My Favorite Booty Shaping Exercises

I would say that many women wouldn’t be opposed to a firmer, perkier rear end. Crash dieting and endless cardio are not going to give you those results. What does work is weight training, specifically moves that focus on the glutes. These are my favorite and best exercises that target the glute muscles and will help give you that sexy rear end in no time. These exercise should be incorporated into your weight training at least once a week.

1. Back Squat: There are all kinds of squats you can do. This one is my favorite to do with a barbell to get the maximum glute activation. Using a barbell set on your back (traps not neck), stand with feet slightly wider than hip distance apart. Lower your rear end back and down, like you are sitting into a chair, as far down as you can (at least parallel to the floor). If you can drop below your knees even better. It is very important that your knees stay aligned over your toes, and don’t cave in or out during the entire move. Keep the chest high and head neutral as you raise back up. Think of lifting from the check first then glutes.

2. Glute Kickback: This can be done a variety of ways, on a cable machine, with resistance bands, or even on a glute kickback machine itself. This move is really good for isolating the glute muscle. Legs can be straight or bent. The exercise is performed exactly as it sounds. Kick your leg back, as if the movement is originating from your hamstring, rather than the calf or knee. At the top of the movement, contract the glute and hold for a brief pause to really feel the burn.

3. Glute Bridge: You need a bench and a barbell for this one. With the upper half of your back on a bench, and the barbell resting across your lap just above your hip bones, lower your rear end to the floor as far as possible, then thrust your hips upward till your glutes and hamstrings are parallel to the floor. Contract your glutes at the top of the movement. Try using different foot placement to engage the glute muscle differently. You can place your feet wide, or narrow. Also you can use some padding against your hips for comfort if needed.

4. Leg Press: This is a piece of equipment that is found at every gym. The trick with this one is to place your feet as high and wide on the plate as you can while you perform the exercise and using a heavy weight. Focus on pressing through your mid foot and heel. Keep the knees pushed out and aligned over your toes as you press to prevent injury.

5. Stiff Leg Deadlift: Using a barbell or heavy dumbells, stand with your legs hip width apart, very slight bend at the knees, not locking them. As you keep your back neutral (do not arch!!) bend forwardand lower the weight to the floor, then drive up to standing contracting your glutes and hamstrings. What helps me most with this exercise is to focus on my glutes pushing back towards the wall behind me as I lower the weight to the floor.

Proper form is super important with all these exercises, as you can really hurt your knees if they aren’t being done correctly. Do research if you’re not familiar with an exercise and have a personal trainer evaluate your form. I like to choose a weight where I can do 12-15 reps that are challenging but at the same time do not compromise my form.