The Best Workouts and Gym Equipment for Your Booty

Female deadlifting

Between Kim Kardashian West, Kylie Jenner, Emily Ratajkowski, and just about every other influencer taking over Instagram with their “belfies” (read: butt selfies), the desire for a well-toned bottom is hard to escape.

Looking to join the club, or simply looking to focus more on lower-body exercises? Look no further. We’ve compiled the best cardio workouts, gym equipment, and strength training to help you reach your #bootygoals. Combining fat-blasting cardio with resistance moves will earn you the butt of your dreams.

Shaping your body with booty-specific workouts starts with understanding the muscle group that comprises your behind. You’ve likely heard of the gluteus maximus, but did you know there’s also a gluteus medius and gluteus minimus back there?

Incorporating exercises that target all three muscles is key to creating the shape you want.

  • Gluteus maximus: This is the largest muscle in your body. The main role of the “G-max” is thigh extension, such as rising from a squat or driving your legs while sprinting.
  • Gluteus medius: The “G-med” can be found on the outer and upper region of your booty and supports thigh adduction and rotation.
  • Gluteus minimus: The “G-min” serves a similar function to the “G-med” in powering thigh adduction and rotation movements.

The Best Cardio Workouts and Gym Equipment For Your Booty 

Unfortunately, you cannot shape fat. Your best shot at shaping your glute muscles starts with working them out. Luckily, these cardio workouts will leave your butt feeling firm and on fire.


Marrying the action of stair-stepping and running, using an elliptical machine is a prime cardio option for targeting your glutes. Go to your local gym to give it a try.

Start by putting the focus on your glute and hamstring muscles by steadily ramping up the incline of the elliptical. Vary your incline and speed over a 30-minute period for a killer booty workout. Push down with your heels and pop your butt out during every gliding movement to increase the burn. If you start gravitating toward the elliptical every time you need cardio, consider bringing the workout home. Ellipticals, like treadmills and StairMasters, are great home workout machines for working the lower body.


female on the stairclimber machine

Do your legs ever feel tingly or tired after walking up a flight of stairs? A StairMaster machine mimics this movement over and over. The machine is essentially a staircase on a conveyor with handrails along the sides. You can track your workout by time, speed, or number of floors you’ve climbed. Just 10 minutes will leave your legs burning.

When you’ve worked your way up to a 20- or 30-minute session, you can add in extra butt-boosting moves like kickbacks and side steps. Kickbacks can be achieved by alternating between taking a step and kicking your leg out behind you. Side steps involve holding onto one of the StairMaster handles with both hands and turning your body sideways as you move up the steps. Due to the repetitive nature of stair climbing, come prepared with an awesome playlist or podcast to keep you motivated.


Riding a stationary floor bike provides a great cardiovascular workout, but if you really want to focus on your booty, stand up (while riding the bike, that is). When you extend your legs while riding a bike, you are putting your body in a prime squatting position.

Next time you hop on a stationary bike, put the pedal to the metal by switching between sitting and standing positions while you crank out a few miles. If your body feels ready to quit after a few minutes, try signing up for a spin class. Putting yourself in an atmosphere with an enthusiastic teacher, motivating music, and a sprinkle of competition with other class members could be just what you need to cross the finish line.

Incline walking

If you’re looking for a bare-bones workout, walking on an incline is as simple as it gets. All you need is a street or trail with a progressive incline to get your booty burning. Take a few “laps” up and down the hill if it’s a relatively short distance to ensure you’re getting a full workout.

The best strength training moves for building your butt

Cardio is a crucial part of the booty-building process, but if your goal is a bigger butt, strength training is what will produce real results. Lifting heavy weights and performing compound movements helps you gain muscle and build a bigger booty. To ensure proper form and avoid injury, make sure you master each move without any weights before adding on equipment.

Barbell thrust

Ready to target your gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, quadriceps, and hamstrings all at the same time? For this move, you will need a barbell and a bench. Make sure you have a properly padded cover to place between your hips and the center portion of the barbell to avoid putting too much pressure on your body.

To perform the move, begin by placing your back against the bench. Your shoulder blades should be touching the seam of the bench. Place the padded portion of the barbell across your hips. Dig your feet squarely into the ground near your glutes and push your hips upward while engaging your core. Hold the move for three to five seconds, then lower yourself back into the starting position. Repeat eight reps for a complete set, and perform up to three sets. You could also use a Smith machine, single dumbbell, or kettlebell to complete this move.  

Sumo squat

The sumo squat is a variation on the traditional squat in which your legs and toes are positioned outward to the left and right rather than forward. Doing so allows your glutes to take on the brunt of the work, rather than the quadriceps.

To begin, place a barbell squarely across your shoulders while in a standing position. Point your toes outward as far as you comfortably can. Keep your spine and back neutral while slowly bending your knees outward (your knees should always remain over your ankles). Sit back into a squat, squeeze your butt muscles, then rise back into your starting position. For an added burn, do a short pulse move by rising and lowering a few inches while in the squat stance. Shoot for three sets of 30 seconds of pulsing and work your way up.  


female doing lunges while holding barbell

Lunges are a fantastic move for firing up your glutes and working on stability. The staggered stance requires you to use your butt muscles to stabilize your movement.

To execute this move, grab two dumbbells and stand with one foot forward and one foot back. Bend your knees and lunge down, so your back knee nearly grazes the floor. Avoid lunging over the front knee. Press back in your heel to get back to the starting position. Repeat this movement for 10 reps with each leg for a serious burn. You can also use a barbell for this booty workout.


The deadlift is a prime example of a compound exercise since it utilizes multiple muscle groups at the same time. A basic deadlift is performed by standing with your feet about hip-width apart. With two dumbbells by your feet, start to bend your knees and hinge your hips to lower your body. Grab the weights while keeping your butt out and your back flat. Push through your heels and return to a standing position. Repeat that movement while keeping the weights in your hands and close to your shins as you hinge up and down. Squeeze your glutes at the top of each move. Complete five reps three to five times for a butt-building finisher.

The final word on building your booty

Pairing a variety of cardio workouts and gym equipment with a strength training program focused on glutes will help you maximize results so you can get the butt of your dreams. Incorporating variations of each move and workout will help challenge your body. Now that’s #bootygoals.

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