Your buttocks are part of your core stabilizer muscles and strengthening them helps keep your back healthy. Plus, the gluteal muscles are the biggest in the body, and when you tone them you gain more calorie-burning muscle mass which revs your metabolic rate. I love the way yoga and Pilates moves tone and shape the buttocks.
Try doing these moves three to four times a week for a sexy, strong backside.
Awkward Chair Pose
Chair pose is a great squat that sculpts the hips, thighs, and buttocks. Start standing with your feet together, then bend your knees and sit back in to an imaginary chair. Lift your arms up alongside your ears and press your palms together. Feel your legs completely engaged and supporting you in the pose. Hold 8 to 10 breaths for maximum results and repeat 3 to 5 times.
Revolved Half Moon Pose
Standing at the front of your mat, lift your left leg up in the air as your hinge your upper body forward (as if coming in to Warrior III). Lower your right hand to the floor, and lift your left hand up in to a twist. Keep your pelvis completely level, engage your thighs, and twist from your core and waist. Hold 5 to 8 breaths on each side.
Upward Plank Pose
I love this pose for toning the area where the buttocks and top of thighs meet. Start seated with your legs straight out in front of you and your hands 10 inches behind you with your fingers facing forward. Press firmly in to your hands and feet and lift your body up. Engage your hamstrings and entire back body. Hold for 8 to 10 breaths and repeat 2 more times.
Ballerina Butt Lifts
This Pilates move tones the entire buttocks region plus the hamstrings and lower back. Lie face down with your forehead on your hands. Bend your knees and bring your heels together and turn your toes out. Press your heels up to the ceiling and lift your knees off the floor while squeezing your heels together. Lower down then repeat for 20 reps.
The clam is great for toning the gluteus minimus and rounding out the behind. You can do these any time, even while watching TV! Lie on your side with your knees stacked then open and close your top leg (while keeping the toes together) 20 times. Really concentrate on squeezing your outer thigh, hips, and buttocks. Switch and do the other side.
Kristin McGee is a leading yoga and Pilates instructor and healthy lifestyle expert based in New York City. She is an ACE certified personal trainer who regularly trains celebrity clients in New York and Los Angeles. She serves as Health’s contributing fitness editor and is frequently seen on national TV. Her latest in a large collection of fitness DVDs is YogaSlim. Follow her on Twitter @KristinMcGee and like her page on Facebook.