Trainers Reveal: The Best Butt Exercises of All Time

Trainers Reveal: The Best Butt Exercises of All Time

Barbell Hip Thrust

Get ready to blast your backside with this butt-burning move from Bret Contreras,, and author of Advanced Techniques in Strengthening.

How to do it: Sit on the ground with your back against a bench, feet planted firmly in front of you, and a padded barbell in your lap. Keeping the lumbar spine and knees stable, raise the barbell by extending your hips, making sure to push the hips upward using the gluts. Rise until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees (full hip extension), and then slowly descend back to the ground.

Contreras recommends mixing up your reps and sets for this move and aiming for anywhere between 3-4 sets of 6-20 reps. “Some days you can go heavy for lower reps, some days you can go lighter for higher reps, and some days you can do both. I will warn you though, high-rep hip thrusts are brutal. The booty-burn is excruciating!”

Glute and Hamstring Extension

This booty-shaping move recommended by Jessica Lozano, NCSA, a certified personal trainer at the Institute of Human Performance in Boca Raton, Florida, challenges glutes of all strength levels. If you’re new to exercise, start out with 3 sets of 15 reps. Intermediate exercisers should try 4 sets of 15 reps, holding 10 lbs, and advanced glutes can handle up to 5 sets of 15 reps, holding 25 lbs.

How to do it: Start standing, leaning forward on a back extension pad, with your toes turned out, knees bent (like a frog). Keeping your back flat, bend at your hips as far down as possible. To come up, push your thighs into the pad and squeeze your glutes, keeping your back straight the entire time. At the top, give your glutes an extra squeeze. Use a controlled tempo during the exercise: aim for a 2-3 second count on the way down, 1-2 seconds on the way up.

Lunge with Arm Reach

“Reaching forward with the arms at knee height creates additional hip flexion, placing more emphasis on the glutenous ,” says Pete McCall, an exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise (ACE). “When the arms are reaching forward, creating additional forward lean in the trunk, then the gluts are lengthened at both the bottom and top, creating more effective lengthening of the muscle.”

How to do it: Stand tall with feet approximately hip-width apart and arms extended at chest height. Step forward with your right foot. As your weight comes down on your right leg, lean forward at your waist and reach with both hands at approximately knee height. Return to standing by pushing the right foot into the ground and driving the body back to the starting position. That’s one rep. Repeat 6-10 times on the right leg, then do the same number on the left leg.

The Step-Up

The step-up is one of the best butt exercises you can do to work on strength, power, and balance in a unilateral fashion (one side at a time), says Declan Condron, an exercise physiologist for Pump One. “We all perform this basic functional movement many times a day, every day. It targets all the main large muscles of the legs, particularly the glutes and hamstrings, and really helps develop a nice shapely, toned rear end.”

How to do it: Stand upright with one foot on a bench or step, holding dumbbells by your sides with your arms straight. Push off your top foot and step up onto the bench (or step) with both feet. Step down onto one foot, keeping the other foot on the bench and repeat. Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps on each leg.

Trainers Reveal: The Best Butt Exercises of All Time

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