Want a toned butt? Give this yoga sequence a try.
With swimsuit season quickly approaching, you may be looking for the best, most effective way to improve the definition in your glutes. When you work to tone these muscles, you’ll be the proud owner of a nice, toned butt, all summer long! In addition to the cosmetic benefits, however, having strong glutes will also help you stabilize your hips, which can prevent injury when you’re doing other activities.
Below are the top five yoga poses to help you achieve stronger, more defined glutes and more resilient hips. Mix them into your yoga routine to get your butt in shape for summer!
By Dr. Beth Brombosz
To come into bridge pose, start with your back on a mat or ground, your arms long by your sides. Scoot your heels in towards your butt so that your fingertips graze the back of your heels. Plant firmly through your feet and shoulders and press your hips up on an inhale. Think about engaging your quads and glutes to lift your hips higher. Start by holding the pose for five breaths and work up to holding for 30 seconds to a minute. Try working up to holding this pose three times in a row.
If you’re feeling very solid in bridge and you have good upper body strength, wheel pose AKA upward facing bow. Start in a similar setup to bridge, but place your hands right under your shoulders with your fingertips pointing back towards your heels. On an inhale, lift your hips high, trying to get your arms as straight as you can. Focus on engaging your glutes to bring your hips higher. Hold for several breaths, then carefully roll down, one vertebra at a time.
Start finding your Warrior II by taking a wide stance on your mat. Your front heel should be in line with the arch of your back foot. Your front foot is parallel to the long edge of your mat and your back foot is perpendicular to the mat. Press equally through both feet. Begin bending your front knee, keeping it directed toward the middle toe of your front foot. Make sure that your front knee isn’t coming forward of the front ankle; if it is, take your feet further apart. See if you can get your front thigh parallel to your mat. Hold this pose for three to five breaths to start, building in duration as you get stronger.
In Warrior III, make sure you’re grounding down through all four corners of the standing foot. Pull the muscles of both legs tight and flex through the back foot a lot. Pretend that you’re kicking something behind you, which will help engage the glutes.
Half Moon Pose
Try coming into half moon from Warrior II. Press off your back foot and bring your bottom arm (your right arm if your right leg was forward) to a yoga block or to the ground, stacked directly under your shoulder. Try to stack your shoulders and hips on top of each other. Just like in Warrior III, flex the top foot and pretend that you’re kicking something behind you to engage the glutes a little more.
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All images courtesy of Beth Brombosz.