WORKOUT WEDNESDAY: 5 EXERCISES FOR YOUR BUTT

Happy hump day, and that it will be! 

Here's 5 exercises that will work your butt. 

Standard Squats

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Stand with your feet hip distance apart or slightly wider. You should be in parallel position (toes facing forward, knees tracking in line with your second toe). Drop  your butt back as if you're sitting back into a chair and then come back to standing. When you come back to standing squeeze your butt to lift you up. If you're knew to these, just thinking about your butt and hamstring working to bring you up will help your muscles kick in and build up strength. 

* Don't drop your hips lower than your knees during this exercise. 

Do 30 reps, three times. Not sure what to do with your arms? You can hold them out in front or place them on your hips. To advance the pose hold a 5lb weight at your chest. 

Glute Bridge

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Lay on your back with your legs down by your side, bend your knees and place soles of your feet hip distance apart and parallel. Rock back onto the heel of your feet before you begin. Lift your hips up to the ceiling, lifting your butt off the mat, then tap it back to the mat. That's one - although you'll know it, because these burn! 

Do 30 reps, three times make sure your arms stay down by your side, and keep the lower belly engaged throughout (this will keep your spine and pelvis nice and protected).

Side Leg Raises

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Lying on your side, extend the lower leg out straight along the mat, rest your head in your hand,  and place your other hand on the mat infront of your chest. Press into that hand (this will help keep your balance). Turn your top leg out from deep in the hip socket, and raise it up to the ceiling, then lower it back down. The movement is coming from engaging the muscle below your seat ledge as you lift it, and as you lower it, your inner thigh engages. The movement should be controlled and slow (this isn't a can-can type of exercise). 

Do 20 reps, three times on both sides.

*You want to try and keep your hips even throughout the exercise. If you feel your top hip swaying back as you lift to leg, try keeping the leg slightly further in front of your hip as you raise it, and keep it a little bit lower to start. 

Donkey Kicks

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Start on your hands and knees. Hands underneath your shoulders, knees underneath your hips. You want to create one long line from the top of our head all the way down to your tailbone, so place your gaze a couple of inches in front our hands so your head stays in line, and zip up your lower belly so your pelvis stays neutral. From there lift one leg up, bend it at the knee and flex your foot so the sole of your foot is facing up to the ceiling. From that position you lower the leg in the air to meet the opposite knee (without placing it on the mat) and then lift it back up. 

Do 15 kicks, three times on each leg

* It's really easy to arch through your spine during this exercise so make sure you keep your belly engaged throughout the exercise and if you can't lift the leg up to the 90 degree angle without your abs engaged, just lift it to a height where your abs stay engaged - work from there as your strength builds. 

Standing Leg Lifts

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Start with your feet hip distance apart and parallel, place your hands on your hips. Shift your weight onto one leg and with the other lift it to the side -it won't go very high because you are keeping the leg in parallel. You are using your outer hip muscle to lift it the side and your inner thigh muscle to squeeze it back to center. You are also engaging your stability muscles intensely here to help keep you balanced. Keep your leg flexed in this variation, as it will help keep your whole leg engaged through each rep. 

Do 30 reps, three times on each leg.