Bottom Circles

September 6, 2012 Updated: May 4, 2015

Are you ready for a serious glute workout? Bottom circles are one of the best bottom-workout moves. And you even get to do them lying down. 

This is a good exercise to start building core stability while getting a strong workout for your glutes. This will primarily target your gluteus medius, which is the smaller of the two gluteus muscles. 

And there is more to this exercise than meets the eye. Other than activating the glutes, the major focus here is pelvic stability and mobility because it requires you to keep your hips still and stable while you move your leg to engage your glutes. Lack of pelvic stability can be a contributing factor to lower-back and hip issues. 

How to Start

1. Lie on your side with both knees bent in front of your body and your feet inline with your bottom.

2. Place your hand on top of your hip then gently press that hip away from your waist to realign your pelvis correctly. You want your top hip and bottom hip to be in a straight, vertical line. 

3. Extend your top leg in line with your bottom knee. Start to circle your leg forward.

Perform 20 circles in the forward direction and then 20 more in the opposite direction. You should feel your gluteus medius working fairly quickly. 

Focus Points 

Aim to keep your hips still as you circle your leg. If you are unable to do that initially, make smaller circles until you have mastered the essence of the exercise. 

Avoid letting your foot move from your ankle. Your whole leg should move from your hip. Engage your core muscles to help keep your hips from moving.  

Vary the exercise by drawing different shapes and sizes. Try drawing squares, triangles, or letters of the alphabet. You can tap your foot to the floor or lift it back and forward, as long as you keep your hips still.

Emma-Kate Stampton certifies Pilates instructors and is a certified personal trainer. With 12 years of industry experience, she is passionate about sharing the gift of health and well-being. She is based in Brisbane, Australia.