Toned, firm glutes are great because they look good, but they also serve an essential purpose in the body. Strong glutes help with balance and support proper posture, while weak glutes can lead to lower back pain, hamstring strains, and even arthritis in your knees. If you want to tone your butt and prevent injury, try adding these ten butt exercises into your workout routine twice weekly.
1. Butt Kicks
No, it's not a dance; it's an exercise designed to tone your glutes. The butt kick is an excellent exercise to incorporate into your workout because it uses your body weight and requires no equipment. To do butt kicks: Stand upright with your arms at your sides. Bend forward slightly at the waist while keeping your back straight and your head facing forward. Kick one leg up toward your buttocks as high as you can, then return to starting position. Repeat with other leg; do 20 reps on each side (40 total). Start with ten reps per set until you feel comfortable enough to increase how many reps you do in each set.
2. Jumping Jacks
First, stand with your feet together and hands at your sides. Jump your feet out to a wide stance, like you're jumping over an imaginary hurdle. Quickly jump them back together and then jump them back out. Repeat for one minute without pausing. Try to do these best butt workouts in time with the music to easily count reps or focus on squeezing and releasing as fast as possible. To do a proper jumping jack, keep your abdominal muscles engaged throughout; don't let them sag down toward your thighs or protrude outward in a pudge-like manner.
3. Reverse Lunge
The reverse lunge is a tremendous glute-toning exercise, and it can be done anywhere. Stand upright, feet together. Step back on one leg, bending both knees until your rear knee nearly touches the floor. Press into your front heel to return to standing; repeat on another side. Try two sets of 10 reps on each side three times a week; you'll see results in two weeks. If you're new to strength training, work up to performing two sets of 15 reps. An intermediate alternative would be working up to three sets of 12 reps on each side-or doing single sets of 20 or 25 during high-intensity workouts. If you find yourself struggling, consider dropping down further in repetitions (single sets are less taxing than multiple ones) or using lighter weights-with proper form, that means no jerking or swinging. Many women find that when they lose weight from their legs, their derriere is left flat, so don't be afraid to use light weights: Three pounds might feel challenging at first, but after 8-12 reps becomes relatively easy (you should still feel fatigued).
4. Heel Elevated Split Squat
Stand in front of a chair. Place your right foot a chair, keeping your knee directly over your ankle and making sure that you're standing far enough away from it so that you feel a slight stretch in your left hip. Keeping both legs straight, squat down by bending at both knees until they're at 90-degree angles. Press back up to starting position to complete one rep. Switch legs and repeat. Do 15 reps total. If you don't have access to a chair, perform these squats with just one leg at a time.
5. Kettle bell Swing
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart with kettle bell weight in each hand, keeping them at arm's length in front of your body. Squat like you were sitting on a chair, engaging your butt and pulling your heels down toward the floor. Swing kettle bells up and between your legs, thrusting hips forward to swing weight between legs; push upward through heels to return to standing position, swinging weight backward between legs. Inhale in a downward motion, exhale in an upward movement. Repeat 12-15 times. Rest 30 seconds, then repeat for two more sets; rest 60 seconds before repeating. Challenge yourself by doing single-leg or goblet versions of these exercises.
6. Bear Crawl
The bear crawl is a fun, challenging bodyweight exercise that targets your upper body, core and glutes. The movement begins on all fours with your hands directly below your shoulders and knees under your hips. In one movement, extend one arm forward and up and bring one leg behind you until you end in a push-up position. Reverse and repeat to complete one rep. As an added challenge, try walking across the room by picking up each foot separately as if you were walking on hot coals! Be careful, though-this exercise will make you sore!
7. Step Up
Whether you're looking to shape your glutes into a heart-stopping derriere or keep your backside firm and toned, you have to start with squats. This exercise effectively engages multiple muscle groups at once-including those in your hips, thighs, and glutes-and helps strengthen muscle tone while promoting good posture. As a bonus, squats can help stave off osteoporosis by building bone density in all parts of your body.
8. Speed Skaters
Speed skating is a great way to tone your buttocks and thighs and build cardio endurance. Speed skating also works all of your leg muscles, not just your buttocks and thighs. If you're looking to hone in on those target areas without hitting up a gym or full-on sprinting outside, speed skating offers a pretty good alternative-and a fun workout! Just keep in mind that using poles to push off can increase your chances of wrist and elbow injuries; if you do want to use poles while speed skating, try wearing gloves to protect your hands from blisters and calluses.
9. Roll-Up Jumps
With your feet hip-width apart, slightly bend your knees. Bend your hips and lower yourself as far as possible without rounding your spine. Place both hands on a rebounder and use it to jump up in one quick motion. Land softly, reset and repeat 10 to 15 times (5 to 7 sets). If you're able, you can add weight; be sure not to sacrifice speed or form. This is an explosive move that works for many muscle groups: thighs, butt, abs and arms, not to mention it also improves coordination.
10. Walking Lunges
Lunges are a classic lower-body strength exercise that can give your butt a fantastic workout. With your feet hip-width apart stand up, arms at your sides. Step forward with one leg and slowly bend both knees until you're in a lunge position; then, stand up and step back to starting position. That's one rep. Repeat ten times on each side for the best results. If you don't have dumbbells or a barbell set, lunges can be made with just your bodyweight-no equipment necessary! Just make sure to step far enough forward that your front knee doesn't extend over your toes; otherwise, you risk injury.
The glutes, are one of the largest muscles in the body and are critical to movement, balance, and posture. Unfortunately, they're often overlooked by even the most athletic individuals. Still, you can quickly remedy that with this list of the ten best butt exercises to build toned glutes and a healthier body overall. All you need to do is pick your favorite.