A simple way to kick off even a quickie workout, these squats are powerful little moves. Over time, increase reps and dumbbell weight to amp them up.
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and 8- to 10-pound dumbbells by your thighs.
Squat down as if you were going to sit in a chair, keeping your weight over your heels.
Squeeze your glutes as you return to the start position.
Do 15-20 reps.
As you continue, keep the weight in your heels, making sure your knees do not pass forward of your toes.
For a bigger challenge, try it without the weights, jump explosively, and land in the squat position.
I’m all about no-fuss moves that really work, and the plié falls into that category: It’s as simple to do as it looks, but infinitely more toning than you’d expect. (In fact, it’s one part of the Brazilian Butt Lift workout, below. Get on that.)
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing out.
Bring your arms out straight in front of you and lower into a squat.
Come back up and repeat. Go as low into the squat as you can without letting your knees move past your toes.
Be sure to tuck your tailbone under and contract your glutes. Keep your torso tall, and don’t let your knees creep past your toes.
Do for 1 minute. (After about 40 seconds, pulse at the bottom of the squat for 20 seconds.)
I would typically shy away from anything that referred to my bum and any explosions, but this move gives me an awesome stretch through my glutes while testing my balance and coordination and patience.
Stand with your feet together and your hands on your hips.
Then lunge forward with your right leg.
Jump up, switch legs in midair, and land with your left leg in a forward lunge.
Continue these explosive lunges, alternating sides, for one minute.
Keep your fists up in front of your chin and push off the floor with both feet. Your front knee should be bent 90 degrees and align over your ankle.
9-Clam Dig with Rotation
Tight hips, be gone: The outward hip rotation in this move feels incredible. As for toning your butt (and obliques and shoulders)? Talk to us the day after you try this exercise for the first time.
Lie on your right side with your head cradled in your right palm.
Bend your knees in front of you 45 degrees.
Hold a 5- to 8-pound dumbbell in your left hand and keep your left elbow on your left side.
Lift both your left leg and your left arm up to the ceiling at about 90 degrees, keeping your hips stacked without rocking backwards and with your elbow pressed into your side.
Hold at the top for 2 seconds before returning to start. Repeat for 1 minute, then switch sides.
A yoga sequence that works your entire body, sun salutations can especially benefit your butt: As you move from downward-facing dog into lunges and back through chair pose, you’ll feel an incredible stretch right through your glutes down through your thighs and hamstrings.