Blast your buns from soft to steel! Squats are great, but they’re not the only lower body exercise you should be doing. If you want to tone your booty, you should fill your workouts with exercises that target the glutes rather than the thighs. These 6 squat-free booty exercises far overpower squats.
The reason why these butt exercises surpass squats is that they work different muscles. You need to train both your gluteus maximus and gluteus medius to get that tight and round look. These muscles work together to give you improved mobility and lower body strength.
Below, we’ll go over the 6 squat-free booty exercises we recommend. We have a workout you can perform once or twice per week. However, you can also choose your favorite moves and incorporate them into your own lower body routine.
So get to it! Grow your booty with more than just squats!
What You’ll Need: a light dumbbell (2-5 lb.), and a mat or towel to lay on the floor.
What to Do: Complete all 6 exercises leading with your right leg, then repeat on your left side. Complete 3 rounds on each side, resting 60 seconds in between rounds.
Below, we’ve included videos showing how to perform each move. Using proper form helps prevent injuries and ensures you’re getting the most out of your workout.
40 Donkey Kicks
20 Fire Hydrants
10 Fire Hydrants with Kicks
30 Single-Leg Glute Bridge
12 Single-Leg Deadlifts with Dumbbell
12 Reverse Lunges with Front Kicks
1. Donkey Kicks
Donkey kicks are a pretty common glute exercise. They’re popular among trainers because they work! You can imagine donkey kicks like doing bicep curls with your butt.
In the flexed position (when your foot is up) you should feel your butt muscles tighten. This tightness means the muscle is engaged. To add a little extra oomph, hold the flexed position for 3 counts before releasing.
2. Fire Hydrants
Fire hydrant and donkey kicks go together like peanut butter and jelly, like macaroni and cheese. As you’ll feel after just a few reps, fire hydrants work the side of your butt. To get that full, round butt, it’s important to incorporate moves like fire hydrants.
As with donkey kicks, you can also hold during flexed position to give your muscles a bigger challenge. Hold for 3 counts and release.
3. Fire Hydrants with Kicks
And now it gets harder! You’ll start feeling this move with the very first rep. It’s a combo move where you perform a fire hydrant, then kick your leg straight.
Your glutes will have to activate to keep you steady while you kick out. This extra motion is great for building muscle. You’ll have a tight, toned butt in no time!
4. Single-Leg Glute Bridge
Another popular glute exercise among trainers is the glute bridge. For the traditional glute bridge, you keep both feet on the ground. However, performing one-legged glute bridges is more effective. You can do this bootylicious move using bodyweight only, or by stacking weights on your hips.
Another useful variation you can try is a bench glute bridge. Rest your upper back on a bench, with your core and lower body sticking out. Place your feet on the floor so that your knees form a ninety degree angle. Lower your hips until they’re a few inches from the floor then raise them back up.
5. Single-Leg Deadlifts with Dumbbells
This simple move engages your whole leg. You’ll feel your muscles shaking as you work to maintain your balance.
If you keep falling over, find one spot and keep your eyes trained on it. It can be hard to keep your balance, but by working on it you’ll be challenging your leg muscles.
6. Reverse Lunge with Front Kick
This is a great booty/thigh/cardio move. The first time you do this move, you’ll probably be sore for a few days.
It’s more effective than a traditional lunge because it challenges your balance as well. When you kick, your stabilizing leg has to work harder. All the muscles need to clench to keep you from falling over. It’s a great challenge for your glutes, hamstrings, and your heart!
Because it doubles as cardio, this is excellent move to use in HIIT workouts. In fact, we do incorporate it into a lot of our own routines.
We encourage you to try this workout, or at least introduce some of these moves into your own routine. While squats are an excellent move, doing mainly squats is not the best way to grow your glutes. Instead these six moves are tougher on the butt muscles, strengthening, tightening, and rounding!