How Do I Tone My Backside? 10 Butt-Toning Exercises

Medically Reviewed on 3/24/2022
How Do I Tone My Backside
Toning your butt is more than just about looks. Strong glutes help support your lower body and improve posture. Here are 10 exercises to tone your backside

Toning your butt is more than just about looks. Strong glutes help support your lower back, hips, pelvis, torso, and legs, which can lead to improved posture and minimize injury risk. Here are 10 exercises to tone your backside.

10 exercises to tone your butt

1. Squats

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointing forward and slightly outward.
  • Keep your spine neutral and tighten your core.
  • Slowly lower your torso by pushing your hips back and bending your knees so that your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Hold for 2 seconds and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 10 times for 3 sets.
  • You can carry weights (such as kettlebells or dumbbells) in your hands while doing squats.
  • Make sure to not bear weight on your knees but instead on your hips.

2. Glute bridges

  • Lie facing upward on an exercise mat.
  • Bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the ground with your heels touching the floor.
  • While you dig your heels on the ground, simultaneously squeeze your hip muscles.
  • Lift your hips until your shoulders, hips, and knees are in a straight line.
  • Hold this position for about 5-6 seconds.
  • Bring your hips back to the floor slowly.
  • Avoid any jerky movements.
  • Rest for 5-10 seconds and repeat.
  • You can repeat this exercise 8-15 times for 3 sets.

3. Half-kneeling hip flexor stretch

  • Get into a lunge position with one knee in contact with the floor.
  • Keep your knees flexed at a 90-degree angle.
  • Squeeze your hips and core so that your pelvis is pushed forward.
  • Lean forward so that you feel a stretch in the inner part of the leg of the knee in contact with the floor.
  • Hold for 20-30 seconds and then switch legs.
  • Repeat 10 times for 3 sets.

4. Deadlifts

  • Select a barbell with appropriate weights.
  • Stand facing the barbell with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend at your hips to hold the bar with a mixed grip on the bar (one hand overhand, with the other hand underhand).
  • Push your hips backward so that you come in a half-squat position, keeping your back flat.
  • Tighten your back and engage your abs as you breathe.
  • Raise the barbell, keep it close to your shin and knees, and stand straight.
  • Hold for 1-2 seconds and then lower the weight to the ground without arching your back.
  • Repeat 8-10 times for 3 sets.

5. Bird dog

  • Come on all fours on a mat.
  • Keep your hands under your shoulders at shoulder width and knees under your hips.
  • Keep your back parallel to the floor and pull your belly button toward your spine.
  • Reach your right arm forward as you straighten your left leg back. 
  • Hold for 2-4 seconds and come back to the starting position. 
  • Repeat 10 times, then switch sides and repeat.
  • Do 3 such sets.

6. Single leg glute bridges

  • Lie on your back on the floor or exercise mat with your arms facing down.
  • Straighten one leg, squeeze your butt, and push into your other leg.
  • Keep your upper body in contact with the floor and lift your hips until your extended leg and back come in a straight line
  • Hold this position for about 5-6 seconds.
  • Bring your hips back to the floor slowly.
  • Avoid any jerky movements.
  • Rest for 5-10 seconds and repeat.
  • Do the same exercise with the other leg.
  • You may repeat this exercise 8-15 times for 3 sets.

7. Contralateral limb raises

  • Lie on your stomach with your legs extended and toes pointing away from your shins.
  • Extend your arms overhead so that your palms are facing each other.
  • Keep your core tight as you breathe out while raising the opposite arm and leg (for example left arm and right shoulder) a few inches above the ground.
  • Hold this position for a few seconds and do the same for the other limbs. Repeat.

8. Feet-on-ball hip thrusts

  • Lie face up on an exercise mat or floor.
  • Rest your feet on a Swiss ball.
  • Bend your knees at 90 degrees while rolling the ball slightly toward you.
  • Engage your abs and press through your heels to raise your hips above the ground until they form a straight line with your torso.
  • Hold this position for about 5-6 seconds.
  • Bring your hips back to the floor slowly.
  • Avoid any jerky movements.
  • Rest for 5-10 seconds and repeat.
  • Do the same exercise with the other leg.
  • You may repeat this exercise 8-15 times for 3 sets.

9. Weighted step-ups

  • Stand straight facing a stepping board or a bench of appropriate height (so that your thigh gets parallel to the floor when you step on it).
  • Hold dumbbells of a suitable weight, one in each hand.
  • Step up on the board or bench with one foot, leaving the other foot hanging in the air.
  • Hold for 2-3 seconds and then slowly lower to starting position.
  • You may repeat this exercise 8-15 times for 3 sets.
  • Do the same with the other leg.

10. Fire hydrant

  • Come on all fours on an exercise mat keeping your hands flat and hips over your knees.
  • Make sure your wrists are in line with your shoulders
  • Tighten your abs and look toward the mat.
  • Lift your right leg away from your body until it is at hip height while keeping your knee at 90 degrees.
  • Lower your leg to the starting position.
  • You can repeat this exercise 8-15 times for 3 sets.
  • Do the same with the other leg.

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Medically Reviewed on 3/24/2022
References
Image Source: iStock Images

Stanfield JT. Top 10 Exercises for Defined Glutes. The American Council on Exercise. https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/blog/7646/top-10-exercises-for-defined-glutes/

Koch A. 3 Reasons Strong Glutes are Important. Methodist Health System. https://bestcare.org/news/3-reasons-strong-glutes-are-important