No ifs, just butts: 6 glute-shaping bodyweight moves
It may be flat, it may be curvy, it may be falling out the back of your pants (pull them up, will you?) Whatever shape your booty is in right now, we’re on a mission to tone, firm, lift, and (most importantly) strengthen it.
Not just because it will look good in gym gear, but because your glutes are your power generator. Strong gluteal muscles play a crucial role in everyday movement and athletic performance – from explosive jumps and acceleration to simply standing and changing direction.
By the way, do you have a sore back from sitting at your desk all day? Weak or tight glutes are probably part of the problem, and making them stronger will help to improve your posture and alleviate back pain. Yessiree, it’s time to put that booty to work.
What’s going on with the glutes?
Your glutes incorporate three separate muscles: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. The gluteus maximus generates the main shape of your booty and is responsible for movement in your hip and thigh. The gluteus medius and minimus work as a dynamic duo to support sideways movement and rotation.
As one of the biggest (and strongest) muscle groups in the whole body, your glutes don’t just generate power, they also burn some serious calories when you put them to work.
So, are you ready to kick your butt into gear?
Your trainers’ best butt-strengthening bodyweight moves
Whatever type of workout you’re smashing on Centr – muscle building, boxing, Pilates, HIIT, functional training, MMA – you can be sure your trainer is working those muscles in some shape or form.
But to really zoom in and pump up your behind, we’ve lined up 6 of our trainers’ go-to bodyweight glute exercises. Prepare to feel the burn!
Ashley Joi: Skaters
This move is a triple threat – and one of Ashley Joi’s lower-body favorites. Inspired by Olympic speed skaters, it involves lateral jumps to help strengthen your glutes while working your legs and hips to improve stability and definition.
Starting on your right foot, jump to the left, landing on your left foot with a bend through the knee while bringing your right foot behind to tap the ground and stabilize.
Then fire up those glutes to spring to the right side in the same movement, keeping your chest and head up as you do.
To drive the skating motion, swing your arms, reaching your opposite hand towards the landing foot. If it helps, you can touch the ground with your opposite hand to punctuate the movement, before you feel able to pick up the pace.
Repeat this skating motion from side to side.
Da Rulk: Hop Scotch
Functional training expert Da Rulk knows the importance of strong glutes for everyday movement and athletic performance. Work on your butt and your balance in this explosive move.
Step your right leg back into a deep reverse lunge. Make sure your front knee doesn’t bend over your front toe.
At the same time, bring your right arm forward and send your left arm back in a running motion, opposite arm to leg.
From here, using your arms for momentum and balance, spring off your left leg and drive your right knee up toward your chest.
Continue to move your arms in a running motion, alternating as you jump, then return back to your lunge.
Repeat on the other leg.
Torre Washington: Hip thrusts
Hip thrusts are a staple of Torre Washington’s strength training. They can be done on a bench with a barbell, or on the floor (as demonstrated in the video above.) The thrusts engage your posterior chain muscles, but particularly your glutes, to build strength, power, and explosiveness. They’re also a great toning move.
Lie on your back, arms flat at your side, knees bent and feet on the floor around hip-distance apart.
Engage your core, then squeeze your glutes and push from your heels to drive your hips upwards until you are forming a straight slope from your knees to your chest.
Hold this position for a moment, then, maintaining core and glute engagement, lower your hips and backside back down to the floor. Repeat with a steady pace.
You can keep the soles of your feet flat on the floor, or just your heels – whatever feels more comfortable.
For extra resistance and burn, use both hands to hold a dumbbell across your hips during the exercise.
Luke Zocchi: Frog squat
Luke Zocchi is a big fan of the butt and thigh-burning frog squat. He loves them so much that he roped Dan Churchill into doing 150 of them as part of an unforgettable Centr Unleashed challenge. Squatting deep really puts your glutes to work, and because you don’t fully rise out of the squat position during this exercise, you maintain intense pressure on the muscles.
Start in a squat or ‘prayer’ position – feet hip-width apart, hands together, arms pressed to the inside of your knees.
As you drive your legs and glutes up, bend at the hips, pointing your hands and face towards the floor.
As you lower your glutes back into the squat, bring your chest up to return your upper body to a ‘prayer’ position.
Torre Washington: Fire Hydrants
They might look funny, but you won’t be laughing when you feel the burn! Fire hydrants primarily work your gluteus medius, the muscle better known as the ‘side butt’.
Begin on all fours, with your shoulders positioned over your wrists and your hips over your knees.
Brace your core and squeeze your glutes, then raise your right knee out and up, keeping your right leg at a 90-degree angle as you do so.
Return your knee to the ground.
Repeat on the other side, focusing on keeping your torso stable and your core engaged as you complete your reps.
Bobby Holland Hanton: Squat thrusters
This plyometric move from Bobby Holland Hanton won’t just pump up your glutes, but your heart rate as well.
Start in a plank position, elbows slightly bent, hands and toes on the floor.
Squeezing your glutes, jump your feet forward towards your hands, bringing your upper body and hands upright into a squat position.
Hop your feet back out behind you, bringing your hands back down to the floor and returning to a plank position. Repeat at a steady pace.
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