June 17, 2021

24 Killer Butt Workout Moves Using Just Your Bodyweight

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Think your glutes only exist to look hot in jeans? They do a lot more than that. It’s only thanks to this major muscle group (made up of your gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus) that you can stand upright, climb stairs, or run.

A tight rear end is an asset for a few reasons. For one thing, it can relieve low back pain. Plus a firm butt makes everyday movements — like standing and climbing stairs — that much easier.

To get the most out of those glutes, strengthen them with these bodyweight exercises, courtesy of Brynn Putnam, certified trainer.

You won’t need any equipment, though a step or a sturdy chair are a plus for some moves. Ramp up the intensity by holding medium-weight kettlebells or dumbbells in each hand.

Beginner butt workout with bodyweight exercises
1. Hip drive

To do this exercise:

Sit on your knees with your legs together and your butt on your heels.Squeeze your glutes to lift your butt and rise to a kneeling position.Slowly lower, keeping your glutes engaged.Do 15 to 20 reps.
2. Bottoms-up lunge

To do this exercise:

Start kneeling on the floor.Bring your left foot forward so you’re kneeling on your right knee.Push into your left heel and engage your glutes to stand, bringing your right knee up. Try not to push off the floor. Instead, engage your hamstrings and glutes to lift.Lower your right knee back down to the floor and return to the starting position.Repeat on the other side.Do 15 to 20 reps on each side.
3. Hip thrust

To do this exercise:

Start seated on the floor with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart.Place your hands on the floor directly underneath your shoulders with your fingers facing away from your body.Squeeze your glutes and lift your hips into a tabletop position. Keep your neck long and don’t scrunch your shoulders.Hold for a count of 5.Slowly lower your hips to the floor.Do 15 to 20 reps.
4. Glute bridge

To do this exercise:

Lie faceup with your knees bent and your feet shoulder-width apart.Raise your hips straight up off the floor, engaging your glutes and tightening your core. Lower down slowly, resisting on the way down.Do 15 to 20 reps.
5. Side skaters

To do this exercise:

Stand with your feet together and crouch down by pushing your hips back, keeping your back flat and your abs engaged.Jump as far as you can to the right, landing lightly on the ball of your right foot. Jump as far as you can to the left, engaging your glutes to push off. Land lightly on your left foot. Repeat, swinging your opposite arm forward like a speed skater with each jump.Do 15 to 20 reps to each side.
Make it easier: Take big steps from side to side instead of jumps.

6. Marching hip lift

To do this exercise:

Lie faceup with your knees bent, feet on the floor, and abs engaged.Lift your hips as you squeeze your glutes (as in No. 4).Raise your right foot a few inches off the floor and straighten your right leg. Try not to let your hips twist.Lower your right foot to the floor as you pick up your left foot.Repeat the “march” on the other side, focusing on squeezing your glutes the entire time.Do 15 to 20 reps on each side.
7. Chair squat jump

You’ll need a chair or bench for this move.

To do this exercise:

Sit on a chair with your back straight and your feet hip-width apart.Using your glutes, jump straight up, making sure both feet come off the floor.Land lightly and slowly squat to sit on the chair.Do 15 to 20 reps.
Intermediate bodyweight moves
8. Diagonal squat

To do this exercise:

Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart, arms at your sides. Step your right foot back on a diagonal, send your hips back, and bend your right knee.Keep your left leg straight with your foot flexed, your chest up, and your abs engaged. Return to the starting position.Repeat on the other side.Do 15 to 20 reps on each side.
9. Hip thrust single-arm
reach

To do this exercise:

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet hip-width apart.Place your hands on the floor directly under your shoulders, fingers facing away from your body. Squeeze your glutes to lift your hips into a tabletop position.Reach your right arm on a high diagonal across your body, keeping your hips straight (no twisting).Lower your hips and hand to the floor.Repeat on the other side.Do 15 to 20 reps on each side.
10. Step-up

To do this exercise:

Stand in front of a bench, chair, or step.Place your left foot on the bench and step up, engaging your left glute to lift your right leg. Do not push off your right foot.Straighten your left leg to stand tall, then slowly lower, sending your hips back and bending your left knee.Repeat on the other side.Do 15 to 20 reps on each side.
Make it harder: The higher your step or bench, the more challenging the move will be.

11. Side lunge shift

To do this exercise:

Step your right foot to the side, send your hips back, and bend your right knee to lower into a side lunge.Staying low, shift to the other side, so your left knee is bent and your right leg is straight. Push off your left heel to stand.Repeat, starting with your left foot and stepping sideways.Do 15 to 20 reps on each side.
Make it easier: Do not step. Keep your feet wide and shift from side to side, sending your hips back to engage your glutes.

