Having a strong butt is really, really important. That’s because knee pain is often traced back to weak hips and glutes. So targeting these areas and focusing on strengthening your hips, thighs, and butt can help prevent pains.
Plus … your glutes are involved in almost every athletic activity from running and jumping to plié-ing, dancing, and pulsing. So working on your backside can help lead to improvements in future workouts.
So add any (or all!) of these bodyweight butt moves below to your regular strength routine.
1. Rainbow Down Dog — do two sets of 10 reps on each side
Start in a downward dog position. Shift weight to left and extend right leg to right with foot pointed. Lift right leg up and over, creating a semi-circle, lowering on a diagonal behind left leg. Retrace the circle with right foot. That’s one rep. Do two sets of 10 reps on each side.
2. Figure 4 Bridge — do two sets of 10 reps on each side
Lie on back with knees bent, feet flat on floor with heels a few inches away from butt. Cross right ankle over left knee and spread arms in a low “V” next to body with palms facing up. Press through left heel to lift hips a few inches off mat. Pause, then slowly return hips to mat. Do two sets of 10 reps on each side.
3. Clams With Raised Toes — do two sets of 10 reps on each side
Lie on left side with left arm propping torso up, or extended on floor if that’s more comfortable. Keeping head in line with spine, bend knees forward and lift both feet off floor keeping your torso stable. Rotate right knee up, opening legs, then close right knee and immediately move into the next rep without lowering feet to floor. Do two sets of 10 reps on each side.
4. Crab Extension — do two sets of 10 reps on each side
Start in reverse tabletop position with feet planted on floor, knees bent, wrists below shoulders with fingers pointing away from body. Push through heels, lifting hips in air and reach right arm up and over. Pause, then lower to return to start. Alternate sides with each rep. Do two sets of 10 reps on each side.
5. Ice Skate — continue for 30 seconds, rest, then repeat one more time
Stand on left foot with right foot slightly lifted. Jump as far as you can to the right, landing on right foot, swinging left foot behind body and left hand forward. Reverse the movement, jumping to the left, landing on the left foot with right hand forward. Do as many reps as you can in 30 seconds, rest, then repeat one more time.
Want more booty-sculpting moves? Check out the full list of 50 butt exercises from Crystal Stein, American College of Sports Medicine Health and Fitness Specialist and a Tier 3+ trainer at Equinox in NYC.
—Photos courtesy of SELF.
—By Bari Lieberman