Squats work more than just your butt, but when it comes to creating a really shapely booty, deep squats are the best exercise. Deep squats work more muscles and burn more calories. The great thing about the squat is it can be performed effectively in many different ways: with a barbell, with a pair of kettlebells, with a dumbbell or even with just your own bodyweight.
For deep squatting, begin with a warm-up of just your bodyweight, and then gradually increase the load (add weight). For bodyweight squats, increase the number of repetitions you perform.
Tip: If you don’t have access to weights and bodyweight squats are becoming too easy, try jump squats. These will add explosiveness to the exercise and dial up the fun!
Step-ups are a fantastic exercise to increase your leg strength and shape your butt.
To perform a step-up, you step up to a solid platform that is knee height or slightly higher. Place your right foot on the bench (or step), press it into the bench, and push your body up until your left leg is straight. Lower your body back down until your left foot touches the floor and repeat.
To make this exercise more challenging, hold some dumbbells, kettlebells or other weights.
Tip: One key to performing this exercise correctly is focusing on using the leg on the bench to do the work, not the leg that’s on the ground. Remember to drive through the heel when you step up!
3. Glute bridge
For all the “butt blaster” machine exercises out there, few can compete with the relatively simple glute bridge for effectiveness. This is another great exercise that can be done at home, with or without weights.
Begin by lying on the ground with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Drive through with your heels, extending your hips vertically into the air. Your weight should be supported by your upper back and the heels of your feet. Extend as far as possible, then reverse the motion to return to the starting position.
4. Kettlebell swings
To properly do a kettlebell swing, you’ll need to do a powerful hip thrust using your butt and hamstring muscles. This hip thrust is one secret to a glorious booty that many women are just discovering – and the secret is getting out, making kettlebells hugely popular. They’re even available at some of same places you can get Hydroxycut – including Walmart!
Kettlebells are growing in popularity because they’re fun, can be used at home, and they have the advantage of being metabolically challenging – meaning they’re super-effective at burning calories.
To perform a proper kettlebell swing, begin in a lowered squat position, standing with your feet 6 to 12 inches outside of shoulder width on either side, each foot pointed slightly outward. Make sure to keep your shoulders pulled back and down to avoid rounding your back. Hold the kettlebell with both hands.
Brushing your arms on your inner thighs, forcefully extend the knees and hips to accelerate the kettlebell up. Keep your arms straight while you project the kettlebell up and away from the body. The kettlebell should rise to about chest height.
Absorb the kettlebell weight as it follows the same path back to the starting position. Make sure to keep your arms straight the entire time.
Don’t use your arms/shoulders to lift the kettlebell up. All the momentum and power for this exercise should be generated by your hips and butt.
Keep your abs tight and hinge from the hips, sticking your butt out.
5. Fire hydrants
The fire hydrant is a great exercise that requires no weight, and trains your butt, outer thighs and core – including your lower back and hip muscles.
To perform these, start by placing your body in an all-fours position with your elbows slightly bent and your back parallel to the ground (not arched). While in this position, raise your left leg out to the side, parallel to the ground. Your position will slightly resemble a dog peeing on a fire hydrant – hence the name of the exercise. Maintain for a second and slowly return to the initial position. Repeat the exercise using your other leg.
Tip: As you get better at this exercise, straighten your leg when it’s in the raised position, so it’s in line with the rest of your body.