Toning your butt isn’t just about looking good, it’s so much more important. The glutes, the common name for the group of muscles in your buttocks, help the body stand upright and can be a key player in many other exercises like jumping and sprinting. Looking good in a pair of tight jeans is simply a bonus for having a well-defined butt.
These glute muscles play an important role in keeping the pelvis stable as you move and weak glutes, often linked with too much sitting, can result in less control of the pelvis and pain or injury. Stronger glutes can help with your lower body movements and many doctors recommend strengthening the glutes to reduce or even reverse back pain.
Can We Get the Perfect Butt?
Fortunately there’s no genetic predisposition for a perfect posterior, you aren’t born with a particularly good or bad backside, but with a little work and the best butt exercises, anybody regardless of age can achieve the perfect butt.
Anybody who has ever suffered with a sagging butt or larger than normal backside can tell you how demoralizing putting on those new slacks can be. It may be easier to hide your butt under a flowing skirt but we all occasionally want to show our booty off. Sometimes on the beach you want to look good in that itsy bitsy teeny bikini or maybe in the club you want to shake your booty like a pro.
If a perfect butt is just about looks, surgery could be the answer although not many experts would recommend this option as your butt can drop again. For those ladies who want an easy way to reshape their buttocks there are options that don’t involve surgery like applying polypropylene strips…But (excuse the pun!) by adopting proven butt workouts that focus on the gluteal muscles and leg workouts combined with a healthy diet, you could be on your way to a butt that not only looks great but will last too.
Let’s take a look at these all-important gluteal muscles, or glutes, that you’re going to be working out before focusing on the best butt exercises to get the most out of your posterior. Most can be performed without any specialized equipment at home and with some hard work you too could have a butt that even Beyonce would be proud of! As they say; no pain, no gain!
A Little Booty Background
The glutes, or butt muscles, consist of the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus muscles covered by a layer of fat. The largest of them, the gluteus maximus, is one of the main characteristics of the human body using its power to maintain our body in an upright position. This group of muscles impacts all our movements from standing upright or bending over to maintaining posture. Our buttocks play a key part in allowing us to sit upright without resting our weight on our feet like four-legged animals do.
In conjunction with our leg muscles, the glutes draw our pelvis backward and allow us to regain an erect position after slouching. Try standing on one leg and you’ll feel you buttocks tense up. Leg exercises can also work the butt muscles as can many bodyweight exercises.
The glutes are involved in most sporting activities from running to weightlifting and there are many exercises which focus on the gluteus maximus as well as the other muscles of the upper leg. By working your butt you can also improve your athletic performance and improve your mobility and general health. A bootylicious butt can mean less back pain and fewer leg aches in addition to gaining a few wolf-whistles. (We say we don’t like them, but hey a few can be flattering too!)
The Best Butt Exercises
A perfect butt doesn’t have to be tiny and peach like, just look at J Lo, she’s never had the smallest of butts. But what J Lo and many of the other fuller-figure celebrities have is definition of the butt which most of us would give our left cheek for. By strengthening the glutes through a butt-focused workout, you too can look like this and will also find simple everyday tasks like standing and climbing up stairs much easier.
To get the best from your glutes, try slipping these butt workouts into your daily routine three to four times per week. Start off slow, performing each exercise for 45 to 60 seconds with a 15 second break before repeating and performing two rounds for beginners. As you get more comfortable you can build the reps up to three or four rounds with a 60-second break between each round.
1. Hip Drive and Bottoms-Up Lunge
Start by sitting on your knees, so that your butt is resting on your heels. Use your glutes to lift your butt and rise up to a kneeling position. While keeping the glutes engaged, slowly lower yourself down again.
Once you feel comfortable doing the basic hip drive you can lead into a bottoms-up lunge. Start by performing the above hip drive but when you are in the final position, bring your left foot to the front so you are kneeling on just the right knee.
Push down on your left heel and use your glutes to stand up, raising your right knee at the same time. Try not to push off the ground as you stand, instead using your hamstrings and glutes to lift you.
Return to a kneeling position after fully standing up.
2. Hip Raise or Glute Bridge
This exercise is ideal for beginners as it’s low impact yet still powerful at building glutes. It uses both the quads and hamstrings to help lift the butt.
Begin by lying on a mat or on the floor with your feet hip distance apart and flat on the floor. Inhale and slowly lift your body into a bridge shape, pushing the hips up towards the ceiling and driving through with your heels.
