Alright, this is a no-brainer: we all want tighter, rounder glutes, a flat, defined stomach, and lower body fat. But what’s the best exercise to build a round, firm backside?

How often should you train abs?

And which cardio machine burns it off better?

Scratching your head? Don’t worry, our resident experts have your back (really!). The NW Fitness Group Training Team: Nicole Wilkins, Naomi Rabon, and Maureen Ashley faced these questions head on to show you how they get it done. Here’s what they said in the latest edition of the Roundtable.


What is your favorite exercise for shaping and toning your glutes?

Nicole Lunges! Every type! I switch between walking, alternating, and reverse lunges. Whichever version I do, I make sure to drive up with the heel to max glute 😉 involvement.

Naomi Oh, man, this is a tough one. I have 3: one-leg leg press, Smith Machine back lunge (with front foot elevated on aerobic board), and lateral squat walks with a band.

Maureen Reverse lunge (off of a step with a couple of risers).


How often do you train abs?

Nicole I like to train abs 2-3x per week. I typically do 3-4 different exercises targeting all areas of the abs and keep my reps between 15-20.

Naomi Direct ab training, not nearly as much as I should: about 1-2x’s per month. But indirect ab training, I do that every single workout. My core is engaged throughout all of my workouts, even seated exercises. In addition, I engage my lower back, lower abs and obliques on various movements throughout different exercises. For example, with single arm cable lat pull-downs, I try to twist to the side a little and squeeze both my lat and oblique on the right for however many reps, then the same thing on the left for however many reps. I feel that with all exercise movements, you can engage some part of your abs in some way and train them as secondary muscles every single workout. 👍

Maureen Twice a week with various exercises.


What is your go-to cardio machine?

Nicole Currently I am loving the bike. If you asked me a year ago I would probably have said stairs. Since I am training for a triathlon I have had to start liking running, biking and swimming. So far the running and swimming are still SUPER hard, but with these quads, the bike is so much fun.

Naomi Stepmill, hands down! Intervals get my heart rate up like crazy. The Stepmill also helped to increase my cardiorespiratory endurance for running faster and for longer distances.

Maureen Stepmill…well, more of a love/hate relationship. 😁


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