Lifting the Rear — Exercises to Tone the Gluteals

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This is another post in our series of Fitness Saturday exercises, workouts, and expert tips appropriate to women in the second half of life. Jonathan Urla, a certified advanced health and fitness specialist, shares exercises to help give you a firm and lifted rear!


One of the most difficult muscle groups to train effectively are the gluteals, also called the buttocks. This could be because we sit on them a lot of the time and the nerves which activate the muscles become deadened. Additionally, the glute area loses tone as we age and we simply don’t use these muscles enough to re-activate them. Today I’m going to show you some exercises that I do in my Barre classes that will very effectively isolate your glutes and help give you a firm and lifted rear!

1.     Single Leg Bridge — Start lying on your back with your legs bent (see image one). Cross your right foot over the left thigh in a figure 4 position. Press up your hips using your left buttock and hold the position for ten seconds (see image 2). Feel the weight mostly on the heel of your left foot. Then, start to pulse up your hips 10-30 reps. Lower your hips back down, cross the left foot over the right thigh and repeat on the other side. Note: if you find the exercise is uncomfortable, you can do a regular Bridge instead (see image 3).

Shoulder Single Leg Bridge1Image 1

Image 2

Image 3

2.     First Position Shoulder Bridge — Starting again on your back with your legs bent, flex and turn your feet out so your knees point out to the sides and the outer edges of your feet are on the ground (see image 4). Press down with the outer edges of your feet to lift your hips to bridge (see image 5). Hold the position ten seconds and also press your knees open as much as you can. You should really feel your outer glutes fully engaged. Pulse your hips up and out with your thighs at the same time for 10-30 reps. Lower down and pull your knees into your chest to stretch your hips and buttocks.

Bridge First PositionImage 4

Bridge in First PositionImage 5

Next Page: Kneeling Back Leg Lifts

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