There’s a new fitness class at Equinox that I’ve tried several times and now I’m hooked! I unwittingly took the class my first time. I showed up for cardio sculpt with one of my favorite instructors Julie Valenti. In her cheerful voice she asked the class, “Are you staying for Best Butt Ever?” We all kind of looked at each other with wide eyes and nodded “Heck, yes!” Who wouldn’t want the best butt … ever?
The class is thirty minutes of glute-burning exercises using loop bands, slides, dumbells, step platforms and your own weight (you won’t leave class without doing some plank-related moves). Julie mixes it up and adds some variations to each class, so it is never gets boring.
I asked Julie Valenti, Equinox Regional Group Fitness Manager Chicago and Texas, a few butt-burning questions (couldn’t avoid the pun) about Best Butt Ever.
SCS: You use so much resistance training using bands in this class. What are the benefits of using resistance vs. weights?
JV: I love the loop bands! They are used for glute activation. They are so effective at prepping the glutes and the supporting muscles for the remainder of the workout, so that all muscles are firing efficiently.
SCS: This class works so well combined with your cardio sculpt class. Does it work well on its own?
JV: Absolutely! While Best Butt Ever has a focus on glutes and lower body, there are also components of class that incorporate total body exercises and core work. We work through all planes of motion and use movements that involve the entire body.
SCS: Does the class fit in to train for other fitness programs or sports, like running or biking?
JV: Of course. Strengthening your total body, including core and glutes, will only help you run faster, bike stronger and see improvement in all aspects of fitness. Best Butt Ever also includes plyometric exercises rooted in power and athletic training that will complement and improve overall fitness!
The workout is designed to work in three ways:
GET ACTIVE to fire up your glutes using loop bands and gliding disc to add intensity and instability to typical body weigh exercises.
GET STRONG to build beautiful definition and strength using heavy dumbbells and big bang exercises using big ranges of motion and isometric holds.
GET POWERFUL to elevate your metabolism and sharpen your silhouette using a high step platform and revving up your cardiovascular system helping to burn a massive amount of calories.
All of that in just a half hour class! You have to try it.
– Carol Calacci
Photos: Lindsey Becker
Tags: Athletic Training, Best Butt Ever, cardio sculpt class, Carol Calacci, core work, dumbells, Equinox, Equinox Chicago, Equinox Regional Group Fitness Manager, fitness, Fitness Clubs, Glute activation, Julie Valenti, loop bands, plyometric exercises, Q Blog, Slides, step platforms, toning