Your core is more than just your abs. It also includes your butt and hip muscles. Core training leads to greater overall strength, helping you to stay healthy.
Core strength is useful in both intense physical activity and daily tasks because it helps you keep your balance. It also makes it easier to do most types of physical activities, even ones you may not think of as requiring core power.
Without a strong core, including your glutes—another name for the most prominent butt muscles—you can suffer from bad posture. You may also get muscle strains more easily if your core is weak. People who have back pain may especially benefit from strengthening their butt muscles.
Exercises to Help Butt
Many exercises help strengthen your glute muscles and give you a firmer, stronger butt. These are a few examples to get you started:
1. Step Up
Step 1: Gather materials—a sturdy raised platform, like a stool or fitness box, and a pair of dumbbells.
Step 2: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, facing the platform. Hold the dumbbells in your hand with palms facing your body.
Step 3: Place your right leg on the platform, making sure to firmly plant your foot.
Step 4: Push off with your left leg to raise your entire body up onto the platform, keeping your torso upright.
Step 5: Place your left foot next to your right, standing up fully and planting your foot firmly.
Step 6: Lift your right foot and step backward off the platform onto the ground.
Step 7: Putting your weight on your right foot, remove your left foot from the platform. You are now back in your starting position.
Step 8: Repeat starting with the other leg.
2. Glute Bridge
Step 1: Lie on your back on the floor or on an exercise mat.
Step 2: Bend your knees, placing your feet flat on the floor.
Step 3: Activate your abdominal muscles to keep your back flat.
Step 4: As you exhale, press your hips up, raising your butt off the floor. Keep your abs activated to avoid overextending your back.
Step 5: Lower your butt back to the ground as you exhale.
3. Squat Jumps
Step 1: Stand with your feet about hip-width apart.
Step 2: Activate your core muscles and pull your shoulder blades down and back.
Step 3: Hinge at the knees to squat, moving your butt backward.
Step 4: Lower yourself until your heels are about to lift off the floor—but keep them firmly planted. You can put your arms wherever they are most comfortable for balance.
Step 5: Jump upward with power by extending your ankles, knees, and hips.
Step 6: Land gently and softly on your feet. Try your best to land on the middle of your foot, and then transfer your weight back into your heels.
Step 7: Remember to keep your core activated throughout the whole exercise to protect your other muscles, particularly those around your spine.
4. Bodyweight Squat
Step 1: Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips. Turn your toes out slightly. Your hands should hang by your side.
Step 2: Brace your core and lift your chin slightly.
Step 3: Push your hips behind you, then down. This will cause your knees and hips to hinge.
Step 4: Keep your back flat and your abdominal muscles activated.
Step 5: Extend the hips and knees, returning to a standing position.
5. Curtsy Lunge
Step 1: Stand with your feet at hip-width distance.
Step 2: Keeping the weight in your left foot, lift your right foot and cross it behind your left.
Step 3: Lower down by bending your knees. Keep bending until both knees are at about 90 degrees.
Step 4: Stand up by pushing through the left heel to return to your starting position.
Step 5: Repeat on the other foot.
Note: You can also hold dumbbells in your hand to make it more challenging.
6. Donkey Kick
Step 1: Get on your hands and knees on the floor or on an exercise mat.
Step 2: Make sure your wrists are in line with your shoulders and your knees are in line with your hips.
Step 3: Activate your core muscles.
Step 4: Lift your right leg, bent at 90 degrees, while flexing your foot. Your foot ends up facing the ceiling.
Step 5: Put your right leg down and repeat on the other side.
Note: This exercise is also known as quadruped hip extension or glute kickback.
7. Barbell Squat
Step 1: Place a barbell in a squat rack just under your shoulder height. If you are inexperienced, start with just the barbell, or something lighter.
Step 2: Dip under the barbell, mounting it behind your neck and shoulders. Hold onto it with your hands wider than shoulder level.
Step 3: Stand up, lifting the bar off the rack.
Step 4: Step back to give yourself space to squat.
Step 5: Place your feet hip-width distance apart.
Step 6: Lower your butt back, then down, until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Make sure to breathe out as you lower yourself down.
Step 7: Press through your heels to stand up again, breathing out as you do so.
Step 8: Squeeze your butt to finish.
Step 9: Walk forward, placing the barbell back on the rack, ensuring proper placement before releasing it.
When squatting with a barbell, you should use two spotters (helpers) to help you if you need to get out of your lift early. If you are lifting alone, you can also use spotter safety arms so you can dump the barbell safely if you can’t complete the squat for any reason.
When working out, it’s always a good idea to do a 10-minute warm up and cool down to avoid injury. Always listen to your body and avoid working out when you're sick or too tired. It’s important to practice good form to prevent injuries.
Muscle soreness after working out is common, but sharp pain during a workout or soreness that lasts at least two weeks are signs that it’s time to stop and talk to a doctor.