I so LOVE working glute strength. Basically, everyone can benefit by upping their glute game. Having a strong booty is not about the looks; it’s one of the key areas of the body that’s integrated into everything we do. From simply standing to our big mountain races, these muscles are key.
Why even talk and work on the butt at all? As I pointed out before, the short answer is that these muscles are connected to a lot more key muscles in the body. That’s important because if you feel imbalanced, weak, tight, etc., a lot of times it can just come back to good ol’ butt strength. If you have any sort of low-back pain, hip tension or knee pain, many times these can be helped by increasing glute strength.** These muscles help us excel in all things that we love to do – skiing, mountain biking, hiking, running. You get the picture.
**DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a medical professional and am speaking from my own experience. If you’re having serious issues, I recommend speaking with a licensed medical professional.**
We have three key muscles to focus on: gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. Most of know the maximus muscles, the true “booty” muscle. BUT it’s important to work all of these, just as it’s important to balance strength in all areas of the body. Thankfully, this doesn’t require hundreds of squats and lunges every week or a strict workout regimen. That’s why I’ve outlined six poses that you can either weave into your standard yoga classes, or focus on incorporating more regularly into you exercise routine. Check out the poses below and let me know how these went!
- Pistol Squat
My personal favorite for booty strengh (which is why it’s #1 on the list)! Why? Because these are so damn hard. Start by doing five reps on each side and build up to 10-15 reps a few days a week. Focus on shifting the weight back and pressing into the heel to help find balance and control.
Can’t quite get down all the way? No worries! Start by focusing on how far you can comfortably get down and eventually you’ll start getting lower. #progressnotperfection
- Bear Pose
A deceivingly easier pose, but is fantastic because it has a big focus on the posterior chain (are you sensing the theme here?). Remember to sit the weight back into the heels to fire up the back body. Hold for ten breaths and repeat three times.
- Donkey Kicks
These are pretty ‘traditional’ moves. Did Jane Fonda do these? Regardless of the origin, these donkey kicks help target our key booty muscles. Focus on engaging the glutes and hamstrings and aim to do three rounds of 25 reps each side.
- Extended Fire Hydrants
Upping the ante from bent-knee fire hydrants and having a bit more awkward, but worth it, work on a different set of muscles. Extend the leg behind you, then bring to the side and begin to lift the leg up and down for three rounds of 25 reps.
- Warrior 3
Changing the pace from rep-based movements and finding stillness. This pose is no-joke when done correctly. The key pieces here are to keep the hips level and core engaged. Imagine that you’re doing a tiny crunch to decrease the dip in the low back and root into the standing foot. Hold for at least ten breaths on each leg.
- Chair Leg Lifts
Another silent killer, but is SO easy to incorporate into standard yoga classes and can be done ‘twisted’. Shift the weight into the heels and lift one foot off the ground and hold for five breaths. Switch sides and repeat three times per side.
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Pin now, build booty strength later with the sequence below!