Over 30 Exercises That Work Your Booty Better Than Squats
Getting a bigger, tighter booty is going to take more work than just doing standard barbell squats. You're going to need to make sure you're eating right, working all the muscles in your butt, and constantly changing the amount of sets and reps to avoid hitting a plateau. Commit to a stronger, bigger booty with these sculpting moves.
Side Steps With a Booty Band
- Place a resistance band around your ankles. Start with a lighter band and work your way up to a heavier band.
- Begin standing with feet directly underneath your hips and your hands on your hips.
- Squat halfway down and sidestep to the right, leading with your heel to make the glute muscles engage as far as you can manage without allowing your knees to rotate toward each other. Bring the left leg toward the right with enough space to keep some resistance in the band. Concentrate on keeping your pelvis level as you move sideways.
- Start on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
- Keep your right knee at a 90-degree angle as you slowly raise your leg to the right until it is parallel to the ground. Avoid lifting your right hip, as you should keep both hips squared toward the floor.
- With control, lower your leg back to the ground.
- This completes one rep.
Barbell Hip Thrusts
- Sitting on the floor with your legs extended, rest your back against a stable bench.
- Place a towel or shoulder cushion on the bar for comfort (optional). Roll the barbell over your thighs until the bar is directly above your hip joints.
- Brace your core. As you drive your heels into the ground, squeeze your glutes, lifting your hips up to full extension, meaning your hips are even with your knees.
- With control, lower back down to the ground.
- This is one repetition.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-distance apart. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand or a medicine ball. Extend your arms down at your sides if you are holding dumbbells or hold the medicine ball in front of you with arms extended.
- Take a large step diagonally forward with your right foot, planting your foot at the 11 o'clock position. Sink down until your thighs form right angles. As you bend your knees, curl the dumbbells toward your upper arms or the medicine ball toward your chest.
- Extend your legs, lift your right knee and bring it in toward your chest, and lower your arms. Step back with your right leg, this time lunging behind your torso and stepping back to the 8 o'clock position. As you sink down into the reverse lunge, complete another bicep curl. This completes one rep.
Traditional Bridge Exercise
- On your mat, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Be sure and keep your feet underneath your knees, not in front. Plant your palms by each side, face down.
- Raise your hips up to the ceiling, tensing your abs and squeezing your butt as you do. You should be making a long diagonal line with your body, from shoulders to knees.
- Hold for a few seconds, making sure your spine doesn't round and your hips don't sag. Keep your abs and butt muscles engaged.
- Lower down to the ground; this is considered one rep.
- Lie on your back with your hands by your side, 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 knee bent, raise your left leg until your hip is a 90 degrees. Lower your left leg down, pressing through your glutes so your pelvis doesn't drift to the floor along with the leg. This counts as one rep.
Elevated Split Squat
- Begin by placing the top of your right foot on the bench, with your left leg straight. Bend your left knee, engage your right glute, and lower your pelvis toward the ground. You want your left foot out far enough so that when you lower your hips, your knee stays directly over your ankle.
- Straighten your left leg and rise back up to the starting position. This counts as one rep.
Glider Side Lunge
- Stand with your feet a few inches apart, with your right foot on a plastic lid, glider disc, or paper plate. Make a fist with one hand and cup your other hand over it. Keep your hands in front of your chest throughout the exercise to help you stay balanced.
- Put weight into your left leg, and as you slowly bend your left knee and squat down, slide your right foot out to the side. Then as you slowly straighten your leg, slide the right foot back in. Most of your weight remains in the leg that's not moving.
- This completes one rep.
- 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. This completes one rep.
- Place your right foot firmly on the bench with your left foot directly under your left hip.
- Step up, straightening your right leg, bringing both feet completely onto the bench. Slowly bend your right knee, lowering the ball of your left foot back to the ground, keeping your right thigh engaged. This counts as one rep.
For a more advanced version, you can kick the left knee up as you step up.
- Stand tall holding a kettlebell with your right hand with feet hip-width apart.
- Place your weight in your left leg, keeping a slight bend in the knee, and bring your right leg behind you.
- Exhale, pulling your abs toward your spine, and tip your torso forward while lifting your right leg up as your torso lowers, until it comes almost parallel to the floor. Focus on the glutes doing the work.
- Then lower your right leg back to return to your starting position as you return to standing, but don't let the right toes touch the ground. This completes one rep.
