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Yoga for Glutes: 9 Poses to Sculpt Your Bum

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a woman in sportswear is doing high lunge_yoga for glutes
Elyce Neuhauser post Reviewer Elyce Neuhauser post Reviewer
Verified by Elyce Neuhauser
Yoga Expert, E-RYT 500, Certified Meditation Coach

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Yoga for glutes focuses specifically on stretching and strengthening the muscles in your buttocks and hips. These particular movements can also improve mobility, create better posture, and reduce back pain.

Can you really enhance your posterior shape by practicing yoga? Absolutely, although it takes commitment, consistency, and effort. Add these postures to your practice to not only gain core and pelvic stability, but to create a foundation of functional strength so you will look and feel your best.

9 Yoga Poses for Glutes

Locust Pose (Salabhasana)

a woman is performing Locust Pose_Salabhasana_Yoga for Glutes

This pose for glutes creates an active arch through the spine, strengthening the entire posterior chain of the body.

How to Practice:

  • Start in a prone position (lying on your belly), gazing downward, with arms extended by your sides.
  • On an inhale, engage your core and simultaneously lift your chest, arms, and legs off the ground. Keep your gaze slightly forward, shoulder blades on your back, and your neck in a neutral position.
  • Hold the pose for 3-5 breaths before relaxing your body to the floor.

Top tip: Engage your glutes without clenching, and think about length rather than height when lifting your torso and legs. For more intensity, keep the legs parallel to one another, or hug them together as you lift up. [1]

Upward Plank Pose (Purvottanasana)

a woman is performing Upward Plank Pose_Purvottanasana_Yoga for Glutes

Upward Plank Pose is an intermediate backbend that strengthens the glutes and legs while it activates the shoulders and stretches the whole front body. 

How to Practice:

  • From a seated position, place your hands behind you on the floor, fingers facing forward.
  • Hug your legs together and point your toes. Broaden the collarbones and inhale to lift your hips and thighs up off the floor. Keep your legs extended. 
  • Engage your glutes and leg muscles to keep the whole body lifted off the ground. Hold for 3-5 breaths.
  • Lower the seat back down to the ground, roll onto your back, and bring your knees into your chest for a counter stretch.

Top tip: To modify this pose from a seated position, bend your knees, plant your feet into the ground, and lift up into a Reverse Tabletop Pose. Press into the heels for deeper glute activation. 

Three Legged Dog (Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana)

a woman is performing Three Legged Dog_Svanasana_Yoga for Glutes

This classic yoga pose for glutes and hamstrings features a single-leg variation that lifts and tones your buttocks. 

How to Practice:

  • Start in Doward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana).
  • Inhale and lift the right leg off the mat.
  • Exhale as you extend the leg straight back, keeping your hips square and your foot flexed. Press strongly through the right heel. 
  • Lower the leg to Downward Facing Dog, and repeat on the other side.

Top tip: For additional toning of the glutes, pulse the lifted leg up and down 5-8 times. 

Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)

a woman is performing Warrior I_Yoga for Glutes

Warrior I is one of many strong, standing yoga poses for your glutes and hips. It engages and stretches the pelvis and groins.

How to Practice:

  • With your feet positioned 3-4 ft apart, turn your right foot to face the front of the mat and the left foot to 45 degrees with the heel fully on the floor.
  • Bend the right knee until it is directly over the ankle.
  • Turn your hips forward so they are square to the front of the mat, and lift your arms overhead. Stay for 3-5 breaths and then switch to the other side.

Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III)

a woman is performing Warrior III Pose_Virabhadrasana III_Yoga for Glutes

Warrior III is a strong standing posture that strengthens your glutes while simultaneously challenging your balance.

How to Practice:

  • Start in Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I) with the right foot forward. Lift your left heel off the ground so the toes point forward.
  • Hinge forward and extend your arms out in front, framing your head. As you shift your weight into your right foot, float your left leg up, working to lift it parallel to the floor.
  • Square your hips, engaging your outer right hip and lifting your inner left thigh as you bring your torso as parallel to the ground as possible. Hold the pose for 3-5 breaths.
  • Step back into Warrior I and then switch to the other side

Top tip: If you struggle with balance, you may hold onto the back of a chair or modify with Bird Dog pose (come to hands and knees and lift up the right leg and left arm; then switch to the other side.)

You may also like: Dumbbell Glute Exercises

Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)

a woman is performing Half Moon Pose_Ardha Chandrasana_Yoga for Glutes

Half Moon Pose is an intermediate standing balance posture that deeply activates every layer of the glutes. When done properly, it also helps to stabilize the lower back. 

How to Practice:

  • From Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II) on the right side, bring your right hand to the ground in front of your right foot. (You may also place your hand on a block.) Shifting your weight to your right foot, slowly step or hop your left foot in slightly. 
  • You may keep your right knee bent as you lift your left leg up, as parallel to the floor as possible.
  •  Work to slowly straighten the right leg, keeping the weight in the heel for deeper glute activation. 
  • Reach your left arm towards the sky, and if you are feeling steady, look up. 

Top tip: Keep your right toes pointing forward without gripping the toes. Engage the glutes to keep the lifted leg high. 

Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

a woman is performing Chair Pose_Utkatasana_Yoga for Glutes

Chair Pose, also known as Fierce Pose, is a strong standing posture that tones the lower body. It is important to keep the shins back and the weight into the heels for appropriate knee placement and for the deepest glute activation. 

How to Practice:

  • From Mountain Pose, standing tall at the top of your mat, bend your knees, crease from the hips, and sweep your arms up towards the sky. 
  • Move your hips back and lengthen through your lower back as you lift your chest up.
  • Keep your knees stacked above your ankles or further back, so that the work stays in the glutes. Stay in the pose for 3-5 breaths 

Top tip: With your spine long, your core engaged, and your chest lifted, you might find that over time, you can sit lower without sacrificing proper knee alignment. 

Garland Pose (Malasana)

a woman is performing Garland Pose_Malasana_Yoga for Glutes

This deep squat allows the practitioner to work on their hip mobility, balance, and functional glute strength.

How to Practice:

  • Stand on your yoga mat with your feet positioned wider than the hips. 
  • Turn your heels in and your toes slightly outwards with your hands together at the heart center.
  • Keeping your back extended and upright, bend your knees out to the sides and slowly lower your hips into a deep squat.
  • Press your elbows into your inner thighs and create a lifted feeling from your pelvic floor.
  • Imagine a helium balloon attached to the crown of your head to keep your energy and awareness uplifted so that you do not collapse into the pose. Stay for 3-5 breaths and then return to Mountain Pose. 

Top tip: If you cannot make it all the way down into the full pose, don’t bend the knees as deeply – stay more upright in Goddess Pose, a more elevated variation of the yogic squat.

Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

a woman is performing Bridge Pose_Setu Bandha Sarvangasana_Yoga for Glutes

Practicing yoga poses for glutes, including Bridge Pose, can build core strength and reduce overall back pain. 

How to Practice:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the mat, hip-width apart.
  • Stretch your arms alongside the body and press your hands and arms into the floor.
  • As you inhale, press the hips up, engaging the glutes at the top of the pose. Stay for 3-5 breaths and then lower down incrementally from upper to middle to lower back.

Top tip: To keep the knees from splaying out, you may squeeze a block between your inner thighs. This variation will also help to stabilize your knees as you activate your glutes.

Yoga Sequence for Glutes

 Practice this sequence 3-5 times a week to create a strong, round behind! 

yoga flow for glutes_yoga sequence for glutes with instructions_yoga for glutes

Part I

  1. Start in a prone position.
  2. Lift up into Locust Pose, holding for 3-5 breaths. Lower down and repeat two more times, relaxing your body in between reps for 10-15 seconds. 
  3. Tuck your toes and press back to Downward Facing Dog as you exhale.
  4. Inhale and lift your right leg into Three-Legged Dog. Hold or pulse the leg for 3-5 seconds.
  5. Exhale to step your right foot forward between your hands. Inhale to lift up into Warrior I. Hold for five breaths.
  6. Transition to Warrior III and hold for five more breaths.
  7. On an inhale, return to Warrior I. Exhale to Mountain Pose, stepping the left foot forward to meet the right. 
  8. Inhale into Chair Pose and hold for 3-5 breaths.
  9. Exhale to forward fold and then step back into Downward Facing Dog.
  10. Repeat steps 5-8 on the left side. 

Part II

  1. Exhale to forward fold and then step back into Downward Facing Dog
  2. Step your right foot forward and come into Warrior II. Cartwheel your right hand down in front of your right foot and float your left leg up into Half Moon Pose, holding for 10-15 seconds.
  3. Step your left leg back and return to Downward Facing Dog.
  4. Repeat Step 12 on the left side, and then bring your right foot back; return to Downward Facing Dog.
  5. Step or hop to the front of the mat and rise up to Mountain Pose.
  6. Step your feet wide and come into Garland or Goddess Pose. Stay in either pose for five full breaths.
  7. Inhale to stand and step the feet together. Exhale to forward fold. Step back into Downward Facing Dog
  8. Lower your knees down to Tabletop Pose and sit back into Child’s Pose
  9. Come to a seated position with your legs out in front of you. Place your hands behind you and lift yourself into Upward Plank Pose
  10. Lower your seat and roll yourself down to lie on your back. Bring your knees into your chest to stretch your glutes. 
  11. Place your feet on the ground and lift your hips into Bridge Pose, holding the pose for 5-8 breaths. Lower your hips and then lift them again, repeating Bridge Pose three times.
  12. Hug your knees into your chest again. Relax for 5-10 minutes in Savasana.

Wrapping Up

Practice yoga for glutes with this sequence that stretches and strengthens the whole back body. Enjoy the perks of an inclusive yoga app that tailors every workout to your particular body and level! 

Disclaimer This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

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