Butt Fact: Concentrating on squeezing your butt during exercise helps you work your glutes with more intensity.
Ice Skaters is a great exercise with variations that include high impact, low impact or no impact. This is another lateral movement that targets all the glute muscles and can be transformed into a cardio routine if you like.
No Impact Ice Skaters
In this variation your feet never leave the floor. However, you will need good flexibility in your adductors and your groin.
- Start by standing with your feet about twice as wide as your hips.
- Bend your right leg, stretching your hips to the right.
- Reach down with your left hand and touch your right foot. If you can’t reach your foot, go as far as you can. Throw the other arm behind you like an actual ice skater would do.
- Now go the other way by bending your left leg and reaching for your foot with your right hand.
- Repeat for 20 to 30 each side, alternating back and forth. You can also do this for time.
To make this into a cardio burst, do them really fast for 30 seconds, or until you get your heart pumping. Rest and repeat 2 or 3 times.
Low Impact Ice Skaters
This variation looks a lot like an old fashioned curtsy with a little more “umph” to it.
- Start by standing with feet slightly wider than hip width, about squat distance.
- Shift your weight to the right and bring your left leg behind and on the floor to the right of your right leg.
- Bend your legs and squat down.
- Bring your left leg back to starting position.
- Shift your weight to the left and bring your right leg behind and to the left of your left leg.
- Do this variation slowly and really feel the muscles in your legs and hips work.
- Repeat back and forth for 15 to 20 reps each side.
To make it a little more challenging, try it with a body bar across your shoulders for added resistance.
High Impact Ice Skaters
For someone who wants to progress this exercise, you can turn the low impact variation into a high impact one. You can do this by simply jumping from side to side and throwing your opposite leg back behind you without putting it down on the floor. This looks just like a speed skater. Swing your arms toward the opposite feet to help with balance and momentum. Go back and forth, and if you start to get tired, return to low impact stepping to complete either your number of reps or the time you set.