Learn how to tone your bum the yogic way with this 10 minute yoga glute workout you can do at home…
Ah, the famous yoga bum! Whether they set out to do it or not, many yoga practitioners have pretty toned bottoms. That’s because so many postures work the gluteus (bum) muscles plus those that surround it; these muscles rarely get used in our sedentary lifestyles.
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How to do this 10 minute yoga glute workout:
Before starting this workout, first complete our full body yoga warm up, which you can find here. Then, complete a few rounds of sun salutation to further prepare your body – you can find a beginner-friendly sequence here. Then move on to the following exercises. Perform two rounds of the main circuit…
10 minute yoga glute workout
- (Sun Salutation)
- Runner’s lunge – Six breaths
- Warrior 1 – Five to 10 deep breaths each side
- Warrior 2 – Five breaths each side
- Horse-stance squats – Rise up and down 10 times. Pulse 10 times
- Revolved side stretch – Five to 10 breaths
- Twisting chair – Hold five breaths
- Bridge – Hold five breaths
- Leg-bent stretch pose – 10 breaths each side
- Savasana (relaxation)
Below, we’ve provided step-by-step instructions and handy demonstration images to help you perfect each exercise in this 10 minute yoga glute workout…
How to perform the exercises in this yoga glute workout
Benefits: Tones the inner and outer thighs and tummy.
- Begin in Mountain pose (A). Step the right leg back one leg’s-length, right toes tucked under, right ankle drawing backwards.
- Inhale and stretch your arms up over your head, at the same time bending the left knee 90° until the left thigh is parallel to the floor and you’re balancing on the ball of the back foot.
- Sink your hips and pelvis downwards without jutting forwards.
- Point the heel of the back foot behind you and put weight into the straight back leg.
- Relax the shoulders down, look straight ahead and take five breaths (B).
- Now inhale and straighten the bent leg.
- Exhale and bend the left knee to a right angle and edge the back knee closer to the floor.
- Repeat eight times.
- After you have done eight, hold the pose with the front knee bent at a right angle and back leg straight. Lengthen the torso, extend the tailbone down and sink deeper into your lunge. Hold for six breaths. Extend up to eight breaths once you’re familiar with the move.
- Press down on the front foot to come up and repeat the sequence on the other side.
Tip: In standing postures, never bend the knee further than 90° – if you look down and can’t see your toes beneath the knee, you’ve gone too far!
Benefits: Tones and strengthens the legs and gluteals, lower back and core muscles, as well as the inner thighs.
- Start in Mountain pose, with feet-hip distance apart (A).
- Inhale and step your right leg back a leg-length’s distance from the left, back foot flat and turned 45° out, front foot facing straight ahead.
- Square your hips towards the front by drawing the left hip back and the right hip slightly forwards (B).
- Inhale, raise your arms over your head, arms parallel, shoulders relaxed, palms facing each other. Look ahead, not up.
- Exhale and bend the left knee to a 90° angle so it’s directly over the ankle, and sink the hips down.
- Root the outer edge of your back foot into the floor and lift the inner arches of both feet, feeling the stretch in the inner thigh. Look straight ahead (C).
- Hold for five to 10 deep breaths. Inhale, exhale and press down into the right foot to come up. Repeat on the other side.
- Repeat again once on each side.
- Avoid ‘banana back’ by not jutting your chest forwards. Lengthen your tailbone towards the floor and draw your abs in to straighten your back.
Tip: If you’re having trouble keeping your back foot rooted to the floor, rest the heel of your back foot on the edge of a block.
Benefits: Tones inner and outer legs and bottom, arms and shoulders.
- Start in Mountain pose (A). Step your feet a little more than a leg’s-length distance apart.
- Turn your left foot out 90° and the right leg in 15° so your left ankle points to the arch of your right foot.
- Keep your hips and torso facing forwards.
- Inhale and extend your arms out from the shoulders so they are parallel with the floor, palms facing down. Firm and lengthen your arms by extending through your fingers, shoulders soft (B).
- Lengthen your tailbone down and straighten your torso so your back doesn’t over-arch.
- On an exhalation, bend your left knee to a right angle, shin perpendicular to the floor.
- Lift your inner arches, root down the outer edges of your feet and pull up the thigh muscle in your back leg for stability.
- Keeping your torso facing forwards, turn your head to gaze out over your left arm, focusing on the middle finger of your left hand (C).
- Inhale, straighten your left leg, exhale and bend it five times to 90°, squeezing your bottom muscles as you come down. Then lower into the pose and hold for five breaths.
- Repeat on the other side.
Benefits: Strongly works the inner and outer thighs and your bottom.
- Stand with your feet about three feet apart and bend your knees, toes pointing out at a 45°angle, hands just below your hips (A).
