The 6 Best Butt Exercises for Round and Firm Glutes

best butt exercise
Marites 4 weeks / 12 sessions

Summer approaches every year, yet you still do not feel as though you are ready to show off your body. The only way you will feel good about yourself is to burn the excuses, get up, and start exercising. Try not to get discouraged by past attempts at fat loss, and do not compare yourself to anybody else on the boardwalk. You are better than you were because you are more committed than you have been. Take one small step at a time and stay consistent. Amp up your cardio and strength training while cleaning up your diet by eating whole foods and water and not junk food and soda or alcohol.  Eat a little  healthier and cleaner every day. These lifestyle shifts are what drive lasting results.

To look good in your two-piece bikini or swimsuit, you will want to perform exercises targeted for your glutes and thighs. Your gluteus medius helps to rotate the hip. The gluteus minimus works to help raise your leg, and well, the gluteus maximus is the one rock bands write songs about. The glute maximus is the one that turns heads on beach day. Below are six of the best butt exercises that will tone your tush into one you can be proud to show off.

Top 6 Best Butt Exercises

Best Butt Exercise #1: Incline Treadmill Walking and Running

women doing cardio
elliptical works too

Whether you prefer taking a brisk walk or an intense run on the treadmill, this is a great way to shape your booty as well as burn any extra fat you may have. Think of this added incline as an upgrade to your usual walk and run routine. This walk is perfect for a treadmill or a natural incline on a hill. While walking is an excellent choice for helping torch calories and shedding unwanted pounds, running adds an explosive element that can help improve your glutes.

No one likes weak and flabby backside. Getting out there and challenging your body is tough, but you will thank yourself when you fill out those jeans in all the right places. Not only will you look better with a more developed booty, but those glutes help support a strong back during resistance training and the usual day-to-day activities.

Make sure to do these excellent cardio exercises for at least thirty minutes three-five times per week. If you can, you should incorporate both running and walking into each session. If running irritates pre-existing injuries, you will still get most of the benefit from walking at a brisk pace.  The elliptical is a fine substitute too.

What’s a brisk pace? On average it is about 4mph at a 5% or steeper incline for trainees age 20-45 in good health and average height.

Pro Tip: Many trainees injure themselves by pushing too hard on cardio. Going faster usually does not burn more body fat. Perhaps it burns more calories, but it does not eliminate stored body fat better. For all my years in the gym, the women going to the high-intensity cardio classes only get fatter. As far as fat burning goes, slow and steady wins the race. Going faster does not necessarily help. Even starting with a less steep incline can produce excellent results. Read more of my posts about fat burning and optimal cardio intensity.

Best Butt Exercise #2: Banded Shuffles

Performing this exercise will surely get your heart rate where it should be, and tone your glutes. The abductors are muscles that running alongside the outside of your tush, and underestimate their importance. Building up those abductors helps move the leg away from the body and also add shape to your derriere. This muscle group is responsible for rotating your leg at the hip joint and one that athletes might overlook for the gluteus maximus. That crucial part is not the only muscle playing a role in giving you that dream lower half.

To perform this exercise, you will need to purchase an elastic sports band.  Tie the elastic band around the lower part of your legs – below the knees and above the calves. Start by standing up straight with your feet together.  Squat down until your butt is parallel to the floor, and push one leg out until your legs are about twice your hip-width apart.  Call it a wide horse-riding stance.  When in this position, you will take 5-10 steps to the right; and then back to the left.

So, you are essentially combining the abductor machine with a squat here. This movement provides stability and strength. Your body has to take over to compensate for imbalances and weakness, so you do not want to neglect your glute development. More strength through your lower half means a more stable and aligned pelvis and body overall. In the video, Michelle holds a barbell on her back for added resistance.

Best Butt Exercise #3: Hip Lifts

One of the best exercises that works your glutes is the hip lift. Not only do they bring a superb effect to your glutes, but they tie in those quads, your mid-line (or core), and your hamstrings too. Your lower body is an essential key to strength and stability. Not only does a balanced body perform better, but it looks great on the beach or in a pair of shorts. Fashion industry beauty standards of being rail thing are not quite as in-fashion today. A developed booty takes work and is well worth the effort.

To perform this exercise, begin by lying down with your back flat to the floor and bent knees. Be sure to keep your arms to your sides. Next, lift your butt and lower part of your back off the floor, and hold that position for several seconds. Then lower your back into the starting position. The static hold will help to strengthen and isolate the glutes. If you can, you could also lift one of your legs in the air while you perform this exercise to increase the intensity of the workout. That unilateral work that emphasizes one side will help shore up imbalances. It also eliminates overcompensation from when your body learned a poor movement pattern.

