While it’s true that squats can work your glutes from every angle, they get pretty boring after, oh, a second. It’s why you really can’t sustain a tight tush on squats alone. Besides, there are plenty of variations which, when performed together, could put the basic squat out of business. (You’re welcome.)
Ready to, ahem, round out your glute routine? Try these nine butt moves designed by Chelsea Dornan, a National Academy of Sports Medicine-certified personal trainer and instructor at Uplift Studios in New York City. Repeat each exercise for 45 seconds to one minute in the order listed below, and repeat the entire set up to three times to seriously feel the burn.
1. Single-Leg Glute Bridge. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor near your butt and hip-width apart. Keeping your knees in line, extend one leg. On your exhale, squeeze your glutes and push your hips up toward the ceiling as high as you can go. Pause, then lower until your butt hovers right above the floor, and repeat without touching the ground.
2. Hydrants with Leg Extension. Begin on all fours with your knees hip-width apart and your wrists stacked over your shoulders. Lift your left knee toward the ceiling, then extend the left foot straight out to the side. Pause before you bend your knee again, and bring your leg back to starting position. Repeat for 45 to 60 seconds on the left side before you switch to the right.
3. Rainbows. Begin on all fours with your knees hip-width apart and your wrists stacked over your shoulders. With a pointed toe, extend your left leg behind you and slightly to the left side. It should be level with your spine. Keeping your core tight and leg straight, slowly lower your leg to tap the floor. Squeeze your glutes as you lift the leg back to starting position, then slowly tap the floor about a foot to the right. Return to starting position to complete the rep. Repeat for 45 to 60 seconds before you switch legs.