The Best Way to Tone Your Butt for Hot Summer Buns

Here comes summer…and shorts and miniskirts and swimsuits. Of course that means hitting the gym hard for the push to present well on the beach or when you make your first poolside appearance of the season. A well-shaped backside is always in style and, while some feel the best way to tone your butt and achieve a booty lift is by having body fat redistributed through a surgical procedure called a Brazilian Butt Lift, others have invested in a specialized workout program bearing the same name.

The fact is that working out is the best way to tone your butt and reduce fat, and it’s the technique that will garner lasting results. Though you can’t spot-reduce or literally move fat from one  area of your body to enhance another when working out, high intensity interval training routines (HIIT) or circuit training workouts that focus on your glutes and hamstrings will build muscle where you want it while reducing body fat overall.

DIY Lifting Butt Workouts

If you want to invest the money in hiring a trainer from Brazil or purchasing a “special, secret” workout to build your booty, there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s your money. However, if you already know the secret exercises that reshape your butt by targeting your glutes and supporting muscles, you can spend the cash on summer wear that accentuates your newly toned hindquarters. This is no time for men to tune out. Flat, baggy 501 cut-offs or cargo shorts on a guy are just as unappealing as saggy or over-stuffed ones are on a girl. Get busy with these seven exercises to cultivate a sexy gluteus maximus that will have the opposite sex doing double-takes.

Lunges – you’ll feel your glutes engaging when you perform a number of lunge exercises, from walking lunges to weighted lunges or explosive lunges, as “Fitness” magazine suggests. Women’s Health and Fitness recommends a Lower Half Lunge, a variation that also works to tone core muscles while contracting your glutes and getting your heart rate up for a nice fat-burning workout.

Targit Squats (2)

Some find it easier to maintain proper form when squatting with resistance bands instead of free weights.

Squats – squats are another glute-centric exercise that also recruit your hamstrings as stabilizers and get your quads working as synergists, making them a terrific and effective butt lifting exercise. Maintaining proper form while squatting is essential for avoiding injury, and that’s why some people steer clear of this exercise altogether. However, you can safely perform bodyweight squats without equipment or using band-based equipment such as the TargitFit Trainer.

Kickbacks – if you have access to the weight lifting equipment, rear kickbacks are killer for working your glutes. Alternatively, you can forego the equipment and weights and use gravity to your advantage by performing Heel Sky Raises.

Reverse Hyperextensionreverse hyperextensions do require equipment, but it doesn’t have to be specialized. If you belong to a gym, go ahead and take advantage of what they have to offer. Alternatively, any raised flat surface at home such as a countertop, can be used to support your torso while you to lift your legs straight behind you for this glute-targeting, butt lifting  exercise.

Dumbbell Deadliftdeadlifts are considered a booty-lifting exercise because they work your hamstrings, the muscles located right below your glutes. Hand weights, dumbbells or even gallon jugs filled with water can be used to add weight and an element of resistance to this exercise.

Leg curl exercises tone and strengthen your hamstrings to lift and support your glutes.
Photo via ScottHermanFitness/YouTube

Leg Curls – any exercise in which you bend your knee and press back against resistance will build and strengthen your hamstrings to provide a nice foundation to press your glutes upward. Gyms typically have a number of leg curl machines, but resistance bands are effective for leg curls, too.


Hip Moves – don’t forget to work your hips as part of a strong foundation that lifts your butt. Lying side hip abductions and side-lying clam exercises are effective and don’t require weight lifting equipment.

The Plan

Skip rope or jog in place between each butt lifting exercise to turn butt workouts into high intensity interval training routines (HIIT workouts) that will reshape your booty.
Photo via POPSUGAR Fitness/YouTube

The best way to tone your butt and engineer your butt lift is by putting these exercises into practice at least once a week, either on their own or by adding them to your leg day. If you do them more than once a week, just allow 72 hours between glute workouts so your muscles can rest and recoup. You can perform them as circuit training workouts, doing 10 to 12 reps of one exercise before immediately moving to the next exercise, and making sure to go through the entire circuit three times. Allow 60 seconds for rest between each circuit. Alternatively, you can do them as HIIT or high intensity interval training routines. Do one exercise as many times as you can in 90 seconds, then jog in place or get on a stationary bike or treadmill to keep moving but at a more moderate pace for 30 seconds. Then move to the next exercise, continuing the 90/30-intense/moderate intervals until you’ve done each exercise three times. You’ll feel the burn, for sure and, by performing your butt workouts as a circuit or HIIT, you’ll have the boogie back in your butt in no time.

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