Your glutes comprise one of the largest muscle groups in your body. So yes, a pert derrière looks good in jeans, but strong butt muscles also protect your back and support many daily activities from walking up stairs to bending over or running to catch a cab. And because it’s one of the largest muscle groups in your body, you can dramatically change the shape of your butt depending on your goals and how you workout. Squats and lunges are the classic moves to shape your rear end, and when you add a power move to them — such as a jump at the end of a squat or a hop at the end of a lunge — you’ll take your routine and results to the next level. Add a leg raise, or two, and you’ll see major improvement in all areas.
But before you get creative, it’s important to learn the basics properly and know how to locate and access different parts of your glutes. That’s why the six moves I’ve prescribed here work so well. They’re all low impact, and can be tailored to your level of fitness. A medium-weight band adds all the resistance you need to start and provides some guidance as you go through the exercises. All of the moves also require you to engage your core — another important group of muscles — in order to stabilize yourself and perform the routine correctly.
TIP: For the passé lunge, make sure that your knee is over your ankle so that you’re keeping the work in your butt and not putting stress on your knee. You also want to go as low as possible to keep the work in your glutes, and not your quads (the front of your thighs). For the magic circles, make sure to isolate the leg movement and keep your hips still.
Perform this routine twice, which should take approximately 20 minutes, at least 3x per week.