The Sneaky Tweak That Immediately Makes Your Butt Workout Way More Effective

Photo: Getty Images/Cavan Images
I'm practically religious about doing a butt workout at home on the mat in my living room. Almost daily, I strap on a pair of ankle weights and follow along as a trainer streams instructions through my television. One of my most recent workouts left me feeling the burn more than ever before because of a sneaky little tweak in my foot placement.

According to modelFIT trainer Abbey Woodfin of modelFIT Steaming, paying attention to your foot placement increases effectiveness. Not necessarily because of how it affects your butt directly, but because of how it affects your legs, which in turn grants a perkier behind.

"For example, when you're on the mat and you're doing a leg curl (straight leg then curl into a 90-degree angle), having the heel flexed will help activate the hamstrings, as well as fire up that booty. Then when you keep the 90-degree angle, point the toe, and pulse at then end, this works that part of your bum where your hamstring and booty meet," she says. "It's basically an instant booty lift. And as a bonus, that will also activate your inner thigh."

Basically, she wants people to know when you're told to have your heel flexed versus your toe pointed during class, your trainer isn't just being controlling. "It's because it helps work different parts of your bum and thighs, giving you a more comprehensive workout," Woodfin explains. "The foot placement will change where you feel it and how it works your body. When we work out mindfully, it changes everything."

To feel the powers of different foot placements for yourself, try Woodfin's mini butt workout at home. "These moves are simple, but when done correctly, you'll have worked your outside thigh and hip, inner thighs, hamstrings, and the underneath part of your booty," Woodfin says.

The best 10-minute butt workout at home

  1. Start on all fours on your mat. Flexing the heel, extend your left leg straight out at hip height. Bring it back in. Push and pull the leg out and in. Perform 15 reps.
  2. Keeping your leg at hip height, point the toe and lower your left leg to the diagonal (think of landing an airplane). You should feel it on the outside of your thigh and hip. When you pull the leg back up to the center, flex the heel. You should feel it activate your inner thighs and hamstrings. Perform 15 reps.
  3. Keeping your heel flexed, leg straight out, lower onto your forearms. Curl the heel in toward the bum and be mindful not to snap the heel all the way to the bum—stop at a 90-degree angle. Extend and curl, keeping the heel flexed. Perform 15 reps.
  4. Keeping the leg at a 90-degree angle, lower the leg down to the ground and lift it up (donkey kick) one inch above the hips. Perform 15 reps.
  5. Finish by pointing the toe and pulsing it out. Perform 30 quick, tiny pulses.
  6. Repeat on the opposite leg.

Feeling extra confident after a butt workout at home? There's a scientific explanation for that. And to really work up a sweat, look no further than these six moves Shakira does whenever, wherever she needs a good booty workout.

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