In the mood for a new butt exercise? I’ve got a good one for you today. It’s another variation on the kneeling style butt exercises that I seem to find the most effective for targeting the butt. I’ve seen this one around, but the funny thing with butt exercises is that not all of them have a defined name! So I’ve dubbed this one the Rainbow Rear Leg Lift. I think it’s certainly worthy of being on the best butt exercises list.
Exercise: Rainbow Rear Leg Lifts
Muscles worked: Glutes, hamstrings, core (including balance)
Jolie Recommends: 3 sets of 10 per side
Difficulty rating: 6
Effectiveness rating: 5
Best Butt Exercise #42: Rainbow Rear Leg Lifts
This exercise is a little exotic, but I promise you it’s good.
It’s kind of similar to donkey kicks (hence I though the rainbow horsie/donkey picture was appropriate here!) but the rainbow arc and straight leg variation makes it target a different area of your butt. Which is great, because here at the Better Butt Challenge, we love to hit that thing from all angles (yeah baby! lolz).
Remember the old saying that at the end of the rainbow is a pot of gold? I feel like this exercise is kind of like that, where the pot of gold in this case is the awesome booty that you’re going to end up with after some serious sets of these rainbow kicks.
So what’s so good about this particular butt exercise? I like it because it hits your glutes from heap of different angles due to the rainbow path that your foot takes. It’s also excellent for building your core strength and stability (washboard abs, anyone?), and I find that I also feel this one a bit in the backs of my legs, which I like to imagine does some good things for any cellulite that might be tucked away in that area.
In any case, it’s a good move to include in your routine every now and then as your glutes probably won’t know what hit them.
How to Do the Move
In my opinion, rainbow straight rear leg lifts are a kind of variation of donkey kicks/straight rear leg lifts. The word ‘rainbow’ is in the name because your foot will trace out the shape of a rainbow behind you.
You’ll start out on all fours, and the most important thing with any butt exercise in this position is to keep your spine in a neutral position (abs tight!) so you don’t arch your back excessively. Take a look at the video below to see what these rainbow kicks look like:
- Start from a kneeling position on all fours with knees about shoulder width apart and hands right below your shoulders.
- Engage your core muscles to keep your back and spine in a neutral position, and torso tight.
- Straighten one leg out to the side or at around a 45 degree angle, so the tips of your toes are touching the ground.
- Keeping your core tight, lift your straight leg up and around in a rainbow arc behind you. Try to keep your torso and abs tight the whole time, so only your leg moves!
- Touch your toes on the other side behind you to complete the rainbow arc, then bring your foot back in a rainbow arc to the starting position. That’s one rep on one side. Repeat for one side, then do it again on the other side.
Perfecting Your Form
- As usual, do this one slow and controlled to get the most out of it! Really use your mind to squeeze your glutes the entire time, and get them working.
- Try to keep your torso as still as possible, so that only your working leg is moving during the exercise.
- You absolutely must keep your core muscles tight and keep that stomach sucked in and not sagging. Remember, don’t let your back arch, as this will take away the effort from your glute muscles (which we don’t want!)
- Try to make your rainbow arcs higher to really feel this one in the butt.
This can be a tough exercise to get the hang of, especially the balance component of it! It took me a while to get form good enough to do a few sets, so I recommend beginners initially start with just 1 set of 10 per side until you can do these in a very controlled manner without your torso moving all over the place.
From there, build it up to 3 sets of 10 per side.
Once you really get the hang of this exercise, you can try it with weights to increase the challenge – ankle weights are perfect for making this one a lot more of a challenge for your glutes! Just remember to really keep those abs tight as this will keep the glutes really feeling it.