Want a booty that rivals the Kardashian sisters’? It’s all about your glutes!
While you might be thinking that you have no choice but to submit yourself to the squat rack every session, you might be surprised to hear that there are plenty of other ways to get that signature peach.
Granted, there’s no quick fix for an overnight butt boost, but with the right exercises, you could see results in a matter of weeks.
We caught up with fitness influencer and AYBL Athlete, Amie Fairweather for her tips on the best glute exercises to build strength and mass.
Let’s get to it, girls. No excuses!
HEY AMIE! WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL WEEKLY WORKOUT SCHEDULE LOOK LIKE?
My typical weekly workout split looks like this:
- Mondays: Glutes and hamstrings;
- Tuesdays: Back and biceps;
- Wednesdays: Cardio and abs;
- Thursdays: Quads;
- Fridays: Chest, shoulders and triceps;
- Saturdays: Glute-focused leg day.
On Sunday, I rest to recover before the next week of training sessions. Typically, I change my workout split every six to eight weeks.
TAKE US THROUGH YOUR GLUTES WORKOUT - WHAT EXERCISES DO YOU RECOMMEND?
STEP 1: BARBELL RDLs
To do this movement, brace your core, bring the barbell down close to your body and bend slightly at the knees. When you feel that tightening in your hamstring, you want to drive up from your heels. Make sure you’re pushing the weight up with your legs and not your back. Keeping the weight close to your legs - almost scraping them - will target your glutes more than if the barbell is further away from you.
During this movement, make sure to keep a neutral spine, aligning your neck with your back.
STEP 2: HIP THRUSTS
These are also a staple on leg day, as they directly target your glutes and are perfect for growth.
Before adding weight, go through the movement first. Make sure your feet are shoulder width apart and the weight is evenly distributed - you should be positioned at the centre of the bar.
Once you feel comfortable, drive up the bar with your pelvis, keeping your back in line and your chin down. Squeeze your glutes at the top to really make the most of this exercise.
STEP 3: SINGLE-LEG DUMBBELL RDLs
This unilateral movement is one of my favourites because it’s great for increasing your ROM (range of motion) that directly activates the glute and hamstring muscles.
Put all of your weight onto your static leg while using your other leg for support. Slowly, move downwards with the dumbbell, thinking about which muscles you’re targeting. Then, at the bottom of the movement, drive up through your static leg, ensuring to keep your spine aligned at all times.
STEP 4: SUMO DUMBBELL SQUATS
Sumo dumbbell squats are another amazing movement that targets the glutes. I love sumo squats because they’re amazing for the inner leg (adductors) that are typically less easy to target.
When performing this, you want to keep your neck and spine aligned. Lean forward with the dumbbell held between your legs, keep your arms straight and slowly come down. Then, pulse three times at the bottom before driving back up.
STEP 5: BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUATS
Bulgarian split squats are my go-to exercise. I have a love-hate relationship with these because they hurt so bad, but are amazing in terms of growth. I typically choose a heavier weight and use one dumbbell instead of two. This way, I have more control by using my core muscles for stability.
For this exercise, we want to lean forward, keeping the spine and neck in line. Slowly, come down, then drive back up with your anchored foot.
STEP 6: KICKBACKS
I have recently added these to my routine, although I wish I’d added them soon because this exercise targets the upper glute that builds that ‘shelf’ look we all want.
For kickbacks, I always make sure to bend my knee, round my back ever so slightly and pull the cable back from the anchored foot, slowly and controlled. When doing this exercise right, it can be a serious gamer changer to shaping out your glutes nicely.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU RECOMMEND TRAINING GLUTES?
I typically train glutes two to three days a week.
DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER TOP TIPS FOR GROWING YOUR GLUTES?
Train your absolute hardest, incorporate progressive overload into your routine, eat your protein and allow time to recover! All are extremely important, but if you aren’t letting your muscles fully recover from your training, then they will not be able to grow.
Recovery is critical.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT WORKING OUT AND HOW DOES IT MAKE YOU FEEL?
