Anya Ells Struts her way to an IFBB Pro Card
Photography by Dave Laus
Hair and makeup by Lori Fabrizio
Shot at Hard Candy Fitness Toronto
Meet Anya Ells. She’s a stunning Bikini competitor, an inspiring personal trainer, and a supportive coach.
So how does IFBB Bikini Pro Anya Ells build herself a top bikini bod worthy of winning the biggest sports festival in the world – The Arnold Amateur? Well, she works that posterior chain and builds glutes to die for – and here is a workout from Anya’s arsenal.
“Always begin your workouts with a few flexibility and range of motion exercises like stretching or dynamic warm-up“.
- Jumping Air Squats
A great way to get the blood flowing to all the muscles in the posterior chain and legs, complete your air squats by decelerating into the fully squatted position and exploding upwards to a fully extended position.
Focusing on a strong, straight lower back, the deadlift should cause a straight up-and-down line for your barbell. Keep you head and spine neutral while driving weight up to the starting position.
- Stiff Legged Deadlifts
When doing a SLDL form is key. SLDL puts the emphasis directly on your hams and glutes and can be done with a medium-light weight to feel a deep fully-extended stretch.. Keep your knees slightly bent as you lower the weight and contract for glutes at the top of the movement.
4. Good Mornings
Another great way to target the hams and glutes, good mornings are more typically done with a lighter weight to ensure the lower back isn’t overstressed, and so that the focus can be placed on contracting your glutes and hamstrings.
Growing quads in proportion to the glutes and hams is vital to the bikini category. Lunges give you the ability to feel the burn in the lowest quad head all the way to the glute, while creating the separation between the two which accentuates the glutes and hamstring tie-in..
4x 10 -12reps
6. Weighted Pelvic Thrusts
This exercise allows you to contract the lower posterior chain in a single motion activating the hams, glutes and lower back all at once.
3x 15 reps
7. Sumo Squats
Another great overall leg and straight-back movement, the sumo squat can be done with intermediate or heavy weight.
3x 15-20 reps
- Glute Commandments
- Thou shalt SQUAT
You want glutes you have to squat. There is no way around it. Properly executed squats shape the rear end in ways that simply cannot be achieved otherwise.
2. Thou shalt DEADLIFT
Any exercise with the word ‘dead’ in its title is bound to have a bad reputation. The Deadlift exists as an irony. Those who treat it like a sin are often the ones who need it the most.
- Thou shalt do SINGLE LEG WORK
Many trainers, coaches, and therapists are quick to point out that unilateral training is superior to bilateral training in regards to improving asymmetries.
- Thou shalt PLYO
I have long been a huge fan of plyometrics, especially when it comes to shrinking, tightening and creating a solid set of hamstrings, quads, and glutes.
- Thou shalt EAT CLEAN
The real battle, for most of you, when it comes to glutes is going to be what you do OUTSIDE of the gym. At the end of the day, what you choose to put in your mouth will either MAXIMIZE your gym efforts or DESTROY them.