If you're looking to shake up your workout routine, turn to Pilates. This discipline is all about strengthening and lengthening your muscles, improving posture and boosting flexibility.
Whether you're a beginner or an experienced practioner, there's a great array of moves for your butt that take just a few minutes to perform but have incredible benefits.
If you love pilates, you probably have your favourite toning and strengthening moves. If you're looking for new exercises to add to your routine, try these six moves:
Pilates Moves to Shape Your Butt
It's not a good idea to perform all these exercises at the same time. These are options you can incorporate into your usual, well-balanced routine.
Don't overwork your glutes in Pilates, as it's necessary to work the muscles in relation to the amount of effort required for the exercise.
1) Pelvic Curl
Pelvic curls are an exercise in Pilates that stretch your spine and abdominal muscles while engaging your glutes, hamstrings and lower back.
To do this exercise:
- Lie on your back. Keep your knees bent and feet flat on the floor (preferably use a mat).
- Exhale;pull your navel toward your spine to do a pelvic tilt.
- Inhale; curl your tailbone up by pressing down through your heels.
- The hips raise, followed by the lower and middle spine.
- Come up to the base of your shoulder blades with a straight line from hip to shoulder.
- Hold the position for five breaths while digging your heels into the mat.
- Inhale one last time before rolling down to release all the tension.
- Repeat 3-5 times depending on your fitness level.
2) Heal Beats
The heal beats exercise is a Pilates butt exercise that strengthens the glutes, back muscles, hamstrings, inner thighs and tones the legs.
- Lie facedown on the floor with your arms stretched above your head.
- Your legs should be together, and your feet straight underneath you.
- Raise your abdominal muscles off the mat.
- Feel your spine lengthen as you do that.Turn your legs out very slightly at the hip.
- Draw the inner thighs together, and keep your heels as tight as possible while you lift them up off the mat.
- Keep abs lifted as you straighten your legs into the air—then quickly beat your heels together and apart 20 times as quickly as possible before lowering your legs back to the mat.
- Repeat the exercise twice with short rest periods between each repetition – then rest for 1-2 minutes (or longer).
Swimming is both fun and challenging. It's an exercise that might take a little practice, and it will become easier to coordinate your limb movements over time. This one targets your glutes but also stretches and works all your core muscles.
To do this exercise:
- Lie face down on the floor, with your legs straight and together.
- Stretch your arms straight up over your head, keeping your shoulders away from your ears.
- Pull in your abs so that you lift your navel up and away from the floor.
- Lifting everything up in the air – head, arms, legs and abs – lift yourself up into a lengthened reaching position with the entire body extending upwards into space.
- Paddle one arm up and one leg up at a time; alternate right arm/left leg then left arm/right leg pumping up and down in vigorous pulses for 30 counts or three full breath cycles.
- Breathe in for five counts and out for five counts for each cycle of 30 counts. Perform three cycles or one full set of 30 counts.
4) Leg Kick Back
The leg kickback is a great glute exercise, but if you don't have an exercise band, you can do the movement without it.
To do this exercise:
- Begin on all fours with the workout band wrapped around your right instep.
- Hold the ends under your hands.
- Lift your abdominal muscles, and extend your right hip so that your thigh is parallel to the floor.
- While maintaining this height in your knee joint, slowly kick your heel back till your leg is straight.
- Bend your heel toward your butt without letting your knee fall toward the floor.
- Repeat eight to ten times on each side, and feel free to mix up sets with hamstring stretches using the same band.
5) Double Leg Kick
The double leg kick is a great intermediate exercise. It's easy to do and has a powerful effect on your butt muscles.
To perform this exercise:
- Lie face down on the floor with your legs together, and clasp your hands together behind your back, as high as possible.
- Pull your abs in, and elevate your belly away from the mat as you inhale.
- Exhale; Bend both knees, and kick your heels toward your butt in a three pulse kick.
- Inhale; Keep your hands clasped behind you, and extend your arms behind you, arching your upper body high off the mat.
- At the same time, stretch out your straight legs just above the mat.
- Exhale; Return to the starting position with your head turned to the opposite side.
6) Horse Kick
The horse kick, when done correctly and with sufficient repetition, is an excellent exercise for building strength in the legs.
To perform it correctly:
- Get down on all fours, and make sure your knees are directly under your hips, and your wrists are below your shoulders.
- Tuck your toes under to engage your core muscles.
- Lift your knees from the floor without resting them there, and do 15 kicks on each side without stopping between sides.
- Once you feel like you've mastered the move, try with one foot in the air at a time.
The various Pilates moves for glutes and hips can help you change up your workout, so you don't get bored doing the same exercises over and over again.
Add these moves to your regular at-home Pilates routine, or check out a Pilates class where you can try these moves out under the guidance of a trainer.
Q. Which pilate move is your favourite?
Leg Kick Back
38 votes so far