Our butt is the one part of the body we can’t see very often, at least not without some effort. Yet, it’s often the one part of the body we’re the most concerned with. Just because I can’t see it doesn’t mean other people aren’t looking, right? And most of us aren’t very happy with our butts.
We think they’re too small, too big, too saggy, too flabby – this list goes on. The right strength training exercises really can make a difference in your backside, depending on your body type and genetics.
Here are 20 tough but effective butt exercises for a strong, shapely butt that even you can’t help but stare and want to feel all the time.
1. Barbell hip thrust
How to do it: Sit on the ground with your back against a bench, feet planted firmly in front of you, and a padded barbell in your lap. Keeping the lumbar spine and knees stable, raise the barbell by extending your hips, making sure to push the hips upward using the glutes. Rise until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees (full hip extension), and then slowly descend back to the ground.
Mix up your reps and sets for this move and aim for anywhere between 3-4 sets of 6-20 reps. Some days you can go heavy for lower reps, some days you can go lighter for higher reps, and some days you can do both. Be warned, high-rep hip thrusts are brutal. The booty-burn is excruciating!
2. Glute and Hamstring extensions
This booty-shaping challenges glutes of all strength levels. If you’re new to exercise, start out with 3 sets of 15 reps. Intermediate exercisers should try 4 sets of 15 reps, holding 10 lbs, and advanced glutes can handle up to 5 sets of 15 reps, holding 25 lbs.
How to do it: Start standing, leaning forward on a back extension pad, with your toes turned out, knees bent (like a frog). Keeping your back flat, bend at your hips as far down as possible. To come up, push your thighs into the pad and squeeze your glutes, keeping your back straight the entire time. At the top, give your glutes an extra squeeze. Use a controlled tempo during the exercise: aim for a 2-3 second count on the way down, 1-2 seconds on the way up.