2. Glute and Hamstring extensions
This booty-shaping 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.
3. Lunge with arm reach
Reaching forward with the arms at knee height creates additional hip flexion, placing more emphasis on the gluteus maximus. When the arms are reaching forward, creating additional forward lean in the trunk, then the glutes 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.
Want to make it more challenging? UsE a medicine ball, dumbbells, or aViPR for added resistance.
4. 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). 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.
5. Floor Jacks
This prone version of a jumping jack is sure to fire up your glutes. During the move, make sure your knees stay straight, feet are always off the floor, and focus on squeezing your glutes. As your legs move apart, you can emphasize the upper and side glute fibers more, and as you bring your legs together, you are still very much activating those cheeks.