13 exercises to sculpt the glutes and strengthen them

Even if you already love and appreciate your body regardless of its size or shape (because your beautiful body deserves that love!), there may still be certain areas that you want to tone or strengthen.

It can be the arms, the trunk or, for many, the butt. Whether you’d like to look more like the size and shape of J.Lo, Serena Williams, Kim Kardashian, or anyone else, there’s no shame in wanting to firm, plump, perk, or tone your butt. The good news is that there are some really effective butt exercises out there.

But we didn’t just want the basic squats we’re always told to do. We wanted a ton of options – especially unique and powerful moves – that would help us sculpt and tone like never before. So we called in some of our favorite professional trainers to help us devise a plan to get bigger , stronger, and more toned glutes.

Keep scrolling for the 13 best moves to sculpt your glutes and get the strong, perky butt you’ve always wanted with trainer Traci Copeland’s videos.

Safety and precautions

In general, our experts agree that these glute-sculpting moves should be safe for everyone. However, if you have any lower body or back injuries, you should consult your doctor, physical therapist, or certified personal trainer before attempting the movements. And, in general, if you feel any pain or discomfort during an exercise, stop immediately.

Make sure to gradually progress the number of exercises you do to try to avoid excessive pain and injury. For example, try to do just two or three exercises the first day, and then give yourself a day or two off. Add one more exercise to your routine at a time, resting in between if necessary.

To try to avoid lower back strain, focus on consciously engaging your glutes and core during each movement, and use proper posture and form. Avoid rounding your back. Lastly, when using weights, always wear proper footwear, such as supportive training shoes.

1. Single leg stair steps
13 exercises to sculpt the glutes and strengthen them

Stand next to a bench with your back straight.
Place your hands on your waist or hold one or two dumbbells at chest height.
Bring one leg to a 90-degree angle and place it on the bench, keeping the other leg straight and firmly planted on the ground.
Drive your body weight through the heel of your left leg and simultaneously push off your right foot.
Pause and hold the weight in the air for a second.
lowly return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
Do 12 to 15 repetitions on each side.

2. Reverence lunge
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Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms by your sides.
Putting your weight on your right foot, step back and pivot with your left foot – almost as if you’re bowing – allowing your arms to come out in front of you in a comfortable position. Make sure your chest stays straight.
Begin to straighten your right leg, pushing up through your heel and returning your left foot to the starting position.
Do 10 repetitions on each side.

3. Lateral decubitus leg raises
13 exercises to sculpt the glutes and strengthen them

Lie on your right side on an exercise or yoga mat. Make sure your head is supported by your hand.
Lift your left leg up as far as you can, keeping your leg straight. Hold it for 1 second at the top.
Slowly lower your leg.
Do this 15 times and then switch sides.

4. Seated hip abduction
13 exercises to sculpt the glutes and strengthen them

Begin by sitting on a hip abduction machine or bench with a mini resistance band looped above your knees, legs together.
Keeping her knees bent at a 90-degree angle, she squeezes her glutes and presses her legs together. She pauses and continues to squeeze her glutes, then bring her legs together with control to return to the starting position.
Do 2 sets of 20 repetitions.

5. Pleas
13 exercises to sculpt the glutes and strengthen them

Extend your feet with your toes pointing out.
Begin to bend your knees, squatting as far as you can go.
Push up through your heels, squeezing your inner thighs and glutes at the top.
Complete 3 sets of 12 repetitions.

6. Back kick with chair
13 exercises to sculpt the glutes and strengthen them

You can use a chair or even a bed to support your upper body while you do this move.
Stand about 60 cm away from a bench or chair or the edge of a bed.
Keep your thighs and feet together.
Lean towards the support object and hold it firmly with both hands. Your torso should be parallel to the ground.
Now you are going to lift your left leg back until it is parallel to the ground.
Hold the position for 1 second and return to the starting point, then do the other leg.
Perform 12 repetitions with each leg.

7. Lateral walk with resistance band
13 exercises to sculpt the glutes and strengthen them

With a resistance band wrapped around your lower thighs, place both feet on the ground hip-width apart, making sure your knees remain in line with your toes. Looking straight ahead, bend at the hips and knees, making sure the knees are in line with the toes. Continue bending your knees until your upper legs are parallel to the ground. Make sure your back stays at a 45-90 degree angle to your hips. This is the initial position.
Inhale.
Exhale. Keeping a squat position with your right foot on the floor, step your left foot out so your feet are slightly shoulder-width apart.
Inhale. Keeping the squat position and with your left foot on the floor, step your right foot inward to return to the starting position.
Complete 10 reps on the same side before completing the remaining reps on the other side.

8. Single leg squats
13 exercises to sculpt the glutes and strengthen them

Stand with your arms extended in front of you (they will help you maintain your balance).
Now lift your left leg and as you do so lower your body as if you were going to sit down. When you reach the limit, hold for a few moments and go back up to the starting position.
Do the repetitions with one leg and then with the other.
Complete 12 repetitions with each leg.

9. Step Ups
13 exercises to sculpt the glutes and strengthen them

Stand up with a bench or step in front of you.
Starting with your right foot, step onto the bench, tapping your left foot lightly against the surface while keeping your weight in your right heel.
Lower your left foot back to the ground while keeping your right foot on the bench.
Repeat 3 sets of 12 reps, then switch legs.

10. Dumbbell squats
13 exercises to sculpt the glutes and strengthen them

Stand tall, holding a pair of dumbbells at your sides.
Keep your head up, brace your abs, push your hips back, and bend your knees.
Slowly lower your body into a squat, hands by your sides.
Hold this position for a few seconds.
Then push back up to the starting position.
Perform between 8 and 12 repetitions.

11. Cup squats
13 exercises to sculpt the glutes and strengthen them

Stand tall with your feet spread wide and your hips turned slightly outward.
Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in front of your chest while keeping your elbows close to your body.
Bend at the hips, knees, and ankles to squat down.
Continue until your hips are slightly lower than your knees.
To get up, push your feet toward the ground and return to the starting position.
Complete 10 reps, rest, and repeat for a total of two to three sets.

12. Back kick squat
13 exercises to sculpt the glutes and strengthen them

Stand tall with your legs shoulder-width apart.
Bend your elbows, with your palms forming fists.
Now slowly lean down into a squat.
Get back up and push your right leg out as if you were kicking something.
Repeat the same process with the other leg.
Complete 12 repetitions with each leg.

13. Hydrants
13 exercises to sculpt the glutes and strengthen them

Start on all fours, with your knees just below your hips and your hands just below your shoulders.
Keep your back and neck straight and look straight ahead.
Keeping your knee bent, lift your right leg out to the side until your thigh is parallel to the ground. Hold the position for a few moments and lower your leg back to the starting position.
When you finish, repeat the exercise on the opposite side.
Do 12 reps on each side.

13 exercises to sculpt the glutes and strengthen them

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