The rear-end crunch is a double whammy for your backside. Targeting both the hamstrings and butt, this simple exercise strengthens the muscles you use every time you walk or run.
This move uses a small dumbbell held between your ankles to heighten the effects of a basic double-leg kick often practised in Pilates. Be sure to press your hips into the floor to alleviate strain on your lower back. For more butt-lifting moves.
Carefully hold a light dumbbell (3 to 5 pounds) between your feet or, for greater safety, use ankle weights. Lie facedown with your forehead resting on your hands, palms down, elbows pointing out to the sides, and legs extended.
Press your hips into the floor and bend your knees until your calves are perpendicular to your thighs. (Be sure to squeeze feet together so as not to drop the dumbbell.) Next, tighten your glutes and lift your knees off the floor as high as comfortably possible (not shown). Hold for 3 seconds, then return to start.