At some point, we all look in the mirror and imagine how our jeans would fit if our butt was just a little more tight and toned or could somehow defy gravity. While obsessing over the appearance of your derrière may be frivolous, there is nothing frivolous about wanting strong glutes. Your glutes make up the buttocks and are the largest and strongest muscles in your body.
These seven bodyweight exercises are easy to learn, can be done almost anywhere, and provide real results.
1. Kneeling boost
Start on the floor on all fours and bend your elbows to the floor, so you can clasp your hands together in front of you. Make sure your elbows are in line with your shoulders. Bend your left knee behind the right and curl the left heel in close to the body as you point your toes. From here lift your left leg up straight so your toes reach towards the ceiling. You can let your hip open up slightly, but focus on keeping your hips even. Bend the left knee and bring it back behind the right. Repeat for 25 reps before switching sides.
2. Sumo squat
This exercise is a great way to get in your booty busting workout while catching up on your favorite show or cooking dinner. Begin standing with your feet spread apart in a wide stance. Turn your toes out in opposite directions, put your hands on your hips, and keep your back straight. From here bend both knees and squat down. Your goal is to get your thighs parallel to the floor. Straighten legs to complete one rep and repeat as many times as you can for one full minute.
3. Side plank raises
Find a body-size section of floor (or grab your yoga mat) and lie on your side. Prop yourself up on your right forearm so your right elbow is below your shoulder and your hand is pointing to the left. Your legs should be out straight with your left foot stacked on top of your right. Then, push into your right forearm and the sides of your feet as you lift your bottom off the ground. Consciously lift your hips up so your body is in one straight line. Squeeze your belly button in toward your spine and keep your glutes tight as you set your left hand on your hip. Then, holding here, lift and lower your left leg up and down while maintaining the rest of your body in one line. Perform 10-15 reps before releasing onto the floor. Repeat on the other side and complete a circuit of three sets.
4. Hip thrusts
Find a stable bench or chair and sit on the floor and lean back into the piece of furniture you selected. Make sure that the edge of the bench or chair comes just below your shoulder blades. Once you’ve found a solid, unmovable surface, place your feet flat on the floor slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Push into your heels as you lift your torso up off the ground until your torso is flat and your legs are at a 90-degree angle. If you have a weight, put it on top of your hips for added resistance. Then lower back down and complete 12-15 reps a total of three times.
5. Walking lunge
Start in a comfortable standing position. Step forward with your right foot and using your glutes, core, and hamstrings, lower slowly into a deep lunge. Push up out of your right foot as you step your left foot forward, dropping into a lunge on the other side. Continue to “walk” forward in lunges. To increase the intensity, hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in each hand as you lunge.
6. Single leg deadlift extension
Start standing with your hands behind your head. Shift your weight into your right leg allowing your right knee to bend slightly. Lift the left leg behind you and reach back to tap your toes on the floor as you hinge from the hips and let your torso move forward until it’s parallel to the floor. Keep your back flat as you raise your torso upright again and lift the left toes up off the floor, reaching back. Lower your toes to the floor and hinge your chest forward to repeat. Do 25 reps before switching sides.
7. Single leg bridge
Start lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor and hip distance apart. Rest your arms flat on the floor and extend your right leg up towards the ceiling keeping your leg straight. Lift your hips off the ground by squeezing the muscles in your legs and butt. Slowly return to the start position and repeat as many times as possible for one full minute. Complete a second minute on the other side.