All About That Bass

We’ve all seen her: that dancer whose jumps just seem to defy gravity. From suspended sautés to soaring grands jetés, she takes the audience’s breath away every time her feet leave the ground. What’s her secret? She’s got backup—of the gluteus maximus variety.

Strong glutes can take your jumps to the next level, giving you the lift you need to squeeze in a switch leap or an extra tour en l’air. We turned to Giulia Pline, a yoga- and barre-certified instructor in NYC, for four exercises that will give your booty a boost.

 

(Photos by Lucas Chilczuk)

Bridge-Pose Leg Raise

1. Lie on your back with your feet planted beneath your hips and your fingertips reaching toward your heels. Raise your hips so they form a straight line with your torso and thighs, balancing on your shoulders.

2. Lift your right leg to the ceiling, pointing your foot and extending the back of your knee.

3. Inhale as you raise your hips even higher, then exhale as you lower your right leg so it’s parallel with your left thigh. Do 10 of these leg raises. Repeat with the left leg raised, then repeat the whole sequence again, coming down between each side to give your legs a rest.

Pline Says: “Engage your glutes to keep your pelvis lifted and your hips square throughout the exercise.”

 

(Photo by Lucas Chilczuk)

Modification

For an extra challenge, lift the ball of your supporting foot off the floor so you’re balancing on your heel.

Pline Says: “Balancing on your heel helps activate the hamstring and glute of your supporting side.”

 

 

(Photos by Lucas Chilczuk)

Tabletop Pulse

1. Get on all fours, with your shoulders over your wrists and your knees under your hips

2. Lift your right leg in line with your torso, bending your knee to form a right angle. Flex your right foot.

3. Inhale as you push through your flexed foot, raising it toward the ceiling.

Pline Says: “Keep your spine lengthened and your abs engaged throughout this exercise. Don’t allow the pulsing of your leg to arch your back.”

4. Exhale as you lower your right leg, bringing your thigh back in line with your torso. Do 50 pulses. Repeat with the left leg raised, then repeat the whole sequence again.

 

 

 

 

(Photos by Lucas Chilczuk)

Tabletop Cross

You’ll need: a tennis ball

1. Begin in the same starting position as the tabletop pulse.

2. Place a tennis ball behind your right knee, squeezing your hamstring and calf together to keep the ball in place.

3. Lift your right leg so your thigh is in line with your torso, flexing your foot.

Pline Says:  “Really concentrate on squeezing the ball throughout this exercise. The added effort will activate the hamstring and glutes of your working leg.

4. Inhale and pulse your leg up, then exhale and bring it down and across your standing knee.

5. Lift your right leg so that your thigh is back in line with your torso. Do 15 lift-crosses. Repeat with the left leg raised, then repeat the whole sequence again.

 

 

 

 

 

(Photos by Lucas Chilczuk)

Grand Plié Wrap

1. Begin in a wide second position with your hands on your hips.

2. Do a grand plié, tracking your knees over your second toes. At the bottom of the plié, pulse your knees outward, so that they now track over your pinky toes. Pulse 20 times, then come up and repeat.

Pline Says: “Think of the wrap coming from the backs of your legs. This will help you initiate your gluteus muscles.”

(Photo by Lucas Chilczuk)

Modification

For an added challenge, lift your heels at the base of your grand plié, holding strong through your ankles as you wrap your knees outward. Pulse 20 times, then repeat.

 

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