Whenever I walk by a pastry shop, I begin to think of the delectable cinnamon sticky buns my Aunt would bake from scratch on Thanksgiving and how we would eat them for breakfast, lunch or dinner. They were so yummy it was difficult to stop at one. Thanksgiving is a time when a lot of people worry about how they are going to keep their healthy lifestyle in check and it was then that I started doing my special morning “tooshie” (as my son would say) workout. Perfect for home, hotel room, local park and yes, even for the gym. Equipment optional, of course.

So here goes, I give you my morning buns workout, so you can enjoy your breakfast buns every morning without regret!

Warm up:

I know you are waking up at the butt-crack of dawn (pun intended), to get this breakfast buns workout done and you may be a wee bit sleepy, but warm up a little by walking around for a minute or so. Just pick up and walk about your home, while you brush your teeth.

Now that you are warmed up, let´s get started:

Bridges (AKA Lying hip raises):

I love bridges – they are a great way to kick start the workout with lots of emphasis on your hamstrings and quads.

The Set Up:

  • Lie on the floor with knees bent and feet flat on the ground, hip width apart.
  • Inhale and drive through the heels to lift your tush up off the ground into a bridge (tailbone first then each vertebrae of your spine).
  • Lift all the way up, squeezing at the top to really engage your bootie.
  • On the exhale, lower back down, vertebrae by vertebrae, until the tailbone reaches the floor.
  • Start with 15 then work up to 30-35 (or more!).

Side Leg lift:

One of the most common exercises for your tush and outer thighs and a great way to strengthen your muscles that support the knee. We are going to do them standing up, although you can also perform these lying down. Grab a resistance band (if you have it) although I don´t use one myself because I just squeeze through the exercise. If you have a resistance band, wrap it around your ankles.

The Set Up:

  • Hold on to a chair, desk or wall for balance if needed.
  • Shift your weight onto one leg and without tilting your torso, lift the opposite leg straight out (to the side) squeezing the whole way through until you feel contraction on your glutes (for some this may only be a few inches for the lift).
  • Keep your foot flexed and your hip, knee and ankle aligned.
  • Do 2 sets of 12-15 reps to start on each leg then work your way up increasing sets and/or reps.

Bodyweight Squats:

Squats are a great functional exercise that we do every day; squatting down to pick something up or getting out of a chair. As we get older, it is especially important to maintain proper squat technique to avoid injury.

The Set Up:

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips and your toes pointed slightly outward. Look straight ahead at a spot on the wall in front of you.
  • Put arms straight out in front of you, parallel to the ground and keep your spine neutral.
  • Plant your feet firmly on the ground and wiggle your toes. Can you wiggle them? Ok, then you´re in a good starting position.
  • Now, lower your body back as far as you can by pushing your hips back (as if sitting down onto a chair), bending your knees and putting your weight on your heels.
  • Keep your spine neutral at all times and don´t let your knees go over your toes.
  • Squat down until your hip joint is lower than your knees (what we call parallel). We are looking at your hip joint here, not your thighs.
  • Keep your chest up at all times and keep looking forward.
  • Hold at the bottom of the squat and lift up in a controlled movement back to the starting position.

Plié Squats:

We are going to stick to the squats and focus on the lower glute muscles as well as the inner-thigh muscles with the plié squat. I love this exercise, because when done properly, it activates the hard-to-target pelvic-floor muscles.

The Set Up:

  • Stand with your feet wide apart (about three feet, depending on your height) and turned out. Tuck your tailbone under and engage your lower-abdominal muscles.
  • As you begin to squat down, imagine that your spine is sliding down a wall behind you. This should help keep the tailbone tucked under you.
  • Make sure your feet are wide enough so that when you come all the way down your knees end up just over the ankles.
  • As you lower, you can bring your arms in front of you for balance.
  • Make sure that you don’t arch your lower back and keep your torso straight throughout the squat.
  • Repeat the squat 10 to 30 times.

Side lunges:

Side lunges offer a new take on regular lunges. They allow you to work your hips, glutes and thighs a bit differently than traditional squats and lunges while still targeting the major muscles of the lower body. Its a great workout and very friendly on your knees.

The set up:

  • Stand with your feet and knees together.
  • Take a large step with your right foot to the right side and lunge toward the floor, making sure your right knee does not extend past your toes and keeping your left leg relatively straight.
  • Push off through your right foot to return to the starting position. There, you´ve done one rep.
  • Now do 3 sets of 10 side lunges on each side. Work your up with sets and/or reps!

You´re finished! It´s always a good idea to stretch at the end, and of course, enjoy your breakfast!

Breakfast Buns Workout

Type: Strength

Targets: Lower Body

Equipment: None (can be done with weights)

Level: Any

Perfect for home, hotel room, local park and yes, even for the gym. 

Warm Up

2 mins high knees.

High Knees - Sets: 1   Reps: 2 mins

Warm Up Videos

High Knees

High Knees

Sets: 1

Reps: 2 mins


Rest 30 secs between each exercise and each set.

Bridges - Sets: 1   Reps: 10-35

Side Leg Lifts - Sets: 2   Reps: 12-15 each side

Squats - Sets: 1   Reps: 50

Plie Squats - Sets: 1   Reps: 10-30

Side Lunges - Sets: 3   Reps: 10 each side

Workout Videos



Sets: 1

Reps: 10-35

Side Leg Lifts

Side Leg Lifts

Sets: 2

Reps: 12-15 each side



Sets: 1

Reps: 50

Notes: Lower Body

Plie Squats

Plie Squats

Sets: 1

Reps: 10-30

Side Lunges

Side Lunges

Sets: 3

Reps: 10 each side

Cool Down

Your usual cool down and stretching routine.



In the interest of your safety, it is important to check with your physician before beginning any exercise program and to exercise according to your fitness level and capabilities. If you have any questions, please seek the guidance of a health professional.



Ana De Castro

Ana is an integrative nutrition health coach, personal trainer, group fitness instructor and bikini world champion. In her free time she is also a mom to a 3 & 4 year old and an agent to celebrity and Michelin-star chefs. She loves to eat and cook and you will often see her posting pictures of food on her twitter and instagram accounts.... Read More

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