- Stand holding a pair of medium-weight dumbbells in each hand, arms at your sides, with your knees slightly bent.
- Keeping your arms straight and knees slightly bent, slowly bend at your hip joint (not your waist) and lower the weights as far as possible without rounding your back, which should remain straight.
- Now squeeze your glutes to slowly pull yourself up (don't use your back). This counts as one rep.
Single Leg Squats
- Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and raise your right leg, flexing your right ankle and pushing your hips back.
- Lower your body while keeping your right leg raised (a squat with one leg). Keep your knees behind your toes and your heels firmly on the floor.
- Hold and then return to standing. This completes one rep.
- You can use a bench to squat/sit on to work your way toward doing the single-leg squat if needed.
180 Squat Jumps
- Start in a deep squat with your legs a bit wider than your hips and your toes pointed outward. Twist your torso to the right, reaching your right hand to the ceiling and your left hand toward the floor.
- Jump up, spinning to the left 180 degrees (halfway around), bringing both hands overhead. Land softly in a deep squat, twisting your torso to the left, with the left hand reaching toward the ceiling and the right hand toward the floor.
- Repeat, but reverse directions so you jump spinning to the right and go back the way you came. This completes one rep.
Superman Ball Lifts
- 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. This counts as one rep.
Lying Hamstring Curl
- 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.
Bulgarian Split Squat
- Grab a pair of 10-pound dumbbells. Begin by placing the toes of your left foot on a bench, box, stair, or chair, with your right leg straight.
- Make sure your right foot is out far enough so that when you lower your hips, your knee stays directly over your ankle.
- Bend your right knee, squeeze your left glute, and lower your pelvis toward the ground.
- Press your right heel into the ground to straighten your right knee. This completes one repetition.
- Stand with your back against a wall, placing your feet about two feet in front of you. Feet should be hip-distance apart.
- Bending your knees, slide your back down the wall until your knees are at 90-degree angles. Your knee joints should be over your ankle joints, so you may need to inch your feet farther from the wall to create proper alignment. Don't let your knees fall into the midline of your body or sway outward.
- Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, and then stand up.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and slightly turned out, in a deep squat. Put your arms in a "goal post" position with elbows bent and close to your thighs.
- Jump up explosively, bringing your feet together and clapping your hands above your head. Keep your core engaged.
- Jump your feet apart, landing with control, and lower your body back into the sumo squat position with hands up to complete one rep.
Lunges on a Ball
- Place the top of your left foot on the ball. Keep your right knee soft — do not lock your standing knee.
- Reach your arms forward at shoulder height. If balancing in this position is too challenging, open your arms out to the sides. Inhale to prepare.
- Exhale and actively pull your deep abs toward your spine. Bend your right knee, engage your right glute, and lunge. The ball will move back and your shin will move to top of the ball. Make sure your right knee doesn't move beyond your toes.
- Inhale to straighten your front leg. This completes one repetition.
Dumbbell Walking Lunges
- Stand upright, feet together, with 10-pound dumbbells at your side. Take a controlled step forward with your left leg, lowering your hips toward the floor by bending both knees to 90-degree angles. Your back knee should point toward but not touch the ground, and your front knee should be directly over your ankle.
- Press your left heel into the ground, and push off with your right foot to bring your right leg forward, stepping with control into a lunge on the other side. This completes one repetition.
- Stand with your hands behind your head with your elbows wide, and bring your right knee to the floor, onto a yoga or exercise mat for padding.
- Bring your left knee down so you are kneeling.
- Lift your right knee up and place your right foot in front of you. Bring the left foot forward, coming into a deep squat, then press through your heels to come to standing.
- Reverse the move and bring your left knee to the floor to repeat the sequence on the other side to complete one rep.
- Start from standing, and step your left leg behind you and to the right so your thighs cross, bending both knees as if you were curtsying. Make sure your front knee is aligned with your front ankle.
- Return to standing, and switch sides to complete one rep.
Hex Bar Deadlift
- Load the hex bar with the weight of your choice. If you're new to the move, start by just using the bar without any additional weight.
- Stand in the center of the hex bar with your feet hip width apart.
- Bend at your hips and knees as you grab the handles of the hex bar. Raise your hips up slightly, keeping your back flat, to create tension in the back of your legs (your hamstrings will feel tight).
- Keeping your back flat and shoulders relaxed, drive your heels through the ground as you stand straight up.
- Squeeze your glutes at the top of the lift to ensure you get full hip extension.
- Continue to grasp the handles as you lower the weight to the ground with control. Be sure to keep your chest open and your back flat. This counts as one repetition.
Weighted Donkey Kick
- Start on all fours, and place a dumbbell in the crease of your right knee.
- Keeping your right knee bent at a 90-degree angle and your back straight, lift your right leg up until you feel your right glute engage. Flex your foot, and slowly pulse the foot toward the ceiling by squeezing your glute. Do not move the torso at all — the motion is just in the hip joint.
- This completes one repetition.
- Start by lying face down on the hamstring curl machine. The pad of the machine should be on the back of your legs at the bottom of your calves.
- Keeping your body flat on the bench, lightly grasp the handles near the front to stabilize your upper body. Bend your knees to bring your heels toward your glutes, stopping once your knees have reached a 90 degree angle. Hold for one second.
- Slowly lower down for three seconds.
- That's one repetition.
Lateral Band Walks
- Place a resistance band just below your knees.
- Begin standing with your feet directly underneath your hips, and squat about halfway down.
- Take a step sideways to the right as far as you can. To fully activate the muscle, be sure to step onto your heel, rather than your toes.
- Actively resist the pull of the exercise band as you bring your left leg slowly toward your right, returning to the starting position.
- This completes one repetition. Don't forget to work both sides!
Forward Backward Lunge
- Stand with the feet together.
- Put weight in the left foot, lift your right knee up, and step into a forward lunge. The front knee should be at a 90-degree angle with the left knee just barely hovering above the ground.
- Push into your right heel, come to stand, and immediately step the right foot behind you into a reverse lunge with the left knee at a 90-degree angle.
- This counts as one rep.
- Begin standing with the feet hip-distance apart.
- Lower into a crouching squat with your hands on the floor.
- Keeping the abs engaged, jump your feet back so you're in plank position.
- Keeping the arms straight, jump your feet forward behind the hands.
- Stand up to complete one rep.
Standing Booty Kicks
- Stand tall, and place your hands on your hips.
- Put all the weight in your right leg, keep both legs straight, and lift your left leg directly behind you. Let your glutes do all the work. Keep your left foot flexed, and work on lifting your heel as high as you can without leaning your torso too far forward. Engage your abs to help you stay balanced.
- Then lower your left leg so it's parallel with your right, but don't let it touch the ground. Then lift it back up behind you.
- Repeat this move 20 times at a moderate pace, and then lift your leg another 20 times so it's slightly out to the side to target your outer glutes.
- Then do the other leg, 20 times behind you and 20 times diagonally out to the side.
Squat and Lateral Leg Lift
- Begin standing with your feet hip-width apart (or slightly wider), toes pointed slightly out. You can clasp your hands in front of you for balance or place them on your hips.
- Bend your knees and lower your hips back and down until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Be sure to keep your back straight and chest up. Don't let your knees extend past your toes.
- Press through your heels to stand and simultaneously lift your right leg up out to the side.
- Return to the starting position. This completes one rep.
Straight-Leg Donkey Kicks
- Begin on all fours with your shoulders stacked above your wrists and your hips stacked above your knees.
- Engage your core by drawing your belly button into your spine.
- Straighten your right leg behind you, with your toe resting lightly on the ground.
- Keeping your right leg straight, squeeze your glutes to lift your leg up until it is parallel with the ground. Hold for two seconds and then slowly return to the starting position. This completes on rep.
- Start in a small squat.
- Jump sideways to the left, landing on your left leg.
- Bring your right leg behind to your left ankle, and don't let it touch the floor.
- Reverse direction by jumping to the right with your right leg. This completes one rep.
Single-Leg Touch and Hop
- Begin standing with your weight on your left foot. Keeping your back long, bend your left knee to touch the floor with your right fingers.
- Swing your right leg and left arm forward to return to standing, hopping once the torso is upright. Land with control, then slowly lower your torso and bend your knee to touch the floor again. This completes one rep.
- Stand with your feet together and your knees soft.
- Jump and come into a lunge with your left leg forward.
- Push off with both feet, jumping them together, then hopping into a lunge with your right leg in front.
- Jump your feet back together to complete one rep.
Split Lunge Jumps
- Stand with your feet together and your knees soft. Jump and come into a lunge with your left leg forward.
- Push off with both feet, jumping them together, then hop into a lunge with your right leg in front.
- Jump your feet back together to complete one rep.