Getting to the gym is hard enough as is, and the wait for equipment once you’re there makes it even worse. Fortunately, you can get a great workout without any dumbbells, barbells, or fancy machinery. Our Weight-Free Workouts series focuses on a different muscle group each time to show you how to build strength, even when you don’t have access to the gym. With these moves, any time can be workout time.
Try these five exercises to get a better butt. You’ll look and feel better.
1. Glute bridges
With this move, simple is best. Get into position by lying on the ground with your knees bent and your feet flat against the floor. Your arms should be flat against the floor, running parallel to your body. You may need to start with them a bit out to the side for added stability. Keeping your abs tight, raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your shoulder to your knees, then lower yourself back to the starting position. Check out ACE Fitness for a great tutorial.
2. Single-leg hip thrust
To perform this move, lie on the floor with your knees bent at 90 degree angles and your feet planted on the ground. Bend your right knee and pull your leg slightly toward your chest, leaving just your left foot planted. Clasp your hands against the floor directly above your butt, and keep your pelvis tilted backward in a way that allows your lower back to lie flat against your hands. Keeping your pelvis in the same alignment throughout, push through your left foot until your hips are raised as far as possible without causing your back to arch. Pause briefly, then slowly lower yourself back to the beginning position. After you complete one set with your left leg, switch sides.
3. Side bridge hip abduction
The side bridge hip abduction focuses on the gluteus minimus and the gluteus medius, which are the muscles most responsible for movements that extend your legs out to the sides. Since these muscles are a bit smaller, you really don’t need to rely on additional weight to pose a significant challenge. Start out on your side with your legs fully extended in a straight line, your feet stacked on top of each other, and your elbow planted below your shoulder. Raise yourself into a side plank until your body forms a straight line, then raise your top leg toward the ceiling as far as you can without coming out of alignment. Lower your leg, then lower your body back to the ground.
4. Donkey kicks
To perform the move, position yourself on your hands and knees, with your arms extended straight below your shoulders and your knees bent at 90-degree angles. Your back should be flat. Contract your glutes and raise your left leg until it forms a straight line with your back and shoulders. Hold the position at the top of the move briefly, then return to the starting position. Head over to Bodybuilding.com if you need more guidance.
5. Hill sprints
According to STACK, going up an incline demands a greater amount of force and an increased degree of hip flexion, forcing your glutes to work harder than ever.
In addition to strengthening your glutes, hill sprints are also a great way to get some quality cardio in a short amount of time. The length of the interval will vary depending on how steep your hill is and your fitness level. No matter where you start, make sure to warm up before starting. For recovery between intervals, jog downhill back to the start.