When I first started weight lifting, I remember going solely to change my appearance. I was a couple of years into university and I was gaining weight faster than what I was used to. As someone who grew up playing competitive sports, it was really hard for me to see my body changing in a way that made me self-conscious and unhappy. With that, I started weight training three days a week and just fell in love with it.
Three days turned into four days and four days turned into six and now, going to the gym is what I look forward to most in my day. I train with passion not only because of the way it makes me look, but because of how it makes me feel.
The few hours I’m in the gym is when I feel most happy and truly myself. It’s more than just weight lifting to me, it has really helped me, mentally, grow as a person.
@amiefitnesss Few of my favs @AYBL ♬ i meann - ✞
WHAT IS THE KEY TO STAYING CONSISTENT? WHAT MOTIVATES YOU?
Obviously, staying motivated is hard. Consistency is what you need to strive for. Since starting my fitness journey, I’ve definitely had to be more disciplined.
When I first started, I truly just loved how I felt and kept chasing that high from the endorphins and the feeling of accomplishment.
Another thing that kept me motivated - as cliché as it sounds - was buying new gym ‘fits every few weeks. I don’t know what it is, but the idea of getting new workout gear that I felt confident in really hooked me to the gym (we couldn’t agree more!)
I kept craving going back and eventually, it became such a huge part of who I am that I’ve stopped thinking about going to the gym, I just go.
WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE WOULD YOU LIKE TO GIVE TO OUR FEMALE COMMUNITY TO HELP THEM ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS?
Take each day a day at a time and remember why you started. If you haven’t started yet, figure out what it is you want to change in your life and start implementing one small change at a time to improve it. Whether it’s waking up earlier, moving your body or eating healthier. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to change everything at once. Choose one specific thing to work on and eventually, it will be engraved in your life, at which point you can focus on something else and then something else until you’ve changed your lifestyle completely. This is something I did and it has worked significantly.
I know a lot of people avoid the gym because they’re worried about being judged by others, but it’s important to know that every single person is there for the same reason, to better themselves. The gym community is truly the best because it’s the one place that will actually have your back and help you achieve your goals.
I think the hardest part is the initial lifestyle change of going to the gym, but once you pull the trigger and go, I promise you it will pay off. As long as you’re consistent and show up on both your good days and bad days, no matter what, you will achieve success and become the version of yourself that you always dreamed of being. That’s how I looked at it and it’s got me to where I am right now, healthy and happy.
@amiefitnesss Good lighting >> / @beaybl ♬ hit arms ladies - LRN
Now that’s what you call ‘pushing your limits’!
But don’t forget, girls, it’s important to not become fixated on just prioritising training for one particular muscle group - no matter how much you want that toned booty - as this can result in imbalances and a greater risk of injury.
Want more fitness tips? Discover our guide to the 12-3-30 workout.
Your 5-Minute Mental Health Check Up
Hey there! How are you feeling?
That’s a question we don’t ask ourselves enough.
It’s quite normal for us to schedule an appointment with the dentist or doctor to check our oral and physical health, so why is it less common to check on our mental health?
So many factors are closely related to our mental health, which is why it’s important to address the small changes and approaches we can take to prioritise and care for our mental wellbeing.
That’s why, for Mental Health Awareness Week, we’ve created a quick and easy five-minute mental health check you can do every day, anywhere.
WHAT IS MENTAL HEALTH?
Mental health is how you feel in your mind and your mood. Just like your physical health, it depends on many factors, including your genetics, your environment, your circumstances, what you do to maintain it, and underlying physical or mental health conditions you may suffer from, and how they are treated.
This Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs from Monday 15th May to Sunday 21st May, addresses anxiety. Anxiety is an emotion we all experience, but sometimes it can get out of control and cause issues for our mental health.
In a survey of 3,000 adults, 34% said they experienced anxiety.
HOW TO LOOK AFTER YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
Here are just a few things you can ask yourself or do to ensure you’re doing what you can to protect your emotional wellness.
HAVE I DRANK ENOUGH WATER?
