best butt exercises

All ladies want it and all men want their ladies to have it- shapely, sculpted, and defined butt. Whether your bum’s shape is flat, droopy or ample, you’ll always find that pair of jeans to fit it in and make it look good. But there are those moments when you can’t cheat, and for that, ladies, you need to move your butt, and no, it won’t happen over a month with a few sets of just body weight lunges and anti cellulite cream. To cheat genetics to make you look better, you will need more than that. Nutrition & hard exercise apply here too. To give you an idea, below there are some of the best glute & leg exercises with routine examples at the end. Taste it,  make sure it hurts :) and enjoy it.

Wide Stance Squat

Pauline Nordin

Sets: 3-5 / Repetitions: 6-10. This exercise is an absolute king of exercises, and when it comes to butt exercise selection, full weighted squats can’t be beaten. Apart from working and helping lift your bum up, weighted squats thoroughly engage the quadriceps, hamstrings, calf muscles and even core and upper body to some extent. To make your butt burn even more, assume the wide stance, 140-150 percent of shoulder width. The wide stance allows for greater posterior displacement of the hips which activates the glutes even more than narrow squats. Work on your flexibility and go as low as you can. “Ass-To-Grass” will maximise glute activation even more & make your butt rounder.


lunges-butt exercise
Sets: 3 / Repetitions: 8-12 (each leg). Either hold a dumbbell in each hand or use a barbell behind your neck. To activate your glutes maximus, try to take as large a step as possible. The placement of feet determines which muscle group is the main focus, shorter lunge will emphasise more your quadriceps muscles, or the front of your legs. Changing the direction of the lunge will even more alter the targeted glute muscles. In a reverse lunge (when you step back instead of front), even more emphasis is placed on your glutes. Side lunges will hit your gluteus medius and minimus. Just stick to one type of lunge for a period of time. Every exercise has its own learning curve, nervous system needs time to adapt, if you change your routine every two or three weeks, your body will never get a maximum benefit to increase the muscle size involved in that particular exercise.

Leg Kickbacks

Lyzabeth Lopez

Sets: 3 / Repetitions: 8-12 (each leg). For this exercise use ankle weights, rubber bands or cable machine, whatever is available or more comfortable for you. Make sure that your back is flat and your abs are nicely and tightly pulled in, which is the case with many exercises anyway. Not engaging your core does not only put your lower back under more pressure, but in this case it takes the pressure out of the glute muscles, making the kickbacks inefficient. Experimenting with the degree of knee bend might be here necessary. We are all slightly different, very small differences in our muscle attachments might mean that bending or straightening your knee to a certain degree, will activate your butt muscles even more.

One Legged Squats

Zuzana Light

Sets: 3-5 / Repetitions: 6-10 (each leg). This exercise looks challenging and tends to scare people away at first look. Balance, flexibility and strength, it all sounds too much to many people. But one legged squats are also, arguably the best exercises for your butt, legs, core and abs, so learning it can have a lot of benefits in a long term. Same as with barbell squats by going past parallel and pushing through your heel, you will work your glutes even more. Squeeze your abs and your buttocks, that will help you keep the balance and make you stronger. Remember, when squatting low, keep your back straight, if your back starts to round at the bottom, stop higher and work on your flexibility. For the strength issues you can use the assistance of a bar, chair or any comfortable object.

Hip Thrusters

Kellie Davis

Sets: 3 / Repetitions: 8-12. Whether you want to be more explosive, sprint faster, or develop rock-hard ass, the hip thrust should be part of your program. You might say that even with a pad on the bar, the exercise hurts like hell and looks stupid! I’d be embarrassed to do that in public. Well, if you are too comfortable, you are most likely doing something wrong, and If anyone gives you a reason to be embarrassed, you should probably change your attitude or the gym, any serious experienced lifter won’t even notice you do hip thrusters. But to make things more comfortable when you use bench version of this exercise, put the bench on the inside of the power rack with the safety pins set about a foot or so off the ground, so that the plates just hover a few inches off the floor. It makes your life easier. You will also see many lifters extending their hips, for the sake of healthy spine, stay away from it, brace your core and keep your heels on the floor.

Hill Sprints

treadmill uphill running

Sets: 3-5 / Repetitions: 1 minute. These one minute dashes are not a joke, they will not only make you discover where your glutes are, but will also work a great deal of your cardiovascular system. To get a real butt workout, you will need to run steep and fast. The steeper and faster the better. For disciplined exercisers, outdoor hills are perfect, but if it’s not doable for some reason or if you will find yourself giving up mentally, use the treadmill. Set the maximum height and chose the speed that will allow you complete 3-5 sets. Individuals who find hard to motivate themselves for one minute uphill sprints, will often slow down half the way. Treadmill has an advantage of being able to set a continues speed which will make you keep your pace for the whole one minute set.

