Having a toned, shapely derrière that makes every pair of jeans your favorite is what dreams are made of, but you don’t have to do a thousand squats a day to make that a reality. In fact, mastering one simple yoga pose can help you make serious strides toward a more toned rear as well as more limber hips and a stronger body.
Tree Pose involves shifting your weight to one leg, tucking the other leg up into your inner thigh (or against the side of your calf), and holding your hands in prayer. Of course, this pose can be modified in any number of ways, but over time it will help give you strong hips and a toned bum. The best part is, this pose can be done pretty much anywhere, which means achieving your jean butt goals is easier than ever. Read on to find out exactly why Tree Pose should become your (and your fabulous booty’s) new best friend.
1. Opens Hips
Hip-opening stretches are a fantastic way to de-stress, especially after sitting at a desk all day. With one foot pressed up into your inner thigh, your hips are gently pushed open to release the physical stress of sitting for hours at a time. Holding the tree pose for 1-3 minutes on each side is ideal for hip openers; it gives your body enough time to relax into the pose to truly release the tension in your muscles. Tree Pose is great for strengthening the stabilizing muscles around your hips, which will help make everyday movements like climbing steps and sitting down easier on your body. Improved range of motion and flexibility can only improve your health; since most of us tend to carry a ton of tension in our hips, opening them up regularly with Tree Pose will feel so incredible, you might just find yourself looking forward to this tricky pose in your next yoga class.
2. Tones Legs, Butt and Core
When all your weight is on just one leg, you’re definitely going to feel the burn up through your calves, quads, hamstrings, and buttocks. These muscles are working hard to support your body weight, especially if you involve your upper body by pushing your palms together, raising your arms above your head, or joining them behind your back. These extensions make your Tree a full-body pose, which forces your core to join in on the fun for a tummy-blasting effect (especially when followed up with these belly-slimming foods). Engaging these muscles is the only way you’ll be able to maintain Tree Pose for longer than a few seconds, so make sure you tighten your core and butt for your most effective and strength-building Tree yet. Using your buns in Tree Pose does a lot more than just tone your derrière; a strong bum can help with everything from posture to back pain, so it’s worthwhile to not only engage your glutes to get into the posture, but to mindfully keep them engaged throughout the entire pose.
3. Improves Balance
You might not care much about improving your balance, but it can be a game changer when it comes to your health. Good balance is important for pretty much anything you ask your body to do; bending down, leaning and even simple walking requires muscles and stability. It helps prevent falls and injuries, both of which you’re naturally more susceptible to as you get older, while also improving your overall training and physical health. Good balance and steadiness, in particularly standing on one foot, can help you train safely and may prevent many common injuries like ankle rolling, sprains, and tendon issues. Stability exercises like Tree Pose are a crucial part of a well-balanced training routine, and could be just as important as maintaining proper form during a workout and stretching afterwards.
Plus, good balance makes it that much easier to achieve the perfect gym selfie angle, and if that doesn’t sell you, what will? Check out our new Body Rock Yoga series to try out tree — and a spread of other body redefining and mind expanding yoga poses!