No single muscle works entirely on its own. Instead, each muscle works with its neighbors in a team effort to help you move. For example, your glutes are in constant conversation with your core while your arms chat with your back.
That's why total-body exercises are so effective: They challenge major muscle groups together in ways that mimic the movements of everyday life.
And when it comes to synchronizing full-body movement, Pilates is about as good as it gets.
"Because it's Pilates, we're going to be working your whole body from head to toe," says Amy Jordan, founder of Wundabar Pilates.
While most of the moves in this 10-minute routine target your butt, the workout isn't possible without the help of your entire body. "We initiate everything from the core, and we're going to add a little extra emphasis to the backside," Jordan says, "to condition your body so that you walk better, run faster and even play any sport that you enjoy better."
So if you're looking to build stronger glutes and keep all your major muscle groups talking, add this quick routine to your weekly workout schedule.
Before you start, run through a few total-body Pilates warm-up exercises, like hip rolls and shoulder shrugs.
Jordan will lead you through 10 total exercises for 30 to 60 seconds each. You'll need a mat and sliders, but a rug and a piece of paper or paper plate will work just fine, too. As you sweat through each minute, keep all your major muscles engaged, not just your rear end.
- Plié: Keep your torso upright and avoid bowing forward as you alternate heel raises. Make it a little more challenging for your core by raising your opposite arm, Jordan says.
- Slider Lunge (Right): As you lower into the lunge, reach your right hip away from the right knee to really engage the glute on that side.
- Mermaid Leg Sweep (Right): Keep your right knee and foot off the ground. "It's really tempting to let the toe touch down, but that's the effort in how we activate through the back line of the body," Jordan says.
- Pike Squat: Bend your knees without changing the height of your heels or hips.
- Side-Lying Rainbow (Right): Focus on moving from the hip, not the foot or ankle, Jordan explains "The intention is at the top of the thigh bone, and that's how we find that deep core connection."
- Marching Bridge: As long as you can keep your hips elevated and stable, you can increase the speed of your march.
- Side-Lying Rainbow (Left): "Keep the pelvis quiet," Jordan says. Your hips shouldn't tip forward or back as your leg moves.
- Mermaid Leg Sweep (Left): "Sitting as tall as you can, that's how you really get the core engaged, while we are also really building up some heat through the back line of that leg," Jordan says.
- Slider Lunge (Left): Add an extra challenge by raising your right arm as you rotate your body to the left.
- Downward Dog Split: As you raise each leg, keep the knee bent to take pressure off your lower back. Sink into your stable heel to really stretch through the hips.
Cycle through a few more reps of the Downward Dog Split at the end of the workout to cool your body down and get in a deeper stretch.