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Nov. 27, 2021

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McMillan: Work those glutes to live longer

The Columbian
6 Photos
Personal trainer Derrick DeLay performs kettlebell swings.
Personal trainer Derrick DeLay performs kettlebell swings. Photo Gallery

A recent study conducted at the Clinimex-Exercise Medicine Clinic in Rio de Janeiro, found that people who can sit down and get up using only one hand — or no hands at all — are likely to live longer. The study found that people needing extra assistance, such as getting up on their knees or using two hands, are up to six times more likely to die prematurely.

No worries though — Derrick DeLay, one of the area’s most popular Personal Trainers is here to help. He has a bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports science from University of Utah, has been an NASM Personal Trainer for more than 13 years and provides this fast-paced, targeted workout that will develop a strong butt and beautiful legs, help you look and feel great and may even help you live longer!

Since this workout makes your butt and legs stronger, your ability to sit and stand with minimal assistance will be enhanced. The workout starts with some calorie burning, muscle building stair climbing and finishes off with DeLay’s three favorite butt and leg exercises. Do DeLay’s workout three times this week on alternating days.

The Workout:
For Cardio, do 20 minutes of stair climbing or StairMaster.

Start with an easy, 55-65 percent of heart rate max, 5 minute warm-up. From there, you are ready for some serious calorie burning. Next you will be doing 15 minutes of high-intensity interval work. Interval work is great way to get a lot done in a short time and it consists of two phases: a recovery phase and a work phase. After your warm up, start your first interval with a recovery phase of 90 seconds at 70 percent of heart rate max. Follow each recovery phase with a work phase of a fast 30 seconds working at 90 to 100 percent of heart rate max. Repeat for 15 minutes.

After your 20 minute cardio session, it is time to tone, define and strengthen your glutes and legs.

10 minute, 3 exercise circuit

The circuit will consist of three sets of three exercises performed back to back, each one for a minute. Take a 30 second rest between sets.

Kettlebell swings target your glutes and hamstrings. When you do the kettlebell swing, think hips. A good hip hinge (tipping over at the hips with a flat back) is critical for this movement. Start by holding the kettlebell with both hands at hip level. Drive your hips backward into a hip hinge. When you have gone as far as you can with a flat back, begin pushing your hips forward (squeeze your glutes!) and swing the kettlebell forward and up in a beautiful arc until the kettlebell is level with your shoulders. Find a good rhythm and repeat as many as you can, with perfect form, in one minute.

Squat hops are a fantastic thigh and glute exercise. Start by driving your hips backward like you are going to sit in a chair. Go as low as you feel comfortable going, or until your thighs are parallel to the floor. From here, stand up fast with a little hop at the top. Your feet should just barely leave the ground. Perform these as fast as you can, trying to accumulate as many as you can in one minute.

Weighted hip lifts are one of the best butt exercises around. Lay on your back with your knees bent and a weight resting on your hips. Hold on to the weight so it doesn’t move when you lift your hips. Squeeze your glutes and lift your hips as high as you can with your heels on the floor. Return to the floor and repeat. How many? You guessed it. As many as you can in one minute.

Take a deep breath! You have 30 seconds to rest before you start the three exercises again. The first time you do this workout, use weights you think will be a little on the light side so you can focus on perfect form. Remember to take some time after your workout to rest and recover.

Nutrition tip: If you want to be light and lean, eat light and lean. Focus on nutrient-dense foods low in calories such as leafy greens (think kale and collards), non-starchy veggies (think broccoli and cabbage), and beans (think black, pinto, and navy).

Sherri McMillan, M.Sc. is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver. She can be reached at or