Having a firm derriere isn’t just a confidence builder—though we’ll certainly take that, too! Strong, powerful glutes will also help improve your athleticism and even optimize your core stability. Wondering which exercises are the “best of the butt” for toning, shaping, and strengthening your booty? We’re sharing five effective butt exercises you may want to add into the mix.
5 Butt Exercises to Build the Booty of Your Dreams
These butt exercises target all the major parts of your glutes (gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus, and gluteus medius) to help you get a more toned and curvy behind…not to mention a stronger and more powerful one, too:
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1. Hip Thrust
Start seated on the ground and rest your mid-back against the edge of a bench. Place your feet flat on the ground with your knees bent. Then, press through your heels, squeeze your glute muscles and lift your hips. Hold for one count at full extension, then lower slowly back to the start position. Keep your knees directly over your toes the whole time. To make this harder, add weight by placing a dumbbell or barbell across your hips or upper thighs (you may need a folded up yoga mat or towel for added cushioning).
2. Side Lying Hip Raises
Start lying on your side with knees and hips bent about 90 degrees. Lift up onto your forearm, then lift your top leg a few inches into the air (keep the same bend in the hip and knee). Then, lift your hips off the ground as far as they can go comfortably. Hold for a count at the top and return slowly to the start position.
3. Kettlebell Swing
Start in standing with your stance slightly wider than shoulder width. Hold the handle of a kettlebell with two hands. With a slight bend in your knees and your abs strong, bend forward at the hips so your torso moves toward the ground and the kettlebell swings back between your legs (almost like you’re hiking a football). Then, push through your heels and explosively squeeze your glutes, so your hips snap forward and open. Allow the momentum of your hips to help you lift the kettlebell to about shoulder height.
Start standing in front of a loaded barbell so that the knots of your shoelaces are about under the bar, feet about hip-width apart. Reach down and grab the bar with an overhand grip. Bend your knees and lift your chest until your back is perfectly flat and engaged. Your shoulders should be directly over or slightly ahead of the bar. Press through your heels and lift the bar off the ground. Once the bar gets past your knees, open up your hips until you’re standing fully extended at the top. Lower slowly by bending the hips and leaning forward, then bending your knees once the bar passes your knees. Keep the bar close to you the whole time.
5. Banded Squat
Place a resistance band around your lower thighs and stand with your feet about shoulder width apart. With your chest up and your back flat, lower your butt back and down until the crease of your hips pass your knees—or as far as you can go while maintaining good form (chest up, natural curve in the back, knees over toes, heels down). Hold for one count at the bottom, then press through your heels and stand up. Engage your glutes by pressing your knees out against the band the whole time.
To make this more challenging, add resistance with a pair of dumbbells, a kettlebell, or a barbell.