Strengthen your glutes, without squats!

Whatever you call it—booty, butt, backside, behind—there is nothing wrong with wanting to improve the shape of yours. But the benefits of strengthening your gluteus muscles go beyond your reflection in the mirror. "Strong glutes can help you prevent lower back pain," notes Ryan Sidak, Cleveland Clinic exercise specialist. Rather than squats, which can be difficult to do correctly, Ryan recommends an exercise known as the glute bridge, which he says "can be done by everyone—older people, younger people, healthy people, even those rehabbing from an injury." Let the glute games begin!

Glute bridge. Begin lying on your back, knees bent at about a 90-degree angle, heels on the floor. Point your toes toward the ceiling and begin by pressing your hips up into the air through your heels. As your hips reach the top of your range of motion, squeeze your glutes as hard as you can and hold for 2 to 3 seconds. Aim to make the line from knees to shoulders as straight as possible but be careful not to let your lower back do the work. Return to the starting position and repeat 15 times. Work up to performing three sets.

- Cleveland Clinic Wellness


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