It’s all about the tiny movements with these toners demonstrated by Nina Marchione, program Director of Sculpt (which infuses barre, yoga, and pilates) at Solace New York. (For more tips on how to build a strong butt, pick up Lift to Get Lean by Holly Perkins.) Wanna get fit enough to bust a move on stage with Beyoncé? No problem. These 12 dance-inspired exercises will tone your backside for prime twerking potential.
Bring back your old-school ballet skills as you jump, hop, and pulse through 1st and 2nd positions, even moving into arabesque. Need to brush up on your dance lingo? Check out these helpful tips from Marchione to keep your workout on point from start to finish:
Photograph by Alyssa Zolna
1. 1st Position Plié: Keep your tailbone pointing to the floor and core engaged. Go all the way down and only halfway up.
2. 1st Position Tucks: Squeeze your butt, scoop your tailbone under and up, pull your lower abs in, and keep knees bent.
3. Wide 2nd Position Pulse-Ups: Drive heels down as you take micro-pulses up. Stay low in the plie and squeeze your butt and thighs
4. Jumps from 1st Position to 2nd Position: Bend knees when you land; point feet while in the air.
5. Leg Lifts in Attitude Position: ‘Attitude position’ means keep hips squared forward, but legs turned out. Pull in your abs to isolate the butt, and avoid sinking into the lower back.
6. Donkey Kicks to Arabesque: Drive knee to elbow, engaging your obliques. Then, extend leg straight, squeezing your butt.
7. Leg Circles in Arabesque: Try to keep your upper body still and focus on using your butt to move your leg in a circle, keeping it very small and controlled.
8. Leg Lifts in Arabesque: Use your butt (not your lower back) to lift your leg. Try to keep a neutral spine and avoid arching your back.
9. Scoop to Press Backs in Parallel: Round your back as you scoop your knee in, and pull your abs in. Keep your tailbone tucked as you drive your heel to the sky; squeeze your butt, but don’t arch your back.
10. Wide 2nd Position Wrap Backs: Press knees back as you squeeze your butt; focus on keeping lower abs in and heels pressed together.
11. Wrap Backs in Attitude: Keep your foot flexed and focus on the movement originating from the butt as you press your heel to the opposite corner behind you; it’s a very small movement.
12. Bent Knee Pulse Backs in Parallel: Keep your heel closer to your butt to target the top of your hamstring and the bottom of your butt.
Shout out to SOLACE in NYC for letting us barre hard in their space.