Your not happy with your butt or you wouldn’t be reading this. Don’t feel bad, most of us aren’t. Either your butt is too small, too big, too saggy, too flabby, too not you. The correct cardio exercise combined with weight training activities (like squats and deadlifts) and other types of exercises can make a difference in your backside, depending on your body type and genetics. You may be blessed with bad genetics, however you can enhance what you have.

In the following I have included some good exercises for your butt. If you are using a stationary cardio machine I recommend an elliptical cross trainer verses the old standby treadmill. I do not allow any of my personal clients to use a treadmill, as there is a certain susceptibility to obtaining shin splints due to the pounding impact.

Please note that the body is a giant group if interconnecting muscles and it is necessary to work more then just your gluteus maximus to obtain the butt you want. You will discover the most effective exercises are compound exercises.

Lunges are a challenging exercise as they work so many muscles at the same time. On the front leg, you’ll work the gluts and hamstrings and, on the back leg, you’ll work the quads and calves. One thing I like about lunges is that you may mix then up with different range of motion in execution. You may do front lunges, side lunges, walking lunge, reverse lunge, or a hoping lunge. You can also elevate the back foot on a step or platform to really challenge both legs. This is a fantastic exercise for the glutes and thighs, however this may aggravate some peoples knees. If it does bother you stop. There are many other exercises that you may do that will get the job done.

Squats are one that will work and are of the best exercises you can do for your hips, butt and thighs. They are a functional exercise, helping us build strength for a variety of daily activities and an overall day-to-day injury preventer.

To execute a proper squat stand with feet hip-width apart, bend the knees, and lower into a squat, keeping the knees behind the toes. Imagine that you’re sticking your butt out behind you, but keep the torso upright and contracted. For an added challenges hold a set of dumb bells when you do them or if you are in the gym place a versa bar or barbell on your shoulders. Press into the heels to stand up and you should feel it in your butt when you stand.

Step-ups are a fantastic exercise for the glutes. To execute place one foot on a step or platform (Anything solid) and push through the heel to lift the body up. As a beginner you will use a lower step. As you progress you will want to use a higher step. Concentrate all your weight on the stepping leg for full effectiveness. In other words, lower down gently, barely touching the toes of the other leg to the ground. You’ll really feel this when you take it slow and concentrate on the working leg.

The hip extension is an exercise that specifically targets your butt. Lay face down and place yourself in a pushup position. Now bring the leg into your body and then move it back and up as high as you can. You may for an additional challenge place a dumbbell in the bend of your knee or wear ankle weights. Repeat this for 15 repetitions on each side independently and switch to the other leg. Perform this 3 times.

Deadlifts are great for your hamstrings, butt and lower back, but this one-legged version is a great way to add intensity to the exercise and engage your stabilizer muscles to keep your body balanced. Form is critical and you should skip this exercise if you have any back problems. If you are able to perform this it will increase your balance and stability as an added benefit.

To do this move, take the left leg back just a bit, lightly resting on the toe. With the weights in front of the thighs, tip from the hips and lower the weights as low as your flexibility allows. Keep your back flat or with a natural arch and make sure you keep the abs contracted to protect the back. Squeeze the gluts of the working leg to raise back up. Do 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps.

Hiking is a good activity that will also burn lots calories. Not only will you get to see lots of nature, tone up your legs and backside, a 140-lb person burns about 390 calories in about an hour!

Riding a bike is great as it targets almost every muscle in your hips, thighs and butt. On a stationary bike, alternate 3 minutes at 70-80 RPM with 2 minutes at 100-110 RPM for a calorie-blasting 30-minute workout. You can also try Spinning at the gym or riding outside. Increase your resistance and stand up to really work your gluts. A 140-lb person burns 335 calories in 45 minutes. Biking outside if fun and you get all of the fresh air.

Running is fairly easy, you can do it without a major investment and it really works your butt, especially when you add a few hills to your regular running route. You can incorporate walking into it, throw in some intermittent sprints and you have a serious calorie burn while tightening your butt. A 140-lb person burns 475 calories during a 45-minute jog.

Walking is easy as well. We do it everyday of our lives, just not enough. You can do it anywhere, anytime without special equipment. There’s not a learning curve and it’s something you can incorporate all day long. You can even incorporate it into running. If you walk up hills, you can really target your gluts and, if you pick up the intensity, you’ll burn more calories, which can help if you’re trying to lose body fat. A 140-lb person burns about 300 calories an hour during a brisk walk.

Kickboxing is one of my favorites and is an excellent workout for the entire body, including the hips gluts and thighs. An added plus is that it will release frustrations and stress in a big way. Controlled front kicks, roundhouses, side kicks and back kicks work your hips, thighs and butt while complex combinations that include punches will target your abs to make them stronger. A 140-lb woman will burn up to 500 calories with 45 minutes of kickboxing.

Greg Burkett “Greg The Trainer” is a Personal Fitness Advisor in the Orange County area. For information call Greg at 550-0777 or e-mail

About Greg Burkett

Fitness CounselorPersonal Trainer/MasseurMultiple Certifications