Top 3 Best Butt Exercises for Women

Step-by-Step Instructions and Videos Below

Butt exercises for women can be done with free weights (barbells and dumbbells), without weights, or with machines at the gym.

You can get a complete weight lifting workout at home with the proper home gym equipment.

Most of the best butt exercises focus not only on your buttocks, but on other large muscle groups as well, for example, your quadriceps and/or hamstrings.

Below are step-by-step instructions for three of the best butt firming exercises you can do with free weights. See our Butt Exercises page for general info about our buttocks muscles and their functions in our everyday lives.

For the "premier movement of weightlifting" that is great not only for your glutes, but also your hips, hamstrings and thighs, see How to Do Squats.

Good Mornings

Equipment needed: Barbell

Targeted muscles: Gluteus maximus (biggest butt muscle), plus your hamstrings (semitendinosus, biceps femoris-long head, semimembranosus)


  1. Stand with your feet slightly apart.
  2. Rest the barbell across the top of your shoulders behind your neck.
  3. Keeping your back very straight, inhale and bend your torso forward until your torso is horizontal with the floor.
  4. Return to the starting position and exhale.
  5. Repeat the complete Good Mornings movement several times, according to your particular workout routine.

Tips for Good Mornings

  • To protect your knees, don't bend forward more than 90 degrees.
  • When you're just starting with these butt exercises for women, you can bend your knees slightly to make the movement easier.
  • Keep your knees straight (never locked) for a greater hamstring stretch.
  • Keep your back straight when bending forward. Never round your back.
  • As with all weight training exercises, do the movement slowly and concentrate on the feel of the muscles.


Instead of a barbell, you can also use a light-weight rod or staff for this exercise. Doing Good Mornings with a Staff is also an excellent warm-up and stretch for your hamstrings. Regular stretching helps you avoid injuries when using heavier weights.

Forward Lunges

Equipment needed: Barbell

Targeted muscles: Gluteus maximus and quadriceps


  1. Stand with your legs slightly apart and the barbell resting along your trapezius muscles at the nape of your neck.
  2. Keeping your trunk as straight as possible, inhale and take a long step forward.
  3. Stabilize your forward thigh so that it is slightly less than horizontal.
  4. Return to the upright position and exhale.
  5. Repeat the movement with your other leg forward and continue alternating legs in forward lunges.
  6. Repeat the complete lunge movements alternating legs several times, according to your particular workout routine.

Tips for Forward Lunges

  • A long step forward in these butt exercises for women will mostly work the glutes (gluteus maximus) and hamstrings.
  • Taking a short step forward will mostly work the quadriceps.
  • Forward lunges require a good sense of balance, so it's best to begin with very light weights.
  • These butt exercises for women rest most of the weight on one leg for most of the exercise, so people with fragile or weak knees should be extra careful.
  • Instead of alternating legs between movements, it's possible to do one series of forward lunges with one leg and then another series with the other.


  • Lunges can be done with a lighter weight rod instead of a barbell; this is a great way to develop your sense of balance before starting to work with heavier weights.
  • Lunges can be done with dumbbells by holding one dumbbell in each hand with your arms relaxed and at your sides.

Stiff-Legged Dead Lifts

Equipment needed: Barbell

Targeted muscles: Gluteus maximus, hamstrings (semitendinosus, biceps femoris-long head), and erector spinae (back muscle)


  1. Stand with your feet slightly apart in front of a barbell placed on the ground.
  2. Inhale, bend forward keeping your back arched, and legs extended (if possible).
  3. Grab the bar with an overhand grip and arms relaxed.
  4. Straighten your torso to a vertical position (the tilting occurs at the hips); exhale.
  5. Return to the bent forward position without putting down the bar and repeat the entire movement several times according to your particular workout routine.

Tips for Deadlifts

  • Take care not to round your back during the movement; rounding your back is likely to cause injury.
  • The more weight you use, the more your glutes will be engaged.
  • With very light weight, the stiff-legged deadlift gives a good stretch to the hamstrings.


All weight training exercises for women should be done carefully and with the utmost attention paid to the correct form and positioning of the body. It is always best to consult with a private personal trainer or a trainer at your gym to show you how to do weight lifting exercises safely and effectively.

The above butt exercises for women, in particular, may cause serious injury, so it's especially important to get hands-on training before performing these exercises.

Butt Exercises for Women at the Gym

First of all, just get your butt there! (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

Here's a list of butt exercises for women that are done with machines at the gym. They are listed by the buttocks muscle that is mainly targeted.

Please ask the trainer at the gym to show you the safe and effective way to do these and other weight training exercises.

Target muscle: Gluteus maximus

  • Bench steps (really something that can also be done at home if you have a weight bench.
  • Machine hip extensions.

  • Machine hip extensions lying down.
  • Hip extensions with a low pulley.

Target muscle: Gluteus medius

  • Hip abductions with a cable.
  • Standing machine hip abductions.
  • Seated machine hip abductions.

Getting Rid of a Fat Butt

Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle

If you're doing butt firming exercises to get rid of fat in this area, remember that "spot reduction" is a myth.

If you feel you have too much fat in any one area of your body, you can work the muscles in that area, but you'll also have to get rid of the fat covering the muscles. This can only be done by losing weight over your entire body, and toning your whole body.

A full-body workout is essential for a great shape. Check out Tom Venuto's Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle website above for a great full-body workout.

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