We are clearly living in the golden era of glutes. Need proof? Flip through any magazine or scroll through Instagram for plenty of hip-popped, booty-ful pics.
And while you can pay a premium for pants that enhance even average assets, nothing beats the real thing: a toned and sculpted booty that you’ve earned in the gym.
Squats get all the love, but they’re not the only way to build your butt. In fact, you’ll want to perform plenty of butt workouts using a variety of glute exercises to target all three glute muscles. This will give you a nice booty that perfectly fills out any jeans or yoga pants.
Now don’t expect to go from zero to Kardashian, but if you do the work, you can certainly expect to see your best booty ever!
The 30 day butt exercise challenge offers a full month’s worth of quick and intense butt workouts. The entire routine can be done at the gym or at home with minimal equipment.
And just because each day’s butt workout is short, doesn’t mean it won’t totally kick your butt (pun very much intended)!
Well, are you ready to take on this butt challenge and build a better behind? You’re one click away from detailed exercise descriptions, training tips, and a complete 30 day butt challenge.
Oh, and since glutes come in pairs, you might want to grab a friend to tackle these effective butt workouts for women!
Butt Workouts for Women that Work
Single-leg exercises are a great way to train. Not only can you use less weight (making it more convenient for a home workout), but you also recruit more core muscles and address any muscle imbalances in each leg. Split squats with dumbbells are a great alternative to traditional barbell squats, making it one of the best butt exercises and one of our favorites.
Hold a pair of dumbbells down by your sides, palms facing each other. Begin by standing in a staggered stance, with your left foot in front of your right by about 2-3 feet. With a braced and strong core, slowly lower your body as far as you can. Pause briefly and then push back to the starting position. Complete all of the reps on the left side before switching your stance and repeating it for the right side.
Sumo Kettlebell Deadlift
The sumo kettlebell deadlift is a move you should add to all of your butt workouts, not just our 30 day butt challenge. This move targets not only your glutes, but also your inner thighs, quads, back and core.
Take a wide stance (slightly wider than shoulder width) with your toes turned slightly out. Place a kettlebell on the ground between your heels. Hinge at the hips and reach for the kettlebell. Drive your feet into the floor and pull the weight up with you until you’re standing straight again. Lower the weight back down and repeat without letting go of the handle between reps.
Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift (RDL)
This move is included in most butt workouts for women and is an important part of our butt challenge. The single-leg Romanian deadlift isolates the glute max while eccentrically strengthening the hamstrings.
Hold a pair of dumbbells down at arm’s length with an overhand grip. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart. Hinge at the hips and allow your right leg to lift up off the ground until the leg is extended out behind you. Your torso should be nearly parallel to the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat all reps on one side before working the other leg.
Whether it’s with a stair master or an aerobic step, step-ups are one of the best butt exercises. They will tone your glutes, particularly by strengthening the glute medius. Using good form is really important with these. It’s all too easy to cheat by pushing off with your back leg. But if you take the easy way out, you’re not going to get good results with these butt workouts. To help keep good form, simply lift the toes of your back foot off the ground a little – this will make it much more difficult to cheat.
Grab a pair of dumbbells and find a box, step, riser, or low bench. Hold the dumbbells down by your sides and place your left foot on the step. Your knee should be at a 90-degree angle when resting on the step. Press your left heel firmly into the step and push until your left leg is straight. Really feel the squeeze in your left glute. Your right leg will trail behind and graze against the step. Lower back down until your left leg is bent again and your right foot is on the floor. Repeat all reps on the left side and then switch to the right.
No 30 day butt challenge would be complete without one of our favorite butt workouts for women — glute bridges. Talk about glute isolation!
Lie on the floor on your back with bent knees and both feet flat on the floor. Keep your arms out to the side at about a 45-degree angle with palms up. Brace your core, squeeze your glutes, and lift your hips off the floor until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees. Lower back to the floor.
Single-Leg Glute Bridges
This single-leg variant is one of the best butt exercises and much more difficult than the standard one above. You’ll be doing plenty of these during the 30 day butt exercise challenge, so get ready! Always do these slowly and with control to really create a butt challenge.
Set up as you would for a traditional hip raise. Then raise your right leg until it’s lined up with your left thigh. Brace your core, squeeze your glutes, and push through your left heel to initiate a lift off the floor. Again, your hips should raise until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees. Slowly return to the starting position. Complete your reps for the left side before switching legs and working the right side.
All of your butt workouts should include the clamshell to engage the glute medius and minimus, ensuring balance in the hips.
Lie on your side on the floor, with your hips and knees bent 45 degrees. Your legs should be stacked one on top of the other and your heels together. With your feet still touching, raise the top knee as high as you can (think of a clamshell opening!). Return to the starting position. Repeat all reps for one side before switching sides.
Oh, did you think we were skipping squats? Not for this 30 day butt challenge! The squat is ultimately one of the best butt exercises out there. These are last because they’re going to be used as a finishing move. You won’t be using any weight, but you’ll be doing lots of reps. The high volume will help you burn fat while still shaping your butt and thighs.
Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold your arms straight out in front of you at shoulder level. With a strong (braced) core, lower your body as low as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Your torso should remain upright and your arms should not change positions throughout the movement. At the bottom of the motion, the tops of your thighs should be parallel to the floor (or lower). Pause briefly at the bottom and then push back up to the starting position.
About Toning Your Tush and Sculpting the Perfect Behind
Tone and Sculpt your Glutes
Your glutes are one of your strongest muscle groups, which means they can handle a lot of weight and volume when it comes to training. So, if you want to grow your booty during this butt challenge (or at least get it a little perkier!), don’t be shy about choosing relatively heavy weights.
Because I know not everyone has access to a gym and a squat rack, I’ve focused on challenging single-leg lifts in the 30 day butt exercise challenge. These enable you to use lighter weights without sacrificing results. For each exercise, select a weight that is challenging, but that allows you to finish your reps without failing.
That being said, rest days are important, too! Muscle grows at rest and you’ll need muscle growth to see any positive change in your glutes. There are scheduled rest days in the challenge and some have an “active rest” option that’s glute-friendly like hiking or walking.
Build a Better Booty
If you’re really trying to grow a sculpted booty, now is not the time to try a strict diet. Your muscles need fuel to grow, so eat plenty of nutrient-rich whole foods and protein.
I’m not talking about going on some big bulk, most women aren’t interested in that! But if you are eating in a calorie deficit, it’s going to be hard to get an Instagram-worthy behind!
As a note for those of you stuck in a chair all day, your glute muscles do essentially “turn off” due to lack of use, that’s why you should do the 30 day squat challenge. If you’re not feeling your butt working in these exercises, you may need to do some additional glute activation. Add in some additional glute bridges and clamshells on your days off. Or spend some time in the bottom position of a squat – the way a toddler sits! Put in some time with our butt workouts for women, nourish those working muscles and you’ll be ready to pop that booty for your next gym selfie.