3. Standing Hip Extension
Whether sitting at the computer, doing chores, or shopping, we spend an awful lot of time bending at our hips. (Here are 3 stretches for tight hips.) This can lead to tight hip joints. A Standing Hip Extension opens up those tight hip flexors and strengthens the lower back and the largest part of your butt.
Stand perfectly upright, hands on hip bones, feet shoulder-width apart. Flex through right foot, and lift it off floor and raise 2 feet behind you. Slightly bend left leg. Hold momentarily then slowly draw right leg back to start. Repeat for 12 reps then switch legs.
Make it easier: Perform this exercise barefoot.
4. Standing Hydrant
The standing hydrant is an essential Barre exercise that can be converted from Barre to butt-blasting bombshell. This exercise strengthens the core, hip flexors, and all parts of the butt.
Stand perfectly upright, feet shoulder-width apart, hands on hips. Lift left leg up and out to side with knee bent (imagine Fido and a fire hydrant). Stop movement and hold momentarily when thigh is parallel to floor—knee will be even with hip. Slowly bring left foot back to floor. Repeat for 12 reps then switch legs.
Make it easier: Only lift the knee to half of the height shown in the photo.
5. Standing Lateral Tap
Remember “Slide” aerobics from 20 years ago? This exercise gives you all the goodness for your glutes of that program without any pain in the knees. This exercise strengthens the fronts of the thighs, outer thighs, and the side parts of your rear.
Stand with knees slightly bent, feet shoulder-width apart, arms bent, and fists loosely clenched in front of you. Slide left leg out to side as far as you can reach; drive left arm up and right arm back, keeping right knee slightly bent. Hold momentarily. Slowly draw left leg back to start. Repeat for 12 reps then switch legs.
Make it easier: Keep your legs straight and lift your leg about one foot in the air, instead of sliding it out.