5 Yoga Poses for Glutes to Strengthen and Tone Your Booty

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More important than looking amazing in your yoga pants, having strong glutes is vital to supporting a safe and healthy physical yoga practice. Luckily, there are many yoga poses for glutes to help you create a strong booty.

Many of us come to yoga to unwind and release tension in the body after a long day at an office job. Among the other detrimental consequences of sitting all day, long periods of sitting may create weak glutes.

There are many yoga poses for glutes to help you create a strong booty.

As we sit, our gluteal muscles are slightly stretched. If they aren’t sufficiently contracted and strengthened, they can become weak like an overstretched rubber band.

In yoga, it’s as much about stretching and opening the muscles, as it is about strengthening them too.

Symptoms of weak glutes can include:

  • Tight hip flexors
  • Knee pain
  • Low back pain
  • Qeak ankles and feet

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, it might mean that you need to strengthen your yoga booty rather than just stretch it, and luckily, there are many yoga poses for glutes to help you do just that.
 
 

What Is the Role of the Glute Muscles, Anatomically Speaking?

The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle of the body. It’s main responsibility is keeping the body upright and it also extends the hip. Its massive size means that it’s crucial for powerful lower body movements like climbing up stairs or running.

Meanwhile, the gluteus medius (side booty) and gluteus minimus (responsible for that booty ‘lift’) are significantly smaller but equally important muscles in walking, running, balancing, and single-leg weight-bearing movements.
 

 
 
When we’re walking or going up stairs, the gluteus medius creates space for the other limb to swing forward to the next step.

In yoga, everytime you’re pressing into the floor with your legs and feet in order to actively keep upright and every time you’re in a single-leg weight-bearing posture, including asymmetrical standing postures, you’re using your glutes. Aka, you use your glutes often throughout your yoga practice!
 
 

These Are the 4 Main Benefits of Doing Yoga Poses for Glutes:

Yoga poses for glutes aren’t just about creating a perky yoga booty. They’re incredibly important to support your yoga practice. Here’s how . . .
 

1. Prevent Muscle Imbalances and Injury

Strong glutes help to keep the entire pelvis in alignment.

We focus so much on the pelvic floor and the spine, but the bowl of the pelvis is vital in making sure that our movements are symmetrical.

Having strong glutes may prevent you from overcompensating on one side and can even help to equalize muscle imbalances.
 

2. Improve Posture

Another benefit of a stable pelvis is that the lower back is more supported, providing space for a longer spine.

Think of Tadasana (Mountain Pose) – as you press your feet into the floor and squeeze your glutes, your tailbone reaches down, widening the angle of your hips at your hip flexors, which makes your posture tall and strong.

Practice These 10 Yoga Poses to Correct Bad Posture
 

3. Reduce Sciatic Pain

Lots of people come to yoga to help with sciatic pain, specifically.

When your glutes are weak, your piriformis can compensate. The piriformis is located under the glute muscles and typically lays just above the sciatic nerve.

By strengthening the piriformis, it may grow larger, which can press against the sciatic nerve and cause pain. When sciatic pain improves after going to yoga regularly, it might be because of strengthening and activating the glutes in class.

Try These 5 Yoga Poses to Soothe Your Sciatica
 

4. Reduce Knee Pain

The pelvis is a central point in the body. It connects upper to lower. It supports the spine and also aligns the lower limbs. Instability in the ankle can result in low back pain, since the alignment of the ankle also affects the knee and hip.

It’s the same from the top down: a supported pelvis can set the knees and ankles up for better, more balanced alignment. For this reason, strong glutes can help reduce knee pain.

If you feel discomfort in deep lunges, for example, and you don’t have previous knee injuries, then you might benefit from stronger glutes!

10 Yoga Poses to Strengthen Your Knees and Prevent Injury
 
 

Use These 5 Yoga Poses for Glutes to Strengthen and Tone Your Booty:

As you can see, the glutes are responsible for both strength and stability in our physical yoga practice and can help us create yoga postures with less pain.

While in class, there are a few yoga poses for glutes that are especially effective if you’re looking to strengthen your glutes.
 

1. Side Lunge (Skandasana)

skandasana

This posture uses your glutes, hamstrings, and quads, as well as your inner thigh muscles.

