About This Workout
The term yoga butt is no joke — just check out the downward dogs all around you in most any class. "Yoga lets you sculpt, mold, and tone your lower body using just your body weight," notes celebrity yoga instructor Hilaria Baldwin, the creator and model of the six backside boosters on the next slides. And the perks don't stop there, says Baldwin, who famously helped her husband, Alec, get into shape. "These strengthening moves stretch you too, so you're elongating your muscles at the same time that you're toning them," she explains. Get a lift of your own by doing the exercises for just 20 minutes three days a week.
Targets butt, hamstrings, quads, and calves
- Stand near top of mat with feet together; hinge forward from hips and touch hands to floor a few inches in front of feet, keeping elbows bent.
- Lift left leg diagonally behind you toward right.
- Bending right knee, swing left knee back down behind right leg toward outside of right knee.
- Extend left leg behind you again as you straighten right leg; repeat.
- Do 10 reps, switch sides and repeat. Do 3 sets.
- MAKE IT HARDER: Touch left knee to right ankle.
- Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms overhead, palms in. Step left leg back, lifting heel; keep both legs straight.
- Bend right knee 90 degrees while twisting torso to right; bring left arm forward to shoulder height and reach right arm behind you. Hold for 5 counts.
- Twist torso back to center; raise arms while straightening right leg. Repeat. Do 3 sets of 10 reps per side.
Targets butt and outer thighs
- Begin on all fours, knees under hips and hands under shoulders. Place left forearm on floor so that left hand is perpendicular to right hand; twist torso slightly to the right and lift right leg just off floor.
- Keeping right knee bent 90 degrees throughout, raise right leg out to hip height. Lower leg under hip without letting it touch floor; repeat.
- Do 20 reps, switch sides and repeat. Do 3 sets.
- MAKE IT EASIER: Bring leg only 45 degrees out to side.
Targets butt, hamstrings, outer thighs, and calves
- Start in downward dog: Get on all fours on mat, then tuck toes under and press hips back and up toward ceiling as you walk feet back a few steps to form an inverted V, balancing on palms and feet; keep heels on floor.
- Maintaining inverted-V position and keeping elbows locked, lift right foot off mat and extend behind you, foot flexed, forming a straight line from head to heel.
- Turn toes to the right and bring right leg directly out to side at hip height, keeping leg parallel to floor and foot flexed. Hold for 5 counts.
- Return right leg back behind body, then repeat bringing leg out to side.
- Do 5 reps, switch sides and repeat. Do 3 sets.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, May 2013.