Fitness Tips

These Butt Exercises Are so Good, J.Lo Will Be Asking You for Your Routine

Rebecca Norris

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Photo: Getty/ jacoblund

With the peach emoji at its all-time high, it’s no wonder we’re looking for new ways to get our booties into shape. The only question is, how exactly do you do that? Sure, there are squats, but what else? If you’ve been wondering how to work your butt, you’ll be glad to know that some of the industry’s top trainers shared their favorite glutes workouts to take any old sweat sesh up a notch.

Whether you choose to add all of these movements to your routine or test out just a few, there’s no denying that toning your bum can have major health benefits. “The glutes are one of the strongest muscle groups of the body and have important roles in movement including thigh extension, rotation and abduction, and pelvic stability, so having a strong seat is instrumental in everyday life,” says Pure Barre’s VP of training and technique Katelyn DiGiorgio. In other words, keep scrolling to learn how to tone, tighten, and lift your cheeks with the exercises below.

Single leg glute bridges

Flywheel master instructor Kara Liotta and co-founder of Tone It Up Katrina Scott agree, you simply can’t go wrong with single leg glute bridges. To perform the exercise, begin on your back and bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor with your knees over your ankles. “Lift your hips three inches off of the floor and slightly round your tailbone under,” instructs Liotta. “This is a bridge position. From here, extend one leg off of the floor on a low diagonal away from your body. Begin small hip lifts or pulses up toward the ceiling.” She says to try to stay on one leg for 90 seconds and then switch to the other side.

Double leg glute bridges

If single leg glute bridges are a tad too challenging, try starting with a double leg movement. Whichever iteration you choose, DiGiorgio says that “glute bridges help you recruit the glute muscles, hamstrings, and core and lower back muscles. By pressing the arms long on the floor, the triceps are activated as well.” To engage your muscles, lie flat on your back, bend your knees, and plant your feet flat on the floor. “Extend the arms long by your sides, palms down,” DiGiorgio says. “Squeeze the seat to lift up into a bridge. Tap the seat down on the floor then squeeze to lift it back up. Repeat for 30 seconds. Lower and lift the seat, using a smaller range (think an inch each way). Repeat for 30 seconds.”

Booty band bridge burners

Scott recommends adding knee movement and a resistance band to typical glute bridges to make them more multi-faceted. To perform the movement, place a band around your thighs and lay on your back with your legs bent, feet flat on the floor. “Engaging your glutes and core, lift your hips off the ground until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees,” she says. “Keeping your hips high and feet flat on the ground, open your knees out wide then back to center, maintaining tension on the band the whole time.” Repeat 20 to 30 times.

Fire hydrant

Taryn Toomey, the mastermind behind The Class, and Megan Roup, the creator of The Sculpt Society, have a few things in common, one of which is their love of this easy-but-effective leg lift. To set it up, get down on the ground on all fours. With your left knee and left hand planted firmly, bring your right knee up as if you were  ait for it—peeing on a fire hydrant. “Make sure the knee is extended straight out of the hip with the knee bent,” Toomey instructs. “Extend the right arm to the ceiling, making sure both shoulder blades are down the back. Close the knee to meet the left, then open the knee up.” Repeat this same movement on the other side. “Make sure to draw both shoulder blades down the back and keep your transverse abdominals (the innermost corset) engaged to protect your back and stabilize the movement.” As a bonus, she points out that “your bottom glute will fire up—this is a good sign it’s working.”

Booty band shuffle

Who knew a fun little dance move could fire up your glutes? Begin standing with your resistance band above your ankles. “With a slight bend in your knees and hands on your hips, take two steps to the right, then two steps to the left while keeping your booty low,” Scott instructs. “To avoid injury, make sure you are engaging your core with each step. Also, be sure to maintain a neutral spine to keep your body in optimal alignment.”

Knee pulls

“My favorite exercises to work out the glutes are hip mobility exercise. These simple moves are really effective and are performed slowly with an optional ankle weight for more advanced clients,” she says. “On all fours, knee pull (nose to knee) and extend the leg straight back at hip height for 20 to 25 reps,” she guides. Take note: Form is key here. “Make sure your hands are under your shoulders and you aren’t sinking into your low back and arms, you’re actively pressing away from the floor with a strong core. Each rep should be slow and controlled.”

Booty band kickback

“Place a [resistance band] just above your ankles, and stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, hands on your hips,” Scott guides. “Extend your right leg behind you, toe pointed down toward the ground. Engaging your core and keeping your hips square, lift your leg about six inches off the ground, and return to start position.”

Lateral lunge

“This is a great exercise for the gluteus medius—the outside of your butt,” Liotta points out. To target those muscles, she says to start standing with your feet under your hips and your toes pointed forward. “Take a big step out to the right and bend your right knee while keeping your left leg straight,” she instructs. “Really think about pushing your hips back as you step, so that your weight is in your right heel, and maintain a long, flat spine. Then, press off of your right foot and return back to standing with both feet under your hips.” This is one rep. For best results, she suggests completing 20 reps on each leg for three rounds. “It’s important to watch the alignment of your knee during these lunges,” she reminds. “When you step out into the lunge, keep your knee over your middle toe for correct alignment. Also try to lengthen your back so that in the lunge your spine looks like a long, flat diagonal line with no rounding in your upper back.”

Booty band squat jacks

Last but not least, we have a move to get you jumping for joy for your newly-defined derriere. “Begin with a resistance band just above your ankles and feet hip-width apart,” Scott says. “Jump both feet out and lower into a squat position, then jump back to starting position.” Repeat this movement at least 25 times.

Here’s the one thing that people tend to forget when working out their butts and this is the 5-move full-body workout that you can knock out in 5 minutes flat. 

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