Renee Scott, a former ballerina and fitness instructor behind the cult-favourite Barre Attack workout, shares her simple, at-home exercises that will help you strengthen your butt.
1. Alternate Arms and Legs
For: Core, back extensors, glutes, hamstrings.
Start: Kneel on your hands and knees, knees under the hips and hands under the shoulders. Reach the right arm and the left leg away from each other and up to hip height. Lower them down to touch the floor and lengthen them away to lift them back up to a long line.
Form: Lengthen the arm and legs as long as possible before you lift them up in the air, the alignment of the spine should be the same as a plank or a correct standing position with a natural arch through the lower spine. Try not to lift the shoulders or twist the hips to do the movement, and make sure the pelvis stays stable and aligned.
Feel: Feel a stretch and reach out through the body while gently scooping and re engaging the stomach, pulling the stomach into the lower back and the lower back lifting up toward the ceiling with a neutral spine (natural arch of the lower back)
Reps: 10 reps each side x 2
2. Plie on a rise
For: Glutes, inner thighs , quads, core, ankle stability.
Start: Legs a bit over hip width apart and externally rotated from the top of the hips, knees are following the toes, bend the knees and bring the bottom down as low as possible, keeping the torso upright and the knees tracking over the toes.
Form: Try and keep the torso upright as you slide down in between two imaginary walls at the front and back part of the body. Heels stay lifted at ‘kitten heel height’, try and keep the ankles stable the whole time and draw the pelvis down as low as possible.
Feel: Scoop up through the stomach and lengthen through the spine and the torso, keeping the core engaged will help with alignment and endurance. Squeeze the bottom and draw the inner thighs towards each other on the way up allow the knees to draw out and the tummy to draw in and up on the way down.
3. Flying Arabesque
For: Glutes, hamstrings, back extensors, core and standing stabilising muscles.
Start: Standing on one leg with the supporting leg bent and upper body pitched forward at 45 degrees. Lengthen the back leg behind the hip, keeping the leg straight and the core switched on, lower and lift the back leg.
Form: Keep zipping up through the stomach like you have an internal corset on as you extend the leg up to the ceiling and tap the toes down. Really lengthen out through the torso from the crown of the head right down to the ends of the toes in one long line.
Feel: Feel that you are lengthening the spine like a long aeroplane flying forward. Connect the glutes on the back leg by externally rotating the thigh and bend the supporting knee, pulling the weight slightly back into the heel to connect the glutes and hamstrings on the supporting leg.
Reps: 10 each leg x 3 sets
Former professional ballet dancer and founder of Barre Attack which is practiced by over 10,000 women in Australia every week. Renee was also trained as a Pilates instructor by Romana Kryzanowska, the direct descendant of Joseph Pilates. She trains teachers to become Barre Attack instructors anywhere and has an online series.
This article was first published by Women's Health.