Keeping hydrated is key for both your physical and mental health. When you don’t drink enough water and start to become dehydrated, your body triggers warning signals that you’re in a ‘life-threatening’ situation and starts kicking up stress hormones, particularly cortisol. An increase in cortisol is connected to anxiety, depression and mood disorders.
Carry a bottle of water with you to keep your hydration levels topped up. If you’re someone who likes more structure, you can use alarms or trackers to remind you that drinking water is part of your self-care.
HAVE I EATEN THE RIGHT FOODS TO FUEL MY BODY?
Diet and lifestyle can have a profound effect on our mood and research reveals there’s a direct link between what we eat and how we feel.
There are plenty of foods and nutrients that can put a smile on your face and make you feel awesome. When we’re stressed, it’s tempting to reach for comfort foods like pizza and sugary snacks that give us a temporary ‘high’. However, these foods can soon leave you feeling exhausted, jittery or sluggish.
Food high in fibre, as well as fruit, veg, nuts and seeds are more beneficial to your mental health. Discover our very own nutritious mood-boosting recipes here.
DID I GET ENOUGH SLEEP?
Anyone who has struggled with sleep will know what a difference it makes to our bodies, minds and ability to function.
For many people, sleep is often the first thing that suffers when they’re struggling with their mental health. The CDC recommends adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep a day.
If you’re struggling with your sleep, there are a few simple changes you can make, including:
- Establish a bedtime routine;
- Avoid tech and caffeine before you go to sleep;
- Practice meditation/relaxation.
READ MORE: How To Fix Your Sleep Schedule
Humans are hardwired to need time in nature, as we evolved to prefer environments where we had fresh water, sunlight, and nature because those provided us with the resources we needed to survive. But, nowadays, nature doesn’t just allow us to survive, it helps us to thrive.
Spending even small bursts of time outdoors can greatly benefit your mental wellbeing. A 2019 study found that spending just 20 minutes outside significantly lowered stress hormone levels.
MOVE YOUR BODY
Okay, so this one is our thing for sure. Keeping active has so many benefits, mentally and physically - from lifting weights to flowing yoga.
Regular movement throughout the day can boost your mood, reduce stress and refocus your mind.
Partner some fresh air with your movement to elevate the benefits - and kill two birds with one stone.
Explore our guided workouts and fitness tips here.
REACH OUT TO FRIENDS
Human connections actually boost feel-good neurotransmitters in your brain. The key is not how many friends you have, but to surround yourself with those whom you can be your most authentic self.
Be honest with yourself about how much time you need to spend with your friends to feel fulfilled, refreshed and empowered, and then make it happen - even if it’s just a catch-up dinner once a month, it makes a difference.
Meeting new people can be equally beneficial to your mental wellbeing, as studies have shown that connecting with strangers can help us feel happier and more connected with our communities.
WHAT AM I DOING TODAY THAT I CAN LOOK FORWARD TO?
Planning things to look forward to or that you enjoy doing can help us cope with difficult situations by increasing our sense of hope.
Whether it’s something as small as binge-watching your favourite TV series or something more extravagant like a weekend away with friends, factoring in time to do what you love will help you adopt a more positive outlook each day.
A huge part of prioritising your mental wellbeing is learning to understand and manage your feelings.
When we’re upset, we don’t always know why we’re feeling that way. It often helps to acknowledge our feelings without any judgement or telling ourselves we’re ‘weak’ for feeling the way we do.
We all have good days and bad days, and that’s okay. However, by asking ourselves the questions in this article and adopting these simple habits, we can work toward feeling like our best selves once again. Remember, rest is a basic human need.
Inside The New AYBL HQ
A world-class team deserves a world-class home - and after months of hard work, dedication and long days, the time has finally come.
Introducing the new AYBL HQ.
Measuring an impressive 56,000 sq feet, our global home is a place like no other. Featuring modern design throughout and a wealth of creative working spaces, our office is a place where people come to innovate and be their best.
Want to discover more? Join us as we step foot inside our creative hub.
