I love weightlifting. I really do. However, I am not very good at it.
Some of you will scoff because it's all about progressive overload in some way, right? Well, some people just aren’t very strong.
I have tried to be a runner...Epic fail even though I did it for two years and ran every race imaginable, I just never got better. I started weightlifting, and at first, I got stronger (newbie gains) and then topped off. I did bodybuilding, strongman, and powerlifting. So really, I tried hard to progress and I am no wimp nor am I anything less than tenacious.
Each person has certain physical gifts and attributes and until I found out that I am naturally bendy, I figured that I would have to just put my nose to the grindstone and work through stuff I wasn’t really good at forever.
Well, that's not true. You always have to work at anything you want in order to get better, but sometimes it is nice to work with a special gift you already have. Strength comes in all different forms. Maybe it's lifting heavy, maybe it's doing a backbend.
There are certain things on our body we want to improve as a female. Um, can you say “dat a$$?” So, in honor of the booty, we are going to look at some great yoga butts and how to get one doing some cool yoga moves...
Let's begin with what yoga is...
The definition of yoga is “a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, part of which includes breath control, simple meditation and the adoption of specific bodily postures that is widely practiced for health and relaxation.”
Yoga was developed like 5,000 years ago in India as a system for wellbeing for everything - like spiritual, mental and emotional and oh yeah, physical. Most yoga practices only go over a small portion of yoga. Hatha, yoga is a system of postures and breathing techniques, but there are other types as well.
Yoga was made to enrich one's life. There are all kinds of texts regarding the practice of yoga. The texts on yoga basically explain how to have higher awareness and fulfillment and how to get there, all while eating granola in yoga pants...
But we are gonna talk about yoga and butts today, so let's leave the transcendental meditation and all that breath control for the real yogis because we are talking about aesthetics here...
So, if you have been in a good yoga class, you may look at the lithe instructor and see her booty is round, high and perky.
I know I had some butt envy going on with one of the girl instructors that taught a local yoga class, and I thought to myself, “The only way she got that was through heavy lifting.” This was because sculpting a good booty means power, which I didn’t think yoga gave to anyone. But man, was I wrong...
Build a Better Booty With Yoga
1. Warrior Pose
The backbone of yoga. OK, I know what you are thinking - lame, Julie. That is silly - but when done right, a warrior pose that is held is hard.
Like, really hard. I am talking Warrior I, Warrior II and III.
From Down dog you step one foot forward between your hands, then have your back foot perpendicular, your front foot facing forward, then lunge forward with your back leg straight and your front bent, but no knee over your toes. Arms are up in Warrior I, and in Warrior II your body is out to the side, body the same way as your back foot is pointing.
This is like holding a lunge. Could you hold a lunge with weights?
Absolutely. However, I do love this pose as you can gain control over your body and make it as hard or as easy as possible. Warrior III is a little bit harder. You go on your front leg, then bend your leg back straight and your back is straight, then put your arms forward. Yeah, a lot of balance on one leg, and you should be shaking like a leaf holding this pose for any length of time.
2. Chair Pose
OK, there are two types of chair poses that I know of. One is squat down with legs together putting your opposite elbow to your knee, twisting your body. Your hands are in a prayer pose. Oh, and hold it for a minute, that will set your butt and legs on fire.
There is another, more advanced pose that can really work your calves as well. You are in a parallel narrow squat, arms out, standing on the balls of the feet. Your torso is basically on your knees as you are bent forward and your butt is back, arms out straight.
Now, hold it for 30 seconds... Yup. I knew you were trying it just now... It was hard, wasn’t it?
3. Elevated Wide Squat
Just like it sounds, you are in a wide squat that is deep, but here is the kicker, you are on the balls of your feet, your arms are up again. Hold it for a while - like 30 seconds. Hashtag booty on fire right there!
Some of these moves you would do with weights if you were doing bodybuilding, but again, doing bodyweight stuff can give you control, especially coupled with balance exercises. Moving your own body through space and time can be a magical thing, and you want to be strong with your own body.
4. Upward Facing Plank
You are in a reverse plank with your arms straight and your fingers pointed to your toes. Your feet on your heels and your body is straight.
You have to not drop your butt, and in doing that, you are flexing your butt the whole time.
5. Single Leg Butt Lift
Lying on your back, bend one knee, the other leg straight up, align your body and if possible, put your arms to your side or clasp your hands underneath you.
You can hold this position, or you can move your butt up and down, but either way, this also is a booty blaster and will shape your butt to a nice peach.
6. Down Dog Leg Ups
Go into down dog, then raise one leg up, keep it aligned with your body.
I happen to like doing sets of these, however, holding it can be just as hard if not harder. Hold for 30 seconds and do 10 of these with a 30-second hold. Killer!
7. Forward Fold
Keeping your legs straight, your torso is straight and you hold on to your ankles then come up, arms up overhead.
This works your hammies and if you work hard at this, you can stretch even further, maybe to your ankles and beyond.
Lying on your stomach, put your arms out straight and legs out straight, then raise your chest and your legs off the ground. It is mainly for your lower back, but your booty has to contract to get those legs off the ground.
It's an excellent hamstring exercise as well as a lower back exercise.
Yoga is supposed to work your mind as much as it is your body. Once that mind-body connection is established, holding poses can quite literally be a mind game.
Your muscles can become strong just by using body weight and these exercises for your booty will strengthen your butt along with multiple other accessory muscles.
Do I think yoga is better than weightlifting? Not in the least. I love all of it, however, yoga and being flexible can be helpful for those who are not into other activities or just need something to help them with flexibility after a heavy or intense workout.
So, when someone says, “Do you yoga?” the appropriate response is, “Do you have any granola?”