There's no shame in saying it: this year was all about the butt. Whether you wanted a toned tush for bikini or skinny-jean season, we brought you the workouts to help you achieve that showstopping derriere. It doesn't matter how little time you have to spare — these six videos are all about booty-lifting results.
It's hard to make your way through a yoga class without rising up into Warrior 1. This bold pose may be basic, but it's one of the most effective ways to tone your lower body. Want to get more out of it? Try these four techniques to sculpt your butt even more.
- Get low: Just as with squats and lunges, when you're hips aren't low enough, you're not taxing your butt and thigh muscles. Check your alignment to make sure your stance is wide enough to allow your pelvis and front knee to be in one line, with your front thigh parallel to the ground. Press into the outside edge of your front foot to prevent your knee from leaning in, and you'll really feel the outer area of the butt burning.
- Shift back: Your center of gravity is also important here. Lean too far forward and you'll not only be placing unnecessary pressure on your knee joint, but you'll also be working your thigh more than your butt. Be sure to lean your weight toward your back leg. Do this by pressing into the ball of the front foot — you might feel this in the front of your back thigh (hip flexor), but you'll also feel it in your seat.
- Mix it up: Since your body is used to the basic Warrior 1 position, it gets proficient at it. Mix things up with these variations — changing the positions of your arms and torso makes it more challenging for your lower body:
Burning Low Lunge
Open Rotated Warrior 1
Squats — you love 'em, you hate 'em, or you love to hate 'em. In any case, they are a simple, effective, and versatile move to have in your workout arsenal. Squats work your entire lower body: calves, hamstrings, glutes, quads, and lower back. They help prevent injuries caused by imbalance or overuse, and they also help with your balance. Whether you are new to the squat world or are bored with your normal workout, here are seven squat variations to add to your routine.
— Additional reporting by Leta Shy
Your legs and tush don't ask for much, but if you listen closely, all they want is one small thing: you, on your mat, and five minutes of your time. This isn't called "Burning Squats Yoga Sequence" for nothing! Hold each of these poses for the full five breaths, and your lower body will be on fire.
- Come onto the hands and knees with your wrists underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips.
- Inhale as you tuck your toes under your heels. Then exhale to lift your hips, coming into the classic upside-down "V" shape called Downward Facing Dog.
- Spread your fingers wide, and create a straight line between your middle fingers and elbows. Work on straightening your legs and lowering your heels toward the ground. Relax your head between your arms, and direct your gaze through your legs or up toward your belly button.
- Breathe deeply for five breaths.
- From Down Dog, inhale to step your right foot forward between your hands. Turn your left heel in, press into your feet, and lift your torso up.
- Raise your arms up and press your palms together. Draw your shoulder blades down toward your hips, and gaze up toward your hands.
- Stay here for five breaths.
- Hold your legs in Warrior 1 position, and on an exhale, cross your left elbow over your right thigh.
- Press your palms together firmly, and push into your bottom arm to lengthen the spine and increase the twist.
- Gaze over the right shoulder, breathing for five full breaths.
- Hold Rotated Warrior arms, and inhale to step your left foot forward to meet your right.
- Stay for five breaths, keeping weight in the heels.
Open Side Fierce
- From Side Fierce, exhale to plant your left palm on the floor beside your right foot. If you can't reach all the way, just allow your fingers to hover in the air, as close to the floor as possible.
- Extend your right arm straight up toward the ceiling, stacking your shoulders, and gaze at your lifted palm. Make sure both knees are parallel.
- Hold for five deep breaths.
- From Open Side Fierce, plant both hands to the right side of your mat so they're parallel with your thighs. They should be shoulder-width distance apart with fingers spread wide.
- Lean into the palms, and rest your right hip on your right elbow and your outer right knee on your left elbow.
- Try to keep your knees together as you shift all your weight into your hands and slowly lift your feet off the floor.
- It's OK if you lose your balance and fall over. Just keep trying until eventually you can hold this pose for five even breaths.
Although the name is funny, donkey kicks are a great exercise that you can do anytime, anywhere. This move will work both your butt and your lower back — all you need is a floor!