12. Walking lunge

To do this exercise:

Step forward with your right foot.Use your glutes, hamstrings, and core to lower into a lunge.Lift your left foot and step forward, immediately dropping into a lunge on the other side. Continue to “walk” forward.Do 15 to 20 “steps” on each side.
13. Single-leg hip lift

To do this exercise:

Lie faceup with your knees bent, arms comfortably at your sides, and feet shoulder-width apart. Use both arms to hug your left knee to your chest.Push up, engaging your right glute and core, to lift your hips off the floor.Hold for a count of 5.Lower down and switch sides, hugging your right knee.Lift again, this time engaging your left glute.Do 10 to 15 reps on each side.
Make it easier: Don’t hold at the top of the hip thrust.

14. Hip drive step-up

You’ll need a step for this move.

To do this exercise:

Start by kneeling on the floor.Step your left foot forward.Use your glutes and hamstrings to stand.Place your right foot on the step.Engage your glutes and hamstrings to step up.Step back down with your left foot.Return to a kneeling position, then to a seated position.Repeat on the other side.Do 10 to 15 reps on each side.
15. Side step-up

To do this exercise:

Stand with your right side facing a secure chair or bench.Place your right foot on the chair.While engaging your right glute, lift off the floor, straightening your right leg. Don’t push off your left foot. Use your right glute to lift.Lower by sending your hips back and bending your right leg.Do 10 to 15 reps on each side.
16. Single leg sit-to-stand

You’ll need a chair or bench for this move.

To do this exercise:

Sit on the edge of the chair with your back straight, your left leg straight out in front of you, and your right leg bent with your foot on the floor.Using only your right glute and right leg, push up and rise to a standing position. You can leave your flexed left foot lightly touching the floor for balance, but don’t put any weight on it. Push your hips back to slowly sit down.Repeat on the other side.Do 10 to 15 reps on each side.
Make it harder: Keep your left foot lifted a few inches off the floor
the entire time.

17. Crossover lunge

To do this exercise:

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and lift your left foot, stepping backward and to the right to cross it behind your right foot.From this crossed position, perform a lunge, engaging your glutes, abs, and hamstrings to lower your body.Push off with your left foot to stand.Repeat on the other side.Do 10 to 15 reps on each side.
Advanced butt exercises
18. Bottoms-up lunge
to crossover lunge

To do this exercise:

Kneel on your right knee with your left foot forward.Push down into your left heel and stand, squeezing your glutes at the top.Step your right foot forward on a diagonal across your body.Bend your knees and lower into a crossover lunge.Push off your right heel and return to standing.Step your right foot back and lower into the starting position.Do 15 to 20 reps on each side.
Make it easier: Skip the crossover lunge.

19. Supported single-leg
squat

To do this exercise:

Stand in a doorway, near a wall, or next to a secure chair or other support that you can hold. Grip the chair (or support) with your right hand and lift your right leg a few inches off the floor. Send your hips back.Engage your left glute and lower into a single-leg squat, using the chair for support.Straighten your leg and return to standing, using the chair to help you rise.Repeat on the other side.Do 15 to 20 reps on each side.
Make it harder: Perform a single-leg squat without the support.

20. Single-leg deadlift

To do this exercise:

Stand on your right leg, slightly bending your knee.Keep your back flat as you hinge forward at the hips into a deadlift, sending your left leg back behind you and your arms toward the floor. Note: Lower only as far as you can without curving your back.Use your right hamstring and glute to stand.Repeat on the other side.Do 15 to 20 reps on each side.
21. Power skip

To do this exercise:

From a lunge with your right foot in front and left foot behind, bring your left foot forward and jump up (skipping), lifting your right foot completely off the floor and raising your left knee high in the air.Land lightly on your right foot before placing your left foot on the floor behind you to return to the starting position.Do 15 to 20 reps on each side.
22. Rear-foot-elevated
deadlift

To do this exercise:

Place your left foot on a low bench or step behind you. Stand close enough to the bench that your leg isn’t stretching or locked.With your back straight, hinge forward at the hips. Note: Bend forward only as far as you can without letting your back curve.Use your glutes and hamstrings to return to an upright position.Repeat on the other side.Do 15 to 20 reps on each side.
23. Rear-foot elevated split squat

To do this exercise:

Place your left foot on a low bench or step behind you. Stand near the bench so your left leg is not stretching or locked.Send your hips back and bend your right knee to lower into a lunge.Using your right glute, push up and straighten your right leg to complete the rep.Do 10 to 15 reps on each side.
24. Single-leg squat
reach across

To do this exercise:

Stand on your left leg with your right foot hovering a few inches off the floor and your arms at your sides. Note: You do not need to lift your right knee high. This should be a relaxed, balanced position.Send your hips back, bend your left knee, and lower into a squat while keeping your right knee hovering off of the ground. As you lower, reach your right arm across your body toward the outside of your left foot. Get as low as you can.Return to the starting position.Repeat on the other side.Do 10 to 15 reps on each side.
Short on time? Here are five super useful moves to give you a quick butt workout.

The simple 5-move butt workout