Super effective glute building exercises
Your glutes exist for better reasons than just looking good in your daily choice of apparel. The major muscle group (made up of your gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus) is a key player in explosive movements like jumping and sprinting. A strong butt can also help relieve lower back pain and make everyday movements — like standing and climbing stairs — that much easier.
While weighted moves like dumbbell deadlifts and barbell squats are considered lower-body powerhouse moves, no-equipment butt exercises are an excellent way to strengthen your glutes and legs, too. They utilize just your bodyweight and good old gravity to load your lower body, so there’s no extra resistance required. You can squat, lunge, and pulse your way to stronger glutes (and incorporate some heart-pumping cardio with explosive jumping variations, too).
Whether you’re at home without weights, on the road, or equipment is just a hot commodity at your gym, here are 15 of the best no-equipment butt exercises around to get that lower-body burn going.
1. Bodyweight Squat
- Start standing with feet just slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Sit your butt back into a squat, without letting your knees go past your toes. Make sure your weight is in your heels, and keep your chest up.
2. Side Lunge Shift
- Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart.
- Step your right foot to the side, send your hips back, and bend your right knee to lower into a side lunge.
- Staying low, shift to the other side, so your left knee is bent, and right leg is straight.
- Push off of your left heel to stand. Repeat, starting with the left foot stepping sideways.
3. Reverse Lunge
- Start in a standing position with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
- Step backwards with your left foot, landing on the ball of your left foot and keeping your heel off the ground.
- Bend your knees creating two 90-degree angles with your legs. Aim to have your back knee hovering about three to six inches off the ground.
- Return to standing and repeat with your opposite leg.
4. Squat Jack
- Start standing with your feet together, hands at your chest.
- Jump your feet out and sit back into a small squat.
- Jump your feet back together to return to standing.
5. Jump Squat
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart.
- Bend your knees and sit your butt back, keeping your chest upright.
- Jump up into the air as high as you can and straighten out your legs.
- Land back on the floor with soft knees.
6. Hip Bridge
- Start lying flat on your back, your knees bent and your feet should be about hip-distance apart with your heels a few inches away from your butt.
- Lift your hips up, then lower them back to the ground.
7. Power Lunge
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- Lunge back with right foot, bending both knees 90 degrees.
- Straighten left leg and jump into the air while driving right knee up in front of body.
- Immediately lower right foot back into a lunge, moving directly into the next rep.
- Don’t forget to do the other side.
8. Plié Squat Pulse With One Foot Raised
- Start standing in a wide squat with your toes slightly turned out.
- Bend your knees into a slight squat and lift your left heel so you’re on your toes. Keep your right foot flat on the ground.
- Lower your butt a few inches toward the ground while keeping your chest up and spine straight. Continue pulsing up and down.
- Don’t forget to do the other side, lifting your right heel off the ground.
9. Step Up With Knee Lift
- Stand in front of a box or step, about one foot away.
- Step up with your left foot and drive your right knee up towards your chest.
- With control, step your right foot back to the starting position and follow with your left foot. Move directly into the next rep.
- Don’t forget to do the other side.
10. Marching Glute Bridge
- Lie faceup on your mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift hips off the mat into a bridge—this is your starting position.
- Keeping your right knee bent, lift your right foot off the floor. Try to keep your hips still.
- Hold for five seconds. Slowly lower your right foot to the ground but keep your hips lifted.
- Lift your left foot off the ground to repeat on the other side.
11. Jumping Lunge
- Starting standing with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Jump your left leg forward and your right leg back into a lunge, with both knees at 90 degrees.
- Jump up and switch your legs in midair so that you land in a lunge with your right leg in front.
- Continue jumping back and forth, pausing as little as possible.
12. Diagonal Squat
- Stand tall with your feet together and hands on your hips.
- Step your right foot to the right, so your feet are just wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Bend your knees and drop your butt back and down to lower into a squat.
- Straighten your knees and bring your foot back to the starting position.
- Repeat on the other side.
13. Skater Hops
- Starting at the left of your space, squat slightly then jump to the right as far as you can, leading with and landing on your right foot. Swing your arms across your body to help you jump further.
- Land on your right foot and try not to touch your left foot down as you bend your knee (almost into a mini squat).
- Jump back across left to land on your left foot. Try to jump as far and as fast as you can while staying balanced.
- Move directly into the next rep.
- Stand with your legs wider than hip-width apart, knees bent, and upper body pitched slightly forward. This is your starting position.
- Place your hands on the ground in front of you, then jump your straight legs back, so that you’re in high plank.
- Jump your feet back and bring your hands toward your chest to return to the starting position.
15. Single Leg Hip Lift
- Lie faceup with knees bent, arms comfortably at your side, and feet shoulder-width apart.
- Use both arms to hug left knee to your chest.
- Push up, engaging right glute and core, to lift hips off the ground. Hold for a count of 5.
- Lower down and switch (so right knee is hugged), and lift again, this time engaging the left glute.