Most fitness pros will tell you that the secret to getting a tight, toned, super-strong booty isn’t such a secret after all: it’s as simple as doing a few squats a day. But let’s be honest, the whole stop, drop, and squat thing can get really boring, really fast. Ariel Hoffman, NASM-certified personal trainer and director of program development at AKT in Motion, says squats are great, but they’re not necessarily the most effective moves when it comes to working your behind.
“What happens in a squat a lot of times is that people don’t actually engage their glutes while they’re doing it,” she says. “That’s why you may feel the burn in your quads or calves.” The key to targeting the butt muscles, Hoffman says, is to stabilize the rest of the body so you’re really working and activating the glutes—something that doesn’t always happen with a squat. Ready to feel the burn? These six squat-free, Hoffman-approved moves force you to isolate the glute muscles for focused sculpting. (Do all six three to four times a week for maximum booty-boosting results.)
Starting on all fours or a plank position, with the shoulders over the wrists and the abs engaged, lift your left leg directly behind your body, slightly turning the leg out and pointing the toe. Lift the leg up and down while engaging the glute. Be careful not to let the lower back arch. Repeat eight times on each leg.
PLANK LEG EXTENSION PULSES
In the same position, pulse the lifted leg three times, keeping it turned out and pointed. Repeat four times on each leg.
From a plank position, extend the left leg out. Draw it in to tap the right elbow, then sweep it to the left before returning it to the starting position. Repeat eight times on each side.
While on all fours, or in a plank position, lift the left leg up and then outward, tapping it to the side and then returning to the start position. Repeat eight times on each leg.
From all fours, lift the left leg up and bring it out to the side of your body, making a 90-degree angle. Lift until it’s nearly parallel to the ground, then return to the starting position. Repeat eight times on each leg.
While on all fours, lift the left leg and right arm simultaneously and pulse eight times. Repeat on the opposite side.