Want that “high and tight” look promised by those butt-reshaping infomercials? Then check out these fabulous tush-targeting moves! Each of these exercises directly hits one or more of the gluteal muscles, as well as giving your quads, calves, hamstrings and inner/outer thighs a kick in the pants. Throw these moves into your regular leg workout, or if you’re up for it, add a complete day-o’-ass to your workout week. Do three sets of each move for 10 to 12 reps apiece and successfully kick your own butt.
Lie facedown on a mat and make a cushion with your hands for your head. Bend your knees and then open them to the sides, keeping your heels together, feet flexed. Press your heels toward the sky, lifting as high as you can and holding for one count, then slowly lowering to the start.
Tip:You have a very small range of motion in this position, so make each rep slow and deliberate.
Hold a set of dumbbells at your sides and stand with your feet together, shoulders down and back. With your right foot, step behind and across to your left while keeping your hips square. Bend both knees and lunge down until your front knee makes a 90-degree angle. Push off your right foot and return to the start. Complete all reps, then switch sides.
Tip: Don’t step too far out to the side; 6 to 8 inches is enough and will keep you stable and square.
Hold a single dumbbell in your left hand and extend your right arm out to the side. Stand on your right foot with your left leg extended behind you and slowly hinge forward at the hip, keeping your back straight and lowering the weight toward the floor. As your torso comes forward, simultaneously lift your left leg behind you and lower until your leg and torso are parallel to the floor. Slowly reverse the move and rise slowly back to the start. Complete all reps before switching sides.
Tip:Bend your standing leg slightly to help maintain balance and protect your knee.
Two-Point Stationary Skater
Hold a weight at your chest with both hands. Stand on your right leg with your left knee lifted to hip height. Bend your right knee and extend your left leg out to the side, reaching your toes away until your leg is straight. Return to the start, then extend your left leg straight behind you and bend your right knee again, reaching as far back as you can with your toes, then return to the start to complete one rep.
Tip: Bend your standing knee as much as you can with each rep and track your knees directly over your toes to protect your joints.
Step-Out Plié Barbell Squat
Balance a barbell across your shoulders and stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes turned out. Bend your knees and plié as low as you can without allowing your heels to come off the floor. Return to the start position. Next, take a large step to the side with one leg, (toes still turned out) and plié in this position, tracking your knees over your toes as you lower down. When your heels begin to peel off the floor, straighten your legs and push off your outside foot to return to the start. Continue, alternating stepping to each side.
Tip: This is not a lunge, so step out deliberately and balance your weight between both feet before doing your plié in the second position.