Here’s a random and somewhat embarrassing fact about me: When I was in high school, I didn’t work out because I didn’t want my butt to get too small. Fast forward to now and I’ve learned that working out actually makes your butt look better (surprise, surprise).
Fortunately, there’s no better place than Miami to take classes that burn your booty and abs. Its always swimsuit season here, after all. And now that summer is officially upon us, I ventured out to check out some of the butt and abs classes that Miami has to offer.
Buddha Shack, Coconut Grove – Buddha Booty x Abs
First stop: Buddha Shack. Nestled in the heart of Coconut Grove on Main Highway, Buddha Shack is a one stop shop for your physical and mental wellness. Co-owners Jenna Guadagni and Christina Echavarria have cultivated a warm, close-knit community space that offers a variety of classes to advance your physical and mental health, including vinyasa flow, heated Pilates, and their signature Buddha Burn classes, which integrate weighted and HIIT movements with vinyasa flow.
Starting this summer, Buddha Shack has a new class offering: Buddha Booty x Abs. Described as a “45 minute HIIT class focusing on the glutes and abs,” the class takes traditional vinyasa flow to the next level in terms of sweat and burning out those glutes and abs. When asked why she added the class, Jenna highlights that “yoga gets a bad rep” when it comes to yogis having small butts.
As a yogi and someone who cares about my butt, this speaks to me. The class starts off with centering and intention setting. After mentally prepping the body to get to work, planks, burpee variations, lunges, glute bridges and core work are carefully woven into vinyasa flows. Infusing weighted lunges and weighted glute bridges activate the glutes and target those areas often neglected in traditional vinyasa flow classes. Gentle final postures and final meditation serve as a reminder to honor the badass in you and those around you.
I left class feeling zen, empowered and on fire (because my glutes were definitely on fire) – a unique and exciting combination for a class rooted in vinyasa flow. Buddha Booty x Abs is offered Monday and Friday at 12:15 to meet your booty needs. Also coming soon to Buddha Shack: infrared detoxification, which travels deeper into the body and produces a more intense sweat than traditional saunas. This detoxification helps with skin concerns, including fine lines and wrinkles. Also look out for a new line of magnesium products hitting Buddha Shack for detoxification and skin benefits. To check out more about Buddha Shack, go to: http://www.buddhashack.co/.
B-Fit Biscayne – Lower Body Strength
The small group and individualized programming at B-Fit was developed by experienced exercise physiologists and emphasizes proper movement patterns to promote health. Lower Body Strength is offered on Mondays at a variety of morning and evening times to best suit your schedule. Classes are offered in small group format, with sizes ranging from 3 to 12 students, and if the class size exceeds 10 students, a second coach assists the class.
I asked co-owners and coaches Sam Simpson and Scott Johnson about the most common mistakes they see when athletes train their lower body. What was clear from their responses and the class was that you have to go heavy to see results. Scott mentioned that women often express concerns about getting bulky, but heavy weights are necessary to build glute muscles.
Other common mistakes? Only working the front plane with squats and lunges and not hitting the side or back of the body. Poor movement patterns also limit the ability to see progress.
For newcomers, the coaches observe students’ movement patterns during the warm up portion of class and make recommendations for the appropriate starting weight. Following the warm-up, the workout includes heavy lifting (in our class we completed four sets of six heavy deadlifts), followed by a variety of moves targeting strength and coordination, including weighted step ups, pistol squats, and plank jacks.
As for how often you should train lower body? Sam recommended twice a week is reasonable. For that second workout, B-Fit offers a Lower Body Burnout class on Thursdays, which includes more plyometric lower body moves and shorter rest periods to really burn out the lower body. Visit https://www.wearebfit.com/ for more information on B-Fit Biscayne and scheduling.
Barry’s Bootcamp (Midtown, Miami Beach) – Butt and Legs & Abs
They call it the best workout in the world. Barry’s Bootcamp offers two days full of opportunity to work on that swimsuit physique with Butt and Legs Day all day on Tuesdays and Abs Day all day on Thursdays.
First, enter 6:00am at Barry’s Bootcamp in Midtown for Butt and Legs Day with Gui Dapelo. The good thing about 6:00am classes is you have little time to back out and you start your day feeling like a badass. Butt and Legs Day at Barry’s is an hour of burning out the lower body with high intensity sprints, weighted squats and deadlifts, and plyometric exercises.
Workouts at Barry’s Bootcamp alternate between the treadmills and the floor, and depending on the number of people in the class, some begin on the treadmill and others begin on the floor. Running, for the record, is invariably my least favorite part of any workout. I certainly don’t consider myself a runner, although, as Gui said, “You’re not a runner until you start running.”
