8 Butt-Lifting Exercises That Actually Work
The Science of Butt-Lifting Exercises
Want a peach emoji-worthy butt? Building muscle in your glutes is what will give your butt a lifted appearance, meaning strength training is going to be your booty's new BFF.
Good news, though: It's not all about aesthetics. A strong butt actually has tons of health and performance benefits. (Just be sure you're properly activating those glute muscles!) These butt-lifting exercises are the best way to hit every angle. Add them to your weekly routine you'll be part of the peach gang in no time.
How it works: Three days a week, do 1 set of each butt-lifting exercise back to back. Rest for 1 to 2 minutes, and repeat the full routine 2 more times (3 times total).
You'll need: A pair of dumbbells (choose a weight that feels challenging for 10 reps), a step, a Swiss ball, a resistance tube or miniband, and a kettlebell
- Grab a pair of dumbbells (BTW, here are 8 big benefits of using free weights) with an overhand grip and hold them at arm's length in front of thighs.
- Stand with feet hip-width apart.
- With knees slightly bent, hinge at hips and lower torso until it's almost parallel to the floor (keep the weights as close to body as possible). Pause, then return to standing. (Your back should stay naturally arched during the entire butt-lifting exercise.)
Do 10 reps.
- Grab a pair of dumbbells and place right foot on top of a box, bench, or step.
- Without moving foot and with the core engaged, drive through the ball of big toe to come all the way up to standing.
- Slowly lower down until back foot touches the ground, the front foot staying on the stair the entire time.
Do 10 reps per side.
Single-Leg Hamstring Curl
- Lie on back with a Swiss ball under feet.
- Bridge up onto the ball by lifting hips off the floor and pressing feet into the ball.
- Bend right knee into chest, keeping left foot firmly planted on the ball.
- Keeping hips lifted and hands planted on the floor for balance, draw the ball in toward butt by bending left knee.
- Slowly extend left leg while left knee stays bent into chest to complete the butt-lifting exercise.
Do 10 reps on each side.
- Hold a kettlebell (or dumbbell) with both hands and stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent.
- Bend at hips and lower torso until it forms a 45-degree angle to the floor, keeping lower back naturally arched. Swing the kettlebell between legs.
- Keeping arms straight, thrust hips forward, straighten knees, and swing the kettlebell up to belly-button/chest level. (And smile knowing you're scoring all of the epic benefits of this butt-lifting exercise!)
Do 15 reps.
Lateral Band Steps
- Position a resistance tube or miniband right above knees.
- Bend knees and shift hips back as if you're sitting in a chair.
- Step right foot wide out to the side, then step left foot halfway in.
- From there, step out with left foot, and step halfway in with right foot.
- Continue to step back and forth, making sure to stay in a deep squat the entire time.
Do 10 steps on each side.
- Lunge forward (here's how to ace perfect form of this butt-liting exercise) with left leg until knee is bent 90 degrees, directly over ankle, right knee pointing toward floor.
- Jump up, pushing off the floor with both feet. Switch legs in midair, landing with right foot forward in a lunge. Continue, alternating sides.
Do 10 reps per side.
Squat with Kick-Back
- Stand with legs shoulder-width apart, arms at sides.
- Sit back into a squat keeping weight on heels, then lift left leg straight behind you, keeping hips level while extending arms.
- Return to start and switch sides.
Do 10 reps per side.
- Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, arms at sides, toes turned out.
- Tuck tailbone under and contract glutes.
- Lower body into a plié squat as low as you can go without allowing knees to creep past toes.
- Simultaneously raise arms to shoulder height in front of body, palms down. Hold for 2 seconds, then return to starting position.
Do 20 reps, then pulse at the bottom for 20 seconds.