Building on our high standards, our office is a hub of creativity and collaboration. From top to bottom, the stylistic space is kitted out with all the necessary tools and resources to optimise productivity and inspire our talented teams to push boundaries.
Its ultra modern design allows for plenty of natural light, open spaces and greenery to accommodate different work styles and preferences.
As a community-first brand, we wanted to create an environment that would not only enhance creativity and productivity, but a better sense of community and belonging for our people.
1. THOUGHTFUL DESIGN
Designed to maximise natural light, flow and functionality, our new home offers a modern and sleek look that reflects our brand and values.
2. COMFORT THROUGH & THROUGH
On every level, the office is equipped with comfortable furniture, ergonomic workstations and state-of-the-art equipment. There are also spaces for relaxation, where you can unwind, recharge and take time for you.
4. CUTTING-EDGE TECHNOLOGY
When you’re the UK’s fastest-growing company, you need technology that can keep up and deliver. From video conferencing tools and virtual whiteboards to our very own photo studio equipped with high-class cameras, our new HQ is home to the latest technology to support collaboration, communication and productivity.
This place truly has everything. That goes for hot water taps on every floor, too. Brew anyone?
Influential, inspirational and innovative. We had to make sure our team had the space to thrive and build the best ideas.
Designed to accommodate different working styles, our office offers a range of spaces for focused work, collaborative work and socialising, as well as options for remote work and flexible schedules.
AYBL is on an ever-evolving journey to ensure the brand promotes and supports sustainability wherever possible.
With that in mind, we have incorporated a range of eco-friendly features into our office design, including energy-efficient lighting and appliances and recycling programmes.
We understand that there is still plenty of work to be done, but right now, it’s about progress not perfection.
We’re incredibly proud to be working in such an amazing office space that not only supports us to be the best in our field, but supports our health, happiness and the environment. Here, we can work together to pave the way for the boldest and bravest ideas whilst feeling like we’re part of something special.
This is truly where the magic will happen.
How To Start Running
The hardest part of running? Getting out the door.
Running is a great way to get fit and feel better, but sometimes, a lack of motivation - or even know-how - can catch you short.
Starting a new running habit needn’t be difficult - all you need is a good pair of running shoes and the willingness to move a little or a lot, all at your own pace.
To help put you one stride ahead, we’ve pulled together the very best running tips for beginners, so you can get off to a safe start and enjoy hitting the tarmac (or treadmill).
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM OUR BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO RUNNING
THE BENEFITS OF RUNNING
If enjoyment alone isn’t enough to get you increasing your stride, perhaps the proven health benefits of running will?
Running is one of the most effective ways to increase daily activity, cardiovascular fitness and mental health. It also is widely accessible, as you don’t need any fancy equipment, it’s relatively inexpensive and you can do it just about anywhere.
Here are some of the other key health benefits of running:
- Promotes muscle development;
- Can help aid weight loss;
- Helps to relieve stress levels;
- Boosts the release of endorphins, sometimes called a ‘runner’s high’;
- Increases bone strength and joint health;
- Promotes better sleep;
- Increases lung capacity, metabolism and energy levels;
- Reduces cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease.
Whether you’re new to running or getting back to it after a long break, it’s really important to ease yourself in and gradually build up to avoid injury. Here are some top tips to get your started on the right foot.
Now, we’re not saying you need to go out and buy a wardrobe full of expensive new running kit, but what we are saying is that staying equipped for the environment and surface you’ll be running on is non-negotiable.
Start by investing in a suitable pair of running shoes that fit comfortably and offer extra support, cushioning and grip for your runs.
When it comes to the clothing, well, that’s where we step in. Fusing form and functionality, our Pace Collection is designed for practicality - with soft, lightweight and breathable details - so you can run with ease and without distraction.
Take measured steps to keep your body safe and free from injury. Warming-up is an essential part of any workout, especially running. We recommend walking or doing an easy jog for five to 10 minutes before increasing your intensity. You may also benefit from warm-up exercises, such as dynamic stretches.
