Hamstring & GLUTE Isolation Workout / Dumbbells | EPIC II – Day 12

Hamstring & Glute Isolation Workout is Day 12 in Caroline Girvan‘s EPIC II program. This is another excellent glute focused workout. Caroline creates some of the very best. I have been working out consistently for nearly 20 years so I don’t see “results” anymore. The results I achieve from my workouts are usually strength gains. And I am seeing a lot of strength gains since I have been doing Caroline’s workouts. However, my husband has mentioned my booty multiple times since I have started doing Caroline’s workouts. I’ll be honest–I notice nothing visual but he does. He also says my glutes are hard as a rock. Again–I do not feel that myself but he really is the better judge. All of that to say, Caroline’s workouts are giving visible results to someone who has been lifting weights for many years. I am not following any of her EPIC programs. I just do workouts that look like something I would enjoy when I preview them. So I tend to be drawn to her lower body workouts with lots of hip thrusts and deadlifts because I really like those two exercises. I am planning to put together a Caroline Girvan rotation in a month or so and there will be a strong glute focus.

Anyway, back to this review. This is not a big calorie burning workout but it is a burn out workout for your glutes and hamstrings. I like the interval structure of this workout because the 20 second recoveries were adequate for me to be ready to hit my glutes and hamstrings again. However, some of the mat work was wearing me down. At the end you do crabs and I was working hard to keep my hips up high throughout every interval. My arms were shaking by the time we got to the end of the crab circuit. This is another truly excellent lower body workout from Caroline.

This workout is done interval style: 40 seconds of work followed by 20 seconds of rest. However, sometimes you don’t get the recovery. Instead Caroline has you continue working for 20 seconds by holding the exercise isometrically and/or pulsing. Those instances will be noted in the breakdown below. There is a timer in the upper right hand corner of the screen counting down your intervals and recoveries. There is also a little bar at the bottom of the screen that counts down the entire workout time as a percentage. Caroline previews the next exercise during the recovery. This workout is done to music with plenty of visual cues as well as dings to keep you on track. As usual, Caroline gives a lot of excellent form pointers during the intro.

Hamstring & Glute Isolation Workout is 54:23; 3 minute intro, no warm up and 4:30 minute stretch. Equipment: dumbbells, booty band, chair or bench and a towel to protect your hips. Caroline is using a 20kg/44 pound dumbbell. I used my workout bench for the hip thrusts. The weights listed below are what I used.

  1. Lying abduction (lay on back on mat, knees bent and feet on floor, booty band is around thighs just above knees, open and close thighs); no rest–keep legs open so there is tension on the band and pulse legs open further against band for 20 more seconds
  2. (no rest) On elbows abduction (continue # 1, but prop upper body up on elbows)
  3. (no rest) Same position as #2 but keep legs open so there is tension on the band and pulse legs open further against band for 20 seconds
  4. (no rest) Sitting tall abduction (continue #2 but now your upper body is propped up on hands)
  5. (remove booty band) Slow sumo squats (one 57.5# DB)
  6. 1.5 rep sumo squat (lower all the way into squat, raise halfway, lower all the way back into squat then raise all the way) (one 57.5# DB)
  7. Half rep sumo squats (lower all the way into squat but only raise halfway) (one 57.5# DB)
  8. Repeat #6
  9. Repeat #5
  10. Sumo squat deadlifts (holding DB in both hands by bar, legs wide in sumo squat, torso hinged forward with back flat, squat up and down) (one 57.5# DB)
  11. Sumo squat deadlifts 1.5 reps (one 57.5# DB)
  12. Sumo squat deadlifts, half reps (one 50# DB)
  13. Repeat #11
  14. Repeat #10
  15. Wide plie squat (one 57.5# DB)
  16. Plie squat 1.5 reps (one 57.5# DB)
  17. Plie squat half reps (one 57.5# DB)
  18. Repeat #16
  19. Repeat #15
  20. Romanian deadlift (one 57.5# DB)
  21. Romanian deadlift 1.5 reps (lower to bottom of deadlift, raise halfway, lower to bottom of deadlift, raise all the way) (one 57.5# DB)
  22. Romanian deadlift half reps (lower to bottom of deadlift but only raise halfway) (one 50# DB)
  23. Hip thrusts slow (lean back against your bench or step, one heavy DB on hips, knees bent and feet on floor, raise and lower hips) (one 47.5# DB)
  24. Hip thrusts 1.5 reps (raise hips to top of thrust, lower halfway, raise hips to top of thrust, lower all the way) (one 47.5# DB)
  25. Hip thrust hold (hold hips isometrically at top of thrust) (one 47.5# DB)
  26. Repeat #24
  27. Repeat #23
  28. Staggered hip thrusts (same position as #1 except only one foot is flat on the ground, the other foot is out further with toe raised and heel on floor so that most of the weight is on the flat foot) (one 47.5# DB)
  29. Staggered hip thrusts 1.5 reps (one 47.5# DB)
  30. Staggered hip thrust hold (one 47.5# DB)
  31. Repeat #28-30 on other side of body
  32. Hip thrust w/ abduction at top (set DB aside and place booty band around thighs just above knees, open thighs so there is tension on the band, raise glutes/hips, open then close legs, lower hips/glutes)
  33. (no rest) Hold at top of glute lift with legs open wide, pushing against band  for 20 seconds
  34. (no rest) Repeat #32
  35. Reverse crab (get into crab position on mat, one leg is lifted off the floor, raise and lower hips, keeping leg elevated the entire interval)
  36. Reverse crab hold (same position as #35 but keep hips elevated isometrically entire interval)
  37. 1.5 reps crab (same position as #35, raise hips to top of lift, lower halfway, raise hips to top of lift then lower all the way)
  38. Repeat #35-37 on other side of body
  39. Lying glute squeeze (lay on stomach, forehead is resting on mat, legs are extended straight and parted, raise legs and hold briefly before lowering)
  40. (no rest) Same as #39 but keep legs elevated and hold  for 20 seconds
  41. (no rest) In & out (same position as #39, raise legs, open them wider, close legs then lower)
  42. (no rest) Pulses for 20 seconds (same as #40–legs are raised isometrically, pulse legs up higher)
  43. 40 second rest (during rest, put booty band around thighs, just above knees)
  44. Squat pulse for 20 seconds (legs are open wide enough so there is tension on the band, lower into squat and hold isometrically while pulsing glutes up and down)
  45. (no rest) Full range squats (legs are still pushing out against the band)
  46. (no rest) 1/2 rep squats for 20 seconds  (lower to bottom of squat but only raise halfway)
  47. (no rest) 1.5 rep squat (lower all the way into squat, raise halfway, lower all the way back into squat then raise all the way)

