"The goal of this lower-body workout is to get your muscles to failure."

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Solidcore HomeBODIES Workout
Credit: Courtesy/InStyle

If you're at all familiar with the world of boutique Pilates studios, you've probably heard of [solidcore] — it was one of Michelle Obama's favorite workout classes in D.C. The low-impact but high-intensity workout uses slow and controlled movements to sculpt those coveted 'long, lean muscles.' And now, their classes are available on Equinox+, so you can get the perks of the workout method from home. (Because unless you're a Kardashian, chances are you don't have a megaformer — that's the contraption made up of a gliding platform, straps, and springs you see in Pilates studios — in your home gym a.k.a. the corner of your living room.)

"[solidcore] works your muscles to failure which will result in a slow-twitch shake on our machine, or in your living room with Equinox+," explains Kayla Raspallo, Senior Master Coach at [solidcore].

Since butt-lifting leggings and jeans seem to be everywhere right now, we asked Raspallo to share a quick butt-toning workout inspired by her Equinox+ [solidcore] class. "The goal of this lower body workout is to get your muscles to failure. That's a fancy way of saying that the muscle is simply unable to perform another repetition," she says. Yes, it sounds scary, but "it's not about how many reps you do but rather how slow each rep is — the slower the better," Raspallo adds.

How it works: Try this lower-body sequence once through (about 10 minutes) for a quick burn or two times (20 minutes) for an ultimate burn and shake, Raspallo says.

You will needA yoga mat or carpet to support your elbows, sliders or towels, and small weights (3-8 lbs) if you want to add to the challenge. 

1. Plank to Pike

The plank is an isometric core exercise that works the entire body.

A. Start in a plank position with wrists, arms, and shoulders stacked. Elongate from the crown of your head all the way past your tucked tailbone and out past the heels of your feet. Knit your rib cage together while pulling your belly button up. Squeeze your glutes!
B. Now that your core is engaged, start to lift your hips bringing your body into a V position, holding for 5-10 seconds.
C. Slowly lower back to plank position.

Try 5 plank to pikes in a row. 

2. Glute Bridge

This exercise will strengthen and build your glutes by engaging your glute muscles, core, lower back and hips.

A. Lay on your back with your feet stacked under your knees.
B. Lift and lower your hips, making sure to squeeze your glutes when your hips are high. Remember, slow and controlled!

Repeat for 10 reps.

Glute Bridge Variation

If you want to challenge yourself, you can add in this variation:

While holding your hips high, lift your left leg straight to the ceiling, hold, then lift and lower your hips to activate the supportive right leg (and glute) that's on the floor. Repeat on the other side. 

Repeat for 10 reps.

3. Bungee

This move is a great way to isolate your hamstring and glutes with a limited range of motion. 

A. Begin with both elbows and right knee down on the floor to support your body and hips and shoulders squared. Engage your core and pull your belly button up.
B. With your left leg bent 90-degrees, flex your foot. Think heel to the ceiling as you pull your toes down to your shin.
C. Lift and lower your left leg. Think 2-4 inches up with a 1 inch down. Squeeze your glute when you get to the top part of your range of motion.
D. Challenge yourself by adding a small weight behind the back of your knee. 

Perform 10 reps, then repeat on the other side.

4. Lunge

The Lunge is a [solidcore] lower-body staple that not only works the entire leg but also your core.

A. Begin with your left foot forward and right foot behind you on a slider or towel. Hinge forward slightly to engage core and protect back.
B. Slowly decelerate back and down by bending from the right knee. The goal here is to get to 90-degrees at the bottom of your lunge to get into your glute.
C. Finish the range of motion by driving down through your left heel and send your head back up slightly on the diagonal, stopping at an 80% bend in your front leg. Repeat each rep as slow and as controlled as possible to get the most burn.
D. Challenge yourself by adding in a 90-degree hold with a set of small pulses.

Perform 10 reps, then repeat on the other side.

HomeBODIES is our new recurring column bringing you beginner-friendly workouts you can do from the comfort of home. This week, a quick butt workout from Pilates-based workout [solidcore] that is designed to make your muscles fail — in a good way.