Looking to target those glute muscles and tone your butt? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve rounded up the best bum exercises for women, to help you lift, build and sculpt your behind…
While every body (and every booty!) is beautiful, many women strive for a rounder and more pert bottom. However, by adding the best bum exercises for women to your workout routine, you’ll be reaping way more benefits than simply a more toned butt.
Taking the time to work on your glute muscles can greatly improve your posture and prevent injury during a range of sports and activities. In fact, strong glute muscles can help to stabilise your pelvis when running or walking, which can improve your balance and prevent nasty falls.
Ready to work on your derriere? Read on to discover the best bum exercises for women, each designed to target your glute muscles alongside the abdominals, lower back, thighs and hip flexors…
Best bum exercises for women
1. Donkey kick
Benefits: Brilliant for your gluteals, abdominals and the lower section of your back.
- Get on your hands and knees on a mat, with your hands below your shoulders and hips and knees aligned. Don’t dip or raise your head – keep your spine straight.
- Engaging your abdominals, lift your left leg up from the floor, knee bent and foot pointed to the ceiling (A). Hold, then extend the leg further upwards (B). Keep your upper body stable throughout the movement.
- Return to the start position, then switch to the right leg. Aim to do eight to 15 reps.
Quick tip: Don’t swing your upper body as you move.
2. Lying lateral leg kick
Benefits: Great for your outer thighs and quadriceps, as well as your abdominals.
- Lie on your right side, propping your head up on your right elbow. Your feet should be flexed so you’re able to see your toes.
- Using your left hand to stabilise you, engage your core and move your top leg backwards (A). Keep your hips stable throughout – don’t swing your body. Keep your head still and focus straight ahead.
- Move your leg in front of you to complete one rep (B). Aim to do between eight and 15 reps.
Quick tip: Lift your top leg no higher than hip height.
3. Clock lunges
Benefits: Works your lower body in all three planes of movement to sculpt your gluteals, hamstrings, quadriceps, and inner and outer thighs.
- Lunge forward at 12 o’clock with your right foot until your right knee is bent at 90° (A). Return to a standing position.
- Continue lunging with your right leg at two o’clock (B), three o’clock (C), five o’clock (D) and six o’clock (E).
- Now switch to lunging with your left leg, starting at six o’clock (stepping backwards) and working round the clock – seven o’clock, nine o’clock, 10 o’clock and 12 o’clock – until you are back at the start.
- One complete rep means doing 10 lunges in total. Do one to two reps.
Quick tip: Maintain an upright posture throughout and keep your stomach muscles engaged.
Benefits: Works the legs, gluteals, hip flexors, core and shoulders, and also raises the heart rate.
- Hold one dumbbell in both hands and, keeping your core engaged, bend at the hips and knees. Gently swing the dumbbell back between your legs, keeping a flat back throughout (A).
- Using momentum, swing the dumbbell forwards and upwards, straightening your hips and knees at the same time.
- Allow the dumbbell to swing up to an overhead position, ensuring you keep the weight under control (B).
- Lower the dumbbell back down between your legs to complete one repetition. Aim to do between eight and 15 repetitions.
Quick tip: Make sure you don’t arch your back as you swing the dumbbell.
5. Side step-up with lateral raise
Benefits: This exercise will test your arms and shoulders, as well as your gluteals and coordination.
- Stand right side on to a bench or step.
- Step onto the bench with your right leg and push up (A). As you bring your left leg up, power it out to the left and raise your arms to shoulder height (B). Keep your focus and feet forwards.
- Step down to the same side to complete one rep. Aim to do eight to 10 reps on each leg.
Quick tip! Engage your abdominals so your body stays straight as you lift your leg.
6. Gym ball single-leg curl
Benefits: A great multi-taser exercise that works your lower body and core.
- Lie on a cushioned mat, with your calves resting on top of a gym ball, feet together and your arms by your sides. Your neck and shoulders should be relaxed.
- Engaging your abs, raise your hips and lift your left leg (A), then bend your right knee and drag the ball towards your bum with your right heel (B). Keep your spine lifted from the floor and straight throughout.
- Pause for a moment at the top of the move, then straighten your right leg again by pushing the ball. Return your left leg to the ball, and repeat on the opposite side. Aim to do eight to 15 reps.
Quick tip: Keep your buttocks lifted and your back in line to really work those gluteals.
7. Dumbbell lunge with twist
Benefits: This exercise targets the hamstrings, legs, gluteals and sides of the body, as well as building power and coordination.
- Stand in a neutral position, grasping a dumbbell with two hands at shoulder height (A).
- Take a dynamic step forward with your right foot, lunging down (B). Then, keeping the dumbbell at shoulder height, twist to your right – your focus should move with your torso (C).
- Return to the starting position. Aim to do eight to 15 reps.
Quick tip: Keep your body upright and don’t lean forwards as you lunge.
8. Gym ball bridge
Benefits: This exercise will tone up your abdominals and gluteals, and strengthen your lower back. The gym ball adds an extra dimension.
- Lie on a mat with your calves resting on a gym ball, buttocks down and arms on the floor by your sides (A).
- Raise your bum until there’s a straight line between your ankles and your shoulders (B).
- Focus on the ceiling throughout. Hold for a count of three and lower your hips back down to the floor.
- Aim to do eight to 15 reps.
Quick tip: Make it harder by lifting one leg off the ball as you lift your bum.