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Venus Williams's Mini-Band Glute Workout

Venus Williams Shared Her Simple Mini-Band Workout For Bulletproof Glutes

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During the initial COVID lockdown, tennis sensation Venus Williams began sharing home workouts on Instagram so fans could get a peek into how she keeps her body primed for the sport — and more than two years later, she shows no signs of stopping. We're psyched, because the workouts Williams shares are solid.

Case in point: on Tuesday, May 10, Williams shared a series of resistance-band glute exercises she does to stabilize her knees and keep her lower body strong and moving well on the court. "You know why we're going to do glutes? Because I need to do glutes," she says in the video posted on Instagram. "I'm going to show you some of the glute progressions I've been doing to play tennis and [which are] also helping my knee." Williams says she does dedicated glute work "like four times a week" because it's important for her knee health and rehab. (ICYDK, Williams suffered knee and ankle injuries during the Australian Open in February 2021 and has documented knee issues going back to 2010.)

"Glutes are one of my favorite things to do with y'all because glutes are very important to reducing your knee pain," she says in the video. And she's spot-on. Your glutes play a major role in helping to stabilize your knees and also contribute to core stability; strengthening your glutes often leads to less knee pain and better control at the hip and knee joints, Leada Malek, DPT, CSCS, previously told POPSUGAR.

Want to give it a try? Grab a workout mat and a mini resistance band — and if you don't have one, no worries; Williams offers some modifications as she goes. She also adds an important caveat: "Remember that you should do every exercise without pain," she says in the video. "If you're having pain, you want to modify the exercise. If the pain continues, stop. Please don't get hurt here." But do expect to feel some goodness in your glutes. "You're gonna notice some burning, and that's OK," she says.

Luckily, Williams also provides a cute distraction from the challenging moves in the form of her dog, Harry, who makes several cameos: "There's Harry — always watching, never working," Williams jokes. How about you — ready to work? If so, here's a breakdown of Williams's workout.

Venus Williams's Resistance-Band Glute Workout

Equipment Needed: Workout mat and mini resistance band (but both are optional).

Directions: Do each of the following moves for the number of reps and sets listed below. After the workout, cool down with these glute stretches.

Standing Clam

  • Stand with feet together and the mini band looped around both legs just above your knees. Lift your left foot off the ground. This is the starting position.
  • Keeping your right knee completely stable and your hips square, draw your left knee several inches away from your right. Then return to the starting position.
  • Do 10 reps, then repeat on the other side.

Diagonal Standing Clam

  • Start in the same position as the standing clam.
  • Keeping your right knee completely stable and your hips square, draw your left knee a few inches backward at a diagonal. Then return to the starting position.
  • Do 10 reps, then repeat on the other side.

Step-Out

  • Stand with feet together and the mini band looped around both legs just above your knees. Clasp your hands in front of your chest and bend slightly at the knees and hips in an athletic stance. This is the starting position.
  • Take a step backward with your right leg, pivoting your torso and hips open to the right, without allowing your left knee to buckle inward.
  • Step your right foot next to your left to return to the starting position.
  • Do 10 reps, then repeat on the other side.

Crab Walk

  • Start standing with your feet together and the mini band looped around both ankles.
  • Take a step to the right with your right foot, and slowly step the left foot over to meet the right. Repeat, taking 5 or 6 steps in the same direction, then 6 in the opposite direction.
  • Repeat 5 times.

Lying Clam

  • Lie on your right side with your arm outstretched and your ear resting on your biceps. Bend your knees at about 90 degrees, keeping your feet in line with your hips, with the mini band looped around both legs just above your knees. This is the starting position.
  • Squeeze your left glute to lift your left knee a few inches, keeping feet together and hips stable. Lower your left knee to return to the starting position.
  • Do 10 reps, then repeat on the other side.

Lying Clam (Variation 1):

  • Start in the same position as the lying clam, lying on your right side, but pull your knees and feet slightly closer to your hips. This is the starting position.
  • Squeeze your left glute to lift your left knee a few inches, keeping feet together and hips stable. Lower your left knee to return to the starting position.
  • Do 10 reps, then repeat on the other side.

Lying Clam (Variation 2):

  • Start in the same position as the lying clam, lying on your right side, but extend your hips so your knees are in a straight line down from your hips. Bend your knees at a 90-degree angle so your feet are directly behind your knees. This is the starting position.
  • Squeeze your left glute to lift your left knee a few inches, keeping feet together and hips stable. Lower your left knee to return to the starting position.
  • Do 10 reps, then repeat on the other side.
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