8 Exercises to Tighten Your Butt and Legs (One-Week Plan)
This article is shared with permission from our friends at Paleohacks.
I’ve talked about building a better butt before, and one of the best exercises for working your derriere is definitely squats.
But every now and then, you have to mix things up. Whether you get bored with the same workout, have limited equipment (i.e. no squat rack), or just don’t like squats, there are plenty of exercises that you can do to change things up.
Supplement your workouts with these eight exercises that are sure to lift your backside from all angles.
8 Exercises to Tone Your Butt That Aren’t Squats
Add 2-3 moves into your leg workouts, or complete the entire circuit to really target your glutes. Perform each exercise for 15-20 repetitions, and 3-4 sets.
Single Leg Deadlift
Stand with feet together and holding dumbbells by your sides. Shift your weight into your RIGHT foot, making sure to keep most of the weight in the heel. Hinge at your hips keeping your back straight and lift your LEFT leg so that your torso and leg are parallel to the floor. You should feel a stretch in your RIGHT hamstring and the crown of your head should be reaching forward. Pressing through the heel and engaging the hamstring, straighten back up to standing. Repeat all repetitions on one side, then switch legs.
Position yourself about 2 feet away from a chair or bench (it will differ based on your height), and face away from it. With all your weight in your RIGHT foot, reach your LEFT foot behind you and place your foot on the chair. Keeping the weight in your front foot, lower into a lunge position. You shouldn’t have any weight in the back leg, it should just be there for balance. Press through the front heel to straighten the leg to standing. Repeat all the repetitions without taking the back leg off the chair. Repeat on the other leg.
Facing the chair, about six to twelve inches away from it, place your RIGHT foot entirely on the chair. Pressing through the RIGHT heel, step onto the chair, straightening the leg. Focus on using the glutes and engaging the hamstrings. Lower the LEFT floor back to the floor, while keeping the RIGHT foot on the chair. Repeat all repetitions with the RIGHT leg, and then switch sides.
Start by standing with feet together, and holding dumbbells by your sides. Step your RIGHT foot diagonally out to the side, shifting all of your weight to your RIGHT leg, and keeping the LEFT leg straight. At the bottom of this lunge you should feel a stretch in your LEFT inner thigh, and position your weight in your RIGHT heel. Pressing through the heel and engaging your glutes, stand up and bring the RIGHT leg back in to meet the LEFT. Repeat all the repetitions with the RIGHT leg, then switch to the left.
Stability Ball Hamstring Curl
Grab a stability ball and lower down to the mat. Lay on your back and place your feet on the ball, extending your legs out straight with your heels on the ball. Squeeze your glutes to lift your hips into a plank position, with the weight between your shoulder blades. Digging your heels into the ball, roll the ball in towards your glutes and lift your hips higher to keep a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. With control, straighten the legs back out without lowering the hips to the floor, and repeat.
Single Leg Glute Bridge
Lay on your back on a mat and bend your knees so your feet are flat on the ground. Bring your feet parallel and hip-distance apart, with your heels close in towards your glutes. Extend your LEFT leg up to the ceiling. Using the RIGHT leg, press into the heel to lift the hips up, creating a straight line from your knee to your shoulders. Be sure to keep the hips parallel to the floor and squeeze the glutes. Lower the hips back down and repeat. Switch to complete all repetitions on the other side.
Resistance Band Glute Kick Back
Grab a resistance band and come down to your mat onto all fours. Holding onto the handles, wrap the band under the arch of your RIGHT foot. Engage your abs and obliques as you slightly shift your weight to the LEFT, but keep your hips steady. Leading with the heel, press the RIGHT leg back so that it is parallel to the floor or just slightly higher. With control, bring the knee back in and repeat. Switch legs once you complete all repetitions on the right.
Resistance Band Hydrants
Either grab an exercise band loop or tie a resistance band into a circle. Arrange the loop on your thighs, just above your knees, and come onto all fours on your mat. With your abs and obliques engaged and keeping your hips steady, shift your weight into the left side. Using your abductors (outer thigh muscles) lift the RIGHT knee a few inches off the ground and out to the side, making sure to keep the shin parallel to the floor. Lower down with control, but don’t place any weight into the leg, and repeat. Complete all repetitions on the RIGHT leg before switching sides.
Each of these exercises will work big and small muscles in the glutes to help build a strong and aesthetically pleasing backside you will be proud of.