Swimsuit season, shorts weather, summer—whatever you want to call it, we’re in it. It’s the time of year when denim cutoffs either call your name or taunt you. We prefer the former. So, with the aim of getting our posteriors in tip-top shape before the season of showing it off ends, we called in the big guns—top-rated trainer and Group Fitness Manager at the flagship Equinox Sports Club in West LA, Natania Goldberg. We asked Goldberg to select the best booty-shaping exercises and devise a plan that will strengthen, lift, and tone our rear-ends (in record time).
Keep flipping through for the step-by-step instructions on the bum-beautifying moves!
“Use one of these two exercises to create mobility through the front portion of your hips, allowing your butt to do all of the work in the upcoming exercises,” Goldberg says. After just 10-12 reps, your glutes will be activated (read: already burning) and primed for the next five toning exercises.
Diamond Get Up
• Sit on the floor, with both knees bent to 90 degrees, feet flat on ground in front of you.
• Drop your left knee down toward the floor, opening your hip so that the outer side of the left leg touches the floor.
• Sweep the right leg back behind you, so that your inner thigh, knee, and foot are also in a 90-degree angle in back.
• Making sure your body is sitting up tall, activate the glutes by hinging forward, keeping your pelvis (both front hipbones) facing forward. And then rise up onto both knees.
• The key part of the exercise is when you lower your bum back to the ground, be sure to hinge back with the glutes to avoid sitting on your foot.
• For an added challenge, hold a weight in the front of your body at chest level.
• Lie on your back, and bend your knees to a 90-degree angle, feet flat on the floor with your toes pointing straight ahead.
• Start with your hips level resting on the ground in a neutral position.
• Using the glutes, press your hipbones to the sky, keeping your feet flat on the floor.
• Lower your hips to the ground and repeat.
• For an added challenge, lift one leg off the floor, and complete 5 full bridge moves, while still keeping those hips level. Then repeat on the other side.
• Start with both knees kneeling on a mat, toes tucked underneath. Make sure your knees are under your hips, with your pelvis level and in a neutral position.
• Keeping your hips level, bring the right foot to the front, and plant it flat on the ground straight in front of you.
• Keeping your chest up, use the glute on right leg to bring you to a standing position.
• For more of a challenge, bring the left leg off the floor to balance at the top.
• Return back to your kneeling position by first bringing the left foot down to the knee, and then bring your right leg back to kneeling.
• The key here is to use your core and glutes to maintain a level position, so you’re not rocking from side to side as you transition up and down.
• Do 12-15 reps and repeat on the other side.
• Place your feet wider than hips-width apart.
• With your feet turned out slightly, line the knees up with the toes.
• Grab a dumbbell or kettlebell and hold it chest-level.
• Sit back into a squat, keeping the weight up by your chest.
• The key is to aim your butt back, while keeping your chest up.
• At the bottom of your squat, use your glutes and push up through the hips to stand.
• Do a set of 12-15 goblet squats.
Lateral Tube Walk
• Place a resistance tubing loop around your shins. Bring your feet a little wider than your hip’s width. Keep proper posture, with your feet facing straight ahead, knees lined up over toes, hips neutral, and shoulders back and level.
• Push off the right leg and transfer your weight to the left side as you step sideways.
• Stabilize with the left glute, and bring your right foot back to its original position.
• Continue moving in one direction for several steps, and then move back to the other direction. Repeat this movement about 12-15 times.
• The key here is to prevent your body from rocking side to side by using your glutes and core. A good visual cue is to pretend you have a book on your head—do not let it drop.
• The tubing will try to bring your knees in, and your hips will want to rock up and down. Your goal is to use your glutes to prevent the tubing from pulling your knees in and to maintain your hips’ level placement.
• Place a high step or bench behind you, and stand directly in front of it.
• Take a small step forward, transfer your weight to the right leg, and lift your left foot slightly off the ground in front of you. (If you need a little help, keep your left toe down on the ground like a kickstand giving you some extra support.)
• Maintaining level hips, and with your knees over toes, slowly sit back, aiming your bum towards the step or bench, while balancing on the right leg.
• Try to hit the step with your bum, maintaining good posture.
• At the bottom of the motion, use your right glute to stand up.
• Extra challenge: focus on a slowing down the lowering motion. Try 8 counts down to the step and 1 count up.
• Do 12-15 reps on the right side, before moving on to the left.
Glider Lateral Lunge To Cross-Back Lunge
• On a smooth floor surface, place a gliding disc or towel under your right foot.
• Keeping your knees lined up over your toes, make sure your left foot is making full contact with the ground.
• Keeping the majority of your weight on your left leg, hinge back to sit into a squat.
• Extend your right leg out to the side, keeping it straight and in line with the left foot.
• The key here is to use the left glute to stabilize your left leg, allowing the right leg to glide out.
• At the bottom of your squat, use the left glute to bring you back to upright, allowing the right leg to glide back to the starting position.
• Repeat the same sit-back squat position on your left leg. But this time, bring your right foot behind the left foot, keeping toes sliding on the glider or towel.
• Using the left glute, stand up from the squat as the right foot glides back to the starting position.
• You want to maintain the left foot’s position straight ahead, keeping your knee in line with the foot, and standing in the upright posture to ensure you are fully engaging the glute on the left side.
• Repeat the full exercise 12-15 times. Then do the same on the right side.
What body part do you focus your toning efforts on? Let us know what areas you like to target in the comments!