- Start on all fours, with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
- Keep your right knee at a 90-degree angle as you slowly raise your leg behind you until your thigh is almost parallel to the floor. Pulse your flexed foot toward the ceiling by squeezing your glutes. Your back should remain perfectly still in a neutral spine. The motion should be small and controlled with the muscle doing the work and not momentum.
- Return to start position to complete one rep. Do 20 on each side, two to three times.
Tip: Keep your back straight and in neutral alignment, pay special attention that you don't arch your back. Use your muscles to create a slow, controlled movement — do not swing your legs.
It's true, in five minutes and five moves, you can tone your entire body. Perfect for those traveling over the holidays, these exercises don't require equipment and can be done anywhere. Set the stopwatch on your phone, and get ready to feel the burn. Time is tickin'!
Arms: One-Legged Push-Up
- Start on your hands and knees.
- Extend your left leg behind you so it's parallel with the floor. Engage your abs.
- With your leg extended, bend your elbows lowering your torso toward the floor while keeping your left heel in line with your left hip. Straighten your elbows to push yourself away from the floor.
- Repeat for a total of 30 seconds then lift your right leg for another 30 seconds.
Backside: Standing Booty Kicks
- Stand tall, and place your hands on your hips.
- Put all the weight in your left leg, keep both legs straight, and lift your right leg directly behind you. Let your glutes do all the work. Keep your right foot flexed, and work on lifting your heel as high as you can without leaning your torso too far forward. Engage your abs to help you stay balanced.
- Then lower your right leg so it's parallel with your left, but don't let it touch the ground. Then lift it back up behind you.
- Repeat this move for 30 seconds at a moderate pace. Then lift your left leg, and repeat the same movement for another 30 seconds.
- Lie on your back, and reach your arms rigidly to your side, off the floor. Lift your legs off the floor, and point them so they are at about a 45-degree angle. Lift your head so your shoulders are off the floor as well.
- When ready to begin, lift your upper torso off the floor, and bend your knees. You can lean back to make this move harder or come up more to make it easier. Lower back down to the floor so your legs are straight out and your back is on the floor but not your head, shoulders, or legs.
- Repeat for one minute. Keep your abs engaged as you perform this move instead of relying on gravity; if it gets too hard, then keep your knees bent as you lower down.
Legs: Wide Squat
- To start, keep your hands clasped in front of your chest as shown. Step your feet apart so there's about 20 inches between your heels. Point your toes out slightly.
- Bend your knees and elbows, keep your shoulders over your hips, and lower down so your weight is back in your heels. Then straighten your legs and arms.
- Repeat this movement for one minute.
Obliques: Twisting Side Elbow Plank
- Come into an elbow plank on your right side, with your feet stacked one on top of the other. Rest your weight on your right elbow with your fingers reaching away from your body, palm down.
- Place your left arm behind your head, and inhale to prepare.
- Exhale and pull your navel to your spine to engage your deep abs, and rotate your left rib cage toward the floor. Stay there for a second, and deepen your abdominal connection, pulling your navel in toward your spine even more.
- Return to starting position, and repeat for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat the motion for another 30 seconds.
Even if you've nixed your membership at the gym, there's no excuse to skip your workout. Forget the days of hauling around free weights, and focus on using your greatest tool — your body's strength! — with these 53 exercises. If you're trying to specifically focus on your upper body, lower body, or core or you want some new plyometric moves to get your heart rate up, click below to head to the right place.
Your leggings and skinny jeans are psyched. You know why? Because you just did this four-minute butt workout, that's why. You can give yourself a pat on the back and someone just might give you a pat on the tush when they notice you've been spending a little extra time on your backside. For even bigger butt burn, repeat these exercises two or three times.
Bridge With Leg LiftDo 20 seconds with the right leg lifted, then pulse for 10 seconds. Repeat with the left leg lifted.
Sumo Squat Heel ClicksRepeat this move for one minute being sure to lower the hips and press weight back in the heels as you squat down.
Knee CirclesComplete 30 seconds circling the knee forward, then another 30 circling backward. Repeat on the left side for another minute.
Need to shape up your backside before you start the new year? Look no further — we've got over 30 of the most effective exercises to perk up your backside fast. Read on to learn the moves, and stick around to the end for five celebrity-inspired butt-shaping video workouts for you to follow!
— Additional reporting by Michele Foley, Lizzie Fuhr, Susi May, Jenny Sugar, and Jaime Young