- Bring your hands to prayer position in front of you, or place your hands on your upper thighs, whatever feels comfortable.
- Inhale and straighten your legs, squeezing your buttocks as you come up (B).
- Exhale and lower to the starting position. Continue in this way 10 times.
- Then hold the pose with your knees bent and torso straight for five breaths. Straighten your legs to come up.
- Rest. Repeat.
Variation: When this starts to feel easy – or for an added challenge – from the bent-knee position, gently jump up, then back into your squat. Start by doing this for every second squat and then move onto jumping with each one. If jumping feels like too much as you come up, lift up onto your toes – this will provide an extra workout for your calves too.
Tip: As you bend, your knees should be directly over your ankles. Make sure they don’t bend out over your ankles as this will strain your knees.
Revolved side stretch
Benefits: Tones and lengthens your hamstrings and gluteals, and strengthens your abdominals.
- From the Mountain pose, step your right foot forward so your feet are three to four feet apart. Turn your right foot out 90° and your left foot in 45°.
- Turn your hips and torso to face the right, align your right heel with your left.
- Inhale and lift your arms up over your head. Relax your shoulders down and draw the shoulder blades together (A).
- Firm the thighs of both legs, rooting your feet to the floor and lifting your inner arches.
- Exhale and, bending from the hips while keeping them level, extend your torso out over your right leg (B).
- Place your hands on the floor, your shin or ankl e – wherever feels comfortable. Lengthen your spine and neck, draw in your abdominals and look down but don’t strain your neck.
- Draw your right hip back and your left hip forwards to deepen the hamstring and bum stretch. Root your right big toe into the mat (C).
- Take five to 10 breaths, then inhale, press into your feet, come up and repeat on the other side.
- Repeat again on each side.
Variation: If you have tight hamstrings, fold forwards only as far as is comfortable and put your hands on two blocks on either side of your feet.
Benefits: Deeply tones the outer parts of your body and buttocks as well as your waist and inner organs.
- Begin in the Mountain pose, standing upright with your feet together, big toes touching (A).
- Inhale and bring your arms up over your head while bending your knees as if you’re squatting to sit in an imaginary chair (B).
- Exhale and twist your torso over your thighs and to the right, bringing your left elbow over to the outside of your right thigh.
- Bring your hands to prayer position, opening your chest. Your palms are touching and pressing into each other. Stay here for five breaths (C).
- With each exhalation, press your left elbow into your right thigh to deepen your twist and, if you feel ready, lower your buttocks a little further.
- Make sure the twist is coming from your navel, not your upper back. As you twist, keep your spine extended. An extended spine – rather than a compressed one – is easier to twist.
- To exit the pose, inhale and come back to the Chair pose and exhale to the Mountain. Repeat on the other side.
- Repeat again on each side.
Tip: As you twist, one knee will want to come forward. Keep your knees side by side by pressing your feet into the floor and firming your thighs.
Setu bhanda sarvangasana
Benefits: Firms your back, bottom and inside/outside thighs, plus stretches your core and back.
- Lie on your back, knees bent with your feet hip-width apart, thighs parallel and feet directly under your knees.
- Inhale and begin rolling your pelvis inwards then upwards, slowly lifting your buttocks and spine off the floor, one vertebra at a time until your weight is resting on your shoulders. Exhale (A).
- Inhale and reach your hands towards your heels and clasp them, or clasp your hands together if they don’t reach your heels. Breathe steadily, ensuring your thighs remain parallel, with your knees directly over your ankles – don’t let your knees splay outwards (B).
- Tuck your shoulders under and squeeze your shoulder blades together to open your chest further.
- On an inhalation, press firmly into the soles of your feet and elevate your pelvis further by gently squeezing your inner thighs further together. Hold for five breaths. Do three to five sets holding each for three to five breaths. The hold is the part where you’re working hardest.
- To release, exhale and slowly roll down, beginning from your upper spine and ending in the start position.
Tip: To keep your inner thighs working, place a brick or thick book between your knees. If your neck is stiff, try a block or folded blanket under your head.
Leg-bent stretch pose
Benefits: Stretches your outer legs, buttocks, calves and Achilles tendon.
- Start lying down, face up, with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor (A).
- Keep your head relaxed – if your neck is jutting back, rest it on a block or cushion.
- Inhale and bring your right foot to rest on your left knee (B). Gently press on your right knee until you feel a stretch through your outer right leg. Exhale.
- Now, inhale and clasp your hands around the back of the left thigh or shin. The latter will be for slightly more experienced or flexible practitioners. As long as you feel a deep stretch all the way down the outside of your right thigh and buttocks, you’ll be doing enough. Don’t strain (C).
- Take 10 deep breaths then repeat on the other side.
Tip: Flexing the foot that’s resting on the knee will intensify the entire stretch.