This week’s Best Butt Exercise is closely related to the Donkey Kick, and is another great bodyweight exercise that really works to target those hard-to-activate glutes!
Exercise: Straight Rear Leg Lifts
Muscles worked: Glutes, hamstrings, core, balance
Jolie Recommends: 40 reps for 3 sets
Difficulty rating: 3
Effectiveness rating: 7
Best Butt Exercise #32: Straight Rear Leg Lifts
I absolutely love this exercise because it doesn’t require any special equipment, can be done nearly anywhere, and is not only great for lifting your butt – but also helps massively with any troublesome cellulite as well! This is the reason why these straight rear leg lifts are also featured in the Truth About Cellulite program which is specifically designed to help get rid of cellulite!
Straight rear leg lifts are one of those exercises that are not commonly known, but they are absolutely fantastic for targeting the glutes. They also strengthen the hamstrings and your abs, which means killer legs and a flat stomach. I’ll take that!
How to Do the Move
The video below shows how to perform the straight rear leg raise. You can do these on your hands as shown in the video, or if you have wrist pain an alternative is to rest on your elbows with your forearms on the ground. Be sure to keep your elbows directly below your shoulders if you choose to do this variation.
- Start on all fours in a crawling position, with your hands directly under your shoulders, and knees directly below hips.
- Keeping your hips level, straighten out your left leg so that only your right knee is on the ground.
- Tighten your core muscles to keep your back in a neutral position throughout the exercise.
- Keeping your left leg straight, lift it directly upwards behind you, leading with the heel of your foot.
- At the top of the motion, squeeze your glutes to try and lift just that little bit higher.
- Complete the desired number of reps, then repeat on the right side.
Perfecting Your Form
- It’s very important to keep the core tight so that your back does not arch – this will ensure your glutes do the work in this exercise!
- Aim for slow and controlled movement. Don’t use momentum to cheat.
- Lead with the heel of your foot on the straight leg and keep the toes pulled up towards your chest.
This is a great exercise that can be performed with just bodyweight and still be very effective. 3 sets of 40 reps should get your glutes firing quite nicely, but beginners may want to just start out with 10 or so reps until they get the hang of this one!
If you’re ready to step it up a notch, you can increase the number of reps or otherwise add a little resistance with some ankle weights. Don’t overdo it with any weight added, as too much weight too quickly can lead to arching of the back, which is a big no-no for this exercise!