If the eyes are the windows to the soul, the backside would have to be the window of the body. Your butt is really nothing more than a solid mass of muscle - or at least, it should be. And while there are plenty of exercises out there designed to target those often-neglected glutes, it’s hard to know where to start with this particular muscle group.
But there are plenty of benefits to getting your butt into shape - literally. Because the glutes are such a large muscle group, increasing muscle mass down there will do a lot to boost your metabolic rate, which will help you burn fat in other areas. And you'll find that clothes will fit you better, too. Besides, the glutes do more than just make you look good. These muscles are crucial for the movement of your hips and lower back, and making them stronger will help improve your performance of ox jumps, deadlifts, and other heavy lifting activities.
And, at the risk of sounding shallow, we could all use a little more oomph in our walkaway. Make sure they remember you coming and going with these exercises designed to tone and shape that butt. Best of all, you don't even need a gym membership. All of these exercises can be performed at home with minimal equipment.
Best Workouts for the Perfect Butt
- Stand with your feet apart at hip width, balancing your weight on your heels.
- Squat down until your knees reach a 90-degree angle.
- Stand back up while keeping your weight on your heels. Try not to lean forward. Stick your butt back as far as possible.
- Repeat for two sets of 20 reps.
Pretty much the first exercise that comes to mind when people think about toning their butt is squats. And there's a good reason for that. Squats target hamstrings and quads as well as glutes, so they will help to tone and strengthen your legs as well as your butt. And best of all, they can be done almost anywhere. For an additional challenge, you could squat while holding some weights.
- Stand with one foot forward and one back, roughly three feet apart.
- Bend both knees and drop to the floor on your back knee. Try to go straight down without lunging forward.
- Press into your front heel to stand straight up.
- Repeat for 2-3 sets of 16 reps.
Lunges are a wonderful exercise for glutes, hamstrings, and calves. And part of their popularity is due to their versatility. The activity described here is a classic lunge, but you could also do a walking lunge, where you step forward before dropping down into the lunge. You could carry dumbells to add more weight. You can also lunge from a platform or step under your back foot, which also provides a workout for the thighs.
3. Fire Hydrant
- Start on hands and knees with hands shoulder-width apart and knees at the width of your hips.
- Keeping your knee bent, raise your left leg as high out to the side as you can.
- Slowly return to the starting position.
- Repeat with both legs for two sets of 15 reps.
As soon as you start performing this exercise, you'll see right away why it's called a fire hydrant. The action of raising your leg to the side makes you look a little like a dog peeing on a fire hydrant. But the goal here is not to make you look silly, I promise. This is a great exercise for toning not just your butt but also your thighs.
4. Hip Thrust
- Sit down with both hands and feet flat on the floor.
- With hands under your shoulders and fingers facing away from your body, squeeze your glutes and raise your hips into a tabletop position.
- Hold for five seconds.
- Slowly lower your hips to the floor.
- Repeat for 12-15 reps.
This exercise targets the glutes and nothing but the glutes. Right away, you'll feel the burn in your butt. And it's that tingle that tells you it's working.
For more of a challenge, you can try this exercise with a resistance band around your thighs. This will help to tone your legs at the same time as you work on your butt for a more complete lower body workout.
5. Glute Bridge
- Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Raise your hips towards the ceiling, squeezing your glutes at the same time.
- Lower your hips back to the floor.
- Repeat for 14 reps.
This is one of those exercises that looks a lot easier than it is. But it's a great way to target and tone not just your butt, but also your legs and abdominal muscles.
6. Donkey Kicks
- Start on hands and knees with hands at shoulder width apart.
- Keeping your knee bent, raise one leg up behind you.
- Keep your back straight as you lift and don't try to raise your leg above the height of your torso.
- Lower leg to the floor.
- Repeat for two sets of 20 reps.
This is another excellent butt exercise that is more demanding than it seems at first. For a bigger challenge, you can place your hands on a chair and kick back from there. It's a workout for your butt that will quickly get you the results you want.
7. Leg Lift
- Lie on one side with your legs straight and stacked one on top of the other.
- Support your head on one arm and place the other hand on the floor in front of you.
- Lift your top leg as high as you can while keeping the other leg on the floor.
- Repeat for three sets of 20 reps per leg.
This is a useful exercise to target not only the glutes but also the muscles on the outside of the hips. For additional value, you could use a resistance band around your knees or ankles to make it even more of a challenge.
- Stand with your feet at hip-width holding a kettlebell or dumbell.
- Keep shoulders and back straight as you push your butt back and bend at the hips, lowering the weight to the floor slowly.
- Return to start position, squeezing your glutes as you rise.
- Repeat for sets of 12 reps.
You’ll need some simple equipment for this move. But this kind of lifting is one of the surest ways to build up muscle mass. This move will strengthen your entire lower body, including glutes, hamstrings, thighs, calves and lower back.
9. Kettlebell Swings
- Stand with feet a little more than shoulder-width apart.
- With a kettlebell or dumbell on the floor between your feet, lower your hands by hinging your hips and grab the handle.
- Swing the kettlebell back between your legs.
- Swing it forward by straightening your legs and squeezing your glutes and abs.
- Bring the kettlebell up to chest height and hold for a second before lowering it back to the floor.
- Repeat for 15 reps.
This demanding move will do a number on your glutes, hamstrings, abs, and shoulders. It's almost a whole body workout in one move, and all you need is a kettlebell or dumbell to pull it off. This is one technique that will have your butt looking like a million dollars in no time.