Have you ever wanted a body like Hollywood actress Brie Larson’s?
She’s playing the title role in the film Captain Marvel for a reason and, from my own experience, many women find her toned physique to be an ideal body shape to aim for.
The good news is – barring genetics and other uncontrollable factors – her strong glutes, toned legs and rock-solid core could be within reach, not to mention the health benefits that come with the transformation.
Get the muscle
Contrary to popular belief that only using light weights and high reps will carve out detail and tone muscles, if you have no muscle to begin with then you need to train hard and heavy enough to stimulate growth.
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Training for a bigger more shapely bum means you’ll need to build up your glutes. To do this effectively you’ll need to lift weights as heavy as you’re able to with good form for eight to 15 repetitions.
While incorporating exercises for every muscle group at least once a week is important to maintain balance, if you’re serious about your bum, then including a workout where you focus on the lower body with extra attention on your glutes will help them develop faster.
Below is an example of how you can set up a lower body training day. It is also important to move steadily and with control, focusing on feeling every muscle stretch and contract.
Complete 4 sets of A1 with 60 to 90 seconds rest between sets and do the same for B1.
A1. Goblet squat (4 sets of 8-10 reps)
1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed slightly out the way and hold a dumbbell close to your chest with your palms on the inside edge of the dumbbell. Make sure you keep your chest up, shoulders locked back and core braced throughout the movement.
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2. Squat down making sure you allow your knees to track over your toes and keep your torso upright and go down as deep as you’re able to without compromising on your posture.
3. Drive up through your heels to the start position by squeezing your quads and glutes.
B1. Barbell Romanian dead lift (4 sets of 10-12 reps)
1. Stand tall with your feet at a shoulder-width apart and grasp the bar just outside your legs.
2. While maintaining a straight back, push your hips back and chest forward and allow the bar to run down the front of your shins. You should feel an intense stretch in your hamstrings.
3. Squeeze your glutes to push your hips through to the starting position. Think about keeping your shoulders back throughout the movement.
C1 and C2 should be completed back to back and rest for 90 to 120 seconds after C2 before going back to C1.
C1. Dumbbell walking lunges (3 sets of 10-12 reps)
1. Start by standing upright with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the dumbbells by your side.
2. Step forward with one leg, ensuring your knee tracks over your toes and drop your hips down until your back knee almost touches the ground. Try and maintain an upright posture with your core braced and shoulders locked back throughout.
3. Drive up through the heel of your front foot.
4. Step through with the back leg and then repeat for the other leg.
C2. Back extension (3 sets of 12-15 reps)
1. Adjust the thigh pad on a hyperextension bench so the top of it rests around your hip level so there’s room for you to bend at the waist.
2. Lay face down on the bench and wedge the back of your feet under the footpads.
3. The start position is at the top when your whole body is straight from top to bottom. If you’re using only body weight then you can either cross your arms in front of you or clasp your hands behind your head. If you want to use some weight then you can hold a plate against your chest.
4. While maintaining a straight back, bend forward at the waist and keep moving forward as far as you can without your back rounding out.
5. Raise your torso up to the start position without excessively arching your back. You need to go only as far as you can feel a full contraction in your glutes.
You could have all the muscle in the world, but it won’t be visible under a layer of cushioning. A combination of diet and exercise will burn body fat and reveal the definition hidden below.
Proper nutrition and hydration provides your body with all the nutrients it needs to train and recover.
Protein plays an important role as it will provide your body with the materials necessary to build new muscle tissue. Healthy fats, among numerous other benefits, will support hormone production, provide energy and help with the delivery of nutrients.
Carbohydrates will ensure you are well fuelled for training and help you replenish glycogen stores afterwards.
You will need to manipulate your calories depending on your goal (muscle building vs fat burning). Below is an example of how you can set up a day’s food around training. The actual quantities of food can be changed based on your own needs.
9am – Meal 1
3-egg vegetable omelette and half an avocado
12pm – Meal 2 (pre-workout)
60g (about 2 ounces) of oats with 1 serving of protein powder
2pm – Training
4pm – Meal 3 (post-workout)
1 bowl of white rice and a chicken breast
7pm – Meal 4
Grilled fillet of salmon with a black olive salad