It isn’t a secret that women often strive to not just tone their legs and abs but also get a more toned, rounded backside. Having a larger booty has now become an American obsession reflected in Pop Culture…especially music videos. There are hundreds of different workout regimens promising a perfectly lifted butt and tons of 30 day squat challenges floating around on social media.
The way your booty looks is influenced by genetics, so don’t focus on what you see online and in the media. You want to have the most healthy and fit body that YOU can have. Not everyone can build a super huge behind, but with exercise you can tone and tighten the butt muscles like any other muscle. The 7 moves highlighted here are simple and can deliver results when done on a regular basis as part of an overall fitness regime.
What Muscles These Moves Work
Despite using very similar muscle groups, each exercise listed works the muscle groups in different ways. Within each large muscle group, there are individual muscles that are worked in some of these moves and not in others.
The main muscle groups affected in these 7 exercises include:
- Gluteus Maximus
- Calf Muscles
- Abdominals – (Working your abs and obliques helps to pull in your waist so that you have a nice waist to hip/butt ratio…which can make your butt look bigger)
It is a good idea to become familiar with the muscle in your body so you can accurately find more exercises to work the areas you need to tone.
Top 7 Booty Boosting Moves
Squats are one of the most effective exercises for boosting your booty as well as toning your legs. Bodyweight squats use no additional weights so they are ideal for those of you that are out of shape or have an injury preventing them from strenuous exercise.
- How to Do It – Stand up straight with your feet about hip width apart. Either put your hands on your hips or out in front of you. Tighten your abdomen muscles and squat down- imagine you are sitting back on a chair. Squat down to about a 90 degree angle (or less if uncomfortable). Make sure your knees do not extend pasts your ankles.
Lunges can be done in a variety of different forms (stationary, walking lunges, with weights, etc), most of all are very effective at toning and firming your backside. Similarly to squats, lunges do double-duty as they also really work towards improving abs and your legs as well.
- How to Do It – The stationary lunge is the most basic and can be done with just your bodyweight or with weights. Dumbbells work very well for this exercise. Begin by standing up straight with your feet about hip width apart and arms at your sides. Take a big step forward with your left leg and bend both knees. Both knees should form 90 degree angles. Bring your right knee down close to the floor (how close will depend on strength and flexibility), pause for a few second and then come back up to standing, really using that left leg to help you stand. You will then switch do the same thing with your right leg in front.
Ready for a step up from a bodyweight squat? Add in a jump. The jump squat in this example uses just your bodyweight for resistance and is an ideal introduction into plyometrics. This exercise heavily targets your quads so if you are looking to improve your legs, check this one out. This is not a move for people with bad knees or back issues.
- How to Do It – Choose an area in your surroundings that has flooring that will give you some cushion. Do not perform this move regularly on concrete or other super hard surfaces. Stand up straight with your feet a little wider apart than a typical squat. Keep your arms in front of you or with your hands behind your head. Squat down like you normally would for a bodyweight squat and as you reach a near 90 degree angle, spring back up into a jump. As you land, go back into a squat in a fluid motion. To begin with, just focus on good posture and form. As you get better you will be able to jump higher.
This exercise is ridiculously easy to do but very effective for strengthening your hamstrings and glutes. It doesn’t require any extra equipment aside from maybe a yoga mat or other soft surface. You will be on your hands and knees.
- How to Do It – Start off on all fours on the ground. Make sure your legs are at a 90 degree angle, your arms are straight and about shoulder width apart. Your back should be straight as well, like a table. Lift your left knee a couple inches off the ground and move your leg back towards your rear while still maintaining the 90 degree angle. When your thigh is parallel with the ground with the bottom of your foot facing the ceiling, pause and squeeze your glutes. You will then lower your leg back down and repeat on the other side.
The fire hydrant is a spinoff of the kickback exercise but works slightly different muscles in your abs and glutes.
- How to Do It – Start off just as you would in the kickback position. Rather than lifting your leg back, you lift your leg to the side while still maintaining the 90 degree bend in your knee. As the name suggests, this move looks very much like a dog relieving himself on a fire hydrant.
Another variation of the squat is the sumo squat. This can be done with weights but for beginners, just perform without weights for a pure bodyweight movement. If you are comfortable with weights, you can use a dumbbell.
- How to Do It – The sumo squat looks just as you’d think it would based on the name. Your stance will be wider than the traditional squat position. You can move your legs out as far as you feel comfortable. Turn your toes out slightly for stability. If you are using body weight only, clasp your hands in front of yourself and squat down. If you are using a dumbbell you will hold it in front of you with the dumbbell between your legs. Hold for a moment and come back up slowly.
ADVANCED MOVE: This is another plyometric move similar to the jump squat. If you have any ankle, knee or back issues, this may not be the move for you. If you are out of shape, start off carefully with a very short box or platform. If you don’t have access to a gym you can use stair steps.
- How to Do It – Stand about a foot or so behind your box or stair step. Squat down into a half squat and launch yourself up in a jump to land on the box. As you land on the box, allow your knees to bend slightly to prevent injury. Pause for a second and jump in the same fashion back down to the ground. This exercise should not be done to the point of muscle failure as injury will occur. This move is best done after you’ve warmed up and exercised a bit.
Mountain climbers are a full body workout and an excellent way of toning your entire body in one fell swoop. Proper position is very important to prevent back injury so begin slowly with this until your form is correct. Doing the move near a mirror in the gym may help your form.
- How to Do It – Begin in a plank position on your toes with your hands flat on the ground. Straighten your body and tighten your abdominal muscles. Lift your left leg up and bring your knee to your chest while maintaining position. Bring your left leg back and repeat with your right leg. As you get your positioning down you can then increase speed and really get sweating.
You can add these exercises to any workout regimen, if they aren’t already included. Rep-wise, aim for at least 12 to 20 reps or more per exercise (or more). Don’t forget that exercise alone won’t get you the body you want. What you eat is just as important in blasting fat and building/strengthening the muscles in your body, even in your glutes.
Disclaimer: Before starting any exercise program, please consult with your doctor. We cannot be held responsible for any injuries resulting from attempting this exercise routine. If you have injuries that could be worsened, are pregnant, have knee issues, or are suffering neck and back pain, you should speak with a professional trainer about what workouts would be best for you. Don’t forget to stretch before and after working out to avoid injuries.