Got booty goals? Learn how to build a better butt with this easy-to-follow 21-Day Butt Challenge. Squat, lunge and jump your way to the firm and toned backside you always wanted!
In order to build your best butt you have to make sure to work all the muscles that make up and are nearby your behind. You may not know that there are several muscles that make up your “glutes” and each one serves a different purpose in function (as well as appearance!).
Gluteus Maximus – The gluteus maximus are the largest muscles in your body and are responsible for leg extension, or the upward movement of a squat, or coming up from a seated position.
Gluteus Medius – The middle-sized glute muscles are responsible for internal and external rotation from your hips, and are worked in exercises like sumo (or plié) squats.
Gluteus Minimus – The smallest of the three, the gluteus minimus, are also contributors to rotation from the hip, but are also an important stabilizer for your hips as well as abductors of the leg (muscles that move the leg away from the body). They can be worked in more isolated type exercises like a lying side leg lift.
This 21 Day Butt Challenge will work all of these muscles and then some to give you the strongest and shapeliest backside you’ve ever had!
Start by standing with feet wider than shoulder-width apart. Rotate from your hips to open the knees and keep your toes out to the side. (The knees and toes should be pointing in the same direction.)
Depending on your strength, place your hands on your hips, or hold a 10-30 lb dumbbell at your chest for more of a challenge. Keeping your spine straight, lower your hips down, as if you were sliding your back down a wall.
Keep your weight in your heels, and focus on using your inner and outer glutes to press back up to standing, straightening the knees.
This exercise works the muscles in the glutes that are responsible for rotation in the hips, these are the maximus medius.
Front & Rear Lunge
Start by standing with your feet hip-distance apart and placing your hands on your hips, or holding onto dumbbells if you’re more advanced.
Step your RIGHT foot forward into a front lunge, making sure your weight doesn’t go into your toes, press back and up to your standing position, and step the same foot BACK into a rear lunge, this time keeping the weight in the opposite front heel. Step back to the center for ONE repetition.
Continue stepping the RIGHT foot forward and back until you complete all repetitions, and then switch sides.
Side to Side Squats
If you have a resistance band, you can tie it in a loop and place it around your legs, just under your knee joint. Start with your feet hip-distance apart, and hands on your hips (or holding dumbbells at your sides, if you’re advanced).
Step your RIGHT foot out to the side, so that your feet are shoulder-width apart. Sit your hips back as if sitting into chair, then press through your heels to come back up to standing, stepping the feet back hip-distance apart, and squeezing your glutes at the top.
Repeat, stepping the LEFT leg out to the side, and then coming back to center, for ONE repetition.
These squats are great to work the inner and outer thighs, know as the adductors and abductors, respectively, as well as the gluteus maximus. The adductors and abductors are important in forming a proportional booty from all sides.
Resistance Band Glute Kick Back
Grab a resistance band and come down to your mat onto all fours. Holding onto the handles, wrap the band under the arch of your RIGHT foot.
Engage your abs and obliques as you slightly shift your weight to the LEFT, but keep your hips steady. Leading with the heel, press the RIGHT leg back so that it is parallel to the floor or just slightly higher.
With control, bring the knee back in and repeat. Switch legs once you complete all repetitions on the right.
This exercise works both the gluteus maximus and gluteus minimus, helping to build a nice round derriere.
Start on your back, on your mat, with your feet close in by your hips, parallel and hip-distance apart.
Press your weight into your heels and engage your abdominals as you lift your hips off the ground to create a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Hold this position, squeezing your glutes.
Slightly shift your weight into your RIGHT heel as you lift your LEFT knee up. Be sure to keep your hips as steady as possibly as your lower your LEFT foot back down to your bridge. Repeat, lifting the RIGHT leg for ONE repetition. Complete all repetitions without lowering the hips and keeping them as steady as possible.
These walking bridges really work the gluteus minimus, which are the bottom butt muscles that are responsible for giving you a nice lifted behind.
If you’re using a resistance band, tie it back into a loop again and place it around your ankles. Start by standing, and shift your weight into your LEFT leg, slightly extending your RIGHT foot behind you so that your leg is straight, toes pointed, and your toes are just resting on the floor.
Engage your glutes and use them to press the leg straight back behind you, squeezing your glutes at the top. Complete all repetitions and then repeat with the LEFT leg.
This is a small but mighty exercise. It doesn’t require a large range of motion, but when done correctly, you can really feel those glutes working!
The 21 Day Challenge
Complete each exercise with the designated repetitions and sets for each day. You’ll get extra credit if you add in cardio on your “rest days.” Just remember to take at least one rest day each week.
(Your Next Workout: 8 Exercises to Tone Your Butt That Aren’t Squats)