Don't rely on squats alone to get a perfect butt. Try these seven effective bodyweight exercises to train your glutes and get a nice butt.
It’s no myth that men like a bigger butt on women, as this study reports. And researchers say women also like a man with strong glutes. But it’s not just about aesthetics. A study in the International Journal of Obesity found that healthy glutes are linked to reduced diabetes, a lower risk of heart disease, and much more.
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If you want a nicer butt and strong, toned glutes, turn to glutes training. These top seven bodyweight exercises for your butt will whip your behind into shape, literally.
1. Bulgarian Split Squats
These split squats hammer your glutes while also building lower-body mass, enhancing how mobile your hip joints are, and strengthening your legs.
How do: Stand in front of a bench or stool with your back to the bench. Stretch your right leg behind you so that the top of your right foot is resting on the bench. Focusing on your left leg, bend at the knee until your left leg forms a 90-degree angle at the knee and your right knee is touching the floor. Your right knee should be resting just slightly on the floor. Don’t put any weight on that knee. Pause, then press upward with your left leg to return to the starting position. Repeat eight to 12 times, then switch legs. If you find this movement too easy, try holding a weight in front of your chest while doing these split squats. And remember, the closer you are to the bench, the more this exercise emphasizes your glutes.
2. Traditional squats
Stand tall with your legs straight and your feet a shoulder width apart. Rest your hands either on your hips or place them behind your head. Flexing your hips and your knees, lower your butt toward the floor so that it looks like you’re sitting in an imaginary chair. Focus on leaning back on your hips instead of leaning forward. Some people find it helpful to do this exercise with their back against the wall. Pause until you're as deep as you can possibly go, then using just your leg and glute muscles, push yourself back up into the standing position. If this is too easy, hold a single dumbbell in front of your chest.
3. Jump Squats
Jump squats add explosive movement into the workout, honing the responsiveness of your fast-twitch muscle fibers. Because it's an explosive movement, it also incorporates a bit of cardio into your routine that can help you to slim your waistline (further emphasizing the shape of your butt). Stand tall with your feet a shoulder width apart. Lower yourself into the traditional squat position, and here's where we mix things up. Instead of pressing upward with slow control, engage your butt, hips, legs and abdominal muscles and jump up from this crouching position. Land softly on your feet, then slowly lower yourself back into the low squat position and repeat eight to 12 times.
4. Hip Extensions
Begin this exercise by lying on your back on a workout mat and place your feet on a chair or bench. Your arms and your but should be placed on the ground at the beginning. Now press your butt into the air until your upper body and your upper legs form one line, then return to the start.
If you find this too easy, use a pull-up band. Attach one end around your hip and the other around the chair or beench. The resistance band pulls your hip to the ground and makes this workout more difficult.
5. Single-Leg Glute Bridge
A glute bridge isolates your butt muscles for an effective workout. Lie down facing up on a towel or yoga mat. Your arms should be at your side and your feet should be flat on the floor with your knees bent. Engaging your butt and core, raise your right leg off of the ground and pull your right knee up and towards your head. From this starting position, press down into the ground with your left leg and push your hips up into the air so that your butt is raised. Go as high as possible, pause, then return to the starting position. Repeat eight to 12 times then switch legs.
6. Single Leg Side Lunges
The lateral lunge hits your glutes from the sides whereas the previous exercises were for the most part forward-and-backward movements. This ensures a well-rounded workout. Start by standing tall with your feet just a little bit wider than your shoulders. Place all your weight on your right leg and bend towards the right until your right knee forms a 90-degree angle. Your left leg should be straight so that you form a triangle shape. Press into the floor with your right leg to get back into the starting position. Repeat to the left side and alternate back and forth for 16 to 24 reps. To add resistance, consider holding a weight or dumbbell in front of your chest while you do the side lunges.
7. Hydrants With Leg Extension
This exercise involves a full range of motion, and you’ll feel it throughout your glutes but especially on the sides of your butt. It’s perfect for tightening up any loose fat you have just above your thighs. Get on all fours on a towel or yoga mat. Your hands should be under your shoulders with your arms straight, and your knees should be under your hips with your back, neck and back of your head level. Without straightening your leg, swing your right leg up and to your right. Aim to have your knee go as high as possible to the side. To emphasize your glutes, do not sway or swing your back or your left leg. Pause, then lower your right leg down. Repeat with your left leg, and alternate back and forth for eight to 12 reps.