Yoga-Inspired Moves for a Strong Butt
The Yoga Moves That Build a Stronger Butt
The term 'yoga butt' is no joke—just check out the down dogs all around you in most any class. "Yoga lets you sculpt, mold, and tone your lower body using just your body weight," notes celebrity yoga instructor Hilaria Baldwin (but it's not the *only* way to build a stronger bootie—these kettlebell moves can do wonders, too). Of course, the right strengthening moves stretch you too, so you're elongating your muscles *and* working them harder, she says. Want in on a stronger backside? Incorporate the below yoga-inspired moves into your routine once a day, and you will be well on your way to that derrière you've been after. The moves work your glutes, firm up your backside, and leave you feeling strong. Craving some hand weights? This weighted workout strengthens your rear, too.
From down dog, step your right foot forward between your hands, spin your left heel down with the foot slightly angled out, press into your feet, and reach your arms to the ceiling, framing your face. Breathe here for five deep breaths and then repeat on the left side.
Stand near the top of the mat with your feet together; hinge forward from your hips and touch hands to floor a few inches in front of feet, keeping elbows bent. Lift your left leg diagonally behind you toward the right. Bending your right knee, swing your left knee back down behind right leg toward the outside of your right knee. Extend your left leg behind you again as you straighten right leg; repeat. Do 10 reps, switch sides and repeat. Do 3 sets.
From down dog, step your right foot forward between your hands, spin your left heel down with the foot slightly angled out, and windmill your arms open, left arm reaching toward the back of your mat and right arm reaching to the front of your mat. Bend right knee, keeping it in line with your right ankle. Stay here for five deep breaths and then repeat on the left side.
Down Dog with Leg Extension
Start in down dog (which, BTW can *also* seriously sculpt your calves!): Get on all fours on the mat, then tuck your toes under and press your hips back and up toward the ceiling as you walk your feet back a few steps to form an inverted V, balancing on your palms and feet; keep heels on the floor. Maintaining inverted-V position and keeping your elbows locked, lift your right foot off the mat and extend behind you, foot flexed, forming a straight line from head to heel. Turn your toes to the right and bring your right leg directly out to the side at hip height, keeping your leg parallel to floor and foot flexed. Hold for 5 counts. Return your right leg back behind your body, then repeat bringing your leg out to the side. Do 5 reps, switch sides and repeat. Do 3 sets.
From a standing forward bend, walk your hands under your shoulders, placing them on the floor (or on blocks if the floor is too far away). Transfer your weight to your right foot, putting a slight bend in your right knee, and float your left leg high behind you. Reach through your left heel and internally rotate your left thigh so your toes point toward the ground. If you feel steady, lift your hands off the ground and frame your torso with your arms reaching back toward your heel. Stay here for five deep breaths and then switch sides. (Ever heard that your butt's asleep? You might need to 'turn on' underactive glute muscles.)
From standing, bend your knees, sink your hips, and reach your arms high to frame your face. (You should be able to see your toes in front of your knees. If you can’t, sit back until you can.) Stay here for five deep breaths. For a challenge, come onto the balls of your feet for five deep breaths. For an extra challenge, from there, reach your arms forward as you reach your butt back, pancake your torso to your thighs, and flex your palms toward the front of the room (as pictured). Stay here for five breaths. Related: 5 Ways to Build Bigger, Stronger Glutes That Have Nothing to Do with Squats.
Start in plank position, balancing on the mat on your forearms and toes, with your elbows directly under your shoulders; keep hips lifted slightly. Bend your knees to almost touch the floor, then return to start. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.
From standing, put a soft bend in your knees, come high on the balls of your feet, and start to hinge forward from your waist, keeping your arms on either side of your torso. Allow your head to dive toward the ground, and stay here for five deep breaths.
Elevated Wide Squat
From standing, step your right foot way out to the right, turn your toes out, sink your hips, and bend your knees until they are directly over your ankles. Then come high on the balls of your feet, frame your face with your arms, and stay here for five deep breaths. Related: How to Do Bodyweight Squats Correctly Once and for All.
Begin on all fours, knees under hips and hands under shoulders. Place your left forearm on the floor so that your left hand is perpendicular to your right hand; twist torso slightly to the right and lift your right leg just off the floor. Keeping your right knee bent 90 degrees throughout, raise your right leg out to hip height. Lower your leg under your hip without letting it touch the floor; repeat. Do 20 reps, switch sides and repeat. Do 3 sets.
Lie facedown on your mat, big toes together. Clasp your hands behind your sacrum, and use a big inhale to lift your chest and your feet off the ground. Stay here for five deep breaths.