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The Laundry Basket Exercise That Really Works Your Butt

06/16/2015 10:07 am ET | Updated Jun 16, 2015

These days, fitness trainers like Steve Cook say everyone seems intent on getting a better butt. Inspired by the well-sculpted behinds of Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez, booty-focused workouts are becoming more and more popular -- and even if you can't make it to the gym, Cook says, you can still do simple things to tone up your backside.

In speaking with the digital series #OWNSHOW, Cooks points to both celebrity influence and social media as big reasons why this butt-based workout phenomenon has become so popular. "Everyone loves talking about the booty, from Instagram to Iggy Azalea. Everyone's talking about booties these days," he says. "[But] you have to work hard to get a good derriere."

All that hard work, however, may be rendered useless if you forget about one key aspect of the ideal butt workout.

"One area that I would tell people not to neglect is that lower back," Cook says. "People, a lot of times, forget about the lower back... It's all one chain that you need to work out; you can't just isolate the booty. And if you're neglecting your lower back, that's when you're going to get hurt."

For those who can make it to the gym, Cook suggests doing an exercise like deadlifts to really work your rear.

"There's no better way to work the booty than to do something like a heavy back squat [or] deadlifts," he says. "Think of picking up your kids off the ground -- when you bend down to get them, what do people always tell you to lift with? Your legs... Deadlifts are just picking things up off of the floor. We all do it, but too many times, we keep our legs straight [or] we bend over with our backs, and the first thing that goes is that lower back."

With this proper form, Cook says you'll start to see results. And if you can't get to the gym, you can still get a targeted workout. All you need is a laundry basket.

"Load up that laundry basket and do more of a sumo deadlift," Cook says. "Sumo deadlifts are when you move your legs out a little bit wider, your hands are in close, and it's pretty much like picking something off the floor, like a laundry basket... Practice picking it up."

To kick things up a notch, keep the workout going as you take the stairs.

"When you go up and down the stairs, lunge," he says. "You don't have to go to the gym to do these things."

Another powerful at-home (or at-work) exercise: The full sit-down for more sculpted thighs.

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