Instagram fitness accounts have made it seem like a lifted, J-Lo-level butt is one skinny tea and squat session away from your reality.
Having a strong, lifted, and sculpted butt is nice esthetically, but (ha!) having strong glutes is about so much more than looks.
Strong glutes are part of a well-rounded (that's the last butt pun, I promise) functional fitness routine as they are integral to supporting the rest of your body and core in everyday movements. Booty workouts will also help prevent back, hip, and knee injury, as they take some pressure off of these important joints.
If you want to know what exercises lift your buttocks, read our guide below!
Why workout your bum?
A strong butt helps your body reach optimal functionality. You use your glutes for many day-to-day activities such as sitting, standing, walking, and bending over.
Many people who work at inactive desk jobs end up with extremely tight quadriceps and hip flexors and glutes or hamstrings that don't activate when they should.
Strong glutes that activate at the proper moment help support your core muscles to prevent lower back and joint pain.
Good butt workouts will lift your bum.
The calories burned during a butt workout will lead to overall fat loss on your body, including your butt, giving your gluteus maximus a more toned appearance. More importantly, specific booty exercises build muscle in that area, creating a rounder, more lifted look to the buttocks.
What is the best exercise to lift the buttocks?
The best exercises to lift your bum are ones that focus on the connection between the gluteus maximus and the hamstrings. You can achieve this through standing exercises with hip hinges, like squats, or floor exercises that contract and lengthen the hamstrings.
Here is a list of a few of the best exercises to lift your buttocks:
1. Banded Squat Pulses
- Place both feet through a booty band and pull up to thigh level.
- Bend down into a squat position with feet hip-width apart, and knees behind your toes.
- Step to the left with the left foot, deepening the squat. Follow with the right foot.
- Step right with the right foot, then follow with the left.
- Repeat. Ensure that you keep tension on the band throughout the movement.
2. Fire Hydrant Leg Lifts with Band
- Place both feet through a booty band and pull up to thigh level.
- Get in a tabletop position on an exercise mat. Place hands under the shoulders, and knees under hips.
- Slightly lift your right knee off the ground.
- Lift your right leg directly to the side, keeping your knee bent to 90°.
- Lower leg to return to starting position.
- Repeat on the left side when the set is complete.
3. Donkey Kick with Resistance Bands
- Put yourself in a tabletop position (on all fours) on an exercise mat. Place hands directly under shoulders, and knees directly under hips.
- Wrap a booty band around both of your thighs.
- Lift your right leg slightly off of the floor and flex your right foot.
- Activate your glutes and lift your right leg straight back and up toward the ceiling, keeping the foot flexed. Lift until your right leg is in line with your back.
- Return to the starting position and repeat.
- Repeat for the other side when you complete the set on your right.
4. Banded Dead Lifts
- Take a booty band and step both feet on top of it, hip-width apart.
- Grab each end of the booty band with your hands and hinge forward at the hips. Bend your knees slightly and keep hands near your sides.
- Keep your neck and back in alignment with good posture. Keep your your core activated to protect your lower back throughout the movement.
- Without moving your arms, activate your glutes and stand straight up.
- Return to starting position, without losing your form.
Do squats really lift your bum?
Squats are great butt lifting exercises to build a strong, toned bum with very little equipment. The squat works your gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus, as well as your hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, abs, obliques, and lower back muscles.
Though a bodyweight squat is decent for building glute muscles and functional strength, it probably won't be enough on its own to get the sculpted look that you are after. Muscles become accustomed to the same stimulus repeated over and over, so switch up your routine to achieve your booty goals.
If you have been doing squats for a long time you need to consistently increase the training volume. To do this, increase the weight resistance, sets, reps, or a combination of all three.
Once you've learned proper form and become comfortable with the movement pattern of a squat, it's time to switch up the exercise and create a challenge.
Speaking of proper form, let's address how you should squat to avoid injury:
- Keep your feet shoulder-width apart, toes turned out slightly.
- Tighten your abdominals, creating a slight "tuck" of your hips under and forward. This protects your lower back from possible injury.
- Keep your neck straight and in line with the rest of your spine.
- Stick your bum back slightly and squat down as if you're sitting in a chair. Keep the weight in your heels as much as possible.
- Keep your knees in line with your toes. Do not let the knees extend past the toes at any point or you will risk knee injury.
- Stand back up to the starting position, and repeat.
Depending on your goals, you may want to adjust the type, weight, and frequency of the squats you do.
If you have a small butt and are looking to build a bigger, perkier butt, you can achieve this by practicing heavier weighted squats 2 times per week.
If you want a smaller butt, it's best to perform cardio regularly. Focus on overall strength training and lighter weighted squats performed 3 times per week.
Does walking lift your buttocks?
Walking is a fantastic, low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels.
Walking is a cardiovascular exercise, first and foremost. It can burn 200-500 calories an hour, depending on your body weight and pace. Therefore, walking should help you lose fat on your body, which will affect your buttocks and give it a lifted look.
But how does walking affect your butt?
For one, walking fires up your glute muscles, especially when walking on an incline and actively remembering to squeeze your buttocks as you step. Theoretically, this will build muscle, though at a much slower rate than weight resistant butt exercises.
Overall, walking is not going to make a massive difference to the look of your bum alone - that can only be achieved through a combination of cardio activity and bum building resistance exercises.
Do booty resistance bands work?
Yes, they do!
As mentioned above, a simple bodyweight squat is not going to be enough to get the bum of your dreams. Using Booty bands is a great way to incorporate some resistance and challenge your muscles to become stronger.
Hip bands are great for a butt workout as they activate the large muscle group targets while simultaneously engaging the smaller, surrounding ancillary muscles to stabilize and strengthen them.
Resistance band exercises are good for more than just your at-home butt workouts. They can be used for effective full-body workouts for a fraction of the price of a set of dumbbells. They are compact and virtually weightless which is great for travel or heading to the park/gym for a workout.
One of the best things about using resistance bands for your butt lifting exercises is the ability to easily apply progressive overload to your glute muscles.
Progressive overload is the most effective way to build strength through gradually increasing the demand on your body in a given exercise. In traditional weightlifting, this requires several sets of dumbbells or weights to graduate from say a 10-lb bicep curl to a 15-lb bicep curl.
Resistance bands are often sold in sets. By purchasing a few bands with different levels of resistance you can easily graduate from a lighter band to a more challenging band in your upper butt workout without needing a ton of extra storage.
In conclusion, show that booty off!
The best way to lift your butt is through regular and increasingly difficult resistance exercises. Make sure you also eat a healthy diet to promote fat loss and muscle gain. Incorporate some of the best butt workouts at home into your routine a few times a week to get the bum of your dreams!