Be mindful of other safety advice, such as running against the flow of traffic and carrying your mobile with you at all times.
Nothing can get you lost in the moment quite like blasting your beats as you pound the pavement.
We all have our own taste in music, which makes it all the more important to pick a playlist that’ll motivate you to power through, even when times get tough, with the wind against you and the heavens pouring.
If you need a little inspo, we’ve got plenty of tracks to keep you moving. Check out our Spotify here.
OUR TOP SIX RUNNING TIPS FOR BEGINNERS
Now that we’ve established the basics, you’re probably wondering exactly how to start running?
If you’re totally new to running, chances are your motivation levels are pretty high. That being said, it’s as important as ever to pace yourself. This includes your running speed, intensity and training frequency.
Don’t be afraid to start off with a few fast paced walks each week to build up confidence, condition your muscles and create a positive habit you can stick to. Pacing yourself will allow you to continue progressing and reduce your risk of injury.
The likelihood of strains, repetitive stress and foot pain tends to be greater during your first few weeks of running as a beginner, or if you’re returning to running after a long break.
The Run-Walk Method is a great way for new runners to get started, helping to build endurance with less joint stress and is a manageable intensity level.
The method combines running with intervals of walking. Start by alternating one minute intervals of running with one minute of walking, and then gradually try to increase the time spent running. As you become more comfortable, reduce the time spent walking.
Check out our beginner’s running plan further down this page.
Never underestimate the power of rest.
It’s completely natural for your muscles to feel a little sorer than usual, but if you’re experiencing genuine pain or discomfort, it’s crucial you allow it time to rest and recover.
If you’re suffering from sore muscles, more likely than not, it’s DOMS - AKA delayed onset muscle soreness. This is the aching or stiffness you experience as a result of intense training, however, this should subside within 48 hours.
Avoiding exercise altogether can actually prolong DOMS, so consider lower intensity exercise, such as walking, mobility and slow jogging to increase blood flow and relieve your muscle fatigue.
Chances are, you already knew this, but if not, you’ll soon learn that eating well and staying hydrated can significantly influence your runs.
You lose water through sweat, whether cold or hot, so you need to drink before, during, and after your runs. You ideally want to drink 120 ml to 180 ml of water every 20 minutes, but pay attention to your thirst level and drink when you feel thirsty. During longer workouts (90 minutes or more), some of your fluid intake should include a sports drink to replace sodium and other minerals (electrolytes).
In terms of nutrition, it’s best to eat something light and high in carbohydrates but low in fat, protein and fibre. Aim to finish eating 90 to 120 minutes before you start running.
If you’re running for longer than 90 minutes, you’ll need to replace some of the energy you’re burning. A general rule of thumb is to consume 100 calories after an hour and another 100 calories every 45 minutes.
It’s easy to neglect other aspects of your fitness and strength when starting your running journey. Balancing your running sessions with other forms of resistance training and exercise will help to build muscular resilience, reducing your risk of injury and boosting performance.
Repeatedly hitting the road without building strength in the gym can not only lead to injury, but a performance plateau too. Be sure to balance out your training with strength-based exercises to work on muscular endurance, speed, power and potential imbalances - all of which will help with your running in the long run.
Running is a natural movement, but that doesn’t mean you can’t improve aspects of your running form to improve your experience and efficiency.
First things first, keep your posture upright. Keep your head lifted, your back long and tall and shoulders level but relaxed. Maintain a neutral pelvis and ensure you’re not leaning forward or back at your waist.
Likewise, it’s important to monitor your footstrike - this is the way your foot hits the pavement. You might land on your heel, in the middle of your foot, or on your toes or forefoot. It’s recommended that you should try to land in the middle of your foot, and then roll through to the front of your toes. However, if you’re naturally a toe runner (land on your toes) or heel striker, it may be best not to change your stride.
RUNNING PLAN FOR BEGINNERS
Without a clear idea of what you’re trying to achieve, and the steps you need to take to get there, you’re making the challenge much tougher than it needs to be.
That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate running plan for beginners.