How to Do Tracee Ellis Ross' Equipment-Free Butt Exercise

Tracee Ellis Ross is refreshingly honest about her life and her workouts. She's not always feeling the gym—and sometimes her schedule won't let her get there for weeks at a time, which is the most relatable. But when her schedule allows it, she makes gym time a priority.

This week, she took to Instagram to show off her first workout after three weeks "underwater" on the set of "Black-ish." In a video, she demonstrated a butt exercise that experts call an "externally rotated hip abduction and extension." Which is just a technical name for what's basically a modified fire hydrant. Whatever you want to call it, it's clear that the move is a great way to target the glutes.

Check it out here:

This move is no joke—as evidenced by Ross' Instagram caption: "I'm not f***ing around!" While it primarily targets the glutes, it works a handful of other muscles, too. The main muscles working are the gluteus medius (the smaller muscle on the outer side of your butt that supports the hip and rotational movement of the thigh), hamstrings, quads, and stabilizing muscles in the core (like the transverse abdominis and internal obliques), Pilates instructor Tianna Strateman, VP of Education at Club Pilates, tells SELF.

To try this at home, Strateman says to start on all fours, also known as tabletop position. If you're using a Pilates box like Ross (more on that later), set up with one hand on the box, the other hand on the floor, and both knees on the box. Otherwise, simply lower to your forearms—this will help keep your back from over-arching when you lift your leg. Next, squeeze your abs to engage and stabilize your core. Then it's time to start the booty work: "Lift one leg up and externally rotate the knee and hip," says Strateman. "Then, start to extend and bend at the knee while maintaining your form.

Be sure to keep your weight centered as much as possible without shifting too much to the stationary side. Keep all the work going into the working leg and out of your shoulders and upper body." Also important: Remember to breathe throughout—exhale as you lift the leg and inhale as you lower.

Don't worry about getting your leg as high as Ross does. "While lifting the leg high looks 'fun,' it often can put a lot of pressure on the low back if the core muscles are not developed enough to support the low back," says Strateman. To avoid putting too much pressure and strain on your lower back, focus on keeping your core tight and engaged throughout the entire exercise. You should feel as though your ribcage is knitted together and your belly button is pulled toward your spine, Strateman instructs. If you feel any tension in your lower back, lower your leg a bit. It doesn't have to be sky-high to be effective.

Now about that Pilates box: You can do this exercise without it, but it does help to ensure proper form. The box "helps to take pressure off the upper body, specifically the upper traps where people can hold tension," says Stratemen. For advanced students like Ross, it also helps to give you a larger range of motion.

As Ross' wince in the video makes clear, this move gets your butt working hard. Next time you want to up your glutes game, try adding this move onto your workout. Looking for more? Pick a few moves from these 50 great glutes exercises.

Read Previous

40 Ways to Lose Weight When You're Over 40

Read Next

Coronavirus death toll in China climbs to 811

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular