5 Must-Do Body-Weight Butt Exercises for Runners

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5 Must-Do Body-Weight Butt Exercises for Runners

Having a strong butt is really, really important. That’s because knee pain is often traced back to weak hips and glutes. So targeting

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these areas and focusing on strengthening your hips, thighs, and butt can help prevent pains.

Plus … your glutes are involved in almost every athletic activity from running and jumping to plié-ing, dancing, and pulsing. So working on your backside can help lead to improvements in future workouts.

So add any (or all!) of these bodyweight butt moves below to your regular strength routine.

1. Rainbow Down Dog — do two sets of 10 reps on each side

downward dog gif

Start in a downward dog position. Shift weight to left and extend right leg to right with foot pointed. Lift right leg up and over, creating a semi-circle, lowering on a diagonal behind left leg. Retrace the circle with right foot. That’s one rep. Do two sets of 10 reps on each side.

2. Figure 4 Bridge — do two sets of 10 reps on each side


Lie on back with knees bent, feet flat on floor with heels a few inches away from butt. Cross right ankle over left knee and spread arms in a low “V” next to body with palms facing up. Press through left heel to lift hips a few inches off mat. Pause, then slowly return hips to mat. Do two sets of 10 reps on each side.

3. Clams With Raised Toes — do two sets of 10 reps on each side

clams raised toes gif

Lie on left side with left arm propping torso up, or extended on floor if that’s more comfortable. Keeping head in line with spine, bend knees forward and lift both feet off floor keeping your torso stable. Rotate right knee up, opening legs, then close right knee and immediately move into the next rep without lowering feet to floor. Do two sets of 10 reps on each side.

4. Crab Extension — do two sets of 10 reps on each side

crab extension gif

Start in reverse tabletop position with feet planted on floor, knees bent, wrists below shoulders with fingers pointing away from body. Push through heels, lifting hips in air and reach right arm up and over. Pause, then lower to return to start. Alternate sides with each rep. Do two sets of 10 reps on each side.

5. Ice Skate — continue for 30 seconds, rest, then repeat one more time

ice skate gif

Stand on left foot with right foot slightly lifted. Jump as far as you can to the right, landing on right foot, swinging left foot behind body and left hand forward. Reverse the movement, jumping to the left, landing on the left foot with right hand forward. Do as many reps as you can in 30 seconds, rest, then repeat one more time.

Want more booty-sculpting moves? Check out the full list of 50 butt exercises from Crystal Stein, American College of Sports Medicine Health and Fitness Specialist and a Tier 3+ trainer at Equinox in NYC.

—Photos courtesy of SELF.

—By Bari Lieberman

About the Author


SELF is the magazine that makes living healthy easy and fun. SELF’s motto: Being fit, strong and active means feeling great, being happy and looking your most beautiful. With trademark authority, SELF speaks to women about three key areas of her being: her body, her looks and her life. SELF makes it fun and fulfilling to be your happiest, healthiest, best self. Reaching a total audience of 12 million each month, SELF is the founder of the Pink Ribbon for breast cancer awareness and an ASME National Magazine Award winner for excellence in journalistic achievement in print and digital. SELF is published by Condé Nast, publisher of Vogue, Vanity Fair, Bon Appétit, GQ, Glamour, The New Yorker, Wired and other celebrated media brands. Visit Self.com and follow @SELFmagazine on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Foodily and Google+.

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