Motivation can be a fleeting thing. Some days you’re up at 5am ready to absolutely crush your workout and take on the day. While other days can be, well, not so motivating. Aka are spent...
I think you’ll agree with us when we say that booty workouts are queen. And to be honest, we are here for it. Subjective aesthetics aside though, a strong booty also means a totally leveled up health game! It’s funny. Sometimes we tend to put so much focus on the end result (re: how we want to look), we totally forget about the actual health benefits of exercising. A powerful booty can help support your back and boost your gains in many other areas as it contains such a large group of muscles.
We’ve curated our top 5 exercises to get a curvy booty in today’s blog post. Include these booty-building options in your next leg day routine and thank us later. Sorry not sorry if it causes a two-day, “I cannot take the stairs, my legs are jelly” scene.
Psst: be sure to check out this glute activation blog post to ensure you fire up those glutes before your workout.
Ok, let’s get into it. Here are our top five exercises to get a bubble butt:
1. Hip Thrusts
Nope, we’re not talking about those Friday night dance floor hip thrusts (although they can be fun, too). We’re all about one of the best exercises you can do to get that strong, curvy booty. Hip thrusts pack a powerful punch as they work the largest muscles in your body. Think gluteus maximus, quads, hamstrings and adductors all at the same time. Phew! Legs shaking yet?
Before we get into it, let’s talk about the difference between hip thrusts and glute bridges because they’re both very similar, but not identical. Although they both seemingly involve driving your hips towards the ceiling, the glue bridge is usually performed on the floor, while hip thrusts are done using a bench or slightly elevated surface. Why use a bench? Well, this will allow for a greater range of motion and more room to work with weights, like a barbell.
As always, form is so important. Here’s how to totally smash your hip thrusts:
Sit on the floor with your shoulder blades against a bench or elevated surface like a step or couch if you’re at home. Be sure to balance your weight on your hips if you’re using a barbell or dumbbells.
*Important* keeping your chin tucked in, push up through your hips to lift your bum off of the ground. Avoid looking up at the ceiling as best you can.
With your hips, knees and shoulders in a straight line, squeeze and hold your bum at the top for three seconds.
- Slow and controlled, lower your body back down to the floor.
Soleil Squad tips:
- Play around with the level of elevation that feels most comfortable. Generally, the edge of the bench should be around your mid to upper back.
- Be sure your back is supported and the elevated surface can handle your weight plus your barbell weight.
- Use a barbell cushion to take the pressure off of your hips
- Remember to breathe! Take a deep breath in, explode up by pushing your bum through your heels, squeeze, hold, slowly lower back down.
- If you do not have a neutral form when raising your hips, your bum may be too high. Ensure that you're squeezing otherwise your back will be doing most of the work.
- We recommend 3 sets of 12 reps or 4 sets of 10 reps, depending on the weight you’re using. The ladder using heavier weights.
PSA: you do not need to start off with a weighted barbell if this is your first time performing a hip thrust. Just using your body weight is a great way to get your form on point. When that feels comfortable, introduce a resistance band and place it just above your knees. Simply push your knees out, squeeze your bum and slowly lower your body.
2. Sumo Deadlifts
No doubt you have seen all of the top fitness influencers include some variation of deadlifts into their leg day carousel posts. Spoiler alert! That’s because deadlifts are one of the absolute best exercises to grow your peachy booty. We’ve included two variations in this list, but in truth, any form of deadlift will be worth including in your booty-growing routine.
Sumo deadlifts are on the list because we wanted to introduce a mobility-friendly exercise into the mix. This exercise requires a wider stance and narrow weight grasp, which places less pressure on the lower back and more on your shoulders.
Here’s how to perform a perfect, mobility-friendly sumo deadlift:
- Place your feet wider than hip-width apart with your toes turned outwards.
- Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell with your palms facing towards you
- As you bend your knees, hinge at your hips while lowering your torso. Back should be kept in a neutral, straight position while you're almost parallel to the floor. Position your arms close to your chest.
- Now, pushing through the heels of your feet, push your hips forward and squeeze your glutes.
- Slowly raise your body back into the starting position.
Soleil Squad tip:
- Experiment with different weights here. Some people swear by a kettlebell, while others are die-hard dumbbell fans. It all comes down to what is most comfortable to you.
