Try These Butt Workouts at Home

Learn how to engage your glutes to lift your butt.

You do endless squats. Maybe you've tried resistance band exercises using the booty band and danced along to Brazilian Butt Lift home workouts. Yet somehow, you still aren't the owner of a tush that resembles the peach emoji.

The truth is, the appearance of your butt is partially out of your control, said Harley Pasternak, celebrity trainer and Fitbit ambassador. "Genetics is the number-one component of the size and shape of your butt," Pasternak said.

Pasternak also noted that how you've used your glutes throughout your life may also have some influence on the shape of your butt. "So someone who was a gymnast as a kid might have more developed glutes or an easier time toning the glutes as they get older than someone who maybe didn't do any sports as a child," Pasternak explained.

Just because you can't necessarily change the natural curve of your booty doesn't mean you can't amp up the assets you have, assured Pasternak. Plus, there are many benefits of developing a strong, toned tush that goes beyond how it fills out your jeans. Having strong glutes can make you a better runner, improve your posture, and more.

So genetics aside, what else could be stalling your dream derriere? There are little errors people unknowingly make that can take the emphasis off the glutes, Pasternak said. Make these exercise and lifestyle adjustments to lift your butt and accelerate your results.

Don't Rely on the Same Old Butt Workouts

Certain moves that we often associate with the glutes actually recruit other large lower-body muscles (namely the quadriceps) to do most of the work. "This tends to be the case with basic body-weight squats and leg presses," Pasternak said.

Instead, Pasternak recommended focusing more on unilateral movement or working one side of the body at a time so that other large muscles in both legs don't dominate. "Unilateral training will allow you to access the glutes more directly," Pasternak said. Moves for your butt workouts at home: single-leg deadlifts, lunges, and lying single-leg hip thrusts.

Add Hills and Speed Drills to Your Cardio

You should be doing more with your cardio than steady treadmill runs if you want to lift your butt and zero in on the glutes, Pasternak said. "Steady running can actually shorten the hamstrings and cause the glutes to become disengaged," Pasternak said.

Instead, opt for walking or sprinting. "Walking forces you into a longer stride, which gives you the opportunity to access your glutes better. Sprinting requires your knees to lift higher, which also fires up the glutes," Pasternak explained.

For even more effective butt-targeting cardio, add incline. "I think stairs are just the most underrated glute blaster there is," Pasternak added. "I recommend that all my clients hit a step goal of 10,000 or 15,000 steps per day, and at least 1,500 of those should be on hills or stairs if you want to really want to tone the glutes fast."

Sit Less, Stretch More

Putting all of your body weight on your butt for hours upon hours each day can actually change its shape, Pasternak said. "Sitting also shortens and tightens the hip flexors, which impacts our ability to really activate both our glutes and core even when we're not seated," adds physical therapist David Reavy, PT, owner of React Physical Therapy in Chicago.

Butt Exercises To Try

After a period of being sedentary (and especially before going from desk chair to workout), Reavy suggested doing these three exercises to help lengthen the front of your body and re-activate the glutes:

Mobilization Backbend

Start in a split stance, with one foot slightly behind you and the heel slightly raised. Reach back with the arm of the same side and place your fist on your sacrum—the bony area at the base of your spine that connects to your pelvis. Lean back as far as you can and hold for a few seconds. Repeat the movement on the other side. Do about 10 reps on each side, bending back as far as you can each time.

Hip-Flexor Release

Lie on your stomach and put a lacrosse ball beside the bony part of your hip in the direction of your belly button. This puts the ball under your psoas—a hip-flexor muscle that connects your torso to your lower body. Allow your body weight to release onto the ball as much as possible without pain, and lay until you feel your hip flexor relax.

Hip Thrusts

Put your shoulders on a flat bench, heels on the ground. Using your glutes, lift your hips up to a bridge position, hold for a few seconds and lower your hips.

Reavy suggested putting a resistance band around your thighs for an added challenge: "This helps turn on your external rotators, which are part of your glutes, so you'll be working your butt all the way around," Reavy said. Do three sets of 10 to 15 reps.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles