Bubble butts and booty trends may come and go, but one thing never goes out of style: a firm, lifted backside. The truth is, your gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in your body, so strengthening and firming your rear does more for you than just help you look hot in a pair of jeans. Glute strength can help reduce hip and knee pain and protect your back from injury; it also improves your athletic performance in nearly any workout. In this article we’ll explain how the glute muscles work, why strong glutes are important, and how to achieve that toned and lifted bubble butt with exercise, not over-the-top medical procedures. (Yep, butt enhancement surgeries are one of the most common plastic surgery procedures around…and totally unnecessary!) At the end of this article we’ll give you seven of the best exercises to go from flat butt to firm, lifted booty.
What Muscles To Work If You Want a Firm Butt
When you think of toning your butt, you may picture the actual butt cheek itself, but there are actually a few different muscles responsible for creating a firm, lifted appearance. There are three muscles that make up your rear:
- the gluteus maximus: the largest muscle in you body, which produces the shape of the buttocks and helps with hip and thigh movement.
- the gluteus medius: a fan-shaped muscle that assists in hip rotation.
- the gluteus minimus: muscle that helps with thigh rotation.
Your hamstrings also extend up towards your glute muscles, making them an important muscle to include in your next butt workout. Hamstrings are a frequently overlooked muscle, but you need strong hamstrings to not only prevent injury to your hips but also create a lean, tight backside.
Why Glute Strength Is Important
All talk of bubble butts aside, glute strength is important for overall strength and fitness. As mentioned, your glutes are the largest muscle in your body, and they’re crucial for so many different movements concerning your hips and thighs. Here are three reasons you need glute strength:
1. Improves Your Posture
Most of us sit for long periods of time for work and this causes the glute muscles to “turn off” so to speak. When our glutes aren’t firing effectively, our hip flexors tighten and shorten, which not only increases the chances for injuries to our hips and knees, but can cause what’s known as “postural deviations” such as slouching. Strong, activated glute muscles prevent this from happening and keep our postural alignment upright and healthy.
2. Reduces hip/back/knee pain
Strong glutes stabilize your pelvis and help protect your hips from injury. Similarly, when your hips are protected, your lower back is also free of pain. When your pelvis is stable, it also takes the pressure off your knees and ankles, which can overcompensate otherwise. All around, strong glutes lead to a pain-free body.
Related: How To Treat Hip Pain
3. Improves Athletic Performance
Strong glutes are also key to athleticism: they boost your agility, speed, and overall athletic performance. Especially if you’re a runner, strong glutes help propel you farther and faster, not to mention they reduce the impact your feet have to take every time they strike the ground.
7 Exercises To Go From Flat To Firm Butt
Now that you know the importance of working your glute muscles aside from that coveted bubble butt appearance, here are the seven exercises that will take your butt from flat to firm, lifted, and strong. Squats are known for their ability to build beautiful backsides, but we’ve also added plyometric movements to this workout—plyometrics make a huge difference in building muscle quickly.
You can incorporate these movements into your existing workouts, or do them all together for one killer, butt-kicking workout! If you do them all together, perform 8-10 repetitions of each exercise. These moves are all bodyweight except for the resistance band butt blaster—but this move can be modified without the resistance band, too.
1. Basic Squat
3. Jump Squats
4. Resistance Band Butt Blaster
Click here to learn how to do a resistance band butt blaster. (You don’t have to use a resistance band if you don’t have one; it can easily be modified as bodyweight-only).
5. Glute Bridges
6. Plié Squats
7. Cross Behind Lunges
Want to save these moves so you always know what exercises to do for a better butt? Download or print it here: