Fitness

11 Glute Exercises That Strengthen Your Butt

Work that peach.

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Butt workouts do more than make your booty look good. Having a strong bum also helps improve posture, reduce back pain, and boost your overall athletic ability, says expert trainer Nikki Kimbrough. Here are 11 staple glute exercises for your lower body days.

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Classic Squats

Trainer Christina Friedman loves a classic squat to work the glutes. “The secret is to squat low, where your thighs go past parallel to the ground,” she says. Hold weights in both hands for added intensity.

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Clamshells

Trainer Kim D’Agnese says the clamshell works your bum and strengthens your hips. Lie on your side with your knees bent and your top hand on your hip. As you flex your feet, squeeze your heels together and lift your top knee to the ceiling, then lower back down.

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Split Squats

To try Mel Austria’s go-to, stand in front of a chair or couch. In a lunge, lift your back leg, and rest the top of your foot on the elevated surface. Stay upright as you lunge down with your weight on your front leg, then lift back up. Add weights for an extra burn.

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Barre Foldovers

If you have a barre (or counter), trainer Andrea Rogers suggests doing a “foldover.” Fold elbows on the barre, bend your knees, keep your hips square, and extend one leg back. Slowly lift and lower your straight leg to sculpt your glutes and core.

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Band Squat

Adding a thick band will engage your abductor muscles, says Kimbrough. Stand with feet hip-width apart with the band around your legs, right above or below the knees. Lower into a squat. Hold for a breath, then engage your glutes as you rise back up.

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Lateral Band Squat Walk

This squat variation also works the abductors, says Kimbrough. In a squat with a resistance band around your legs, lift your left foot, and take a wide step left. Move right foot so feet are hip-width apart again. Walk to one side then switch to the other.

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Kettlebell Lifts

Trainer Morgan Rees suggests using a kettlebell for added strength in your glutes. Place a heavy weight between feet spaced wide apart, toes out. As hips go back, grab the weight with a flat back, push through heels to standing position. Bend knees, lower weight.

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Glute Lift Planks

D'Agnese recommends this move to target your core and glutes all at once. From a plank — with your abs pulled in and back straight — lift one leg and pulse the heel to the ceiling. Switch sides.

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Jump Squats

Trainer Tony Hill’s glute exercise pick uses explosive power while giving you a boost of cardio. With your legs together, squat, jump up, then land with legs open. Bend knees upon landing.

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Glute Bridges

Equinox trainers Michelle Razavi and Nikki Elliot both love glute bridges, which hit all three glute muscles plus your hamstrings. Lie on your back with feet flat, hip-width apart. Tuck pelvis, press through heels, engage glutes, and lift hips while engaging core.

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Mountain Climbers

Hill says mountain climbers target the entire body and count as cardio. Start in a plank with hands shoulder-width apart. Pull right knee to chest, then pull left knee to chest. Keep your back flat and neck neutral as you alternate as quickly as possible.

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