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Our Favorite Bodyweight Butt Lifting Exercises

If you’ve been doing squats for days but still can't seem to get that perky, toned bum you've always dreamed of, we've got just the thing for you. Today, we're diving into our favorite bodyweight butt lifting exercises to give your glutes the lift and definition they deserve.

Glutes are the foundation of youth

When it comes to an attractive, healthy physique, your glutes are the cornerstone. Not only do glutes make those jeans look divine, but strong, flexible glutes are also crucial for better posture, enhanced sports performance, and even reduced lower back pain. 

Setting up for success

Let's set the stage before we jump into these butt lifting exercises. You'll need some space—your living room floor will do—and maybe a mat if you have one.

The 4 Butt lifting exercises to include in your workouts

1. Reverse lunge

    Reverse lunges are an excellent way to target each glute individually. But it takes a few tweaks to isolate the focus on glutes instead of quads.

    Start position

    Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands on your hips or clasped in front of you. Take a step back with your right leg.

    Bend both knees to descend toward the ground

    The secret sauce comes in here: lean your upper body slightly forward. This forward lean is crucial for maximum glute activation.

    Push up

    Powerfully push through the heel of your front foot to return to your starting position.

    Complete 15-20 reps on one side before switching to the other leg.

    Common mistakes and solutions

    Mistake: Too upright, which shifts the focus to the quads.
    Solution: A slight forward lean to engage the glutes effectively.

    Harder version

    Elevate your front foot on a low platform or step for a challenging variation. This will deepen the lunge, recruiting more muscle fibers in your glutes. You can also have most of your weight on the front leg.

    Easier version:

    Start with a static split squat. Assume the lunge position and simply lower and raise your body without stepping back each time.

    2. Single-leg Romanian deadlift

    Not only does this dynamite exercise work your glutes, but it's also a stellar way to engage those hamstrings and improve balance. 

    Start position 

    Stand on one leg with the other slightly off the ground. Keep your core engaged and your back straight. 

    Keep a slight bend in your standing knee, hinge at the hips, and drive your bum back. Extend the leg behind you.

    Feel the stretch

    At the bottom of the movement, you should feel a good stretch in your hamstrings. Imagine balancing a glass of your finest wine on your hips, keeping those hips level.

    There's no need to touch the ground here. Aim for your palms to reach the middle of your shins before heading back up.


    Power through the heel of your standing foot to rise back to your starting position. It helps to think you’re pushing the ground away on the way up.

    Aim for 12-15 reps on each leg.

    Common mistakes and solutions

    Mistake: Hips open up or dip down.
    Solution: Keep your hips level by picturing that glass of wine on your hips. Spilling is not an option here, friends.

    Mistake: Not feeling the stretch.
    Solution: Ensure you're hinging at the hips and not just bending at the waist. This isn't a bow; it's a hinge.

    Harder version

    Slow the descent. And add weights once ready.

    Easier version

    Support yourself by touching a wall or holding a chair.

    3. Single-leg hip bridge

    This one's a staple for isolating the glutes while giving a nod to your core stability. 

    Start position

    Lie on your back with one foot flat on the ground and the other raised, keeping your knee bent at 90 degrees. 

    Press through the heel of your grounded foot to lift your hips toward the ceiling.

    Full extension

    Extend your hips until it's in line with your knee and shoulder, and feel that glute contract like you're cracking a walnut.

    Slowly lower your hips back to the starting position without touching the ground.

    Go for 15-20 reps per side.

    Common mistakes and solutions

    Mistake: Using the momentum from the elevated leg.
    Solution: Slow down and concentrate on contracting the glute of the supporting leg.

    Mistake: Low back arch at the top.
    Solution: Engage your core and tuck your hips under. Think you’re trying to reach the tailbone to your knee.

    Harder version

    Hug the top leg to your chest to isolate the glute.

    Easier version

    If the single-leg version is too challenging at first, you can use the ball of the foot from the elevated leg for added support.

    4. Side lying hip raise

    This exercise hits the gluteus medius and engages the gluteus maximus, giving you a comprehensive glute workout perfect for building that lifted and rounded look.

    Start position

    Begin in a side plank position on your elbow, keeping your hips and knees touching the ground.

    Push through the grounded knee to elevate your hips as high as possible, aiming for maximum hip separation.

    Top position

    Once you've reached the top, focus on driving your hips forward. Keep the core engaged to avoid excessive low back arch.

    Lower your hips back down, sinking them back towards the ground at the bottom of the movement.

    Common mistakes and solutions

    Mistake: Not achieving full hip extension at the top.
    Solution: Push through the grounded knee and aim to get your hips as high as possible.

    Mistake: Not sinking hips back at the bottom.
    Solution: As you lower, sink the hips back to engage the entire glute area.

    For a defined bum, hit the glutes from every angle

    Start incorporating these butt lifting exercises into your routine, and you'll be flaunting toned glutes in no time. By sticking to this guide, you will improve your booty game and have a newfound appreciation for the power of bodyweight exercises.

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