The advanced form is the gym method, propping your upper back on a bench or ball and with a weight or barbell across your lap.  It is not uncommon for girls to use 135 lbs. of weight or more on this lift. Having all of your muscles properly function can help to reduce and void pain from improper form due to weakness. The video shows Elaina performing this lift using the smith machine, which I prefer.

Best Butt Exercise #4: Pile Squats

The plié squat is the best when it comes to shaping your glutes. It not only builds more toned legs and bum, but it improves stability, balance, and posture. The core stabilizers that keep those elegant shoulders upright get a great workout from this movement. Sometimes called the sumo squat, plié squats are also the perfect choice to hit those hard-to-target inner thighs.

You begin this exercise with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width. Point your toes away at a 90° angle as if you were a ballerina. Keep your arms in front of your body to help keep your balance. In this position, squat down to the ground until your upper thighs are parallel with the floor and reverse motion to the standing position. It is perfectly normal to feel a nice stretch here, but there should be no sharp pain because of this movement.
At the top, squeeze the glutes and thrust the hips forward slightly. 3-4 sets of 15-20 reps produce the best results.

Do not be afraid to use a little weight if you would like to up the resistance. In the video, Michelle is holding a dumbbell in goblet squat form for more of a challenge. For many clients, I add 2.5 lb. plates under the client’s heels. Michelle’s ankles are very flexible, and she finds the plates distracting. Try it with and without the lift under your heels to find the best option for your ankle mobility.

Best Butt Exercise #5: Gluteal Hyperextensions

This exercise uses the back extension bench with a slight twist to focus on rounding, lifting and toning the butt. This is one of my trade secrets. Any fool can use the hyperextension bench as designed to work the lower back. We want even more out of this awesome piece of equipment. You can build great hamstrings that truly give those glutes a killer look in a pair of jeans with the correct approach. The hyperextension also builds strength for other movements as it improves deadlift and squat.

Approach the machine as you would usually for a low back exercise. This time, lower the bench until your hip joint is slightly higher than the bench. Tuck your chin to your chest, round your upper back, and contract your upper hamstring and glute tie-in. You will maintain this posture throughout the exercise.

The gluteal hyperextensions work through a shorter range of motion and keep the resistance right underneath that target area. This movement will eliminate the “underbutt” double crease and perfect the lower glute shape. 3-4 sets of 20 reps make an effective dose of this booty builder. The glutes need a higher rep count, than say, the biceps. They are also able to recover at a moderately high rate. This recovery speed means you can train glutes somewhere between 2 and 6 times per week.

The glutes and lower body muscles also have a higher percentage of slow-twitch muscle fibers that respond better to higher reps. Perform this movement with a weight in hand if you can maintain the mind-muscle connection.

Best Butt Exercise #6: Lunges

Lunges are fantastic because they target your glutes, hips, legs, and thighs. It is a simple exercise that requires you to put one foot in front of the other as far as you can while maintaining stability. Then you will lower your entire body straight down, dropping your rear knee to the ground. This action intensely stimulates the upper glute. It is a part that some gym-goers miss with other movements.

If you find lunges place an unsustainable amount of pressure on your knees, you might opt for a lateral lunge. These will also target the glutes and improve your flexibility and mobility. Since lateral lunges fire up that glute medius, it helps you move your hips properly.

Use the same starting position standing tall with feet hip-width apart. Now, you will take a big step out to the side and bend the knee of your stepping leg. Push those hips back and lower your stepping leg until your knee reaches 90°. Return to the starting position and repeat the movement on the opposite side. The same scheme of 12-15 reps per set is perfect for a lateral lunge.

Be sure to keep your torso as vertical as you can to prevent any possible injury. After each rep, return to the starting position and repeat the movement with the opposite leg. Complete about 15 reps per leg or more depending on how toasty your legs feel after a set. To increase the level of intensity, you can hold a barbell across your back or a dumbbell in each hand.  Erin makes it look fun, but it shouldn’t be.  You should suffer for your beauty!

best butt exercises
Jena before and after

With these exercises, your butt will DEFINITELY be ready for the upcoming swimsuit season! Not only that, but your entire body will look better from doing these exercises as well! It will require grit and dedication, but those results are well worth the work. It is my firm recommendation that you also train your upper body and abs with the same focus you give to glutes.

It does not happen overnight, but if you are willing to stick to a plan to improve your body then now is the right time to book a consultation with me. Place a call or send an email today, and we can begin crafting the perfect fitness routine for your goals. Full customization means a plan that addresses your fitness needs and allowing you to start working on the body you desire.

It does not happen overnight, but if you are willing to stick to a plan to improve your body then now is the right time to book a consultation with me, Los Angeles best personal trainer.   Give me a call or send me an email today to we can create the perfect fitness routine for your goals. It will be specially customized to suit your needs in order to get you in the body that you desire as quickly and efficiently as possible.

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