I Tried Selena Gomez's Booty Workout & It's Way Harder Than It Looks

by Georgina Berbari
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images/Georgina Berbari

You've been there before: You're scrolling through your Instagram feed when you see your favorite celeb post about their favorite new product — a face serum, vitamins that will make your skin brighter, or a specialty food service. You can't help but want to be like the stars, but are the products worth it? In Elite Daily's new series, I Tried, we put it all to the test. We're trying those products as well as celebrities' health and wellness tips, recipes, and life hacks. We'll do the leg work and tell you what living like your fave star is really like.

I'd really like to be the type of person who has a carefully curated, go-to playlist for my workout routine. But the reality is, lately, I've been ruthlessly and unapologetically listening to "Back To You" by Selena Gomez — by itself, on repeat, for the entire duration of my sweat sessions. To be honest, I have no shame: This song has singlehandedly allowed me to do the most pull-ups I've ever done in a row, and even though I'm probably the primary reason it's still on Billboard's Hot 100 list, I'm very content with that. Anyway, while I clearly don't have any sort of diversity when it comes to workout music, I do like to change up my actual workouts pretty often, which is what led me to try Selena Gomez's butt workout. After all, if one of her songs can motivate me as much as it does, I can only imagine what one of her workouts could do for my mindset.

Now, the "It Ain't Me" singer seems like a fascinating, and sometimes even mysterious woman. Personally, I'm still wondering how she feels about Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin's engagement, but that's another article for another day. For now, I'm happy to say Gomez's butt workout isn't nearly as complicated as the woman herself. Seriously, just about anyone can do her workout at home, as it only involves three simple bodyweight movements.

Just because Gomez's moves are accessible, though, doesn't mean they aren't challenging. Typically, according to SELF, the 26-year-old celeb does this workout at Hot Pilates, a popular pilates studio in Los Angeles — which, the outlet says, happens to be heated to approximately 95 degrees Fahrenheit. So yeah, that doesn't exactly sound easy, does it?

Unfortunately, I am a) too broke to hit up a hot pilates studio here in New York, and b) easily nauseated by working out in such extreme heat. But, in order to keep things interesting, I decided to do Gomez's three butt exercises — a side-kick series, all-fours straight leg lifts, and single-leg pelvic lifts — in none other than the Salt Lake City International Airport, where I was recently stuck waiting out a layover. Judge me all you want, but honestly, can you think of a better way to pass the time during a long layover than to listen to "Back To You" on repeat and squeeze in a low-key butt workout? Yeah, I didn't think so. Plus, it was so stuffy in the airport that day, it may as well have been a hot pilates studio, as far as I'm concerned.

Once I found a remotely "private" corner in the airport, I set up my makeshift "studio" and got to work.

First Workout: Single-Leg Pelvic Lifts

Georgina Berbari

Also: Can you not?

Georgina Berbari

Now, I didn't realize until later in the workout that I'd inadvertently started the whole routine with what I felt was the hardest of the three exercises. The single-leg pelvic lifts immediately set my core on fire, not to mention my butt cheeks. Selena does not mess around, guys.

Despite the challenge, I made sure to do at least 10 lifts on each side of my body, and I focused on engaging my abs and squeezing my glutes as hard as I could so I would get the most out of the move (and have something to focus on besides weird passersby in the airport). Single-leg pelvic lifts, like many pilates-based workouts, are one of those exercises that technically could be "easy" if you're not really giving it your all or genuinely engaging your muscles as you move. But those subtle movements, if you milk them for all they're worth, will definitely leave you sore the next day (and probably the day after that, too).

Second Workout: Side-Kick Series

Georgina Berbari

I definitely felt this move target my gluteus medius, which is a smaller muscle on the outer side of your butt that helps support your hips, as well as the rotational movement of your thighs. According to Healthline, this muscle plays a big role in allowing you to walk with a steady, balanced pace as you go about doing normal, everyday things — you know, like working out in the middle of an airport. Thanks, Selena. Always lookin' out.

Real talk, though: This workout relieved a lot of the stiffness I was feeling from my earlier flight. I could definitely see myself doing this move again after a long day of traveling, but maybe in the comfort of my living room while I watch Netflix, rather than on the floor of an airport surrounded by strangers. But hey, you live and you learn, right?

Third Workout: All-Fours Straight Leg Lifts

Georgina Berbari

This last exercise kind of reminded me of the donkey kicks workout I often do right after cardio at the gym. Except, IMO, all-fours straight leg lifts are way more difficult because you have to keep your raised leg straight and in control the entire time, whereas with donkey kicks, you can keep your raised leg bent at the knee.

I challenged myself to 20 leg lifts on each side, and I may or may not have let a curse word slip out of my mouth when I was finally done (clearly I have to do leg day more often). But you don't necessarily have to push yourself to do that many reps if your body can't take it: Hot Pilates founder Shannon Nadj told SELF that when it comes to all-fours straight leg lifts, "quality, not quantity, should be the focus." Yeah, I should probably try to keep that in mind next time.

Georgina Berbari

If I had to guess, Selena Gomez probably looks a lot more put-together after her workout than I do, or at least, I'd imagine she doesn't have quite the same expression of pure defeat that I do. But hey, I'm just a normal girl who usually eats overpriced chocolate during her flight layovers, who's never even thought of killing that time with a workout instead. So I feel like that means I can chalk this up to a victory of some kind, right? Guys? Selena? Bueller?

For real, though, I already had not-so-subtle girl crush on Selena Gomez before I tried her butt workout, and now I have even more respect for her, because if I ever tried to do that routine in a 95-degree pilates class (along with more than a dozen other exercises, according to SELF), I would high-key evacuate the premises within the first five minutes.

Out of the heat, though, this three-move workout is really doable no matter where you are or what your skillset is. And I really do recommend doing it while you're traveling, because it's not only convenient, it actually loosened me up a bit just in time for my next flight.

I guess what I'm really trying to say to Selena's butt workout is this: If I could do it all again, I know I'd go back to you.

Victoria Warnken/Elite Daily