Lift your hips as high as you can into the bridge and hold for five to 10 seconds. Lower back down to the start position slowly, exhaling as you do. As you start you can do 10 to 12 repetitions but can work up to as many as 30 when you feel more comfortable.
For a more advanced move you can place a weight or barbell across your lower abdomen to really work those glutes. A variation on the glute bridge, is the glute bridge march, which can extra strength and definition at the side of your hips and is detailed in the below Youtube clip.
3. Squat Jump
We all love squats, they can be so much fun and we really feel like we’re working those muscles. Well I do anyway, and once you see just how good they can be for your butt, I’m sure you will too.
This butt workout takes a traditional squat but adds a jump to work the glutes, quads and calves more. This’ll really work the muscles so you can feel that burn.
Stand with your feet about hip distance apart with the toes slightly turned outwards in a 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock position. Slowly squat down low using your quads with your hands between your feet to steady you.
Jump up while stretching your hands out towards the ceiling and upon landing take it back into the same low squat position you started from. Repeat for 10 to 20 squats, leaving out the jump if just beginning.
You can also do a variation on this move with a chair if you don’t feel balanced enough just using your hands. Sit on the chair with a straight back and your feet at the same hip distance starting position.
Using the power of your glutes, jump straight up ensuring both your feet come off the ground and land lightly before slowly squatting to sit back on the chair. Try not to use your feet to jump up as this will take focus away from your glutes.
4. Crossover Lunge
Lunges are great exercises that can work many muscles in the body. This lunge emphasizes the work of the glutes, abs and hamstrings to strengthen those buttocks.
Start from a standing upright position with your feet about shoulder-width apart from each other. Lift the left foot and step backwards to cross behind your right foot. From a crossed position perform the lunge using your glutes abs and hamstring to lower to your left knee.
Push back up with your left foot to stand, then repeat on the other side.
5. Toe Taps
What may seem like a gentle exercise can really help tighten up those lower more loose parts of your butt.
Assume the position of lying on the floor with both arms by your side. Lift your feet from the floor and bend your knees so that your thighs are at a 90-degree angle to the floor.
Slowly move your left foot to the floor and gently tap your toes before lifting the leg and repeating with your right foot. Alternate the tapping of feet for one minute but if you feel any lower back pain don’t bring your toes all the way down.
You could even follow this move with a minute of side to side bicycle crunches for a more advanced workout by simply moving your hand to support your head.
6. Plié Squats
This looks like a very simple move but the effects are far more toning than you may first think. It’s just one part of the infamous Brazilian Butt Lift workout and can be incorporated into any butt workout to target both your inner and outer thighs, the hamstrings, quads and glutes.
From a standing position, move your feet to slightly wider apart than your shoulders with toes pointing outwards.
Lift your arms straight out in front and lower yourself into a squat, ensuring you tuck your tailbone in and contract your glutes. This will keep the torso straight but don’t let your knees creep over the toes.
Keep this position for about one minute with a slight pulsing movement after 40 seconds. Move back into the upright position engaging your glutes, rest for 30 seconds and repeat.
7. Door Hinge
This move actually targets all three of the gluteal muscles; maximus, medius and minimus, and is easy to do at home with just a chair and a rolled up towel.
Stand with the chair back towards you and bend at your hips to rest your right forearm on the chair. Squeeze the rolled-up towel behind your left knee, keeping your foot flexed.
Place your left hand on your hip and tucking in the pelvis you want to bring your left knee out to the side, in towards your chest and then move it back behind you.
Ensure you keep the knee at the same level for the entire move.
Repeat 10 times and on the final rep leave the knee behind and do 20 press-back pulses where you only move the leg slightly back before releasing and moving to your other leg.
Easy Ways You Can Further Enhance Your Butt
In addition to following a butt workout program at the gym or in your own home, there are many other simple ways you can compliment your training sessions every day.
Try skipping the elevator at work and using the stairs. As you go up the stairs you are engaging your glutes and leg muscles more which gets the heart beating. Going up the stairs obviously provides more benefits but don’t cheat and get the elevator down, as walking down the stairs can help by working different muscles.
Use your lunch hour to go for a walk or a cycle. Walking with good posture can use both your abs and glutes while cycling not only increases the heart rate and calorie burn but also tones and builds the glute muscles, especially when going uphill. An early morning sprint or spin class can be another great way of getting those all important glutes working.
By following a good workout routine with the best butt exercises, next time somebody says “shake it like you just don’t care”, you won’t as you know you have the perfect booty to pull off the moves.