Do these lower body exercises as your warm-up and you'll sculpt an enviable dancer's booty—minus the ballet lessons!
The ideal butt for ballet is all about function—it needs to be strong enough to support those beautiful leaps and jumps. And all those hours of work dancers put in behind the scenes guarantee that a ballet booty is toned and firm with that sexy side dent. That's why we tapped Lauren Fadeley, a principal dancer for the Pennsylvania Ballet with a minor in kinesiology from Indiana University, to share some of her favorite moves for a hot butt.
"These moves are less weight-bearing than squats or lunges and target specific spots of the butt without blowing out your thighs and knees," says Fadeley. Plus, the combination of large and small movements works the butt from every angle and keeps the muscles in balance. Get ready to show off your sculpted backside—no tutu necessary! (For more ballet moves, try this At-Home Barre Workout.)
How it works: Do these moves daily to warm up for your workout, like Fadeley does. Always start with plies, recommends Fadeley. "They're the first things ballet dancers do every day, as they warm everything up and help find your foundation."
Total Time: up to 15 minutes
1. Pliés In 1st and 2nd Position
Start in 1st position, heels together, toes apart, legs straight.
Slowly bend knees as far as possible while keeping heels on the floor and tracking knees over toes. Straighten back by spiraling inner thigh muscles forward and engaging the glutes.
Move to 2nd position, hips slightly wider than hip-width, toes pointing out, legs straight.
Slowly bend knees as far as possible while keeping heels on the floor and tracking knees over toes. Return to start.
4 in each position
2. Bridge Ups
Lay with back on floor and knees bent, with hands at sides. Draw ribs inward.
Lift pelvis up toward the sky, creating a diagonal with body, then lower back down. Keep glutes engaged.
3. Kneeling Donkey Kicks
Start a table top pose with elbows on the floor and hands grasped together.
Lift bent right leg up to make a 90-degree angle with your thigh, keeping the leg rotated inward. Lower back to kneeling position. To increase difficulty, dip the knee to cross over the opposite leg before lowering.
10 on each side
4. Doggie Fire Hydrant
Start on hands and knees, flat back, hips at 90-degree angle to the floor.
Lift bent right leg out to the side at hip level then return to original position.
10 on each side
5. Pilates Leg Circles
Lay on left side of body; hand out extended in front of you on the ground and legs stacked on top of one another and slightly in front of hips.
Lift top leg up about 5 inches and make 5 small circles forward, then reverse. Keep leg turned in to help stabilize through the core and use butt muscles instead of hips.
5 on each side
6. Passé Turn-Ins
Lay on left side of body; hand out in front of you on the ground; legs stacked on top of one another and slightly in front of hips.
Draw the top leg up to a turned-out passé, right foot pointed to left knee, right knee to the sky.
Drop the knee down to be parallel with the floor, then rotate back to passé before lowering back to starting position.
2 on each side