Perk up your derriere and drag it out of its drooping, hibernating slumber with our guide to the 12 best butt exercises.
Each exercise specifically targets the gluteus medius, gluteus maximus, and hamstrings — the chief muscles responsible for creating the appearance of a firm, tight, lifted butt — to directly access deep, hard-to-activate muscle fibers and stimulate growth at a hyperaccelerated rate.
Beyond direct stimulation, you’ll hit the glutes across a variety of movement patterns. That enables the development of a round, filled-out backside; in a way that’s analogous to circuiting sets of flat bench press, incline bench press, and chest flies to sculpt a well-rounded chest.
Our butt exercise list is vigorous and high intensity — no machines here — which creates a high velocity, fat-incinerating ecosystem that’ll leave your body ravaged in places FAR beyond your backside. Your quads, calves, abs, and even shoulders will be searing in caustic muscle juices, too; in addition to the significantly elevated calorie burn (which stays boosted LONG after your workout is over).12
Throw 3-4 of your favorites into each leg workout — 3 sets of 12 reps, per exercise, is standard — and rotate often. You’ll burnout your glutes and hamstrings, elevate your butt to an ideal growth state, and leave your legs shaking in full-blown Jell-O mode.
Stand upright and hold a barbell in front of your body at thigh height (1). Place a slight bend in your knees, maintain a flat back, bend at the waist, and slowly slide the weight along the front of your legs until it reaches your shins (2).
Hold the stretch for 1s, powerfully contract your butt, and accelerate back up to starting position (1).
Unlike a traditional deadlift, your hips/butt don’t move vertically — keep them stationary and emphasize the stretch behind your knees during the downward part of the motion.
Lie on your back with your heels on top of a stability ball(1). Press your heels into the ball and lift your body off the floor to form a straight bridge with your body (2). Powerfully contract your butt and hamstrings, and curl the ball inwards until your knees form a right angle (3) — you should feel a massive contraction in the lower part of your butt, where it intersects with the hamstrings.
Hold the contraction for .5s, roll the ball back out to full bridge (2) and repeat. If this is too easy you can amp up the intensity by completing each curl with one leg (while keeping the second leg elevated in the air – 2:00 mark in this video demo).
Stand tall with two light dumbbells (1). Take a large step to the left and squat down laterally until your left thigh is parallel with the floor and the dumbbells touch the ground (2).
Sit back over the back half of your butt, with most of the pressure on your heels — resist any pull to hunch forward. Press through your butt and return back up to start (1). Repeat for the right side and continue to alternate.