Next time you go to a yoga class, take a moment to check out your instructor. Chances are he or she has a high, tight butt and slim thighs. If you’re looking to slim down and shape up this summer, yoga may quickly become your best friend. The lean, yet muscular look of yoga fanatics looks trim and natural, while an overly-muscled gym body can come across as too bulky and thick. The ability of yoga to tone and trim, among other things, is why more and more men are turning to yoga. Obtaining your dream body doesn’t require you to do endless weighted squats, run 10 miles every morning, or bust out set after set of leg presses. All you need is your body weight and a mat.
These carefully selected yoga poses do two things. They give your butt some love by toning and firming the glutes and lengthen your buttocks by teaching the muscles to relax. They also firm and slim down your thighs, providing you with strength minus the bulk.
1. Downward Dog splits
If you’ve been to a yoga class before chances are you know about Downward-Facing Dog. This staple pose can feel like a sigh of relief after a hard sequence, but don’t underestimate what it’s doing to your body. Start on your mat resting on your hands and knees. Straighten your knees and lift your butt up towards the ceiling. You’ve arrived in Downward Dog. Hold for a moment and feel the stretch up your backside. Then, press your hands and left foot into the floor and lift your right leg up and back so it’s pointing toward the wall behind you. Keep your right leg straight and point your toes stretching out. Hold here and release. Repeat with your left leg.
2. Side Fierce
When you want to put the heat on your inner thighs, try this heart-pumping pose. Stand at the top of your mat with your feet together. Bend at the knees to squat down into Fierce Pose. Put your hands together in prayer in front of your chest and try to keep your butt low as you rotate your torso to the left and cross your right elbow over the outside of your left thigh. Actively press your right elbow into your thigh to twist and lift your torso. You’ll have a tendency to let your right knee shoot forward as you twist, so pull back so your hips are squared towards the front of the room. Keep your butt low and the weight into the back of your heels as you hold here for five deep breaths.
3. Variation on High Lunge
For a nice all-around tone on your gluteal muscles, quadriceps, and hamstrings, there is nothing better than a High Lunge. From Downward Dog, step your right foot between your hands and rise into a lunge. You should be on your left toes with your entire back leg straight. Keep your right knee bent so that your shin is perpendicular to the floor. With an inhale, stretch your arms overhead, palms facing each other. Keep your belly pulled in as you reach your torso up while simultaneously letting your lower body sink lower into the lunge. Hold for five breaths and then return your hands to the floor and step your right foot back into Downward Dog. Repeat High Lunge on the other side.
4. Locust Pose
Lie on your stomach with your arms along either side of your torso, palms facing up. Turn your big toes towards each other so you can inwardly rotate and tighten your thighs while firming your butt. Exhale and lift your head, upper torso, arms, and legs up off the floor so only your lower torso and hips are on the ground. Tighten up your butt and stretch out actively through your legs while keeping your big toes turned toward each other to get that inner thigh workout. Hold here for 30 seconds to one minute before releasing your body to the floor, and repeat.