We’ll give you a hint: it doesn’t involve squats or lunges
Celeb Selena Gomez loves a good sweat sesh, but she’s taking it to new heights by frequenting Hot Pilates in LA, where she takes 55-minute classes in 35-degree heat. Lucky for us, the studio’s founder Shannon Nadj shared three of Selena’s favorite Pilates moves for strong glutes with Shape Magazine and we’ve broken them down for you here!
All three moves are equipment free and work multiple muscles, including the gluteus maximus (the biggest muscle in your butt) and the gluteus medius (the smaller muscle on the outer side of your butt that supports the hip and rotational movement of the thigh), explains Nadj. She says that many popular butt-sculpting exercies (cough: squats and lunges) tend to only target the gluteus maximus, but it’s important to challenge all of your butt muscles to reduce chance of injury and add more power to your movements. And it’s not just aesthetic — it’ll help you in terms of lifting, keeping correct alignment during workouts and moving more easily in day-to-day life. (But having a toned butt like Selena Gomez wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.)
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When done together, these exercises work multiple parts of your physique including inner and outer thighs, quads, core, back and shoulders. “Essentially, they’re good for your entire body,” Nadj told Shape.
The moves that Selena Gomez loves? A side-kick series, all-fours straight-leg lifts and single-leg pelvic lifts.
1. The Selena Gomez side-kick series
The setup: Start on your right side with your legs extended, so your body is in a straight line. Press heels together and your toes apart to open your hips. Brace your core and bring your feet out 45 degrees in front of you (your upper body should remain in one straight line and your hips should be stacked on top of one another). Place your left hand on the ground in front of your stomach for support and your right hand propping your head up. Nadj says the setup is almost as important as the move itself.
The move: Lift your left leg toward the ceiling, bending your left knee so your left foot points toward your right knee, then stretch your left leg back out. Engage your core and glutes to lift your leg and keep the upper body stable. Nadj says you want to initiate movement from your butt and not your quads or hips.
The reps: Do 10 reps; switch and do 10 reps on your left side.
2. The Selena Gomez all-fours straight-leg lift
The setup: Begin on all fours, shoulders in line with your wrists and hips with your knees. Keep your back flat, core engaged and shoulders relaxed away from your ears. Use your core and glutes to extend your right leg back and straight behind you at hip height.
The move: Rotate your right hip open so that your right knee is pointed out. Keeping your right leg straight, lift it up 6 inches and then down 6 inches. Nadj says to focus more on lengthening rather than height when moving your leg. If you’re feeling discomfort in your back, you’re lifting your leg too high. Keep core engaged, back flat and pelvis tucked throughout.
The reps: Do 10 reps and then hold your leg at hip height for 10 tiny up-and-down pulses. Repeat with the left leg.
3. The Selena Gomez single-leg pelvic lift
The setup: Lie facing the ceiling and place your palms on the floor alongside your legs. Bend your right leg and put your right foot on the floor about six inches in front of your right hip. Lift your left leg straight up toward the ceiling.
The move: Pressing your right heel into the floor (to activate your glutes) lift your hips up toward the ceiling. Hold your body in this hip bridge position for a beat and flex your left heel. Slowly lower yourself back down to the floor.
The reps: Do 10 reps; switch and do 10 reps with your right leg elevated.