There’s no denying that evolution has taken place in the adult world. A couple of decades ago, being skinny and having no curves was all the rage.
But that isn’t the case anymore for the large mass of people. Both men and women these days would prefer to have a little more cushion back there.
So here are 12 booty building exercises designed to both tone your booty and grow it for that hourglass effect.
This should come as no surprise to you as squats have single-handedly become the most popular booty building exercise out there. It has a huge reputation for being a key contributor to building mass and toning down there.
It is also one of the foundational exercises that should be mastered before exploring other workouts throughout your fitness journey.
When it comes to squats for building your bum, there is one key thing I want to point out…
There are many different variations of squats and they’re all targeted to hit specific muscle groups more than others.
A squat form variation that should be implemented more often into your routine should be a sumo squat.
The reason for this is because the wider stance allows for greater posterior displacement of the hips.
This displacement activates the glutes to a greater degree than narrow squats when depth is reached.
While this has studies to show it has greater glute activation, you should still perform other squat variations such as the traditional method, goblet squats, and jump squats!
2. Barbell Hip Thrust
The hip thrust is a highly underrated exercise because it has profound results on glute progression.
The glutes are designed to extend the hip or pull the leg behind the body. If your glutes are underdeveloped, your speed, power, and strength are all compromised.
So it’s essential to do some form of hip extension exercises to increase the overall strength and size of your glutes, that way it will translate into other lifts.
And there’s really no better exercise for hip extension than hip thrusts
Hip thrust will:
- Improve glute strength
- Increase glute size
- Improve aesthetics of glutes (higher, rounder, firmer)
- Improve performance in athletics
- Improve performance in the weight room
3. Bulgarian Split Squat
This is a great exercise for a unilateral movement that can develop the glutes.
When it comes to building your body, having a couple of exercises under your belt that works your muscles unilaterally is essential for correcting imbalances as well as providing better focus on one at a time.
The Bulgarian split squat also has an array of other benefits:
- Achieves a similar amount of lower body muscular overload as the squat does, but with a fraction of the weight.
- Increases flexibility of the hip flexors and improves overall lower body mobility
- Dramatically improves your core strength & balance, as well as your agility.
4. Romanian “Stiff Leg” Deadlift
Romanian Deadlifts increase mobility in your hips due to the straighter leg position.
Because your legs remain stiff during this movement, Romanian deadlifts work your glutes and hamstrings more than a conventional deadlift would.
The Romanian Deadlift is an exercise that can be used to develop proper hip health.
It also targets the posterior chain, which is key for increased power and overall leg strength…and just so happens to be a big exercise for glute activation.
5. Side-Lying Hip Abduction
A lot of emphasis is usually placed towards heavy exercises that build the glutes and give the backside a larger look.
However, there are muscles that help with hip abduction as well as the movement of your legs out to the side that also have a profound effect on the firmness of your butt.
The side-lying hip abduction is a great exercise to target these muscles. It’s also one of the primary exercises to develop that “hourglass” look that you deserve to have.
It also has an array of benefits such as:
- It helps strengthen your hips (which can help you lift more for exercises like the squat)
- Enhances your core stability, balance, and posture
- Improves functional movements
- Helps to prevents knee injuries
Lunges are a great exercise for overall development of the lower body.
Similarly, they can improve hip tightness and help stability over time, making them a good functional movement to perform.
To place the best emphasis on glute activation, take longer strides when performing the movement.
*Note: Make sure you take long steps forward as short steps will place a lot of pressure on your knees!
The step-up is one of the best unilateral exercises you can do while also being a functional movement we perform on a daily basis (taking the steps).
The hyperextensions are a great exercise for strengthening the posterior chain, which will directly translate to an increased squat and deadlift.
It can also be used to properly teach someone how to activate the glutes during movements such as the good morning, deadlift, Romanian deadlift, and virtually any other hip hinging movements.
Lastly, it’s also extremely beneficial for lower back health as some lower back pain can stem from weak glutes and tight hamstrings.
To get the most out of the exercise for glute hypertrophy (muscle gains), remember to squeeze at the top of the movement and hold for 1 second before going back down.
9. Cable Kickbacks
“Mind-muscle connection” is a crucial concept that shouldn’t be taken lightly, after all, bodybuilders perform all of their exercises with this in mind.
This is the notion that focusing on feeling a target muscle working its range of motion will enable you to activate it more. More muscle activation leads to increased growth.
The cable kickbacks are great for this because they offer isolation for the glutes. You can focus on one side at a time and you will feel the glutes stretching and contracting.
Kickbacks offer constant tension on the glutes as well which makes the exercise tougher, hence the target muscles work harder for longer.
The duration spent under tension is the key driver for muscle hypertrophy.
10. Kettle Bell Swing
This movement not only stimulates glute growth, but it also is will help translate you to a more powerful and fit body overall.
Kettlebell training can increase aerobic capacity and dramatically increase core strength.
This means that it can technically be considered a cardio exercise as well, which can translate to fat loss over time.
11. Glute Bridges
The following is a list of benefits that glute bridges provide for you:
- Improves posture
- Strengthens your core
- Helps with lower back pain
- Tones and builds your butt
- Will help decrease knee pain
- Help correct muscle imbalances
So there’s no denying this should be an essential exercise to implement into your glute routine.
12. Single-Leg Chair Squat
This exercise not only works your stabilizer muscles, but also strengthens your hips, knees, and ankles as well as improves their mobility.
It’s also a great exercise for building leg strength in one leg if you happen to find an imbalance, which is very common.
If you’re looking for more ways to tone your butt and your body, take a look at our article on 10 yoga poses for beginners.