Tighten and Firm Without Weights: The Best Butt Workouts

the best butt workouts
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Have you flipped through a health and fitness magazine lately? If so, you might have noticed the influx of articles promising to give you the best backside of your life. We’re not sure where the butt obsession started, but we narrowed down our theories to JLo, Beyonce and the Kardashians. You don’t need a personal trainer to get your glutes in gear. In fact, you don’t even need any weights. Mix and match the moves below for some of the best butt workouts you can do in and out of the gym.

The Moves

Did you know that your glutes are made up of more than one muscle? We won’t get into detail, but there are three main muscles: gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. When used together, the following exercises target all three of those muscles.

Triple Lunges

We know that lunges can sometimes be lackluster, so we switched it up by making the classic lunge a power move.

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. If your stance is too narrow, your balance may be off, which can then compromise your form.
  • Step your right foot forward into a lunge, making sure that your right knee doesn’t go past your toe.
  • Push off your right leg, and bring it back to start. Without skipping a beat, take a large step to the side with your right foot, and lunge towards the floor. Focus on sitting back into the lunge, like you’re doing a squat with one leg extended.
  • Bring your right foot back to start, immediately moving into a back lunge. Pressing off your right foot, return to start. That’s one rep.

Plié Squats

One of our favorite moves to target the inner thighs are plié squats. If you want an extra challenge, do this move on the balls of your feet. This variation is a classic torture mechanism move in barre classes.

  • Start in a wide stance; the wider you place your feet, the more challenging the move. We recommend trying about 24″ of space between two feet.
  • Turn your feet towards the corners of the room, about 45 degree angles.
  • Keeping your back tall and your abs engaged, lower yourself until your legs are parallel to the floor; then, slowly come back to start.

Another variation is to lower deeper into your squat and pulse these squats for 30 seconds.

Donkey Kicks

If you want a round, lifted backside, donkey kicks will help you accomplish your goal.

  • Start on all fours on your mat. Make sure that your hands are underneath your shoulders and that your knees are below your hips.
  • Flex your right foot, and keep your knee bent as you bring your knee to hip level.
  • Lower your knee to start, but don’t let it touch the floor.

Fire Hydrants

You might feel a little silly doing these at first, but these target the side of your glutes, a.k.a. the saddle bags.

  • Start on all fours like you’re going to do a donkey kick.
  • Instead of kicking back, slowly lift your bent leg out to the side – just like a dog would do to a fire hydrant. Make sure that you keep your arms strong; it’s tempting to bend and lean to the side.
  • Lower back to start.

Bridges

One of the best parts about working out at a gym is that you have a variety of props to work into your routine once you mastered the basics. Here’s how to do a classic bridge, along with some fun alternatives.

  • Lay on your mat with your arms at your sides and your feet about shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees, and try bringing your heels as close to your butt as possible.
  • Push through your heels, and squeeze your glutes as you lift off of the floor.
  • Hold for a second or two; then, slowly lower back to start.

Do you need a little extra challenge? Try keeping one leg lifted in the air or holding a weight on your pelvis. We also love engaging our core by putting our feet on an exercise or bosu ball. The unstable surface turns this butt workout into a full body exercise.

Supermans

Or superwomen. You’re all heroes in our eyes.

  • Begin by laying on your stomach, stretching your arms out over your head, and facing down on the mat.
  • Raise your arms, chest, and legs off the floor in one movement. Hold for two counts; then, lower back to start.

Hint: While this move looks easy, we promise it’s one of the most challenging mat exercises out there. To get the most out of this move, squeeze your lower back as you lift up. You want to look like you’re flying.

Your Butt-Kicking Glute Workout

Strap on your sneakers! Pick the butt workout for your fitness level.

Beginner

  • Triple lunges: 5 reps, each side
  • Plié squats: 15 reps
  • Donkey kicks: 15 reps, each side
  • Fire hydrants: 15 reps, each side
  • Bridges: 10 reps
  • Supermans: 10 reps

Intermediate

  • Triple lunges: 10 reps, each side
  • Plie squats: 20 reps
  • Donkey kicks: 20 reps, each side
  • Fire hydrants: 15 reps, each side
  • Bridges: 15 reps on ball
  • Supermans: 15 reps

Repeat 2 times

Advanced

  • Triple lunges: 15 reps, each side
  • Plie squats: 25 reps on toes
  • Donkey kicks: 30 reps, each side
  • Fire hydrants: 15 reps, each side
  • Bridges: 15 reps with one leg in the air, each side
  • Supermans: 20 reps

Repeat 3 times

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