People tend to forget that yoga is actually a sneaky butt-sculpting workout. Flowing into various poses helps to mobilize and strengthen your entire body, plus it’s benefitting your mind through mindful breathing, but so many of the moves require a huge amount of glute strength.
In our newest episode of Well+Good’s Good Moves, yoga instructor Andrea Russell shares a 12-minute vinyasa yoga sequence that works all your muscles, but definitely puts a special focus on the glutes. “Glutes are super important because they help to stabilize your outer hips, your lower back, and keep you well balanced,” she says. “This is super, super important for a really good yoga practice.” To get your butt burning (in a good way), keep scrolling for Russell’s yoga for glutes workout.
Try this yoga for glutes workout for yourself
1. Leg reaches: Start on all fours, shoulders above the wrists and hips above the knees. Tuck your toes and press into your palms as you reach your left leg back. Your ankle should be the same height as your hip. Broaden your collarbones, exhale, and reach your leg out to the side, toes facing the front, ankle in line with the hip. Inhale and reach your leg back, then exhale and tap your toes to the floor just outside of the right ankle. Flow through this sequence three times, making sure the right hip doesn’t pop up too far.
2. Downward dog split: Reach your foot down towards the floor in line with the hip. Tuck that right toe, move your hands forward, and reach your right foot back into a downward dog split. Adjust your position if you need—make sure you’re stable. Then bend your knee and open up at the hip joint.
3. Hip circles: Move the knee in big circles, escalating the hip joint. This warms up your glutes and your hips. Then switch directions. After several circles in each direction, extend your right leg high, squaring the hips.
4. Flow: Take your right knee in towards your nose, and step the right foot next to your right thumb.
5. High lunge: Reach both arms up, inhaling into high lunge. Breathe in and stand up straight, then exhale, bending both knees. Hover your left knee two inches off of the floor. Repeat, inhaling to stand up, exhaling to bend.
6. Pyramid: Exhale into low lunge, with your hands framing the front foot. Straighten your back foot, pulling your outer hip back. Breathe in, then exhale, folding into a pyramid pose, chest forward and down. Lift both knee caps as your chest reaches forward. If your hands can’t reach the ground, grab your blocks so that you feel stable.
7. Flow: Re-bend the right knee and look forward, moving into plank pose. Press the floor away, arch your back and firm up the belly. Lower your knees down, then bring just your chin to the mat. Inhale, point the toes, and slide yourself into low cobra. Exhale into child’s pose.
Repeat the sequence on your opposite side.
1. Downward facing dog: Reach your right leg up and back, exhale as you pull it in towards your nose, placing your right foot next to your thumb.
2. Triangle: Grab a block if you have one and place it outside of the right ankle. Ground your back heel down and take the right hand to the hip. Pull your inner thighs together, straighten the front leg into triangle pose. Extend the opposite arm up and really turn the chest, letting your shoulders hang back.
3. Half moon: Take your left hand to your hip, make sure you’re stable, and move a block forward six to 12 inches in front of you in line with the pinky toe. Shift your weight forward, right knee bent. Hover your left knee up, then find the full expression of half moon, reaching your hand up. Bring your hand to your hip and start reaching your left foot out towards the side, staying stable on the standing leg and a microbend in the knee. Tap your foot down, reach it back up and to the side, then reach back behind you, tapping the toes down. Repeat this sequence.
4. Chair pose: Step your toes together, bring your hands up, and sit back into chair pose. Take deep breaths, sitting your hips down further with each exhale.
5. Figure-four stretch: Lay your ribs on top of your thighs, reach forward, and sit all the way down. Take your right ankle on top of your left thigh, hands behind you. Sit up nice and tall. Option to move the left ankle back to increase the stretch, flexing toes firmly. For a deeper stretch, lay that left shin down so it’s parallel to the front of the mat. Take your hands forward, option to fold your chest over your legs.
6. Reverse tabletop: Unfold your legs and put your feet hip-distance apart in front of you, and place your hands behind you, facing your seat. Lift your hips into reverse tabletop position, opening through the chest and using your glutes to lift your hips up. Your head can fall back if your neck allows it. Breathe, exhale as you lower your seat down. Inhale to raise up and repeat the sequence. Cross your ankles and move back into downward facing dog.
Repeat the sequence on your opposite side.
1. Twist: Put your feet together on the mat and hug the shins. With your right arm, twist over to the left, sitting up nice and tall. Exhale as you look over the left shoulder. Switch to the other side.
2. Bridge lifts: Reach your arms forward and take your time rolling down through the spine, keeping your feet flat on the mat. Once you’re flat, move your feet back so that your knees are above your ankles. Press through the palms and lift through the hips into bridge. As you exhale, lower down, making sure your knees don’t fall out wide. Repeat, exhaling to lower, inhaling to lift. Add your arms by lifting your arms, with the backs of your hands touching back behind you at the peak of your hip lift. Exhale and lower everything down. And you’re now ready for savasana.
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