Some days, changing into your workout clothes, schlepping all the way to the gym and powering through a full one-hour workout (complete with warm-up and cooldown) isn’t in the cards. We get it. Fortunately, you don’t have to let your muscles turn entirely to mush, either. We teamed up with New York Pilates founder and former pro ballerina Heather Andersen to bring you four butt-firming Pilates moves you can do anywhere.
A Killer Pilates Butt Workout You Can Do From Home
1. "jane Fonda" Side Leg Lifts
Lie on your side with your bottom knee bent for stability (basically so you don’t fall over). Extend your top leg, keeping it in line with your body. Lift and lower your top leg 20 times, then do 20 dinner-plate-sized circles in each direction. Switch sides and repeat.
The challenge: Keep your pelvis stable and maintain your abdominal engagement so that the only thing moving is your leg.
2. Kneeling Side Leg Lifts
Kneel down on all fours, with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.Extend one leg out to the side, then lift and lower 20 times. Repeat with the opposite leg.
The challenge: As you move your leg, use your glutes to keep your spine and pelvis stable.
3. Kneeling Back Leg Lifts
Kneel down on all fours, with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Lift one leg behind you, keeping your knee bent and moving your toes toward the ceiling. Repeat 20 times with each leg.
The challenge: Use your abdominal muscles to stabilize your spine, which helps direct the work into your glutes while protecting your lower back.
4. Bridge Single-leg Kicks
Lie on your back with your knees bent and the balls of your feet on the floor, hip-distance apart. Balance on your toes and lift your heels like you’re wearing stilettos. Lift your pelvis, extend one leg, bring it back and then extend the other leg. Continue alternating legs while remaining on your tiptoes. Do 20 reps on each side.
The challenge: Engage your abs to help keep your back from arching or ribs splaying open. This will help direct the work into your glutes and protect your lower back. (It’s allll about the glutes, people.)
New York Pilates, multiple locations; 212-335-0375 or newyorkpilates.com