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The Best Butt-Toning Exercises After Age 40

Sculpt a firm, toned backside with these expert-approved moves.

Firming and toning your backside goes beyond just filling out your jeans in all the right places. Strengthening your glutes will help ensure your pelvis is properly aligned and you maintain solid lower back support while lifting, Methodist Health System explains. Plus, strong glutes will help you avoid knee injuries, boost your athletic performance, and reduce your risk of suffering from falls. Therefore, when curating a well-rounded fitness routine, you can't leave out moves that will work your glutes. To get you going in the right direction, we have some of the best butt-toning exercises to do after you hit 40.

We spoke with Tyler Read, the founder of and a personal trainer who has been involved in health and fitness for the past 15 years, who breaks down the best butt-toning exercises you should be doing after age 40. Read on to learn about Read's top picks, and next, be sure to read The 5 Best Floor Exercises To Maintain a Lean Body as You Age.

Hip Thrusts

illustration of barbell hip thrust

"These are the most effective exercises for maximal gluteus maximus activation, especially when performed with a barbell," Read explains.

To perform hip thrusts with a barbell, you'll put your whole lower body to work. Select a weight where you're able to keep up proper technique during the exercise, MaserClass notes. Sit on the ground so that your back's against a workout bench. Roll the barbell up to where your hips crease. Then, bring your hips off the floor just a bit. Press both feet into the floor and squeeze your butt muscles to press your hips up toward the sky. Activate your core. Hold your position at the top of the movement before descending toward the floor.

Band Walks

close-up man resistance band walks

"Resistance band walks hit your gluteus medius, the 'upper side butt' area, which is helpful for stability and appearance," Read tells us.

To perform band walks, or the lateral band walk, you'll position a loop resistance band right above your ankles, Steel Supplements explains. Move your feet out so they're shoulder-width distance apart. The band should have tension. Bend your knees a bit, and press your hips forward. Then, step your right foot out to the right, followed by your left foot. Keep in mind that your feet should maintain that shoulder-width distance from each other. Complete the prescribed amount of reps in the right direction before leading with your left foot on the other side.

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woman bodyweight squats

According to Read, "Squats are a must in glute toning programs since they use the glutes in a functional manner."

To begin bodyweight squats, you can assume a wide stance by placing your feet shoulder-width distance apart, or a narrow stance by positioning your feet hip-width distance apart, PureGym explains. Bend both knees and hinge your hips back. Press your knees out while descending into a squat. Your things should reach a parallel position to the floor before you press yourself back up to standing. You can even add a loop resistance band to this exercise by placing it above your knees to even further work your glutes.


woman demonstrating lunges with dumbbells to boost your muscular endurance

"The unilateral aspect of lunges results in more stability requirements while training the glutes and varies the stimulus," Read explains.

You can incorporate dumbbells or simply stick with your body weight. For forward lunges, put your hands on your hips, and make sure your feet are about shoulder-width distance apart, PureGym instructs. Bring your right foot forward, and bend that knee as you descend into a lunge. Your right thigh should be parallel to the floor before you press through your right heel to rise back up. Perform the prescribed amount of reps before doing this exercise on your left side.

The Best Butt-Toning Exercises for Men


clamshell exercises with resistance band, butt-toning exercises illustration

"Clamshells are another great way to hit the gluteus medius and are great if you have issues with standing exercises as well," Read says.

To set up for the last of Read's butt-toning exercises, Beachbody on Demand instructs you to lie down on a yoga mat on your right side. A loop resistance band should be placed just above your knees. Stack your feet and your hips, use your right arm to stabilize your head, and bend both knees to form 90-degree angles. Activate your core, and make sure your feet stay touching as you bring your left knee upward as much as you can, like a clamshell opening. Stay in this position for a moment before bringing your left knee back down. Perform the prescribed amount of reps before doing this exercise on the other side.

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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