Whether it’s to get ready for swimsuit season or to make your favorite pair of jeans look that much better, there are plenty of reasons to seek out exercises that will tone and sculpt your glutes. Next time you’re at the gym, try one of these proven-and-true butt-focused exercises.
This lower-body exercise will seriously shape your legs and butt, whether you start off with just a body weight squat or add in some weights. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your toes pointing straight ahead.
Making sure to keep your knees stabilized over your toes and your back flat, bend and lower yourself at the hips and knees. Without curving your lower back, drive into the ground with the balls of your feet to rise back up.
#2 Single-Leg Hip Extension
Target your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and abs with this floor exercise. Lie on your back with your arms at your sides and your knees bent. Raise one leg and hold it straight out. Then, lift your hips up off the ground, hold for a breath, and release.
Repeat eight to ten times on each side, and then switch legs. If it’s too hard at first, try the hip raise with both feet flat on the ground. If it’s too easy, fold your arms across your chest so that you have to stabilize yourself more with your abs and glutes.
#3 Lunge and Reach
You probably already know how to do a typical lunge: take one big step forward and bend your front knee at a 90 degree angle, dipping your rear knee to focus your weight on the front foot.
Hold and lift back up, and either take a step forward to lunge with the other leg, or repeat in that position.
To focus the exercise more on your butt, add a forward reach. Before lowering yourself onto your front leg, hold both arms out in front of you. The reach will lengthen your muscles and add an additional balance component.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to revisit the 80s and go to a step class to get all the benefits of this exercise. Depending on your strength level, use a step, a weight bench, or a plyometric box.
Place one foot on top of the surface, and then focus your strength through your glutes to step up onto it. Lower yourself down and repeat eight to ten times before switching to the other leg.
#5 Squat and Kick-Back
If that first squat wasn’t enough, here’s a way to up the ante and really get some buns of steel. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, like you would for a normal squat.
Begin to lower yourself, but as you come down, extend one leg behind you and both arms out in front, leaning forward slightly and locking your core and glutes for balance.
Draw your arms and leg back in, finish the squat, and return to standing position. As with any squat, make sure to keep your back flat and your knees over your toes to avoid injury.
Which butt-toning exercise is your favorite?