If rocking a new pair of skinny jeans is one of your fitness goals this season, then it’s time to get that booty into shape with a bit of Pilates. With movements that are specifically designed to work the glutes, exercises like the kneeling leg raise, offer an excellent way to lift the butt, as well as strengthen and tone the muscles in the adjoining areas.

As a repetitive routine, the leg raises also help in burning lower-body fat, while the sense of balance required to complete the reps successfully demands constant focus and core engagement.

The muscles worked while executing the kneeling leg raise include the glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors, the lower-ab and lower-back muscles.

Steps

  • Begin in a four-point kneeling position, with your hands underneath the shoulders and knees under the hips. Inhale as you draw in your abs towards the spine.
  • Extend one leg behind you as you exhale. Keep your body steady by engaging your abs.
  • Gently lower your leg to the floor. Then repeat again with the other leg. Repeat for 5-10 repetitions, and then switch sides.

Pro-tip
Try and lengthen your leg as far as possible as you raise it. The toes should be pointed and your upper body should be stable. You can also complete 6 reps with one leg before moving on to the next, to intensify the workout on each side.

Variations
After you’re familiar with this, you can move on to the kneeling Superman routine, which involves also raising the opposite arm with each leg raise. A far more challenging version, this exercise adds to back strength and balance. The kneeling position continues to demand core muscle engagement, while the shoulder muscles are called upon to provide further stability in the position.

 

Main image: Mercedes-Benz

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