3 Quick and Easy Exercises to Get You a Stronger, Perkier Butt in No Time

As a CrossFitter, I do a lot of squats and deadlifts. (Like, a lot.) And while that has done a lot to improve the firmness of my butt, I've always wished it would be perkier. I relayed my butt woes to Andrea Speir, founder of Speir Pilates in Santa Monica, CA, after noticing (in a totally not creepy way) that her butt was the definition of #goals. (Asking people what butt exercises they do is the new "I love your shoes," apparently.)

While squats and deadlifts are great for building a butt, the secret to a lifted butt is to give some extra love to the side of the hips and booty, Speir said. Specifically, the gluteus medius. This is a small area of the glute that wraps around the side of your butt and connects underneath, she explained. "When we train, we tend to focus on the major part of the glute. If you don't have this side muscle strong though, that booty you built will hang down without much support." Exercises that strengthen your outer thighs will also help you have a more defined side butt.

Here, Speir breaks down three exercises that can help you get the lifted butt of your dreams.


  • Lie on your side with your head resting in your hand and your knees bent in toward your chest in a 90-degree angle.
  • Rock your toes up toward the ceiling (like a mermaid tail).
  • Open your top knee up toward the ceiling.
  • Lower your leg back down.
  • Repeat 20 times.
  • Then perform the movement on the opposite side.

"By strengthening this area, we build this muscle and lift the booty we already have and help it to have a nice shape!" Speir said.

Side Lying Leg Circles

  • Lie on your side with your legs extended out long and slightly at an angle in front of your body.
  • Lift your top leg to hover at hip height.
  • Circle that top leg as big as you can go, without the hips wobbling back and forth at all. (Tip: Keep your abs engaged to help keep the hips still.)
  • Repeat 10 times.
  • Reverse direction.
  • Repeat 10 times.
  • Then perform the movement on the opposite side.

"This exercise targets that glute medius zone again, but also has the added bonus of elongating the entire lower body while doing so," Speir said. "These muscles stay elongated and then get sculpted out in every area. This will help cinch and tighten the outer hip, as well as work the major part of the glute and hamstring."

Kneeling Side Leg Kicks

  • Kneel on both knees.
  • Place your right hand down by your side (in the same line as your knees).
  • Place your left hand behind your head.
  • Lift your right leg up to hover hip height. Sweep this leg forward and backward. (Tip: Keep those hips totally still.)
  • Repeat 20 times.
  • Then perform the movement on the opposite side.

"This move activates the glute medius instantly when you lift that leg to hover to the side," Speir said. "The forward and backward action of this targets and sculpts out the outer hip/glute area in a different direction than the first two exercises, which will again help round out your booty work to give you that ultimate booty lift,"

Working your gluteus medius isn't purely for aesthetics, either. Speir added that targeting this area also helps to support the lower back and lumbar spine. Two birds (butts?), one stone.