There’s a common thread in this coveted booty-growing list of ours. Have you guessed what it is yet? If you said “but all of these exercises are targeting other leg muscles too, not just glutes!” Then you’d be right on the money. Why? Simply put, working major muscle groups like quads, hammies and glutes at the same time can yield amazing results. Not only will it give you the perky butt of your dreams, but also strengthen and elongate those beautiful legs of yours too. Win win, right? We thought so too. On to deadlift variation numero two.
Our top tips on how to execute stiff legged deadlifts.
- Stand up straight, feet hip-width apart with a slight bend in your knees.
- For the weight, you can either use dumbbells or a barbell. If you’re using dumbbells, hold each weight in front of your thighs with your palms facing backwards. Barbell? Essentially place the bar in the same position with palms facing backwards.
- Keeping your back as straight as possible, hinge at your hips as you lower your dumbbells over the tops of your feet. Continue as far as you can go until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings, but don’t overdo it.
- Squeeze your glutes, push your hips forward as you slowly come up to the starting position.
Soleil Squad Tip:
- Remember to keep your legs as straight as possible and hinge at your hips. If you feel lower back pain, decrease your weight.
4. Bulgarian Split Squats
Ah, bulgarian split squats. Don’t you just love to hate these bad boys? They’re kind of like the burpee of HIIT workouts as they’re oh so painful but get the job done! Trust us though, this leg-shaking move is worth every second if you want to fire up those glutes.
Like most of the exercises on this list, bulgarian split squats targets the glutes, quads and hamstrings plus it totally engages your core. We love this one especially for it’s “side booty” (aka gluteus medius) growing powers which can be so difficult to target.
Let’s ignite that side booty:
- Stand facing away from a bench (or step/elevated surface) with your left leg extended back and the top of your foot resting on the top of the bench, so you’re left standing on your right leg. Dumbbell is placed in your left hand.
- Bend your front (right) knee until the knee of the rear (left) leg is almost touching the floor. Slowly return to the starting position.
- Repeat until you’ve reached your desired number of reps
- Switch legs
Soleil Squad Tips:
- Always keep a close eye on your front knee, try not to let it go beyond your toes of your forward foot.
- You’ll want to play around with your footing with this one. Sometimes you’ll need to adjust the position of your back foot (the one placed on the bench) to ensure it feels comfortable. But don’t worry, it just takes some practice to nail the right position.
5. Glute Bridges
While glute bridges and hip thrusts are similar, trust and believe, this booty-building exercise is definitely a worthy addition to this list. Glute muscles? Check. Core stability? Double check. These babies will improve your core stabilization plus strengthen the muscles in your posterior chain aka your entire backside.
This is how we do it:
- Lay down on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on your mat. Place your feet hip width apart, toes pointed straight ahead, heels about 6 inches away from your glutes. Place your arms by your sides with your palms turned up toward the ceiling.
- Squeeze your glutes and abs as you start to lift your hips towards the ceiling.
- Without arching your back, raise your hips as high as you can.
- Now squeeze your glutes tight, pause for two-three seconds
- Slowly lower your hips down to your mat. Remember to keep tension in your glutes and abs as your lower your body down.
Soleil Squad Tips:
Bonus: Walking lunges
We love this for you if you want to grow a curvy booty, improve your balance, increase your core strength all while adding in some cheeky cardio. As this is a dynamic exercise, you’ll no doubt get your heartrate up in addition to growing your booty.
Let’s get it! Here’s how to do the perfect walking lunge:
- Start by standing with your feet about hip-width apart. Be sure to pause and check your posture here. Is your torso upright and tall? Shoulders back? Chin lifted, looking straight ahead? Core engaged?
- Take a wide step (about 2 feet) forward with your right foot, allowing your left heel to lift naturally as you step forward.
- With an engaged core, bend both knees and lower your back knee forward to the floor. Avoid leaning your torso forward from your hips as you take this step.
- Continue stepping forward, alternating sides as you do.
Soleil Squad tip:
- Place your hands on your hips or swing your arms naturally as you take each step. This will help you with your balance
- Balance a little off? Pause at the top, regain your balance and continue.
There you have it, five exercises to totally fire up your glutes so that you can get a curvy booty. Plus one bonus, just for fun. Which one is your favourite? Do you think we’ve missed any? Meet us over on the ‘gram and let us know by commenting on our latest post.