Building a butt isn’t easy, which you’ll know. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade, you will have noticed that butts are a thing. And I don’t just mean butts, I mean BUTTS. There’s a lot of things I won’t thank the Kardashians for (cycling shorts as a fashion statement being one), but encouraging people to embrace their curves is one of them.
But what if you don’t want to go down the implants route and you don’t have the genes? Can you create a firm and sculpted butt from nothing? And how long will it realistically take? Building a firm, toned bum is all about strength.
Squats and lunges might be some of the best moves out there to build muscle in your glutes, but if you want to be doing them properly, in a way that will really shape and change your butt, you need to be adding weight to these moves. The three staples that start every session are the dead bug, hip raises and kettlebell swings.
- Get yourself into a tabletop position with your arms raised straight above your head.
- Pull your ribs down, tensing your core and holding it down into the matt.
- Then lower and stretch one leg straight down as you lower the opposite/diagonal arm.
- Bring back up and repeat.
- Try for 10-15 per side as a warm-up.
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- Stand with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart.
- Lift the kettlebell, keep your ribs down and core tensed, with your chest ‘proud’ and facing the mirror.
- Resist the urge to look up, keep your chin down.
- With your feet a little wider than hip-width apart, get into a squat position.
- You want to keep your shins vertical as much as you can and bend from your knees lowering your butt to the ground as low as you can.
- Then drive back up through your heels and make sure your knees don’t slope inwards, which they’ll want to do as you get tired.
- Do all this while cradling a kettlebell or dumbbell in your hands and keeping your elbows up.
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- Using a resistance band, step both of your feet onto the band with about 1ft between them.
- Pull the band tight so it’s hard to move your feet in either direction.
- Twist the band around so that each hand is holding the end part of the band that’s under the opposite foot.
- Then lead with your knees and walk sideways like a crab, in a squat position, keeping your core tensed, your back straight, shoulder up/back/down and your butt down.
- Walk 10 steps one way and back 10 steps the other, repeating for three sets.
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Bulgarian Split Squats:
- These are somewhere between a squat and a lunge – with one leg balanced behind you on a bench/box and all of your weight in your front leg.
- Bend down from the knee.
- Aim for three sets of 15.
Swiss Ball Leg Curls:
- Lie flat on an exercise mat, with your feet up on a swiss ball.
- Then bring your bum up into a straight plank position.
- From here, you want to roll the swiss ball towards your butt using your feet, using the power of your hamstrings.
- Then roll it back out and repeat 15 times, 20 when that’s getting too easy!
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- Lying flat on an exercise matt, bring your feet in towards your bum and then let your knees fall outwards.
- The soles of your feet should be touching and your knees should be as low as you can get them.
- From here, thrust up using your glutes, bringing your bum up and back down.
- These can be done at speed in quick succession – aim for 20 per set, 3 sets.
Single Leg Hip Thrust Off a Bench:
- Find a bench or, ideally a bench or box.
- This move is very similar to the hip raise warm-up, except your back is elevated = harder work!
- With your legs at right angles, lean your back against the box and pull one knee into your chest.
- Then with your weight in the ball of your grounded foot, bring your bum up and lower it back down.
- Start off by aiming for three sets of 8.
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- With a dumbbell in each hand, hinge at the hip for a count of three and bring the dumbells down towards your standing foot.
- Then do a bit of a ‘Bend and Snap’ a la Elle Woods, quickly back to standing, using the power of a glute-clench to bring you back up.
- Try three sets of 10.
- Aim for three sets of 10.
Related article: 4 Deadlift Variations That Will Shape Your Body And Expand Your Butt
- With a dumbbell in each hand, standing upright with your core tensed and your shoulders up back and down.
- Step backward with one leg, lowering your knee to the ground.
- Then return to upright.
- Start with bodyweight if you’ve never done lunges before and gradually build yourself up to 12kgs or 14kgs.