Today, in my at-home exercise series, Jennifer Nyp from Zen Girl Fitness explains how ankle weights can be used to fix a flat butt. If a flat butt is far from your problem, no worries. You can use all the same exercises to lift and tighten too!

I have a genetically flat butt and it’s always been a challenge for me to make any kind of change in that specific area. I find this is very common for my female clients over forty. I’ve learned so much from my clients’ bodies and one of the greatest butt saboteurs is the hip flexors. When they are tight, the glutes shut down. You have to spend some deliberate time working your glutes to bring this dance between the hip flexors, glutes and hamstrings back into balance. In the last year, I’ve been on a mission. A butt definition mission for my clients and myself. It has worked! I give big credit to using ankle weights during butt exercises for this success.

I always include both core and compound movements to create symmetry and fluidity in the body. When your body functions well, you feel better and younger. Be careful though, ankle weights can be dangerous for your joints. If you already have joint pain or injuries, ankle weights are NOT for you. Do the exercises I posted without them. They will still be challenging, but you might benefit by adding time or more reps.

As always, pay attention to your form and the total body. Don’t crunch your neck or clench you face or toes. Put your energy into your core and you will lighten the load that the rest of your body is carrying!

10 Ways to Use Ankle Weights in Your Workout:

Move #1: Squat with Leg Lift

This is a great way to warm-up or add cardio in between more static exercises. Watch your form and the position of your knees (keep them behind your toes)! Do 20-30 or time it for 30-90 seconds.

Move #2: Leg Swings

A more challenging version of a move from the “park bench” series. Be sure to pull in your abs and tuck your pelvis under in order to protect your back. Do 30 seconds to the front and side for each leg.

Move #3: Squat Jump

Get your cardio on! Do this for 30-60 seconds. But if you have joint or knee issues, DO NOT do this! Just squat instead!

Move #4: Curtsy Squat with Side Kick

Do 2-3 sets of 30-60 seconds on each side.

Move #5: Downward Dog Leg Lift and Push-up

Do 10 leg lifts and 10 push-ups then try doing a set of 10-20 alternating between the two. Don’t forget to do both sides!

Move #6: Pilates Side Kick Series

Anchor your bottom leg at a 45 degree angle. Pull your abs back and control your movement. Do 10-20 of each move in the series. Don’t forget to do both sides.

Move #7: Fire Hydrant into Leg Kick

This one really works that booty! Do 60-90 seconds on each side.

Move #8: Inner Thigh Lift and Kick

Turned your leg out, and lead with your inner thigh. For more of a challenge prop yourself on your hands and add tricep dips. Feel the burn!

Move #9: Side Plank with Bottom Leg Lift and Kick

Do a set of 20 or one minute on each side.

Move #10: “Can-Can” Leg Lifts

This one is super challenging no matter how you do it, but especially hard when you do the side-to-side version. Do 2-3 sets of 20 reps or 3 sets of 1 minute.

Stay tuned for next week when Jen will teach us how to incorporate another piece from her list of recommended home gym equipment, which you can find here.

You can follow Jennifer Nyp on Instagram at @zengirlfitness for more daily exercise ideas or if you live in Manhattan and want to work out with her private SOHO studio, you find her contact info here.