Like so many physique athletes, Performix athlete Danielle Belanger found her way into the gym after playing sports—first basketball, then volleyball. Let's face it; once high school, college or recreational sports end, it's no longer feasible to round up numerous people to play a game every day. Yet the desire to be physically fit remains deeply ingrained in someone like Belanger.
She took a job as a cardio instructor at a gym, and she eventually added weights to the mix too. Sculpting a body like hers requires both training modes, not to mention a healthy diet. Put it all together and you, too, can possess a bikini-ready body like Belanger's.
DANIELLE BELANGER PERFORMIX ATHLETE PROFILE
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If you're relatively new to the weight room or not yet fully comfortable under the weight of the barbell, don't worry. This glutes-and-abs workout tweaks traditional compound movements like squats and deadlifts by having you use dumbbells and one leg at a time. Not only will her workout help you rack up some quality volume with these movements, but more seasoned lifters will also attest that the unilateral variations offered here can still build solid strength and help eliminate muscular imbalances.
Don't try to complete this workout as quickly as possible; take the time to focus on feeling your muscles work. Keep your movements controlled and your core tight!
DANIELLE BELANGER'S PICTURE-PERFECT GLUTES-AND-AB WORKOUT
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When starting the first rep, push out with both legs, then remove one leg. On the following reps, don't lock out your knees at the top of this movement. Stop just short.
There are multiple ways to load this movement, but Belanger likes to use the dumbbell on the same side as the working leg. Keep a slight bend in your knee, and descend until the weight is just past your knee and you feel a stretch in your butt and hamstrings.
Bulgarian Split Squat
Always push through your front heel. Keep your core tight and chest up throughout the movement.
Keep a slight bend in the knee of your working leg, and keep your spine neutral throughout the movement. Don't hunch. Take it nice and slow, so you can focus on the sensation of your glutes and hamstrings working.
Hanging Knee Tuck
This move is all about control. Bring your knees up to your chest as high as you can manage, but try not to swing on the way down.
No need to go crazy with the range of motion here; just twist until the point where you feel the most resistance. That's where your core is working the hardest.
Implementing This Session
This workout hits the mark because it can be easily tailored to fit into a busy schedule. Add it to your routine twice a week for the next six weeks. Not only will you start to carve out your summer body, but you'll also increase your familiarity with compound lifts and boost your comfort levels in the gym. Those are benefits that will last long past bikini season!