt and leg muscles at the same time.
Michaels told INSIDER one of her go-to butt-toning moves is the lunge because it works multiple muscle groups in the legs at the same time, including the quads and glutes. As a bonus, it even engages your abs.
The exercise has multiple variations, like the lateral lunge or curtsy lunge, so you’ll never get bored of doing the same motion each time you hit the gym.
To do a classic lunge, stand with your feet hips-distance apart, lift your right foot up and step it behind you a couple of feet. Then bend both knees until your front quad is parallel to the floor.
Do three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions of the lunge on each leg.
Michaels said she recommends squats of all types for toning your backside.
Like with lunges, Michaels loves squats because they work various muscle groups – the glutes, quads, and core – and can be done in countless variations, including the goblet squat, jump squat, and sumo squat.
To do a basic squat, get into a wide stance with your arms in front of you at about shoulder height. Then, start to slowly sit back into your heels, as if you’re going to sit into a chair. Your knees should stay behind your toes and your chest should stay up when you’re in the squat position.
Do three sets of 10 to 15 squats, depending on your fitness level.
Michaels is also a fan of the classic deadlift.
Deadlifts can look intimidating at first, but the exercise is pretty straightforward and can tone your glutes, core, hamstrings, and inner thighs.
If you’re new to a deadlift, first try the movement with a barbell that doesn’t have any added weight.
To do a deadlift, stand with your feet shoulder-distance apart with your feet almost touching the barbell on the ground. Then bend forward at your hips while keeping your chest lifted, grab the barbell, and press your feet into the ground.
To finish the deadlift, begin to stand while gripping the barbell. When you reach the top of standing position, thrust your hips slightly forward, squeezing your glutes. Make sure to keep your core tight throughout the entire movement.
You can also do deadlifts with dumbbells.
Do three sets of between eight and 10 deadlifts, depending on your fitness level, and adjust the amount of weight you use too.
Sumo deadlifts are Michaels’ favourite deadlift variation.
Unlike a classic deadlift, a sumo deadlift requires a wider stance with your legs. Your arms will also be positioned inside of your legs, rather than outside like in a classic deadlift. A sumo deadlift also relies more on your quad muscles than a classic deadlift.
To do a sumo deadlift, which works your inner thighs, glutes, quads, and hamstrings, keep your feet a little over shoulder-distance apart, then squat down leading with your butt to grab the bar. Next, begin to stand by thrusting your hips forward while keeping your head and chest lifted. Squeeze your butt at the top of the stance.
Do three sets of between eight and 10 sumo deadlifts, depending on your fitness level, and adjust the amount of weight you use too. Beginners should start out with just the barbell, for example, and then add weight accordingly.
With all of these exercises, Michaels recommended doing them just twice weekly to factor in recovery time.
“Recovery is where the progress is made,” Michaels said. “So two days of rest between those two sessions, like Monday and Thursday.”
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