I recently learned this exercise as part of the Booty Bands 10 Day ‘Bubble Your Butt’ workout – and it’s awesome!
This exercise is a variation of reverse hyperextensions, which are a well-known exercise to train your lower back, hamstrings, and of course, glutes.
In this version, because of the bent knee position, I feel like it becomes more of a glute-focused move than a lower back one. Especially if you do it with a Booty Band or other mini resistance band around your knees, you’ll really get the glutes engaged because you’ll be pressing your thighs out against the band – a little secret for getting otherwise lazy glutes to activate.
Exercise: Scorpion pumps
Muscles worked: Glutes, hamstrings, lower back
Jolie Recommends: 3 sets of 20 , with 20 pulses on the last rep for burnout!
Difficulty rating: 5
Effectiveness rating: 7
Best Butt Exercise #45: Scorpion Pumps
This butt exercise is great because you can do it easily at home. All you need is a mini resistance band (I really like to use my Booty Bands for this one, because it provides a really firm resistance), or you could even do it with ankle weights if you didn’t have a band. Heck, you could even do it with no equipment and still probably get a nice burn going – so don’t go coming up with excuses if you don’t have any equipment at home, okay? 😛
You’ll also need a padded bench or something similar that you can lay on to do the move. In the example video, Danita uses a padded ottoman, but I’ve done these on the armrest of my couch, or even just on the side of my bed with no issues. You could even do them on a park bench – just supply your own padding under your hips in the form of a towel or yoga mat, and you’re good to go!
How to Do the Move
Here’s a quick video explaining how to do the scorpion pump move (reverse hypers):
- With a resistance band just above your knees, lay face down on a bench or flat surface, with your hips right on the edge so that your legs hang down vertically.
- Tighten your core muscles so that your spine is in a neutral position and stays like that for the entire exercise (no arching!)
- Bend your knees to 90 degrees and touch your heels together. Press your knees outwards against the resistance band to help activate your glutes.
- Now lift your feet up in an arc towards the sky, until your thighs are around parallel to the floor.
- Squeeze your glutes tightly at the top with a small pause before lowering your legs back down slowly.
- Repeat each rep in a slow and controlled fashion, squeezing your glutes firmly at the top of each ‘pump’.
- On your last rep of each set, hold your feet up at the top and do 20 outward pulses with your thighs. This is a burnout/finisher and you’ll really need to squuueeeeeze those glutes to keep your legs up!
Perfecting Your Form
- Make sure to keep your core tight and try to keep a natural tilt to your pelvis. Don’t let your back arch or your pelvis slip into anterior tilt!
- Keep a slight pressure on the resistance band (by pressing outwards with your legs) throughout the exercise to keep your glutes engaged through the whole move.
- It can help to hold on to something in front of you (or the sides of your bench/support) with your hands to help keep your body balanced while you move.
- Keep those reps slow and controlled the whole time to really feel the burn.
You can do this exercise bodyweight only with some great results. I really recommend using a mini resistance band around your knees for this one, it helps no end in making you focus on keeping the glutes activated and engaged during this exercise!
If you want to make it a little more challenging, then experiment with adding ankle weights (of course, always master the move without weight first though!), or increasing the number of reps or sets.
3 sets of 20 reps, with 20 pulses on the last rep to really finish the glutes off, is a perfect way to get a good workout from this move.
You can also either come all the way back to the ground for each rep, or play around with half-depth ‘pulses’ for each rep. Or even mix it up with doing sideways pulses between each rep!