Yoga is a great way to relieve stress, improve flexibility and achieve mind-body balance, but it can also do a bang-up job on your glutes as well! If you're looking to achieve a little more firmness and tone for your derriere, the following four yoga poses will definitely do the trick.
1. The Big Toe Pose
If you can imagine folding your body completely in half at the hips, that's pretty much what the Big Toe Pose is all about. It's a great way to lengthen and strengthen your hamstrings, which will help provide a little more contour to your posterior.
- Stand with your feet about six inches apart, and bend at the hips while keeping your legs completely locked straight. Try to move your head and torso as one unit as you bend over, and don't stop until your abdomen and chest
are asclose to the top of your thighs as possible. It's a good idea to exhale before bending over,so that you can create a tighter "fold" without feeling like you're going to explode.
Hook the index and middle fingers of each hand under the big toe of each foot, gripping firmly underneath your big toes for more stability.
Now slowly try to lift your torso back up again, but don't relax your grip on your toes. Instead, straighten about your elbows and allow your hamstrings to really stretch as they resist the pressure from this movement. Hold for about 30 seconds to one minute, taking deep breaths at regular intervals, and then slowly return to the starting position.
2. The Elevated Wide Squat
The Elevated Wide Squat is a very effective pose for firming up your rear end and opening up your hips.
- Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, turning your toes outward at 90-degree angles.
- Bend your knees and allow your hips to sink as if you're about to sit in a chair, lowering your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor and your knees are directly over your ankles.
- While holding this squat position, raise up onto the balls of your feet and lift your arms directly over your head. Hold this position for about one minute.
3. The Bridge
Not only is the Bridge an excellent pose for toning your glutes and hamstrings, but it's a heck of a lot of fun to do as well.
- Lay down on the floor (hopefully on a yoga mat or some other padded surface), with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Your arms should be by your sides.
- Push with your feet so that you lift your tailbone off the floor, and try to create an unbroken line with your thighs and torso. Clasp your hands together underneath you.
- Hold this pose for 30 seconds to one minute, keeping a squeeze on your glutes as much as possible. If you want to make it a little more challenging, try lifting one leg straight up in the air and holding it for about 10 seconds, and then switch to the other leg and do the same thing.
4. The Balancing Table
This static pose will definitely give your glutes a run for their money, and it will also tone your back and abdominal muscles as well.
- Start by getting on your hands and knees. Now lift your right arm up and extend it straight out in front of you while also lifting your left leg and extending it straight behind you. Try to keep your belly nice and tight, and make sure that both extended limbs are parallel to the floor.
- Now try to lift your extended limbs a little higher than parallel, and hold that position for about 30 seconds.
- Lower your right arm and left leg back down to the floor, and repeat this exercise on the other side with the left arm and right leg.
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