Exercises for Toning Your Glutes

Although a tight tush is on the wish list of many, few people are genetically blessed to have naturally enviable derrieres. Most of those with great butts have had to, well, work their butts off for it. If you aren’t one of the lucky few with a naturally spectacular booty, there’s still hope. With some sweat equity and determination, you can sculpt a rear end worth noticing. Take a targeted approach and enlist exercises that will build and tone your glutes. Be sure to talk with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

Free Weight Exercises

Free weight exercises for the glutes are a great way to sculpt the muscles, develop core strength and burn calories. The granddaddy of all lower body exercises is the back squat, which will help tone and build the glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps. Lunges, sumo squats, deadlifts and step-ups are also effective glute exercises that integrate free weights. When performing free weight exercises, it’s critical to make sure your form is perfect. Improper execution can minimize the effectiveness of an exercise and lead to injury. Always use a spotter when using free weights.

Machine Exercises

It’s a good idea to start out with machines if you’re new to resistance training, since they help guide you through proper form. The butt blaster and lying leg curl machines are among the best for targeting your backside. The leg press, seated leg curl, hack squat and leg adductor machines will also target your butt. Although machines are generally safer than free weights, you should still always use a spotter, especially during more challenging lifts.

Plyometrics and Sprints

If you’re seeking a new challenge or want to increase the intensity of your glute workouts, consider incorporating plyometric exercises and sprints. Plyometrics are explosive movements that can be incredibly effective and provide quick results. Jumping movements such as box jumps, vertical jumps and long jumps will blast your booty and add an element of variety to help avoid plateaus. Short-distance sprints are another way to tone your backside.


To build and tone your glutes with resistance-training exercises, perform three to five sets of eight to 12 repetitions per exercise. You’ll keep your heart rate elevated if you minimize your rest between sets, which will result in a greater calorie burn. As with all exercise, it’s important to consistently change your routine to prevent falling into a rut that will slow results. Avoid the treadmill and elliptical traps that many people become victims of — instead of dragging yourself through 30-minutes of half-hearted, low-incline treadmill walking, increase the grade, up your speed and give a concerted effort to maximize your workload. Intensity and change are the keys to maximizing your results for any glute exercise program.

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