Whether you inherited it from your mother or losing weight has left you with a flat and tiny tush, you secretly may be hoping for a fuller, shapelier bottom. It's time to step up your strength-training routine. Just like hiking and running hills, these 10 moves will build, sculpt, and lift your glutes in no time!
— Additional reporting by Emily Bibb
Walking up flights of stairs is great for your tush, but stepping up onto a chair is a more effective move since the step height is greater. Make sure you're using a stable and sturdy chair that can support your weight without sliding. If a chair feels too high, use a sturdy stool or a bottom stair.
- Stand in front of your chair and place your left foot in the center of the seat.
- Step up onto the chair and bring your right knee forward and up.
- Lower yourself back to the floor, with the foot landing quietly.
- Switch legs and repeat to complete one rep. Do 20 reps total.
Here are some more variations of the basic step up .
Maybe squats aren't your favorite exercise, but they sure help to strengthen and tone your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. Using a set of dumbbells will not only strengthen your tush but your arms as well!
- Stand with your legs wide and your toes pointed outward slightly. Hold a pair of dumbbells in your hands with your arms straight and your palms facing down.
- Bend your knees until they are over your ankles while raising your arms to just below shoulder height. Your arms should be in line with your legs — you should see the weights in your peripheral vision.
- Straighten your legs and lower your arms simultaneously.
- Complete three sets of 15 reps.
This move is an oldie but a goodie when it comes to targeting your hamstrings, quads, and of course, your backside.
- Stand upright holding a pair of medium-weight dumbbells in each hand, arms at your sides, with your knees slightly bent.
- Keeping your arms straight and knees slightly bent, slowly bend at the hips (not your waist) and lower the weights as far as possible without rounding your back, which should remain straight.
- Now squeeze your glutes to slowly pull yourself up (don't use your back).
- Do three sets of 15 reps.
New to this? Then use a lighter pair of dumbbells until you get stronger — you don't want to strain your back. Already a pro? Then try doing it on just one leg.
Walking Lunge With Bicep Curl
Grab a set of dumbbells and try this basic lunge with a boost! This move not only works your glutes, hamstrings, and quads, but it also tones your biceps.
- Stand upright, feet together, holding two dumbbells (five to 10 pounds) at your sides.
- Take a controlled step forward with your left leg, curling the dumbbells to your shoulders, keeping your elbows close to the body.
- Lower hips toward the floor and bend both knees (almost at 90-degree angles). The back knee should come close but never touch the ground. Your front knee should be directly over the ankle, and the back knee should be pointing down toward the floor.
- Push off with your right foot and bring it forward to starting position, lowering the dumbbells to your side. This completes one rep.
- Next, step forward and repeat with the right leg.
- Do three sets of 15 reps.
You can easily modify this move for beginners without weights, keeping your arms by your side.
Basic Squat With Side Leg Lift
Here's a move that can help smooth out your saddlebags, also called your lower love handles. You'll definitely feel this move burning both sides of your tush at the same time.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width distance apart, feet parallel. Hold your hands out in front of you for balance. Bend your knees, lowering your hips deeply so your thighs are parallel with the floor, keeping your weight back in your heels.
- Then rise back up, straightening the legs completely and lifting the left leg out to the side, squeezing the outer glute.
- As you step the foot back into shoulder-width distance position, squat down again. Then stand up and do a side leg lift on the right side. Lower the leg back to the starting position.
- This counts as one rep. Do three sets of 15 reps on each side.
The basic Superman exercise targets your back and backside. Make this exercise even more challenging for your tush and hamstrings by squeezing an exercise ball between your lower legs.
- Lie on your belly, engage your abs, and extend your arms straight out in front of you.
- Lift your legs, arms, and chest off the floor. Hold for a count of 10 and then slowly release your body back to the floor.
- Perform as many reps as you can in one minute.
Lying Hamstring Curl
This move is somewhat relaxing since you're lying on your back, but you'll really feel your buns a-burnin'.
- Start by lying flat on your back with an exercise ball under your heels. Bridge your hips up and hold that position through the entire exercise.
- Flex your feet and dig your heels into the ball. Place your arms straight out to your sides for support — don't use them though. They are just for support.
- Slowly roll the ball toward your body as you curl your heels. Keep your hips in the bridge position — don't thrust them toward the ceiling as you do the move.
- Then slowly return to the starting position (legs straight and hips bridged) to complete one rep.
- Do three sets of 15 reps.
Donkey Kick With Weight
Here's an intense move that works one side at a time. You can also do it without a dumbbell.
- Start on all fours, with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
- Bend your right knee at a 90-degree angle and place a dumbbell in the crook of your knee.
- Slowly pulse your flexed foot toward the ceiling by squeezing your glutes. Your back should remain perfectly still in a neutral spine. The motion should be small and controlled with the muscle doing the work and not momentum.
- Return to the starting position to complete one rep. Do three sets of 15 pulses on each side.
Single Leg Bridge Kicks
Love this backside move that works the hamstrings, too.
- Lie on your back, and place your hands on the floor for stability as you bend one leg and lift the other leg off the ground.
- Pressing your heel into the floor, lift your pelvis up, keeping your body in a stiff bridge position.
- Slowly lower your body to the floor and repeat three sets of 15 reps on each side.
Ball Planks With Leg Lifts
This exercise not only adds lift to your tush but will also tone your core and upper body.
- Lie your belly onto an exercise ball, and walk your hands out until the ball is under your shins. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders.
- Draw your navel toward your spine to engage your abs and stabilize your torso.
- Lift your left leg up, squeezing your glute, then slowly lower your leg back onto the ball. Switch sides and lift the right leg, keeping your pelvis square. This counts as one repetition. Complete three sets of 10 reps.