Strengthen Your Lower Body With Krissy Cela’s Six-Move Workout For The Gym

Krissy Cela standing with her hands on her hips
(Image credit: Krissy Cela)

Krissy Cela one of our go-to trainers for leg workouts. A level 3 personal trainer and founder of health and fitness app EvolveYou, she has already supplied Coach readers with this excellent butt workout and this glutes workout for home (as well as this abs workout for women). So we just had to ask her for a contribution to our 12 days of Christmas workouts series, and Cela happily obliged by creating a workout that targets the glutes and hamstrings. 

“Your glutes and hamstrings play a fundamental role in how well your body operates as a whole,” says Cela. “It’s vital that we keep them mobile, active and strong for optimum health and for injury prevention.”

She adds that when you sit for extended periods of time, your glute muscles become weak from inactivity. “This has a knock-on effect,” says Cela, “It pushes other muscles out of balance and it can knock your pelvis out of alignment.

“Ensuring your hamstrings are strong and supple plays a pivotal role in stabilising your knee joints. When our hamstrings are weak, it usually means we are more prone to not only knee injuries, but also hamstring injuries too.”

Glutes And Hamstring Workout

Cela’s workout requires a set of dumbbells, a small looped resistance band and a weights bench.

The workout uses supersets, a format in which some exercises are paired. Do a set of exercise A immediately followed by a set of exercise B. Rest, then return to exercise A, repeating that pattern until all the sets are completed. Removing the rest period after exercise A increases the challenge.

Before you start, Cela recommends warming up and activating the muscles in your lower body. If you don’t have a set routine, use our gym warm-up.  

1 Dumbbell Romanian deadlift

Sets 4 Reps 10 Rest 1min

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent, holding dumbbells in front of you with your palms facing you. Keeping your back flat, push your hips back to lower the dumbbells to your shins. Push through your heels to return to the start.

2A Dumbbell hip thrust

Sets 4 Reps 10 Rest 0min

Find a bench or box and sit on the floor facing away from it, resting your back against it. It should sit slightly below your shoulder blades. Your knees should be bent and feet flat on the floor. Rest a dumbbell across your hips. Engage your core and, keeping your chin tucked in, drive through the heels to push your hips up so your thighs are parallel to the floor. Your knees should not go beyond your toes at any point. Pause, then lower back to the start under control.

2B Banded glute bridge

Woman performs glute bridge with resistance band

(Image credit: iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Sets 4 Reps 10 Rest 1min

Place a thick resistance band just above your knees. Lie on your back on the floor, with feet flat on the floor and knees bent. Press your knees out to keep the band taut, and press through your heels to lift your hips off the floor until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line. Squeeze your glutes at the top, then lower back to the start. 

3 Dumbbell split squat

Woman performs split squat with dumbbells

(Image credit: Getty Images)

 Sets 3 Reps 10 each side Rest 1min

Hold dumbbells by your sides. Adopt a split stance with one leg in front of the other. Bend both knees to 90°. Push up through the front heel to come back to standing. Do all your reps on one side before switching. 

4A Dumbbell sumo squat 

Women perform sumo squat holding dumbbells

(Image credit: iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Sets 3 Reps 10 Rest 0min

Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart with your toes pointing out slightly. Hold a dumbbell to your chest with both hands or a dumbbell on each shoulder. Push your hips back and bend your knees to lower, maintaining a flat back, then push up through your heels to rise. Keep your knees over your toes at all times. 

4B Banded clamshell

Woman performs clamshell glute exercise with resistance band

(Image credit: iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Sets 3 Reps 10 each side Rest 1min

Place a wide resistance band around your thighs. Lie on your side with your knees bent, and one leg on top of the other. Keeping your feet together, lift your top knee against the resistance of the band. Lower under control. Do all your reps on one side, then switch.

Lucy Gornall

Lucy is an experienced health and fitness journalist, and was formerly health editor for TI Media’s portfolio of women’s titles. Lucy qualified as a level 3 personal trainer with Train Fitness in 2016, and also holds qualifications in pre- and post-natal fitness, as well as in nutrition for exercise.