Your gluteal muscle group works in conjunction with your quadriceps, inner thigh and hamstrings. They are strengthened by squatting and jumping, lifting your leg backward and rotating the hip joint open. There are specific water exercises that, if combined, will give you a complete workout for your buttocks.
Squats and Jumps
Warm up with a five- to 10-minute forward, backward and sideways jog. Combine these different forms of squats and jumps. Stand in the water with your feet hip-width apart. Hold your arms straight down your sides and scoop in your stomach. Squat deep and jump with power from your buttocks and legs. Put your legs together and repeat. Land and push evenly through the muscles of each leg and foot. Jump side to side while pulling your arms across the front of your body in opposition to your legs. Jump, alternating, front to back. Jump on each leg individually. Do each leg 20 times and repeat the sequence.
Back Leg Kicks
These exercises work your buttocks by alternate backward kicking. Start with what is called a fanny kick jog. Jog and alternately lift your heels to your buttocks. No hands makes the exercise harder, so add a push-pull with the hands if you need it. Next, straighten your legs to perform alternating backward scissor kicks. Try to travel backward with the back scissor kick for more gluteal muscle challenge. Change to a cross-country ski by continuously switching from a right leg lunge to a left leg lunge. Do forward-straight leg scissor kicks and emphasize the downward pull of each leg. Perform 20 of each, then repeat the sequence.
Standing Leg Lifts
These are performed one leg at a time. Stand with both hands on the pool side. Slightly tilt your torso forward and scoop in your stomach for spine support. Lift one leg straight behind you repeatedly. Switch legs and repeat. Stand straight and bend your knee up at a 90-degree angle toward your buttocks. Push the sole of your foot repeatedly backward. Switch legs and repeat. Turn and place your hips and back against the pool wall. Repeatedly lift one leg forward and pull it straight down. Switch legs and repeat. Perform each exercise 10 to 20 times on each leg.
Stand with your back and hips against the pool side. Bend one knee up in front and place the toes of the bent leg on the shin of the standing leg. Move the bent leg open and closed repeatedly. Switch legs and continue. If you do not experience joint pain, straighten the leg and continue to open and close it to the side. Move your straight leg in a horizontal figure-eight pattern. Perform each exercise 10 to 20 times on each leg. These exercises will engage your quadriceps and abdominal muscles, but each time you open your leg at the hip, your gluteal deltoid or buttocks is working.
- "YMCA Water Fitness for Health"; YMCA of the USA; 2000
- "Anatomy of Strength Training"; Pat Manocchia; 2010
- "Water Fitness Basics Instructor Resource Guide"; National Fitness Association of Minnesota; 1992