Let’s try it:

  • From standing at the top of your mat, turn to the right
  • Inhale and lengthen
  • Exhale and take a giant step to the right with your right foot
  • Bend your right knee while keeping your chest upright
  • Focus your weight in your heels and come as low as feels strong and comfortable
  • Breathe and flow a few times on each side

 

2. Hydrant Dog

fire hydrant

This posture is the quintessential yoga pose for glutes as it strongly activates the gluteus medius and minimus.

Let’s try it:

  • From a tabletop position, inhale
  • As you exhale, keep your knee bent as you lift your right knee to the right side
  • Try to keep your hips level and your knee in line with your hips, without shifting forward by your shoulders or back by your left shin
  • You may wish to place a block on your low back to help keep your hips level
  • Breathe and flow a few times on each side

 

3. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

chair

This posture activates the gluteus medius and minimus, and the adductors.

Let’s try it:

  • Inhale and come into Chair Pose, with your knees together or slightly separated
  • Focus on rooting down through your heels as you shift your knees back. Make sure you can see your toes
  • With a firm base, draw your tailbone toward your heels and squeeze your core. This subtle shift reduces the bend in your low back
  • Encourage your shoulders to come over your hips, as if leaning into a wall, and then relax them away from your ears
  • Breathe here anywhere from three to 10 breaths

 

4. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)

bridge

Another classic yoga pose for glutes, this posture uses the gluteus maximus to extend the hips.

Let’s try it:

  • From laying down, bend your knees and bring your feet close to your seat. A good distance is where you can touch your heels but you can’t grab your ankle
  • On an exhale, press into the floor with your feet and lift your hips, keeping your shoulders grounded
  • Press into your hands and arms to create more lift
  • Experiment here with which muscles you activate. Keeping your feet on the ground, imagine pulling them toward your seat and feel what happens. Then, imagine pushing your feet away and notice the difference
  • Hold for three to five breaths for three rounds

 

 
 

5. Half Locust Pose (Ardha Salabhasana)

half locust

In this pose, the gluteus maximus is extending the hips and the adductors are engaged to keep the legs together.

Let’s try it:

  • From laying down on your stomach, bring your arms down by your side with your palms facing down
  • You can rest either your chin or your forehead at center on the mat, whichever is more comfortable for you
  • Bring your legs together and try to keep your big toes touching or close to touching for the entirety of the posture
  • On an exhale, press into your downward palms and lift your legs
  • Squeeze all your leg muscles to lift your feet, ankles, shins, knees, and even upper legs
  • Keep your feet active! To really feel the glutes, imagine kicking into your heels
  • If you are unable to lift both legs, lift one at a time
  • Stay for three to five breaths and repeat three times

 
Want to try some booty barre now? Use these 7 Barre Exercises to Feel a Serious Booty Burn
 
 

A Note On Glute Activation in Yoga Poses for Glutes

It takes less energy for the body to use the hamstrings instead of the gluteus maximus to accomplish similar movements.

Because of this, many people experience strengthening in their hamstrings and quadriceps when trying to work the glutes.

Mindful movement, like yoga, helps the practitioner to isolate the big muscle and correct imbalances. To make sure you’re focusing on the right muscles, try to keep your weight in your heels and aim your tailbone toward your heels so that it is slightly tucked.
 
 

You Absolutely Need Yoga Poses for Glutes in Your Yogic Repertoire

Many yogis come to class to stretch and open up the hips, heart space, and hamstrings, and just create space in the body. But it’s equally important to strengthen the big muscles, too. This is especially true for your glutes.

From injury prevention and sciatic pain relief, to reducing knee pain and reaching your asana goals, a strong yoga booty is the key to a powerful yoga asana practice as well as a supported physical life off the mat.
 

Take Our Most Popular Yoga for Glutes Class: Abs & Booty

Our members rave about this Abs and Booty class with Jenn Pansa on YA Classes by YogiApproved! See why . . .

Abs + Booty
With Jennifer Pansa Rohr
25-minutes Class | Intermediate

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Teresa is a 200hr RYT, writer, and a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. As a teacher and coach, she focuses on self-love, body positivity, and embracing challenges. She loves writing about the science behind holistic healing modalities, creative sequencing, and making whole-body wellness more accessible for everybody.

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