Yoga can be an amazing exercise for the body. It can allow you to improve posture, strengthen the core, and lift the butt. That is, if working toward a tighter, more yogilicious booty is a priority for you.
Having toned glutes make you look good but the benefits go beyond just the physical appeal. If you want to strengthen your gluteal muscles, or simply work on your fitness goals, our free 30 Day Yoga Challenge is a good starting point. When you engage your glutes more, your body learns to move efficiently, improving your daily motion. You also lessen your chance of getting unwanted injuries on your back, hips, knees, and legs.
Here are some poses and some things to think about in common poses to activate those gluteal muscles.
1. Mountain Pose
Standing in Tadasana is more than just standing up tall and straight. If you activate a trio of quads, glutes and abs, you will be much more engaged and solid. Simply taking your focus to your glutes can make Tadasana more about the activation of the muscles.
2. Half Locust Pose
Start on your belly with arms bent at elbows, hands placed together like a pillow for your forehead to rest on and legs long. Slowly lift one leg at a time. Alternate legs or repeat the same leg lift several times.
Engage your core as you lift and squeeze your butt at the top of the lift. To activate the glutes more, be careful to keep the front of the hips down and pressing into the mat.
3. Chair Pose
Utkatasana (Chair Pose) has a lot of muscles that are in play and turned on when you sink your little booty back to that “chair.”
To concentrate on the gluteals, work on aligning your knees over the ankles and shift your weight to the heels. This is hard to do, so continue working toward a deep chair posture.
4. Low Lunge Pose with Back Knee Up
In this pose, be sure to use your legs as stabilizers to hold yourself up. Activating the legs is in contrast to putting a lot of weight on your arms and hands that are connecting with the mat.
Engaging the back leg, and introducing tightness to the hamstrings, quads and gluteus muscles will keep you strengthening in this pose.
5. High Lunge Pose
Add glute-activating variety to a high lunge or crescent lunge by pulsing with your breath.
On the inhale, rise and get a tad taller by lengthening the upper body and extending the front knee a bit. On the exhale, sink back into the pose and bring the front knee to a ninety degree flexion. Lunges require major work of the gluteus muscles to stay upright and balanced.
6. Balancing Star Pose
Start in Star Pose and slowly lift one of your legs, tilting yourself to the opposite side. Engage the gluteus muscles by both dorsiflexing (pull toes toward the shins) the foot of the leg that is floating and lifting the leg higher.
This pose will really activate the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus that lie deep compared to the gluteus maximus, or the outermost butt muscle.
Have you noticed stronger, tighter, more lifted glute muscles since you started practicing yoga? What is your favorite glute activating yoga pose?