Got a flat butt? Tone and strengthen it with these beginner-friendly yoga moves.
Most of us sit down all day, no thanks to the sedentary nature of our jobs. When we sit for long periods of time, the muscles in the butt weaken because we’re not using them. Over time, this can lead to a condition called glute amnesia, which literally means that your glutes “forget” how to function.
Weak glutes can contribute to other problems, like lower back pain. This happens because your lower back muscles overcompensate for your inactive butt muscles. Weak glutes can also cause knee pain. When your glutes are not doing their job, your body mechanics will suffer. You won’t be able to properly control hips and thighs during physical activities, and this, in turn, places more stress on the knees.
Toning and strengthening your glutes will help to prevent pain in these areas. Doing so also benefits your fitness overall, as your glutes are the biggest muscle group in your body. You’ll jump, squat and run more powerfully and efficiently when your glutes are strong. Not to mention, your booty will look a whole lot better in jeans and form-fitting clothes. No more pancake butt!
For a more bootylicious butt, yoga can help. Do the following yoga poses to activate your glutes. You’ll have a more lifted butt in no time!
(Also read: Hold These Static Moves For Improved Body Strength)
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Place your hands on your hips. Shift your weight onto your right leg. On a exhale, bow forward and lift your left leg straight behind you, toes pointing down. Inhale, extend your arms forward. Exhale, pull your belly in and lift your neck to look forward. Stay for five breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Stand with your feet inner hip-width apart. Inhale, extend your arms up towards the ceiling. Exhale, bend your knees, coming into a squat. Inhale, lengthen your spine. Exhale, pull your belly in. Look down and make sure that you can see all 10 toes. If you can’t, shift your hips back until you can. Stay for five breaths.
(Also read: Can You Have Your Regular Diet and Get Abs?)
Step your feet wide, about three feet apart, and turn them out to 45 degrees. Inhale, bend your elbows 90 degrees, keeping them in line with your shoulders. Exhale, bend your knees in the same direction as your toes, coming into a wide squat. To deepen the pose, lift both heels off the mat. Stay for five breaths.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Place your hands on your hips. Take a big step forward with your right foot and bend your right knee 90 degrees, keeping your knee directly above your ankle. Stack your back heel over your toes, keeping your back leg straight. Inhale, extend your arms up towards the ceiling. Exhale, pull your belly in and descend your hips. Stay for five breaths. Repeat on the other side.
(Also read: Best Non-Slip Yoga Mats For Sweaty Sessions)
Lie flat on your belly, legs hip-distance apart. Point your feet back and interlace your fingers behind your back. Inhale, lift your head, chest, arms and legs. Squeeze an imaginary block between your shins to strongly engage your legs. Pull your elbows apart as you stretch your arms back. Stay for five breaths.
Lie down on your mat, arms by your side, palms facing down. Bend your knees and place both feet on the mat, hip-distance apart. You should be able to graze your heels with your fingertips. Press down on your feet, and lift your butt till your thighs are about parallel to the mat. Interlace your fingers behind your back. Squeeze an imaginary block between your thighs to strongly engage your legs. Stay for five breaths.
One-Legged Bridge Pose
From Bridge Pose, lift your left leg off the mat and extend it up towards the ceiling. Lift your hips as high as you can. Keep your fingers interlaced or place your hands behind your back for support. Stay for five breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Start on all fours, with shoulders directly over your wrists and hips directly over your knees. Step your feet back, stacking your heels over your toes. Push the ground away with your hands while pushing your heels back to strongly engage your legs and butt. Stay for five breaths.
(Also read: 8 Full Body Exercises You Can Do in High Plank Pose)
Three-Legged Plank Pose
From Plank Pose, lift your right leg off the mat, toes pointing down. Keep your right leg at hip height. Push down on your hands and the toes of your left foot to stay stable and balanced. Stay for five breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Zarelda Marie Goh is a certified alignment-based hatha yoga teacher based in Perth, Australia.
(Also read: The Best Yoga Poses For Weight Loss)