Booty Strengthening (& Shaping!) Exercises

Apparently I’m still in 2013 over here, you guys! I keep putting “2013” on my posts lately. Thanks for the catch on that. Hopefully I’ll get the hang of the fact that it’s 2014 before December. Winking smile


Just a random photo to break up some of the words Winking smile

On Saturday I completed my first “long run” for my half marathon training – 4 miles! It’s funny because some people think of that as a “piece-of-cake-no-big-deal-kinda-run”, but it was a big achievement for me considering I’ve placed running on the back burner for the last couple years. Thanks for celebrating in my successes! Y’all are the best.

I felt pretty great throughout my entire run, except I noticed that my left hip started bothering me a bit during my last half mile. I figured it was nothing, so I finished up my run, and made a point of stretching my hip flexors really well afterward. It felt mostly fine, but I noticed some pain again later in the day and throughout the rest of the weekend.

I immediately started feeling anxious and frustrated about it all. I feel like I’ve done a really good job at building things up slowly and keeping up with my strength training the past several months, so I didn’t understand why this was happening.

I decided to do some research on it, and discovered that it was most likely Trochanteric bursitis. (Of course I’m no doctor, but this is my most reasonable conclusion after evaluating my symptoms and reading into it.) I felt a little discouraged at first, especially considering this happened only after a four mile run! But then I quickly reminded myself to be grateful that it’s not anything worse. It sounds like it can be treated with some TLC, stretching, foam rolling, and booty/hip strengthening exercises.

So, I dug into my personal trainer brain and come up with some hip and booty strengthening exercises to work on these next few weeks. (I plan to still do my runs but will be extra careful and will be taking them slower if my hip is bothering me.)


The below moves are great for strengthening your back side, but they are also great for shaping and lifting too! Swimming suit season will be here before you know it! Winking smile

Donkey Kicks


Step Ups


Leg Raises

Ball Curls

A short 2 miles is on the agenda today, so I’m going to take it slow, do some of the above exercises, and then stretch and foam roll the crap out of my hip! Wish me luck. Winking smile

What did you do this weekend?

Does anyone have any experience with bursitis? Tips? Advice?

What are some of your favorite hip/butt strengthening moves?

How often do you stretch and/or foam roll?

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  1. says

    Oh no! Hoping that some TLC and foam rolling help so you won’t have to deal with that pain. It’s never fun to have pain but when just starting, I can see it’s discouraging :( Good luck on the run today! Hoping it is pain free :)

  2. Jen says

    Hope you feel better! It’s normal to feel some soreness and aches/pains and fine to ur through them just don’t run with it if it feels terrible. Keep stretching and strengthening!

  3. says

    My hips have always been the one place that get sore/strained due to running. I’ve learned to include all of these to avoid/fix any troubles: dynamic warmup before every run (a 5-minute walk, high knees, butt kicks, leg swings)…a walk after running to get my legs to slow down and stretch out…static stretching AND foam rolling after each run…yoga 1 time a week while training…and wear compression socks for a couple hours after long runs (I know this doesn’t sound like it would help hips, but it’s all connected!).

    • Ashley says

      Great tips! Yes, they sure are all connected. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the hip that has been bothering me is on my left side, which is also on the side of my bad knee!

  4. says

    I had this problem a lot when I begun running. I guess my legs are stronger now, so it is gone. What I did is that I run slower till I did not feel stronger, warmed up my hips before run and stretched properly afterwards and I changer my shoes to proper running shoes.
    Shoe question: do you run in Reebok one cushion? I got them recently and even though I like them for gym and short runs, they still feel strange on the long run (I guess the sole is less flexible or something).

    • Ashley says

      I have been running in the Reebok One Cushions! How did you know?! 😉 That’s an interesting thought – thank you!

  5. says

    We can all apppreciate some booty strengthening exercises lol! 😉 I hurt my hip flexor bowling Saturday night, yes, bowling. I feel old ha ha! I have been doing plenty of stretching the last couple days !

    Oh and trust me, all runs whether 2 miles or 20 miles should be celebrated. Every one for me is not considered easy! I wouldn’t say I am a natural runner, but that is okay because it makes our accomplishments that much sweeter! :)

  6. says

    I hope your next run goes better and you’re pain free!!!

    Working out my lower body is definitely my fav! I do pretty much all of these moves and they really do make a difference.

    I’ve never foam rolled before, but it’s definitely something I’ve considered doing. It looks like it would really help loosen up my muscles.

