Booty. Tush. Caboose. Hiney. Fanny. Your butt goes by many names, but the fact is that we all have one and we’d all like for it to look as good as possible. You may not think of it this way, but your butt is a conglomeration of muscles just like your abs or your legs. With a little time and dedication, you can sculpt your derriere into a work of art. But how do you do it? It all comes down to doing some good, old-fashioned butt exercises.
First, we’re going to talk a little bit about the anatomy of your booty and how each muscle contributes to form as well as function. Next, we’ll talk about how to build a better workout to tone those glutes and to start building some mass. We’ll finish up with seven of the best butt exercises to help you get your tush into the ideal shape. So, keep reading!
What Muscles Do Butt Workouts Target?
As you may already know, your butt is made up of your gluteal muscles. You’ve undoubtedly heard reference to the gluteus maximus, but that is just one of the three major muscles that make up your backside. Here they are:
- Gluteus maximus
- Gluteus medius
- Gluteus minimus
The gluteus maximus is, of course, the largest of the three gluteal muscles and it is the muscle that makes up the rounded shape of your behind. Your gluteus medius sits on the outer surface of each cheek below your pelvis. Finally, the gluteus minimus is located a little deeper and somewhat in front of the gluteus medius. These two muscles are responsible for the abduction and adduction of the hip joint. The gluteus maximus is responsible for upper leg extension. The best butt exercises will work all three of these muscles.
Tips for Building a Better Butt
Now that you understand the anatomy of your backside a little better, how do you train it? Your butt is just like any other muscle – you can build and strengthen it with targeted butt exercises. The number of repetitions and sets you perform will determine whether you build strength or size. Ideally, you should focus on one of these goals with each of your butt workouts, working both them into your weekly routine.
To build strength, focus on performing fewer repetitions at a higher weight – aim for 4 or 5 reps at the highest weight you can manage. If you’re already a pro at weightlifting, you push it a little further into the 6 to 8 range to build strength and to achieve hypertrophy. Once you enter the 8 to 12 rep range, you’re working more on building size – you should adjust the weight so that you’re still working hard, but you’re able to complete a higher number of repetitions with your butt exercises. For toning and endurance, complete 12 to 15 repetitions per set.
In addition to knowing how many repetitions to perform with each exercise, you also need to know how to perform them correctly and effectively. Form is incredibly important, especially for safety’s sake. When you are first learning how to perform an exercise, use a lower weight and really focus on moving slowly through the exercise – you should be in control the entire time. For things like squats and lunges, go as deep as you comfortably (and safely) can but always keep your knees behind your toes for stability and safety.
The Seven Best Butt Exercises to Sculpt and Shape Your Hiney
Are you ready to start plumping that booty? Here are seven simple bodyweight exercises you can perform to start building a better butt. Once you have the form down and you’ve toned the muscle you already have, you can think about adding some weight to begin building size and strength. Once you start seeing results, you’ll be excited to complete your butt workouts each week!
1. Bodyweight Squats | 10 reps
Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, your toes pointed slightly outward (no more than 20 degrees). Look straight ahead and reach your arms out in front of you, keeping them parallel to the ground. With your weight in your heels and keeping your spine neutral, thrust your hips back and lower your body as if you were sitting in a chair. Keep your core and glutes tight the entire time. Lower yourself as far as you comfortably can, ideally until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Make sure to keep your weight back so your knees don’t track out past your toes. When you reach the bottom, squeeze your glutes and push back to the standing position. Repeat for 10 reps.
2. Double Squat Jump | 10 reps
Stand with your feet about hip-width apart, your toes pointed slightly outward – you should be in the same position as for a classic bodyweight squat. In a quick but controlled motion, lower into a squat. At the bottom, drop your booty another inch or two in a quick pulse then thrust upward to a stand and jump, lifting both feet off the ground. Land softly on the balls of your feet, cushioning your landing with your knees, and immediately drop into the next squat. Repeat for 10 reps.
3. Kneel to Lunge to Kick | 5 reps
On a yoga mat, kneel down, sitting on your knees so that your butt is touching your heels. Engage your glutes to lift your butt and drive your hips forward, keeping your spine straight up and down. Once your knees hit a 90-degree angle, bring your left knee forward and plant it on the ground in front of you so that you’re kneeling on your right knee. Next, push off with your left heel and engage your glutes to stand, bringing your right knee up toward your chest in a fluid motion. Step back and return to the starting position and repeat slowly until you get the hang of the motion. Repeat at a quick but controlled pace.
4. Step-Ups | 8 reps
Place a chair or bench in front of you. It should be a comfortable height for you to step onto safely. If a chair or bench is too high, you can use something lower as long as it is stable and will support your weight. Stand in front of the chair. Then, lift your left leg to plant your left foot on the chair while engaging your left glute. In one fluid motion, step up with your left leg (do not push off the ground with your right foot) and straighten it until you are standing tall. At the top of the motion, bring your right knee up to a 90-degree angle then step back and plant it on the ground before lowering to the starting position. Repeat for 8 reps, then do it on the opposite side.
5. One-Leg Sit to Stand | 5 reps
Find a chair or bench that is just the right height so that when you sit down, your legs are bent at a 90-degree angle. Sit in the chair with your knees bent and feet planted on the ground. Then, stand up with your feet planted to maintain the proper distance. This is your starting position. Clasp your hands together in front of your chest. Lift your left leg about six inches off the floor, holding it out in front of you.
Next, bend your right knee, thrusting your hips back and lowering your bottom onto the chair. Make sure to keep this movement controlled by engaging your core, glutes, and hamstrings. Once your bottom touches the chair, push up with your right leg and return to the standing position. Don’t let your weight rest on the chair. Repeat for 5 reps then do the same on the other side. If you need a little help with balance, rest your heel lightly on the floor but don’t put weight on it.
6. Side Skaters | 7 reps
Stand with your feet together and lean slightly forward, thrusting your hips back into a slight crouch. Keep your spine neutral and engage your abdominals. Jump as far as you can to the right, landing on the ball of your right foot in a controlled motion. Use your knee to cushion your landing, bending your left leg behind you. Next, jump as far as you can to the left. Engage your glutes to push off your right foot and land on your left, bending your right foot behind you. Repeat and alternate sides.
7. Crossover Lunges | 10 reps
Stand comfortably with your feet shoulder-width apart and clasp your hands loosely in front of you. With your left foot, step backward and to the right, crossing your left leg behind your right foot. Lower your body into a lunge, balancing on your left big toe and touch your left knee to the ground. Engage your core, glutes, and hamstrings as you lower yourself. Push off the ground with your left foot and return to the starting position. Repeat the entire move on the opposite side.
Start Doing These Butt Exercises at Home
With the best butt exercises we’ve described, you can create a booty-busting workout that will help you build a better tush. Customize your butt workouts using as many of these exercises as you like. Perform at least three sets of each with the desired number of repetitions according to your personal goals.
Now that you know about the best butt exercises, all you have to do is work them into some regular butt workouts. To keep yourself motivated for exercise, read our simple tips!