Whether you’re after major fitness gains or an “on-trend” look, chances are you’ve spent some time trying to strengthen and tone your butt. The glutes are among the strongest muscles in your body, which means they have a huge impact on overall fitness, but occasionally they’re undertrained.
Of the three major muscles—the gluteus maximus, medius and minimus—the gluteus medius (the one on the outside of the pelvis) can be tough to target and strengthen. Fitness and wellness expert, David Kirsch has worked with clients to train this tough area. He shared his top moves for a tight and toned “side butt” with us.
Sumo Lunge with Side Kicks (DK signature move)
Start standing in a “sumo” position, with your feet slightly wider than hip width, knees bent and your body weight in your heels. With your right leg, take a big step to the side, bringing your right knee in toward your chest and then over to the right in one continuous motion. As soon as your right foot touches the ground, bring your knee back into your chest and complete a side kick, kicking your right heel out to the side into the stomach of an imaginary opponent.
Lower your right leg to the floor into the sumo position. Squat down while sticking your butt out. Keep your knees just above (not in front of) your toes. Spring up while thrusting your arms overhead. Land on your heels, rolling forward onto your toes. Repeat with a sumo lunge and side kick with your left leg and another frog jump. Continue alternating right to left until you have completed 10 lunges on each side and 20 frog jumps.
Platypus Walks (DK signature move)
Start holding a medicine ball with both hands and extend your arms overhead. Squat in a sitting position with your knees aligned with your toes and your butt sticking back as far as you can get it. Keep your core tight as you walk forward, pushing off through each heel. If you perform the move correctly, your butt and inner thighs will be on fire. Walk across the room in one direction and then reverse and walk backward. If your room is small, repeat the walk.
Bent Leg Deadlifts
Start holding a body bar, dumbbells, medicine ball, or even a broomstick in a pinch and stand with your legs shoulder-width apart. Bend forward, hinging at the waist—keep your knees soft and back flat. Come back to starting position.
Make it easier: If you're feeling shaky, hold the back of a chair or the edge of a table for balance.
Make it harder: If you're feeling great, try lifting your alternate leg as you go down.
Note: all illustrations are courtesy of David Kirsch Wellness Co.