When people say the gateway to a better butt is through squats, I breathe a deep sigh. Not of relief, but of exhaustion. Squats are definitely helpful, but after a while, they can get tired. Especially when that seems like the only move people recommend, and when you know your knees aren’t in the best condition. Same goes for lunges. There has to be a better way to get your backside to sit pretty.
Well, we have a few great exercise options for people who don’t want to wall sit themselves to death or squat until their legs are shaking. Or, better yet, something different for those of you who still aren’t squatting right (your knees shouldn’t go over your toes…). Check out these five moves and get to work!
Single Leg Glute Bridge
Your butt and hips will hate you when you do this move, but they will thank you later. Starting on your back, spread your knees just hip-width apart and keep your arms on the ground, close to your legs. Keep one knee bent, and then lift the other straight leg up toward the ceiling, pointing your toe to the ceiling and lifting the lower half of your body all the way up at the same time. Hold at the top of your bridge pose and then bring the leg and back down to starting position without letting either go all the way to the ground. Do three sets of this workout, a minute per set, 30 seconds on each side.
Single Leg Plank
Talk about a workout! Get into an elbow plank and then lift one leg up at a time behind you. Now hold it. Not only will this move do a number on your butt, but it will also have your core throbbing. It’s a twofer! Do three sets, a minute each set, 30 seconds for each leg.
Down Dog Split
Whether you’re a yogi or a novice gym rat, the down dog split is definitely a great exercise to try. Get into downward dog and then lift the right leg up toward the ceiling. Then pull the leg in toward the chest. You can either hold it for a few seconds before taking your leg back, or pull your leg in quickly and immediately lift it back into the air. Again, I would recommend three sets for a minute each, 30 seconds on each side.
You can do this move with resistance bands or even with ankle weights to make things a little more interesting. But if not, that’s fine. Lean forward and lift your leg as high as you can behind you. Don’t forget to squeeze the muscle of your rear in the lifted leg as it reaches its highest point. Bring the leg back down and repeat for 30 seconds before switching legs.
I’m sure you can see why they call this move the fire hydrant. Get on all fours, shoulders above your wrists, and then lift knee out to the side of you, keeping it bent. Hold it there for a second, and then bring it back to its starting position without allowing the leg to touch the ground. This is another move that is perfect for your backside and core. As always, three sets for a minute each with 30 seconds on each side should do the trick.