  7. says

    I hope your hip feels better quickly! I don’t have any hip issues, but I definitely have knee problems when I start running frequently – injuries/soreness are pesky things, aren’t they?
    I’m currently working on my flexibility, so I’m trying to stretch daily and foam roll a few times a week.

  8. says

    I definitely think 4 miles is something to celebrate! Even back when I was running on a more regular basis, 4 miles was basically what I would top out at. Anyone who can go more than that is just epic in my eyes 😆 And good for you for being proactive and doing your best to strengthen those hips! I don’t generally have a problem with mine, but my knees act up every once in a while, so I can definitely relate. Keeping my fingers crossed for you!

  9. says

    Yes, I need this too! I’m sorry your hip is already hurting you, trust me I’m so jealous of all the people who can just go run without having to do extra strength exercises and tons of stretching and warm ups… Just not me, I get injured too quickly.

    • Ashley says

      You know, I’m not even sure… I got it as a gift, but I absolutely love it. We use it in grocery carts and high chairs at restaurants. It’s nice to give Hunter some added cushion and keeps protects him from germs. I’m sure you could find one at a place like Buy Buy Baby or Babies R Us!

  10. says

    Alternating leg raises are great for strengthening your hips. I would also recommend ballet squats. We do them in barre and I’ve noticed that my hips muscles are doing much better plus you work the thigh area too!

  11. says

    Definitely something involving a bridge move is one of my favorites for strengthening my hips!!!! They’re so easy to do anywhere as long as I can lie down, and doesn’t put extra strain. But then I also feel like burpees really work my hips as well, which I’m not sure if it’s a fact, but it sure feels like it!

  12. says

    I always get that when I train for marathons. I would add in some omega-3 supplementation into your diet. That helps me and then just stretching and foam rolling like a mad woman. Acupuncture and chiropractic help a lot too.

  13. says

    I think running is such an amazing activity because it is so individual. You are honestly going out there for yourself, and no one else. Sometimes it is easy to compare where we were at one point in our running journey, but at the end of the day, it is all about getting out there! Great job!

  14. says

    Great job on your training! I’m training for my first half, and it’s nice to think I’m not alone :) I haven’t had hip trouble, but when I first started I had some problems with my IT Band. Thankfully after laying off for a few weeks, it healed fine and I haven’t had problems since. And thank you for reminding me that I need to go foam roll :)

  15. says

    I do barre, which – to me – is the BEST but work out ever. I love pretzel or bridge series!
    By the end … your but… it just is not doing so good.

    Ashley, I love the additions you’ve been making to the blog <3 keep it up

    • Ashley says

      I’ve wanted to try Barre so badly! Unfortunately, there’s not a Barre studio nearby, so it’s tough to get to one. But someday, I’d love to try it out!

      Also, thanks so much for your compliment! I’m curious what additions you’re enjoying the most? Thanks for the feedback!

      • says

        It is amazing! Barre is only just growing here in NS. But I love it. Barre3 is my favorite as it combines yoga and barre. Physique 57 and ballet beautiful too! I love microbends and pulses. They get into the small muscles. I feel so beautiful and strong when I do it! One day I plan to teach it and yoga!If you have any other questions feel free ask!!

  16. says

    Aw, so sorry your hip was bothering you. I hate it when I’m all geared up, mentally, and ready to go, but then things don’t go as planned. Maybe it’s the Type A in me? LOVE all these booty exercises. I’m a fan of all of these. I also really like doing pulse lunges or squats.

  17. says

    Oh no, bummer about your hip! My hip flexors are always tight and bother me during workouts. I’m really bad at stretching them enough which is part of the problem… Have you tried the foam roller? That or a lacrosse ball?

    • Ashley says

      I’ve never had issues with my hips before, so that’s why it’s kind of perplexing to me. I’m wondering if my hips shifted a bit during childbirth and that has something to do with it. I have been foam rolling the crap out of my legs and hips, and it seems to be helping!

  18. says

    Sorry to hear that your first run ended in a not-so-favorable fashion, but I did see your Instagram, and I’m so happy to see that your run went well today!
    My favorite glute/hip exercises are single leg deadlifts, bench sits, and Bulgarian split squats! I love to hate ’em and hate to love ’em. 😉

  19. says

    There’s a butt and thigh tracy anderson youtube video that i do a few times a week (even now at almost 36 weeks pregnant!) which i think goes a long way in strengthening my butt and thighs…it’s partially why i credit the fact that I’m still running pain free this late in pregnancy!

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