Strengthening up your glutes and hamstrings is way more important than looking good in leggings!
Your gluteus maximus is one of the strongest, thickest muscles in your body so having it function properly has a list of benefits. Strong glutes aid in hip stability and function, can take the stress off your low back while exercising and helps with everyday activities such as walking up stairs or lifting something heavy. It’s cool AND good for you to work that booty.
Here are a few of my favorite glute exercises that can be done anytime, anywhere. These quick glute exercises are great for lifting, toning, and overall strengthening. It is helpful to have a resistance band but definitely not necessary for any of these exercises. You can grab this affordable set on Amazon!
10 Minute At-Home Glute Exercises
The (almighty) Squat
Set up: Place feet hips distance apart and squat by sitting back into the heels. Putting more weight in your heels will allow you to connect with the back of your body. The most important part of a squat is to SQUEEZE YOUR BUTT at the top…squeeze it like your trying to give yourself a wedgie! I can’t stress that enough. The muscle contraction happens when you extend your hips, meaning the legs are straight and the pelvis is pushing forward. Repeat motion for 2 minutes.
Add-ons: You can place a resistance band around your knees or shins to increase difficulty or add weights. Hold the squat or adding pulses at the halfway point is a great way to get your heart-rate up.
Set Up: From your squat, step one leg back and bend both knees to a 90-degree angle. Alternate the legs, being sure to get as low as you can to the ground before you switch. Repeat for two minutes total or one minute on each side.
Add-ons: Weights, resistance bands, and pulses can all be added to increase difficulty.
Curtsy Lunge Pulses
Set Up: From your squat position, cross on leg behind the other and bend both knees low toward the ground. Putting as much weight as you can balance in the heels, start to pulse down towards the ground. Pulse for one minute before switching to the other side for a total of two minutes.
Add-ons: A pair of weights can be held in the hands by the hips to increase the weight coming down into the pulses.
Set Up: From a squat position, step one leg out to side while holding a deep squat in your supporting leg. Alternate from leg to leg, sitting back a little bit deeper in your squat after each rep. Continue to alternate for two minutes or hold for one minute on each side.
Modifications: Add a resistance band, weights or isolate one side at a time to burn out the glutes.
Set Up: All you need for this one is a stool, a chair or the edge of your couch. Elevating a standard bridge allows for the hips to open up more, working the glutes more intensely. Lift up through the hips while pushing into the heels, squeeze at the top and release down. Lower and lift the hips at least 20 times adding pulses at the top to increase difficulty. Do two to three sets for two minutes total.
Add-ons: resistance bands, weights (rested on the hips) and different feet positions can make this harder. Consider the single leg variation from last weeks post (link) for an extra challenge.
Set Up: From a quadruped (all fours) position, lift your leg out to the side like…well, you get the name on the exercise… try to maintain your balance on the opposite knee and don’t forget to squeeze that booty at the top. Stay on one side for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side for a total of one minute.
Add-ons: A resistance band can be placed above the knee or around the shins to increase difficulty.
Be sure to check out my post from last week:
Jackie Parks is a certified Pilates instructor and owner of Jackie Parks Pilates (@jackieparkspilates). She has studied movement in a variety of ways and that blend of knowledge, passion and experience allows her to approach each body from a different angle. Jackie is passionate about functional movement, especially after injury or the beginning of your practice. She started her training in Yoga and moved to Pilates in 2014 where she has been happily stuck ever since. When she is not teaching you can find her chasing after her toddler, Waylon or enjoying Scottsdale living with her husband Jason
*Photos taken at Remedy Pilates & Barre in Arcadia, Arizona.