Box Squat

Chastity Slone

Sets: 3-5 / Repetitions: 6-10. From performance and biomechanics point of view, box squats are actually quite a different exercise when compered to any other squatting technique. They’re favourites amongst power-lifters whose squatting technique is quite different from a regular Olympic squats. But what we are interested in, is that it’s gonna work the tush even more. To make it work you will need a box or bench that is set below parallel squat height. The stance will be even wider than in wide stance squat, with the knees turned even more to the outside. In the box squat you will sit back while staying upright, and stand back up shifting back forward, you will also be forced to use much smaller weights than in traditional squat. Remember to maintain a neutral spine and brace your core, NEVER ROCK, NEVER BOUNCE, NEVER RELAX UPRIGHT WHEN SITTING ! ! ! Wrong sitting position will increase loads in your lower back significantly. Apart from placing a greater emphasis through the hamstrings and glutes, when done properly, the biomechanics of this squat will actually decrease hip and spinal loads, while range of motion and relative displacement of the femur to tibia, should also make it easier on your knee joints. These squats are a great alternative for those who are unable to perform a full range squat.

Romanian Leg Deadlift

stiff leg deadlift - bum exercises

Ania Partin

Sets: 3-5 / Repetitions: 8-12. Performing standard deadlift itself can be a great way to recruit your glute muscles, but doing it Romanian style will do it even more. Make sure to keep the bar very close to your body. Knees in RDL are bent, back is flat and chest is up, unlike in straight leg deadlift. Try to avoid the tendency to look up in the bent-over position, your neck should be in neutral position. RDL involveS a lot of low back so if you exhaust your low back with heavy style squats, this exercise might be a real problem technically, as the low back will give out. In this case make sure to keep the weights lighter so your technique does not suffer. Expect pain and soreness.

Sled Push

sled pushing-great butt exercise

Sets: 3-5 / Repetitions: 100-150 meters. Although this great exercise is also a great legs and butt worker, you might have to look for a crossfit kind of gym to find a sled, very unlikely you will come across one of them in a bodybuilding gym. I find pushing a car a great substitute, maybe even better than sled. Don’t worry, a small 1.1 engine on the flat surface is doable by most of reasonably fit ladies. For a good glute activation, you will need to sprint as fast as you can and grab sled handles low (or place your hands closer to the rear bumper). Expect your heart rate to skyrocket.


Those who are not involved in any serious, professional sport routine and look to improve their bum, will greatly improve their tushes and legs at the same time, by performing 1 or 2 days a week, bodybuilding style routine. To make your bum look great you will need to make it grow. Keep the reps as suggested and make sure you lift heavy enough. 70 to 85 per-cent of your 1 repetition maximum, should tear those buts for a better growth. Apart from dedication and hard work, a good diet is key here, restricting calories does not apply in case of increasing your muscle mass.

Protocol 1
  • First Period: 8 weeks
  • Frequency: 2 times a week
  • Day 1: 1- Wide Stance Squat 2- Lunges 3- Leg Kickbacks
  • Day 2: 1- One Legged Squat 2- Hip Thrusters 3- Hill Sprints


  • Second Period: 8 weeks
  • Frequency: 2 times a week
  • Day 1: 1- Box Squat 2- Romanian Deadlift 3- Sled Push
  • Day 2: 1- One Legged Squat 2- Hip Thrusters 3- Leg Kickbacks


  • Third Period: 8 weeks
  • Frequency: 2 times a week
  • Day 1: 1- Wide Stance Squat 2- Romanian Deadlift 3- Sled Push
  • Day 2: 1- Reverse Lunges 2- Hip Thrusters 3- Leg Kickbacks

Protocol 2
  • First Period: 8 weeks
  • Frequency: Once a week
  • Day 1: 1- Wide Stance Squat 2- Lunges 3- Hip Thrusters 4- Hill Sprints


  • Second Period: 8 weeks
  • Frequency: Once a week
  • Day1: 1- Box Squat 2- Reverse Lunges 3- Romanian Deadlift 4- Sled Push


  • Third Period: 8 weeks
  • Frequency: Once a week
  • Day1: 1- One Legged Squat 2- Romanian Deadlift 3- Leg Kick backs 4- Hill Sprints

DISCLAIMER: The physical activities described herein are for informational purposes only.They may be too strenuous or dangerous for some people. If in doubt consult a physician or a professional trainer before engaging in them. The author of this article will not be responsible in any manner whatsoever for any injury or mishaps that may occur through following the above instructions.

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