5 Butt-Busting Exercises To Whip You Into Shape

Our waistlines are already lamenting the nonstop treat-eating sessions and boozy soirées that litter our calendar for the next few weeks. We’ve barely scratched the tip of the holiday-party iceberg and we can literally feel our pants sizes doubling. Luckily, to help us curb the impending poundage is Nini Gueco of the cult-followed S.F. workout, Avant Barre.
We’ve enlisted her to show us five must-try workouts that you can do anytime, anywhere — before that food coma gets the best of you. Seriously, give them a whirl in the comfort of your home. From an addictive butt-sculpting exercise to a leg-shaping move that will leave you in awe, these are the only exercises you need this season.
Exercise 1: Pliés
Targets: Legs
Step 1: Stand on profile at a ballet barre or sturdy chair/countertop with your heels together and toes apart into a first position. Hold onto the barre with one hand and place your other hand on your waist.
Step 2: Keeping your spine vertical, belly pulled in, and heels flat on the floor, slightly bend your knees and then come back up again. Repeat six to eight times.
Step 3: Bend your knees deeper — into a grand plié — try to keep your heels firmly planted and your spine upright; slowly lift your heels to accommodate your seat.
Step 4: Slowly re-extend your legs by squeezing your booty and flexing your quads and calves, plant your heels down as quickly as you can, and then straighten your legs. Repeat four to six times.
Exercise 2: Rainbows
Targets: Booty

Step 1: Start on your hands and knees.

Step 2: Lift and extend one leg straight behind you.
Step 3: Lower opposite forearm to the floor crossing your body and lift your leg higher by squeezing your butt, while pulling your belly in tight towards your body.
Step 4: Slowly lower your leg outward using your butt muscles to control the movement against gravity.
Step 5: Squeeze your butt again to lift your leg back to the original position.
Step 6: Next, slowly lower your leg crossing the midline of your body using your butt muscles to control the movement.
Step 7: Squeeze your butt back to the original position (that’s one rep). Repeat eight to 10 reps on each side.
Exercise 3: Strength Pike
Targets: Arms and Abs

Step 1: Sit down with your legs straight, toes pointed, and hands on the floor directly under your shoulders. For a modification, you can bend your knees slightly and flex your feet.

Step 2: Straighten your arms to lift your butt off the floor, feeling the strength in your arms and back. Keep your shoulders away from your ears and chest lifted. Tuck your pelvis up to trigger your low abs, exhale sharply and simultaneously pull your abs in with each breath to strengthen your core.
Advanced Option: Lift one leg up and pulse it in towards your body with each exhale, keeping the rest of your body still. Either way, hold position 10 breaths then reset and repeat.
Exercise 4: Ballerina Side Bends
Targets: Sides

Step 1: Kneel down and extend your left leg directly out to the side; flex your left foot and plant it on the ground with your toes facing forward.

Step 2: Reach both arms out to the sides, lift your chest and bend your upper body to the right reaching your left arm overhead in the same direction. Look up underneath your arm and turn your ribcage up to the ceiling.
Step 3: Using your left obliques, return back to starting position and then repeat four to six times and switch sides.
Exercise 5: Flat Back
Targets: Abs

Step 1: Lie down with your head touching a wall or sofa. Press your hands firmly above your shoulders into the wall; angle your elbows up to the ceiling bending your knees, and lift your knees over your hips in a tabletop position. Inhale and exhale a few times, feeling your abs engage and flex against the resistance of your hands pushing into the wall.

Step 2: Inhale, then as you exhale, tighten the muscles around your waist as you straighten one leg up to the ceiling and the other one directly forward to form an L-shape.
Step 3: Inhale and bring your legs back together in tabletop position and then switch sides; repeat six times on each side.