Finisher: (40 seconds; no rest/recovery)

  1. 1/2 reps sumo squats (lower all the way into squat, but only raise halfway) (one 57.5# DB) (20 seconds)
  2. Continue #1 but body weight (no DB) (20 seconds)

For more info on Caroline Girvan’s workouts and other (free) streaming workouts I’ve sampled and reviewed, check out my Streaming page.

10 thoughts on “Hamstring & GLUTE Isolation Workout / Dumbbells | EPIC II – Day 12

  1. I just finished this workout. I used a 45 lb dumbbell for everything and the same booty band as Caroline. Like you said, what a great workout for the butt! I thought her stretch at the end, while short, really did a good job of loosening things back up. I tacked on Heather’s 10 min tabata abs (super little finisher) and SaraBeth’s 10 min seated yoga stretch. I’m off work this week so all my workouts are over an hour with yoga making an appearance 3 times. (I’m really trying to focus on improving my flexibility.)

    Hope you had a great 4th! 😁


    1. I agree–it was definitely one of Caroline’s better stretches. I have had a long 4 day weekend but I am back to work tomorrow. I have been enjoying doing longer workouts on days off, too.

      I’m actually not a fan of the 4th of July. Our dog is terrified by fireworks. And fireworks are illegal to shoot off in the city where I live but last night it sounded like we were in a war zone. But the cops do nothing, even though it is illegal. My dog was terrorized and could not find a small enough cave to hide in (she is not a small dog). So, yeah, I’m not a fan.


      1. Ugh, so sorry your poochie doesn’t like fireworks. Our dog (90 lb ridgeback) sleeps through everything, including fireworks. I know we are lucky because I could hear our neighbor’s dog barking. 😢

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy 4th!! 🧨

    I am DEFINITELY putting this one in my rotation next week … As a matter of fact I will probably do it tomorrow since Monday is leg day.

    Don’t you just love it when you get compliments on your booty? ☺️


    1. Happy 4th to you as well! And it is nice when someone notices. It doesn’t happen often for me. I don’t feel like anyone would look at me and think–I bet she hits the gym hard. Even though I do. Maybe if I did the work in the kitchen but I don’t. So it’s nice when someone (even if its just my husband) says something! (my husband’s opinion obviously matters more than anyone else’s, but what I mean is, he is obviously the most likely to give me compliments)


      1. Yeah I’m with you on the kitchen thing. I eat pretty well but I don’t turn down dessert. I’m 5’9” and 160-165, about 10lb over my feel-best weight. But as long as my weight doesn’t get in the way of working out, I’m perfectly ok at whatever weight.

        I have a blog question for you. When you list the exercises, does the trainer website list each move or do you just know what everything is called? If it’s the latter, I assume you have to preview and write everything down?


      2. I preview every workout I review. I did it before I started this blog but once I started doing the blog reviews I became more systematic about it. I used to record everything on paper. It helps me plan out my training week, choose what weights and other equipment I need to have set out before my workout, whether an additional warm or stretch is needed. And though currently I am doing new workouts nearly every day, when I am not binging on a new trainer, I return to workouts. So having a record of everything is really helpful. I like details.


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