Every man can learn something from Nicki Minaj. Not only does the hottest female rapper on the planet boast a fine combination of talent, get-after-it grit and sound financial planning – but she’s also possessed of one of the finest sets of glutes in the MC-ing industry. And it’s no coincidence – as you can see from the fitness savvy on display in her Anaconda video. Let’s break it down.
0:36 - Coconuts!
A fine choice. Nicki clearly understands that fat is not to be feared, and that coconut milk in particular is packed with medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which studies show are easily used by the body as energy. The bananas are also a good call, although it’s questionable whether Nicki actually needs that much potassium.
1:36 - Pink dumbbells!
There’s a lot going on here. We honestly can’t approve the size of the dumbbells Nicki’s using – unless she’s doing drop sets – and those triceps kickbacks will do nothing for her friend’s arms. But the ladies in the front have got it right: the fire hydrant is a key glute activation move, and well worth adding to your warm-up. Do a set of ten on each side, followed by a hold.
1:39 - Partner leg throws!
To be fair, these aren’t really a glute move, but they will do wonders for your lower abs, especially if your partner introduces an element of surprise by flinging your legs in different directions.
3:09 - Glute bridges!
Another excellent glute move, and sadly under-used – probably because of how it looks. Here, Nicki’s clearly using the bridge for glute activation rather than absolute strength, but if she wanted to make it tougher she could introduce a single-leg (opens in new tab)variation or even a barbell.
3:25 - Bear crawls! (done wrong)
It’s unclear what Nicki’s going for here. She’s certainly going at a slow tempo but, for the maximum benefit of the bear crawl, staying off her knees and on her hands and feet would be a good idea to give her shoulders and hamstrings some of the benefits of time under tension.
4:15 - Recovery bath
And, of course, Nicki understands that working hard means nothing without adequate recovery – in this case, relaxing in a jungle stream. And before anyone writes in suggesting that it should be an ice bath, the latest research suggests that, by reducing levels of inflammation, they may actually hinder recovery. Suck it, haters.
From 2008 to 2018, Joel worked for Men's Fitness, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Though he spent years running the hills of Bath, he’s since ditched his trainers for a succession of Converse high-tops, since they’re better suited to his love of pulling vans, lifting cars, and hefting logs in a succession of strongman competitions.
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