How to Tone Your Butt: 9 Exercises to Workout Your Glutes

For men it often seems that the body parts we want to focus most on in the gym include our abs, arms, and chest. However, for the ladies, while they also want great looking abs, their focus also encompasses mainly the legs and the glutes. Having a well-developed backside, can make all of those tight jeans fit better and also make you a stronger, more capable athlete. While a great body is indeed made in the kitchen through proper diet, using exercises in order to tone your butt and really give the glutes a challenging workout is also necessary. It isn’t easy work by any means but if you include these exercises into your routine you can indeed get the size and shape that you want.


Squats are one of the best exercises you can do period. Not only are the thighs strengthened and shaped but also the glutes. The amount of depth and the stance that is used will determine what muscles get specifically recruited to perform the movement. In order to tone your butt, use a deep squat and utilize the glute muscles to help push the weight up. Make sure that you learn proper form because it can both help to work the muscles and prevent injury.

Step Ups

Step Ups are one of my favorite exercises to do. While this exercise really targets the quadriceps, it also helps to shape the butt as well. It can be rather exhausting, stepping up and down off of a platform while holding two dumbbells in your hands, so be ready for an elevated heart rate as if you just ran.

Wide Leg Squats

One variation of the squat movement with a wider stance that emphasizes different areas.


Deadlifts are probably the best exercise you can do for total body development because it incorporates so many different muscle groups. The lower back and hamstrings really get a great workout as does the glutes. However, this exercise is to be done with caution, great form is needed to perform correctly and to prevent injury.  If you cannot learn the correct form, skip this altogether, but if you can learn from a trainer how to perform this  movement it might be best to start with light weights until you have it down pat.


I see people doing lunges all the time either with weights or without them while walking on the track. Keeping a strict movement is important when doing lunges because it can really target the glutes and the hamstrings, giving you a great butt and thighs.


A great isolation exercise that requires no equipment. Simply lie on your back and elevate your hips towards the ceiling, almost creating an arch with your back. On the way up, squeeze the glutes and return your hips back to the floor. This is a great movement I got from Insanity: The Asylum’s Back to Core workout.

Hamstring Curls

Hamstring curl machines are usually found at most gyms but it doesn’t seem like enough people use them. A lying hamstring curl does indeed specifically hit the back of your legs but the curl movement also uses the glutes and can help further develop your butt.

Leg Press

Leg presses are great because it gives you control of how you want to target your legs and glutes and the range of motion on this machine really helps to achieve depth that will hit the backside and help to create the tone we are looking for.

Incline Cardio

Incline cardio such as walking on a treadmill or hitting the stair stepper is ideal for our purposes of trying to firm the buttocks. The specific angle you use will determine what parts of your legs and glutes are being recruited to perform the exercise and we also get the added benefit of burning off lots of calories while we do our cardio.

It is a good idea to incorporate these exercises into your workouts in order to help tone and perhaps even to round out your glutes. The most important thing when doing these exercises is to focus on mastering the proper technique, even if it means using lighter weights initially. If you focus on really working the muscle and making it contract, then that is what will help to shape and lift your butt. Like I wrote before, the diet is most important of all, because if you don’t watch what you eat you’ll have a great butt that won’t be seen under the layers of fat. Get to work, have patience, and the results will follow.

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