During the class, Gui debuted the treadmill segment using dynamic mode. In dynamic mode, the treadmill’s speed motor is disengaged and the user becomes the main power source – talk about intense. A simple 4.0 pace feels killer in dynamic mode, and the glute engagement is serious. Floor work involved lots of squats, single leg dead lifts, and resistance band exercises.
On Thursday I was back at it for Sam Sanchez’s 6:00am Abs class in Miami Beach. Abs day is particularly challenging because, as Sam noted, “the muscles in the core are small and they burn out easily.”
With a progressively challenging core sequence on the floor, you will feel the burn out and you just have to jump back in. Floor work included reverse crunches, oblique work, plank variations and everyone’s favorite exercise: burpees.
Another tip: remember to take care of your neck when doing core work and keep your gaze forward and steady. Treadmill segments were calorie torching and included an endurance run and run targeting speed and sprints.
So how often should you go to Barry’s to really see results? Sam recommends doing full treadmill and floor workouts four times a week and “double-flooring” (which means skipping the treadmill and repeating the floor routine) on full body days to see results and give your body time to recover from intense sprinting.
For booking, check out https://www.barrysbootcamp.com/studio/miami-beach/ or https://www.barrysbootcamp.com/studio/miami-midtown/.
JetSet Miami, Sunset Harbor – Booty and Abs
“There are too many nice booties in Miami.” We all know this to be true, and so we can all keep up with all the nice booties, Starr Hawkins is burning out your glutes and abs on Wednesdays at 11:30am at JetSet Pilates in Sunset Harbor.
JetSet is a Pilates-inspired workout that merges weight training, cardio and Pilates using the Lagree method. While JetSet Full Body classes target all muscle groups, the Booty and Abs class offers 50 minutes of straight ab and booty burn out. You can expect lots and lots of lunges and lunge variations in Booty and Abs.
A JetSet Full Body class typically includes one minute of skater lunges, but in Booty and Abs expect longer and more intense lunge variations. We completed one minute of skater lunges followed by holds and pulses, and then got right back in there for another thirty seconds.
The glute is a round muscle, you have to hit it from all angles. Starr emphasizes hitting the muscles of the glutes that are often missed in other workouts. And to hit all angles of the glutes? Expect a lot of scrambled eggs and resistance exercises.
What is scrambled eggs, you ask? Start in tabletop position with shoulders stacked over wrists and knees stacked over ankles and raise your right leg straight behind you. Sweep your right leg forward toward your shoulder and then sweep it back, squeezing your glutes and hamstrings. Got it? Now imagine it with resistance. Intense, and definitely a key move to avoid square butt.
The abs portion of the class is also an amped up version of what you’d experience in a JetSet Full Body class, with more reps to get that intense core burn. Check out http://www.jetsetpilates.com/ for more information on JetSet Pilates and to book classes at any of the five JetSet locations. Booty and Abs is currently only at the Sunset Harbour location, with the opportunity for expansion in the future.
Equinox, Brickell – Best Butt Ever & Best Abs Ever
At 6:00am on Friday you can end your week and start your weekend off with Best Butt Ever and Best Abs Ever with Joshua Funderburg. Equinox offers various versions of the Best Butt Ever classes, from 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the location.
The 6:00am Friday Best Butt Ever class is 30-minutes long and focuses on getting strong and toned, while the 60-minute version of the class adds in more plyometric moves to focus on power. You can expect to push through bodyweight, banded resistance, and heavy weight exercises all focusing on the glutes for one minute each.
One unique move that’s guaranteed to make your booty burn is the harlem shake, which is one minute of pulsing your legs in an out from a wide-legged standing position using mini resistance bands.
Immediately following Best Butt Ever is Best Abs Ever at 6:30am, another 30-minute class specifically targeting the core. The structure of the class involves a dynamic warm-up, followed by seven exercises completed for one minute, and then repeated once more. Exercises are designed to optimize the functions of the core, which are to stabilize, extend, and rotate.
Instructor Joshua Funderburg mentioned that, although people are often looking for that six-pack appearance, all parts of the core, including the back and obliques, need to be targeted to develop a strong and healthy core. And the best foundational exercise for building the core? A plank.
As for the butt, squats are king. Not only do squats work the glutes, but they also hit the core, hamstrings, and quads, and strong legs are also necessary to building a strong butt.
Check out the website for Equinox in Brickell to learn more https://www.equinox.com/clubs/florida/brickell or check out Best Butt Ever and Best Abs Ever at one of the other Equinox locations (Aventura, Brickell Heights, Coral Gables, South Beach).
So what did I learn? First, hit the glutes and abs from all angles to get the tone and definition you want. Second, don’t be afraid to go heavy! Third, don’t underestimate the power of foundational exercises like squats and planks. Most importantly though, there’s a booty and abs class in Miami for all schedules, styles, and workout preferences – so get to it!