Skip Nav

How Elevated Split Squats Work the Butt

The 1 Move For a Great Butt

A great butt can sometimes seem as attainable as winning the lottery. We get that. That's why when we go to the gym and see all of you lunging, thrusting, and pressing until you can't see straight, we can't help but cringe. We feel your pain. But let's get real. Building a dream butt doesn't have to be impossible. It's time to ring up your lucky number. That number is one — as in, all you'll need is one simple move to shape some great glutes! The move that'll have your rump on everyone's envy list? Glad you asked! Look no further than the elevated split squat!

Here's how to do the elevated split squat:

  • Stand in front of a box, bench, medicine ball, or even a staircase. Put your right leg back and rest your toes on the object. If you're in front of a staircase, try to have your foot on the second step and not the first or third — being too high or too low could change the emphasis on your glutes.
  • Slowly bend your left knee until your hamstring is parallel to the floor. Make sure to engage your glutes throughout the movement. If you're doing it right, you'll feel it on every inch of the motions. You should also lower your pelvis and ensure that your left foot is far enough forward so it is just above your ankle.
  • Straighten out your bent left leg while returning to the original start position.
  • Complete your reps, then repeat with the opposite leg.

Note: Don't allow your body to lean forward or backward through the movement. Also, avoid just bouncing through the reps without deliberate attention to form. Go slow, work with purpose, and really try to feel as much of the move as possible.

According to Kendall Wood, NASM, CPT, and author of Core Fitness Solution, "When you perform the elevated split squat, you have to make sure that you engage your core and very precisely move through each rep allowing the muscles worked — especially your glutes — to feel every inch of motion."


He also told us that it is a great workout finisher: "This move is great at the end of any workout that you've already targeted your lower body because it forces you to reach total muscular exhaustion, which leaves your muscles no choice but to tighten, tone, and grow, making sure you build a great butt!"

While you could use this as a great finishing move to your lower-body sessions, it can also be a great move to start a workout. If that's your choice, Wood suggests doing three sets of 15 reps for optimal results.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds