No Need to Stand! Work Your Butt With These Floor Exercises
You don't need to be standing in order to work your butt. Nope. You can tone, sculpt, and strengthen your backside on the floor. Here are 17 moves to try — pick three to five to add to your next workout, or try a few during your next TV binge. As for reps, start with 10 to 15 for each move and do two to three sets. If you don't feel up to creating your own workout, follow this 15-minute Pilates floor workout video that focuses on the derrière.
Bridge With Block
Since this move requires no equipment, you really have no excuse to skip it! For a bigger burn, flex your butt for five seconds at the top of each move, or hold a yoga block between your knees as shown.
- Lie flat on your back on a mat with your knees bent and your arms at your sides. Feet should be hip-distance apart.
- Slowly raise your pelvis up toward the ceiling to a point where your body will be at about a 40- to 45-degree angle relative to the floor.
- At the top of the movement, be sure to really flex your butt for one second — try to make it a long second.
- Now slowly return to the start position to complete one rep.
Love this backside move that works the hamstrings, too.
- Lie on your back, and place your hands on the floor for stability as you bend one leg and lift the other leg off the ground.
- Pressing your heel into the floor, lift your pelvis up, keeping your body in a stiff bridge position.
- Slowly lower your body to the floor and repeat.
To keep the pelvis stable in this position while moving your legs, you really need to engage your glutes.
- Lie on your back with your hands by your sides, with your heels about 12 inches from your pelvis. Press your heels into the floor to come into a bridge position with a neutral spine.
- Press your right heel into the floor, and keeping your left knee bent, raise your left leg until your hip is at 90 degrees. Lower your left leg down, pressing through your right glute so your pelvis doesn't drift to the floor as you lower your leg. This completes one rep; switch sides and lift your right leg for your second rep.
This move, powered by your glutes, works more than just your bum. It will warm up your entire body while giving your booty some shape.
- Sit on the mat with your fingers facing away from you, with about 12 inches between your butt and your heels.
- Press through your glutes as you lift your butt off the floor, coming into a tabletop position.
The basic Superman exercise targets your back and backside. Make this exercise even more challenging for your tush and hamstrings by squeezing an exercise ball between your lower legs.
- Lie on your belly, engage your abs, and extend your arms straight out in front of you.
- Lift your legs, arms, and chest off the floor. Hold for a count of 10 and then slowly release your body back to the floor.
- Perform as many reps as you can in one minute.
This move targets the upper fibers of the glute max to give your butt a little extra shape.
- Lie on your stomach with your arms reaching overhead, pulling your abs away from the floor to protect and lengthen your lower back. Lift your legs, arms, and head off the mat.
- Keeping your knees straight, lift your entire right leg and left arm a few inches away from the floor. As you lower your right leg and left arm, lift your left leg and right arm away from the mat to complete one rep.
- Continue alternating sides in a slow, controlled manner, keeping your torso stable.
Donkey Kick Series
Isolate the glutes and work them from a couple of different angles with this pulsing variation of the donkey kick.
- Begin on all fours and lift your right leg off the floor until your knee is in line with your hip.
- Flex your foot and squeeze your glute to raise your heel an inch toward the ceiling. Continue these small, concentrated pulses for 20 reps.
- Open your right knee out to the side, keeping your foot flexed, and pulse your leg one inch to the left. You are not trying to lift the knee up, but trying to keep it level as it moves behind you. You should feel your glutes firing away for all 20 pulses.
Donkey Kick With Weight
Here's an intense move that works one side at a time. You can also do it without a dumbbell.
- Start on all fours, with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
- Bend your right knee at a 90-degree angle and place a dumbbell in the crook of your knee.
- Slowly pulse your flexed foot toward the ceiling by squeezing your glutes. Your back should remain perfectly still in a neutral spine. The motion should be small and controlled with the muscle doing the work and not momentum.
Side Kick on All Fours
This side-kick exercise is great for working the deep glute muscles, which help give the butt a lifted look. It might feel like an old-school Jane Fonda move, but we're still doing this classic exercise because it's so dang effective.
- Start on all fours with hands underneath your shoulders and knees under your hips. Keeping the knee bent 90 degrees, lift the right leg until it is parallel to the floor.
- Keep the right thigh still as you straighten your right knee, kicking your leg out to the side. Don't let the leg lower as you kick it.
- Bend the right knee back to 90 degrees, then lower the leg. This completes one rep.
Elbow Plank Donkey Kick
Evolve your basic donkey kick into a full-body move by working it into your elbow plank.
- Begin in an elbow plank with elbows directly under shoulders, abs engaged toward the spine. Don't let the pelvis sag down or pop up.
- Lift right leg off the ground, bending your knee so the sole of your foot is toward the ceiling. Keep pelvis square to the floor. Don't let your pelvis twist.
- Press your right heel toward the ceiling as high as you can without moving your pelvis or low back. The motion will not be huge, but concentrated on the booty and hamstring.
- Lower the bent leg slightly, and repeat. Be sure do do an equal number of repetitions on each side.
There is not a lot moving in this simple sculpting exercise, but get ready to feel a burn at your panty line.
- Lie on your left side with your knees and hips bent to about 45 degrees with your heels in line with your butt. Reach your right hip toward your feet to even out your knees and lift your bottom waist off the floor. Your pelvis should be level in this side-lying neutral position.
- Keeping your feet together and your pelvis still, raise your right knee toward the ceiling, then slowly lower your knee to complete one rep.
Side-Lying Leg Lift Series
- Start on your left side with your legs extended; bend your left knee and bring it up toward your hip — this will make you more stable. Place your top hand on your hip and your bottom arm under your head.
- Flex your right foot and lift your top leg up about six to eight inches from the floor. From here, make tiny pulses upward 20 times, keeping your pelvis still — your hand is there to monitor it! Holding your leg at the highest point of the lift, draw one-inch circles with your heel for 20 reps. Then switch sides.
Sassy Side Plank
Turn the clam into a full-body exercise with this variation of side plank.
- Lie on your left side with the knees slightly bent and your elbow underneath your shoulder.
- Press into your bottom forearm to lift the hips as high as you can, keeping the abs engaged.
- Raise your top knee to open the thighs like butterfly wings, then slowly lower the knee, completing one rep. The move is similar to the clam.
Lying Hamstring Curl
If you have an exercise ball, you can make a few basic exercises more intense!
- Start by lying flat on your back with an exercise ball under your heels. Bridge your hips up, and hold that position through the entire exercise.
- Flex your feet and dig your heels into the ball. Place your arms straight out to your side for support — don't use them, though; they are just for support.
- Slowly roll the ball toward your body as you curl your heels. Keep your hips in the bridge position; don't thrust them toward the ceiling as you do the move.
- Then slowly return to the start position (straight legs, hips bridged) to complete one rep.
Plank Leg Lifts
Doing these plank leg lifts on an exercise ball further challenges your balance to help strengthen your core while you work your backside.
- Lie on your belly on an exercise ball, and walk your hands out so the ball is underneath your shins. Your hands should be underneath your shoulders.
- Draw your navel toward your spine to engage your abs, which will help keep your spine straight and your body stabilized.
- Lift your right leg into the air, then slowly lower it back toward the ball, but don't let it touch. This counts as one repetition. Keep your pelvis level throughout your reps.
Superman Ball Lifts
The Superman ball lift is a butt-challenging variation on your standard Superman.
- Lie on your belly, and hold an exercise ball between your feet.
- Engage your abs, and extend your arms straight out in front of you.
- As you inhale, squeeze the ball and lift your knees, arms, and chest off the floor. Hold for a count of 10, and then slowly release your body back to the floor.
Booty Kicks With Resistance Band
If you have a resistance band, this kicking exercise becomes a serious butt burner.
- Hold onto either end of your resistance band, and place the center of the band around the sole of your right foot. Then place your elbows and knees on the ground so your back is straight.
- Hold the band firmly, draw your belly in, and extend your right leg straight out behind you. Then draw your knee forward, but don't let it touch the ground. Repeat the kick.