7 Moves for an Instant Butt Lift

You can do these exercises anywhere.

By: Noah Lehava

Theres something refreshing about how beauty ideals have shifted from the (oft-dangerous) waiflike body goals of the early aughts to the healthy, natural, and curvy ones of today. (Were going to ignore the questionably natural enhancements of the Kardashians, of course.) Were all for the movement of eating nutrient-dense food for fuel and working out to feel our very best. But sometimes we like to take a more targeted approach to toning, like, say, our butt. So whether youre looking to build a little more back there, or want to lift and tone what youve already got, Equinox’s Becca Pace shows us her seven best moves for carving out a perky butt.



1st Position Plié

Start with heels up then press them into... Read More

Start with your heels up, then press them into one another. Bend the knees over the toes, and tuck the tailbone down, bringing the hips forward. Bring the knees slowly to center so they touch, then, using the glute muscles, pull the knees wide (as if to draw a line from wall to wall). This exercise targets the buttocks (glutes), the abductor muscles (inner thighs), as well as the hip flexor muscles. Do 15-20 pulls back.



2nd Position Plié

2ND POSITION PLIE Start with knees should line up over... Read More

Start with your knees lined up over the toes, hip bones facing forward, and tailbone down. A common mistake is to over-turn out the feet, causing the knees to fall in. This can cause knee pain! Lift one heel high and sit deeper in the legs (grande plié’), switch heels, and sit deeper in the legs. As you move from right to left, drop the torso to the center of your mat, feeling the buttocks and inner thighs. Do 15-20 repetitions with each heel lifted.



Bridge with Leg Extensions

Start on the back with feet beneath the knees, shoulder blades pressing down, arms to the sides. Lift the hips. Press up to the balls of the feet and make sure they line up directly beneath the knees. Extend one leg to the ceiling. Keep lifted leg straight, and point the toes. Slowly lower the hips, then liftpressing into the ball of the foot. This exercise works not only on strength in the buttocks, hamstrings, and lower back/core, but also works flexibility. Do about 10-12 each leg.



Frog Leg Lifts

”FROGGIE” LEG LIFTS Lie on your stomach placing the forehead either... Read More

Lie on your stomach, placing the forehead either on a yoga block or on stacked fists. Contract the abdominals. Turn hips out, and pull heels together so they touch. Hips stay connected to the floor, and spine stays neutral. Lift the heels toward the ceiling, pulling as much of the thigh off the floor as possible. Squeeze buttocks at the top and hold for a moment. Lower the thighs down slowly, keeping heels touching. This exercise strengthens the buttocks, lower back, core, and hamstrings. Common mistakes: pulling the chin up and ‘breaking’ the neutral neck position; lifting too fast, allowing the hips to lift as well. Do about 10-12 slowly with control.


Back Attitude Leg Lift

Start in 1st position plié. Shift weight into one leg; keep the standing leg bent. Connect the big toe of the lifted leg to the back of the standing heel, and turn the knee out. Keep the moving leg in the same position when lifting (aim to lift the outside of the knee higher than the heel). Slowly lower to starting position. This exercise targets the buttocks, the hamstrings, lower back, and hip flexor muscles. Do 10-12 repetitions on both legs.



Parallel Leg Lifts

PARALLEL LEG LIFTS Begin in 1st position plie’. Step leg back... Read More

Begin in 1st position plié. Step leg back directly in line with the hip and shoulder, and turn the leg in so that all five toes are facing the floor; flex the foot (pull toes toward the shin, push the heel away from the leg). Pull shoulders back, and aim collarbone to the ceiling. Lift the heel toward the ceiling (it may be a very small movement); keep the moving leg straight at all times. Standing leg can be straight or bent slightly. This exercise targets the lower back, buttocks, and hamstrings. Common mistakes: bending the moving leg; allowing the moving leg to turn out (not all five toes are facing down); collapsing forward in the upper body; and lifting the leg too high. Do 15-20 each leg.


Down Dog Split Leg Lifts

DOWN DOG SPLIT LEG LIFTS Start in Down Dog... Read More

Start in Down Dog (lift hips high, and evenly distribute weight into the hands and feet). Point one foot, and slowly lift the leg to the highest point without kicking to get there, and control the leg back to starting position. Make sure that both shoulders stay wrapped down toward the floor (don’t allow one shoulder to pull up as the leg lifts). Do 12-15 each leg.