5 moves to help you sculpt a better butt

Want buns of steel? Try these five exercises to tone your glutes, hips and thighs

1 / 6
bikini butt summer

Getting started

Try these exercises at home or the gym with just your body weight. Aim to complete one to two sets of about 15 repetitions per side. Once you can easily do up to 15 reps, step up your workouts and sculpt butt muscles even more by holding dumbbells or a weighted bar for added resistance.

Do the routine three times a week on nonconsecutive days. With a five minute warm-up and five minute post-workout stretch, the entire routine takes under 20 minutes (or less if you do just one set).

2 / 6
walking lunge woman fitness

Lunges

Works: glutes, thighs and core

A. Stand with your feet together, hands on your hips or behind your head.

B. Step forward with the right leg. Bend both knees and begin lowering yourself until the front thigh is parallel with the ground and the left knee is almost touching the ground. Both legs should create 90-degree angles at the knee. Your torso should be straight up and down, not bent over.

C. Keeping an even weight distribution on both feet, return to starting position and alternate legs.

Make it harder: Try holding dumbbells at your sides or on your shoulders.

3 / 6
leg lift exercise

Lying lateral leg lifts

Works: glutes ( primarily the glute medius and minimus)

 

A. Lie on your side with your shoulder, hip, knee and ankle all forming a straight line. Bend your bottom leg at a comfortable angle and keep the top leg straight with your ankle pointing toward the ceiling

B. Lift the upper leg toward the ceiling (approximately 2-3 inches), contracting your buttock muscles at the same time. Ankle points towards the ceiling.

C. Lower the leg (but don't let it rest) and repeat the movement in a small fast pulsing manner.

Change the angle of the leg relative to your body after you have completed the set repetitions at one angle: after straight leg lefts, try leg at 45 degrees and leg at 90 degrees.

 

Make it harder: Do in a side-plank position with your hand on the ground placed directly under your shoulder.

4 / 6
istock_squat.jpg

Squats

Works: glutes, thigh and core

A. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and toes slightly turned out. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides.

B. Initiating the movement from your knees, lower your hips backward until your thighs are parallel with the ground (or as close as you can get them). Maintain an upright torso, a forward gaze and keep your knees aligned over your ankles. To protect your knees, don't let them go farther forward than your toes.

C. Pause and return to starting position by contracting your glutes as your straighten your legs. Your weight should be evenly distributed between the balls of your feet and your heels. Do not lock your knees at the end of the motion.

Make it harder: Try single leg squats. Use a chair for some extra guidance on the squat pattern.

 

Even harder: Jump out of the squat as high as you can. Start with only your body weight and progress to holding weights. This increases the muscle fibre recruitment, particularly in the gluteus maximus.

5 / 6
step up

Step-ups

Works: glutes, inner and outer thighs

A. Stand with a sturdy bench or fitness step (with two to four risers) on your right. Place your right foot on the step, leg bent, left foot on the floor.

B. With abs tight, straighten your right leg, pulling yourself up using just your right leg and butt muscles.

C. Return to starting position and complete set; switch sides.

To help target the butt, imagine pressing your heel firmly into the step each time you lift yourself up.

6 / 6
bridge pose

Bridge with leg lift

Works: works butt, lower back, hamstrings

Lifting your leg as you do this bridge exercise helps to isolate your butt muscle on the leg that's still touching the floor.  ??A. Lie face-up with legs bent, feet on the floor and arms at your sides. Tighten your abs, lifting your hips off the floor.

B. Next, raise your right foot off the floor, straightening your leg in the air and keeping both hips level with each other. Hold for three seconds; return foot and hips to floor.

C. Repeat, alternating the leg lift on each side. ??To avoid over-arching your back, keep abs tight throughout the exercise.

Make it harder: Put your feet on a bench or stability ball

Related:
Squats: How to do them right
5 moves to sculpt strong and sexy legs
10-minute toning workout