Between squats, lunges, and deadlifts, there are countless exercises that work your lower body. If you’re wanting to target your booty in particular, there’s a way to combine all the staple moves into one fiery fitness routine. Enter the Brazilian butt lift workout, which is designed to strengthen all the muscles of your backside in a single sweat sesh.
The exercise method is believed to come from trainer Leandro Carvalho on fitness platform Beachbody, but it’s grown to encompass all sorts of glute-specific routines. Brazilian butt lift workouts (not to be confused with the surgical procedure of the same name, BTW) have something for everyone because they target your glutes using a variety of exercises and workout styles, says certified personal trainer and fitness instructor Donna Walker. “It’s a combination of strengthening exercises, Latin dance for heart-pumping cardio fun, and stretching,” she tells Bustle. “It covers all the bases.”
The booty-burning training method has been trending throughout the pandemic: Google data shows that searches for the workout spiked throughout 2020 as at-home exercise became the norm. If you haven’t tried it yet, trainers are here to help — here, fitness pros give you the run-down on how to do Brazilian butt lift workouts.
What’s A Brazilian Butt Lift Workout?
These butt-focused sessions zero in on the muscles in your glutes, thighs, hips, and back through a variety of bodyweight or weighted moves, says certified personal trainer Lisa Niren. The workouts vary: Some focus solely on resistance training, others fuse the exercises with dance to get your heart pumping while you work your lower body, and there are some that include stretches to help you lengthen your butt muscles and wind down, adds Walker. Whichever workout you go with, you’re going to feel a lower-body burn — don’t worry about that.
It’s because of this wide range of options that Brazilian butt lift programs are great for beginners as well as those looking for lower-impact exercise, says Walker. The workouts are also effective at building strength in your lower body while boosting balance and coordination overall, according to Gympass trainer Stephanie Gambee. In fact, these exercises are touted for their ability to grow muscle in your backside from all that strength training, she explains.
Besides that, HIIT or dance-based Brazilian butt lift sessions can help improve your cardio endurance, adds Walker. And between all that strength training and cardio, Gambee says your core will also feel the burn from staying engaged during every movement — so despite being a glutes-focused workout, plenty of other muscle groups are getting worked too.
How To Get Started
Ready to give it a try? Walker suggests browsing YouTube for a butt lift video that looks fun to you. Or you can turn on your fave exercise playlist and get your sweat on with her butt-strengthening circuit workout. Grab a light or medium set of weights and a timer, then do each of the below moves for 30 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat the entire circuit three times.
- Side-to-side cha cha
- Alternating side lunge
- Squat to press
- Cha cha while holding your weights
- Alternating front lunge with bicep curls
- Squat to left-arm press
- Cha cha while holding your weights
- Alternating back lunge with bicep curls
- Squat to right-arm press
Another option? Try a DIY Brazilian butt lift workout by mixing and matching your favorite of the below exercises from Niren and Gambee for a custom sequence, incorporating dumbbells, resistance bands, or other equipment if you want an added challenge. If you’re looking to train your butt on the regular, Niren recommends doing these workouts three to four times a week with rest days in between to let your body recover.
- Squat with a kickback
- Glute bridge
- Speed skaters
- Relevé plié
- Lunges or lunge kicks
- Standing side kicks
- Dumbbell hip thrust
- Box/bench step-ups
- Leg lifts
- Split squat
Krzysztofik, M. (2019). Maximizing Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review of Advanced Resistance Training Techniques and Methods. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6950543/
Sharma, A. (2006). Exercise for Mental Health. The Primary Care Companion to The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470658/
Lisa Niren, a NASM-certified personal trainer
Donna Walker, a NASM-certified personal trainer, corrective exercise specialist, and fitness instructor