The exercise in the video below (aka the lateral leg raise) may look like something Jane Fonda would do—but it’s not just for making your butt look great in spandex. (Although it will accomplish that.)
The lateral leg raise strengthens your gluteus minimus, the muscle on the side of your butt cheek, which is crucial for stabilizing your knees, hips, and lower back during exercise, says Men’s Health Fitness Director BJ Gaddour, C.S.C.S.
Most guys’ glutes are weak from spending too much time in a chair, so targeted exercises like this will help counter that weakness for better performance in the gym.
While lateral leg raises are typically performed lying on the floor, Gaddour suggests doing them from an elevated surface—like a flat bench—to increase your range of motion for better mobility and muscle activation.
Related: Next Try The Goblet Lateral Lunge
Combine lateral leg raises with other glute-frying exercises like hip thrusts to ensure you’re working all your butt muscles—your gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus—Gaddour says.