The 6 Best Exercises to Tone Your Butt

Look great in any outfit, at any time of the year, with these 6 exercises to shape and tone your butt!

Beginner's Total Body 30-Day Challenge

Whether you’re rocking a bikini in the summer or sliding into your favorite pair of skinny jeans in the winter, one thing remains the same… A firm, round booty makes a great accessory to any outfit. Since this muscle group should be accentuated throughout the entire year, the sooner you start working on it, the better! In order to accomplish this, begin incorporating these 6 best exercises to tone your butt into your workout routine.

Your butt is made up of 3 different gluteal muscles: the gluteus maximus, the gluteus medius ,and the gluteus minimus. While the gluteus maximus is the muscle that is responsible for the size and shape of your booty, the other two are just as important (functionally speaking). The exercises included in this list will make sure that you train all 3 to end up with a perky, toned butt.

Best Exercises to Tone Your Butt

What you need: a yoga mat or towel / a pair of dumbbells (8-15 lbs.) / a loop band (optional) / an ankle weight (optional)

What to do: Perform 10 to 15 repetitions of each exercise. Complete 3-5 rounds total. Rest for 1-2 minutes between each round. For best results, perform these exercises 3 times per week. We’ve included instructional videos for each exercise towards the bottom of this post.

1. Squats

While there are many different squat variations (sumo, single-leg, split, etc..) traditional squats are one of the most beneficial to all 3 of the gluteal muscles. Beginners can start with just body weight squats to learn proper form and then progress to adding resistance with weights.

2. Bridges

These are another exercise that are great for firming and toning all of the gluteal muscles. Like squats, there are ways to increase difficulty. Begin with a regular bridge and progress to adding resistance and/or performing the exercise with one leg at a time. You can also utilize a loop band just above your knees to increase gluteus minimus activation.

3. Kneeling Kickbacks

Kickbacks are a single-leg exercise, which allow you to really focus on one side at a time. You can begin with simple kickbacks and increase difficulty by strapping on an ankle weight or placing a dumbbell behind the knee of the working leg.

4. Single-Leg Deadlift

Deadlifts are one of the best exercises that you can do, not only for your butt, but also your entire posterior chain. Single-leg deadlifts will help firm and lift your booty. Begin learning the movement just using your body weight and as your balance improves you can add resistance.

5. Reverse Crossover Lunge (Curtsy)

While reverse crossover lunges also hit all 3 gluteal muscles, they are especially good at strengthening the gluteus medius. Just like all of the others, start out using just your body weight and slowly increase the difficulty by holding dumbbells. When performing this exercise, alternate sides (left, right, left, right, etc..) A left and right lunge counts as 1 rep.

6. Hip Abduction

For a well-rounded bottom, you’ll also want to firm and strengthen your gluteus minimus. In order to do this, you’ll want to perform standing (or lying) hip abductions. To make this exercise more challenging, you can use a loop band or ankle weight for added resistance.

Instructional Videos



Kneeling Kickbacks

Single-Leg Deadlift

Reverse Crossover Lunge (Curtsy)

Standing Hip Abduction

Accentuate one of your greatest accessories by performing these 6 best exercises to tone your butt! Give them a shot and let us know what you think! Remember, the key to making progress is remaining consistent. You won’t see results over night, but with time and effort comes great reward! In this case that reward will be an incredible, beautiful butt! 

In order to maintain and build muscle, you need to ensure that you’re getting enough protein in your daily diet. Check out these related articles that can help you do just that!

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Erin Miller

Erin is an NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist. She is also a Performance Nutrition Coach, certified through the Clean Health Fitness Institute. Some of Erin’s favorite hobbies include hiking, kayaking, and hanging out at the beach, although weight lifting is her greatest passion. She says, “Weight training is one of the most empowering things a person can do. Not just seeing, but feeling yourself transform… There’s just nothing else like it.”

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