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Can Incline Walking Improve Your Butt?

A Run Coach Shares How to Build a Bigger Booty — Just by Walking on an Incline

Photographer: Kat Borchart

I've never met a single person who's claimed to love the treadmill, but you can't deny its effectiveness. If you know how to use it, the dreaded machine can work in your favor on multiple levels, including helping you build endurance, strengthen the body — and tone your butt. Michael Olzinski, MSc, Equinox run coach and Lululemon run coach, has shared before how running a slower speed on a higher incline is best in terms of form and progress. But turns out, simply walking on an incline can be beneficial, also.

"I absolutely love incline walking for multiple purposes," Michael told POPSUGAR. "Glute development, aka 'booty gains,' comes from building muscular strength, improving body composition, and having great posture. All of these things can be improved with some very good and strong incline walking sessions."

However, you won't get the same effects by mindlessly walking and scrolling through your phone. The most important thing to do during an incline walking session is to be "present and purposeful," according to Michael.


"Make it intentional and pump the shoulders, drive the feet behind the hips so that you get full extension, and try to make it so that it is cardiovascularly challenging," he said.

You also want to focus on completing big, full strides rather than small steps in order to build your booty. Full hip extensions are key to targeting the glutes, so get your knee behind your pelvis as you tackle hills.

What Incline You Should Be Walking

Michael says that anything below an eight percent incline isn't enough to challenge your body. He typically starts clients there, then helps them work their way up to 10 percent, then 12 percent. And when someone is really advanced, he makes them wear a weighted vest with 15 to 20 percent their body weight.

Butt Workout

Here's a great example from Michael that includes a quick treadmill session, followed by some booty-boosting exercises:

Complete a total of three sets.

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