If you’re aiming to give your bum a new lease on life, then underbutt exercises are the way to go.
While a nice, firm bum is the aesthetic goal, it’s good to know that solid glute muscles have benefits well beyond how they look.
Working out while working from home or spending long days at the office can seem like a pain in the proverbial, but with a bit of adjustment to your schedule, you can have the butt crease of your dreams.
The glutes are responsible for enabling movement in your lower body and supporting your back, which can then impact your posture for better or worse.
9 Underbutt Exercises
I’ve prepared a list of my nine favorite underbutt exercises. You can do these both with and without weights to maximize your glute potential from the comfort of your own home!
Step-ups are an excellent alternative for those who struggle with doing squats. They involve the same movements, but you only use one leg, which puts less pressure on your lower back.
This workout not only focuses on your underbutt area but can also help develop impressive leg strength through the use of explosive movements.
- Stand in front of a bench, step, or stable chair
- Using dumbbells is optional. Hold them at your sides with arms straight down
- Place your left foot on the step so your leg is at a ninety-degree angle
- Place your weight on your left foot while you push through it and step up
- Do not touch the step with your right foot. Instead, bring your right knee directly to your chest
- Hold your knee up for a few seconds, then lower it back down to the floor
- Repeat until you finish your reps, then switch legs and repeat
Donkey kicks are an excellent underbutt exercise that helps develop and maintain core stability and balance.
This workout can also improve hip mobility and strengthen your back.
The movement involved is great for those who spend most of their day sitting at a desk, as this exercise pushes your body in the opposite direction.
- Get down on the floor with your hands and knees
- Keep your back straight and your chin slightly tucked at all times
- Bend one knee upward and lift your leg until it’s aligned with your back
- Make sure to squeeze your glutes as your leg rises
- Your other leg should be firmly at a 90-degree angle
- Lower your leg back down
- Do all of your reps, then repeat on with your other leg
Sumo squats are a compound exercise, meaning they work different muscles through multiple moves.
That said, the glutes are still the star of the show.
The wider stance puts more pressure on the glute and hip muscles, making it an effective underbutt exercise worth adding to any routine.
- Stand tall and position your feet wider than shoulder-width and point your toes outward at a 45-degree angle
- Rotate your hips outward as well
- Keep your core activated during this exercise
- Inhale and push your hips back and lower yourself into a squat position
- It’s essential to keep your core engaged with your knees and back straight at all times
- Exhale and return to standing
Fire Hydrant Kicks
Fire hydrant kicks, also known as quadruped hip abductions, primarily engage the hips and glutes and improve core and thigh strength.
Fire hydrant kicks are an approachable, low-impact exercise perfect for those who need lower back support as well as a sculpted underbutt area.
- Get down on your hands and knees with your back as flat as possible
- Your hands should be under your shoulders and knees placed hip-width apart
- Extend your left leg out to the side without lifting yet
- Brace your core and keep a flat spine while in motion
- Exhale and lift your left leg off the ground as much as possible without shifting your posture
- Squeeze your glutes while in the upward position
- Lower your leg back to the ground
- Repeat the motions until you finish your reps, then switch sides and repeat
This exercise has the highest potential for glute activation, according to a study in 2016 by Selkowitz, et al.
You can do hip thrusts using your body weight or with a barbell placed across the hips and held with the hands to keep in place.
I’ll highlight two different ways of performing a hip thrust; one from the floor and one from a bench.
I used to see the latter of the two a lot with ladies at the gym – of all ages too.
Floor Hip Thrust
- Lie flat on the floor with your feet shoulder-width apart
- Place your feet flat on the ground and push your hips up from your heels
- Raise your pelvis until your hips are fully extended upward
- Squeeze your glutes while your hips are raised
- Relax back into your neutral position, then repeat until your reps are done
Elevated Hip Thrust
- Lean your back against your chosen elevated surface
- Be sure to keep your shoulder blades clearly on the bench and your feet shoulder-width apart.
- You can splay your elbows across the surface to support your upper body.
- Plant your feet flat on the ground with your knees bent
- Tuck your chin and push through your feet
- Raise your hips until your legs are at a ninety-degree angle, and squeeze your glutes!
- Return to the starting position and repeat until your reps are done
Deadlifts are a great beginner exercise and, of course, are ideal for sculpting your bum.
Deadlifts have several benefits for the body, including increasing muscle mass, grip strength, strengthening the lower back muscles, improving posture, and helping develop stability.
Dumbbells or any suitable weights are a viable alternative to barbell weights at home. Or at a public or private gym.
You need to feel secure in the integrity of your lower back for this and keep it flat as you bend.
- Grab your set of dumbbells
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width or narrower
- Push your hips back while keeping a flat back
- Lower the dumbbells as close to your feet as you can while ensuring that your knees don’t bend more than minimally necessary
- Pause when lowered, then lift yourself back up and repeat the motions
Lunges can be more activating for your glutes, given you use correct posture and movement. As with deadlifts and squats, lunges can also help improve balance and stability.
Doing singular leg exercises can help identify differences in flexibility and muscle strength in either leg and balance those out.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart
- Shoulders should be square over the hips
- Place your hands on your hips and tuck your chin before moving
- Keep your back and chest straight while taking a step forward, landing on your heel first
- Lower your body until your back knee is nearly touching the ground – both legs should be at a ninety-degree angle
- Pause while in this position for a moment
- Push your forward foot into the ground and return to the upright position
- Repeat by switching sides immediately, then alternate legs until you finish your reps
This exercise is appropriate for those who struggle with the full range of motion from standing squats.
People with knee pain can do this exercise on a bed or similar soft surface rather than on a floor.
You can add resistance by using a barbell over the shoulders or holding a heavy backpack in a pinch.
- Get down on the floor with the knees placed wider than shoulder length
- Flex your glutes while pushing your hips back towards your feet
- Squeeze your glutes and push your hips forward as far as you can
- Repeat the movements until your reps are finished
Bulgarian Split Squats
Split squats are an excellent exercise for those with back pain.
As with step-ups, the single-leg application of the Bulgarian split squat can help reduce the pressure on the lower back.
You can do this workout with weights and equipment or bodyweight alone.
- Stand in front of an elevated surface like a couch, bench, or chair
- Place your right foot behind you on the surface
- Keep your back straight, and lean forward only slightly
- Lower your body until your back knee is almost to the floor
- Pause and hold for a moment
- Stand again and repeat the motions until your reps are done, then switch legs
Final Word on Underbutt Exercises
Improving the appearance of your bum using underbutt exercises inherently involves workouts that can help your body in other ways.
Glute muscles are stabilizers and are the foundation of lower body movement.
Working on them can improve your balance and stability, reduce back pain, relieve tension, and improve bone density.
The connection from your lower body to your back muscles means using proper form in exercise can even help improve posture over time with consistent effort.
All these benefits are available to you with no need for equipment or a gym membership.
You can control the difficulty level by adding resistance to any workouts I’ve listed here using elevated surfaces, resistance bands, dumbbell weights, and barbells.