The muscles of your butt include the gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus and gluteus medius. As a group, these muscles allow for extension and rotation of your hip joints. They also are engaged when you abduct your hip, which means to lift your leg sideways away from your body. The glutes also are important core muscles that stabilize your pelvis and spine. Squeezing the glutes during exercise will strengthen the stabilization power of glutes without need for large movements or heavy weight lifting.
This exercise is performed lying on your back with your knees bent so you can activate the glute muscles to lift your hips. Begin by lying on the floor with your arms at your sides. Place your feet hip-width apart on the floor about an inch from your buttocks to assume the starting position. Then, squeeze your glutes to raise your hips upward. The squeeze should be held for 10 seconds before you lower your hips to the floor. Alternatively, you can squeeze your right glute for 10 seconds and then your left. Or, make quick pulsing squeezes when your hips are lifted.
Standing Butt Squeeze Exercises
The standing butt squeeze is a Pilates exercise that teaches you to engage your gluteus maximus, which is the largest of the muscles of your buttocks. Do the exercise standing up tall with your feet hip-width apart. Place your right hand on the center of your right buttock while it is relaxed. Then, squeeze your buttocks. Your hand is there as confirmation that the right glutes are actually engaging and that other muscles nearby are not taking over. Hold for a few seconds at a time. Repeat on the left.
Prone Butt Squeeze Exercise
Another way to do a butt squeeze exercise is to lie on your stomach with your knees bent at right angles. Cross your arms on the floor and rest your forehead on your forearms. Then, squeeze your glutes and raise your legs a few inches off the floor. Your knees may move a few inches apart as you lift your legs. Keep the glutes squeezed tight and lower your legs back to the floor. The glutes should remain squeezed throughout the exercise.
Butt Squeeze Walking Exercise
Squeezing your glutes while walking as if going over sharp pebbles teaches you to engage your buttocks while moving. The other exercises involve isolating your glutes, but this exercise requires you to maintain a butt squeeze while using other muscles. Walk around as if you are at a beach where the rocks could cut your feet. Walk with the whole foot making contact with the ground at the same time instead of walking heel-to-toe.