“Butt day” is the most popular request I get from clients walking into my sessions. Whether it’s to defy gravity and lift the buttocks or build muscle to create a nice, round behind, the road is the same. The butt muscles consist of the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus. To achieve a natural butt lift, all of the muscles in and around the glutes must be strengthened. Sculpting the hips and thighs go hand in hand with giving the butt a nice shape. Lunges and squats are effective, but a lot of people, including me, have knee issues and want to avoid repetitive flexion of that joint. I’ve come up with a routine that lifts the butt that does not involve lunges or squats. As with any other body sculpting goal, I always recommend incorporating a healthy diet and cardio for optimal results. Here are the 5 best exercises for sculpting your butt with your own body weight.
1. Donkey Kicks– Kneeling on all fours, make sure your knees are directly under your hips and your wrists under your shoulders. Keep your neck in line with your spine and your navel pulled into your back so that your back does not arch. Try your best to maintain this posture while performing the exercise. Take one leg and lift it up as if you are imprinting the sole of your foot onto the ceiling. Keep your knee bent so the shape of your leg never changes. Make sure you are lifting your leg with the glute and hamstring muscle in the back of the thigh. Do 15-20 and then add little pulses at the end to burn the muscle out. Repeat on the other leg.
2. Hydrants– Assume the same position on all fours as Donkey Kicks. Instead of lifting the leg straight back, you will now lift the leg to the side. Keeping the knee bent, try to squeeze the glutes in order to get the knee as high as the hip. Repeat 10 times and finish off with little circles in each direction. Imagine drawing circles with your knee in the air about the size of a cantaloupe. Do five in each direction.
3. Prone Straight Leg Lifts– Lie face down with your legs directly behind you. You can rest your head on your hands. Do your best to relax your back muscles and only use your glutes and hamstrings to lift one leg off the ground. Don’t go too high or you will start activating too much of your back muscles. This is a small movement isolating the muscles that will lift the butt. This can also be done with a resistance band around the ankles for more of a challenge. You may do as many as 20-30 on each leg.
4. Shoulder Bridge with Leg Lifts-Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Make sure your hips are square and keep them that way as you lift your pelvis up by squeezing your glutes. Make one diagonal line from your knees to your hips to your shoulders. Keep your abs pulled in so that your back isn’t arching. Lift one knee up and towards you without changing the height of your hips. This will work the stable leg’s glute and hamstring along with strengthening your pelvic stability. Switch legs each time and move slow and controlled. Do 10 on each leg.
5. Side Kicks Kneeling– Lean over to one side while kneeling and place your fingertips on the floor. Lift the top leg up to hip height and flex the foot. With your free hand behind your head and your navel pulled in, kick your leg towards your face for two pulses and then point your foot to pulse it back for two. Keep the torso as stable as possible when you move the leg forward and back and try not to let the leg drop lower than hip height. Keep your weight centered over the stable knee. Kick forward and back five times before switching to the other side.
Get an all natural butt lift without stepping foot in a gym by practicing these 5 exercises at least 3 times a week!
Video: Crystal Chin