A sculpted, strong butt isn’t just for filling out those jeans (or beloved TikTok leggings). There are many benefits to giving some attention to your tush.
“Strengthening the glutes are a great way to support the low back, aid in pelvic alignment, and improve posture,” Dani Schenone, RYT, holistic wellness expert for Mindbody, tells SheKnows. “Also, stronger glutes make stairs a bit easier to climb, and heavy objects a bit easier to lift.”
According to Jennifer Jacobs, CPT and founder of The J METHOD, our glutes are made up of three different muscles Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius, and the Gluteus Minimus. “The Gluteus Maximus is the largest glute muscle. It helps keep us upright when sitting or standing,” says Jacobs. “The Gluteus Medius helps with the rotation of the leg and the stabilization of the pelvis. And the Gluteus Minimus is the smallest and deepest of the three main glute muscles, also an important part of rotating lower limbs and keeping the pelvis stable when we move.”
When it comes to working your glutes, Schenone says you work them as often as it feels good to work them. “If you move intuitively and with mindfulness, you will naturally work them out more. Don’t attach a hard and fast rule to it. Simply do it when you remember. Health is a marathon.”
Getting that perky peach needn’t be difficult nor does it require a whole lot of time. In fact a five-minute workout for your butt can hit all areas of your backside that will keep your butt strong and toned. Below are examples of the perfect five-minute workout for your butt by personal trainers that might be short on time but packs a powerful punch.
Dani Schenone, RYT, holistic wellness expert for Mindbody
Ass Kicker Sequence
Stand on all fours (shoulders over wrists, hips over knees). Lift the right leg back behind you. Flex hard into your toes and point them downward. Bend the knee. The sole of your foot will be skyward.
- Squeeze that side’s glutes as you kick up towards the sky for 20 reps. Pulse for 20 reps.
- Turn that leg’s knee outward so that the inside of your lifted leg faces downward. Pulse up towards the sky for 40 reps.
- Lengthen your leg back out behind you. Point the toes. Lift and lengthen the leg up towards the sky on an inhale; crunch the knee in towards your chest on the exhale. Repeat for 20 reps. Lengthen your leg back out behind you. Points the toes. Pulse upward for 20 reps.
- Lift and lengthen the leg up towards the sky on an inhale, crunch the knee towards your right tricep on the exhale. Repeat for 20 reps.
- Do it all over again on the other side.
Jennifer Jacobs, CPT and founder of The J METHOD individualized fitness concept.
Jacobs recommends doing these exercises for a total of two sets for each move: perform each move for a total of two sets or circuit from one move to the next completing the circuit twice.
Clam Shell: Lying on your side, keep the heels together and the hips stable. Make sure your heels, hips and shoulders form a straight line. Lift the top leg 3 – 6 inches while maintaining contact of the ankles and ensuring that the hips are not rotating back behind you. If your hips rotate or move, decrease the range of motion. Movement should be slow and controlled throughout. Perform 10 repetitions then switch sides.
Toe taps: In a standing position, transfer all your weight into one leg and bend the knee slightly. Then reach out with your other leg, leading with the heel, and tap the toe to the ground out to the side. The goal with this drill is to remain still as a statue with the upper body by engaging your core. The leg that you are standing on shouldn’t move and the knee slightly bends throughout the set with the knee tracking in the same direction of your toes. The foot that is tapping the ground should be tapping light enough not to break an eggshell. Perform 10-15 reps each leg.
Single leg hip hinge: Stand tall with your feet hip to shoulder-width apart, and your arms at your sides. Raise one foot off the floor so that you’re only standing on one leg. Keep your grounded knee in a slight bend and maintain this knee-position from start to finish. Tense your thighs, glutes, and abs, and pull your shoulders down. Keeping your spine neutral , push your hip and hamstrings back and lower your torso by hinging at your hips. Your elevated leg should move with your torso. Try to lower your torso until it’s parallel to the floor without dropping your chest down lower than your grounded knee. Reverse the movement by driving your hips forward, and return to the starting position. That’s one rep. Perform 8-12 reps on each side.
Lauren Vickers, F45 Athletics Team Manager
Vickers recommends doing each exercise for 40 seconds with a 20-second break in between.
Hip Thruster: This one is a great exercise to activate the glutes and prepare them for heavier movement. You can make it a little harder by placing a dumb bell, dead ball or barbell plate on your lap. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Squeeze through the glutes to bring your hips up towards the sky and hold for a beat, before slowly releasing back down.
- Sumo Squat: One of the squat staples! Make it harder by holding a weight in a goblet position or popping a resistance band just above your knees. Start with your feet a little wider than your hips with your toes slightly pointed out. Send the hips back and down, keeping a proud chest and concentrating on driving those knees outward. Squeeze the glutes to come back to the starting position.
- Reverse Lunge: Working single leg stability is important for balance and unilateral strength. Start with your feet hip width apart and take a large step back. Descend to a comfortable range, with your knee tracking in line with your toes. Squeeze the glutes to come back up and remember to switch half way.
- Single Leg Deadlift. Ideal for not only targeting the glutes, but also improving your balance and proprioception. Start standing with your feet hip width apart. Hinging at the hips and sending one leg backward as you slowly bring your torso forward, keep the hips square and the weight in your standing leg. Squeeze the glutes to come back up right – keeping the core tight will help with your balance. Switch legs half way through the set.
- Ice Skaters. Add a little intensity and power to your movements with this explosive go-to cardio focused move. Jump over to one side, kicking one leg behind, and descending low into the front leg. When you have the movement pattern smooth, you can add a little hop on each side. Keep up the pace for the whole set.
Once you’ve mastered the moves using your own bodyweight, Jacobs suggests increasing the demand and strengthening your glutes by adding resistance with the help of a mini-band
“Resistance bands provide external resistance that your muscles must work against causing your glutes to work harder to deliver more results,” Vickerd adds. “A set of mini-bands is one of the most versatile and convenient pieces of equipment that you can own and is a surefire way to light up your glutes.”
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A version of this story was published April 2021.
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