Behind every successful woman is the butt she got moving to get her there.
Alright… who doesn’t want a nice butt? *crickets*
To my amusement, one of the top questions I get asked in regards to fitness is how to get a nice butt. While having a big butt is currently in style and looks great in a pair of yoga pants, there are a lot of other great benefits to having a toned butt.
The butt muscles, or glutes, are actually important for stabilizing the pelvis. The glutes are known in fitness circles as your body’s engine, not only because they’re the largest muscle group in the body, but also because they’re involved in most athletic functions, says Bret Contreras, C.S.C.S., coauthor of Strong Curves: A Woman’s Guide to Building a Better Butt and Body. In fact, toning the glutes has been shown to help decrease lower back and knee pain while increasing movement in the lower body.
Plus, our butts tend to have it rough in our daily lives. We are sitting on it all of the time! The term “lazy ass” is actually a real problem! Plenty of women are suffering from “gluteal amnesia,” which is a condition where the glutes eventually sit back and make the hamstrings and lower back take on the job of extending the hips and rotating the femur. Yikes!
So, men and women alike, let’s take care of our booty’s okay?!
6 Yoga Moves for a Lifted Butt
While practicing yoga in general is going to do amazing things for your butt (and body overall), I chose six of my favorite yoga moves that target the glutes. You might notice that a lot of these poses are targeting other muscles too: quads, abs, etc. I’d say, the more the merrier!
Goddess Pose with Heel Lifts
From standing, turn to face the long edge of your yoga mat and step or hop your feet wide and parallel, about 3 feet apart. Turn your toes out and your heels in, creating a 45 degree angle with each foot.On an exhale, take a deep bend in your knees, moving toward bringing your thighs parallel to the ground and your hips in line with your knees. The knees have a tendency to bow inwards as they bend, so ensure that your knees remain stacked directly over your ankles. Bring the arms out to the side and create “cactus arms” or a ninety degree angle with the arms, fingertips reaching upwards.
Movement: On the inhale, lift one heel off the ground, then switch on the exhale. Repeat 8-10 times on each side. Try challenging yourself by raising both heels at the same time and sinking into the pose and hold for a couple breaths.
Chair Pose with a Twist
From mountain pose, reach the hands up over hand while bending the knees, as if sitting back into a chair. The pelvis should be tucked under, belly drawn in, and the shoulders rolled back. Try to get the thighs parallel with the ground if possible. Bring the hands to heart center and begin to twist the upper torso to the right side, keeping the knees in line. Option is to bring your left elbow to the outside of the right knee and press yourself deeper into the twist. Hold for 5-10 breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Standing Splits with Crunch
Start from mountain pose. Inhale as you reach your arms overhead and fold forward on the exhale, bringing the hands to the floor or blocks. Shift the body weight into your right foot and hands. Lift the left back and up behind you as far as you can. Walk your hands closer to your right heel to increase the intensity. For the crunch: On an exhale, lift the right heel off the floor while bending into both knees and crunch your left knee in towards your head.On the inhale, return to standing splits. Repeat 8-10 times and switch sides.
Cat Pose with Side Crunch
Starting from a strong tabletop position (hands under the shoulders, knees under the hips), pull the bellybutton up to the spine and press into the ground for stability. Lift your right leg off the ground and stretch it straight back behind you, pressing the heel of your foot away from your center.On an exhale, crunch right knee out to the right side of the body. On the inhale, straighten back out, lengthening through the heel and fingertips. Repeat 8-10 times and again on the other side.
Plank Pose with Leg Lifts
Start lying on your belly and bring the elbows underneath the shoulders, hands spread out in front of you. Tuck the toes and lift up into a low plank, pulling the belly button up towards the spine and lifting into the tops of the shoulders. Make sure the tailbone is not jutted up toward the ceiling, but rather tuck the tailbone under while continuing to engage the core. You have an option to just stay here or try challenging yourself by lifting one foot off the ground and then the other. Continue gently switching side to side, using the breath as a guide. Try holding the plank pose for as long as you can; maybe increasing the time each practice.
Bridge Pose with Leg Lifts
Lying on your back, bend the knees and place the feet on the floor, close to the tailbone and about hip distance apart. Place the hands palms down on both sides of the hips. On an exhale, lift the hips and the buttock up towards the ceiling. Try to keep the thighs parallel to the floor and roll the shoulder blades underneath.On an inhale, lift the right foot off the ground and towards the ceiling. Exhaling, lower the right foot to be in line with the thighs. Repeat 8-10 times and again on the other side
Alright, let’s get our lazy butts up and lifted! Building strong glutes does not need to be difficult, but it takes effort and dedication. I hope you are motivated by not only having a sexy ass, but all of the additional benefits I discussed above.
What’s your favorite move? Let me know in the comments below and feel free to ask any questions! I would love to connect you with additional moves and advice.
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