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5 Best Exercises for a Round Butt That Trainers Swear By

Get ready to tone and tighten up your backside.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Let's be honest: A top fitness priority of yours may be sculpting a toned, round butt that effortlessly fills in a pair of jeans or fitted leather pants. If that's the case, we have you covered with just the right exercises for a round butt that trainers swear by. Gym time just got a whole lot easier! Get ready to tone and tighten up the muscles in your backside.

According to WebMD, having the right workout routine on deck can give your glutes—aka your gluteus minimus, gluteus medius, and gluteus maximus—a solid lift. Activities like running, climbing, and even walking activate the muscles in your backside. When it comes to achieving a round appearance, though, strength training is the way to go.

Shelby Stover, CSCS, of Fit As A Mama Bear, shares with Eat This, Not That! five productive exercises that'll help build up your glute muscles. Stover suggests adding these exercises to your routine or completing them as a standalone circuit workout. Keep reading to learn more about Stover's top-recommended exercises for a round butt, and next, check out This Quick Booty Workout Will Totally Transform Your Backside, Trainer Says.

Sumo Walks

sumo resistance band walks exercises for a round butt

Get things started with sumo walks. Stover explains, "This exercise primarily works the outer glutes and is a great one to work into warm-ups as 'prehab' because of it."

Start in a standing position, grab an exercise band, and place it around the top of your knees, below your knees, or over the top of your feet. Each option will offer you a different kind of tension, Stover points out. Next, start to hinge forward a bit as you push your weight back. Be sure to keep your back flat as you shift to stand on one foot and move the other to the side while using your glutes to push against the band. Continue with the same movement as you put your foot down and step with the other side. Keep this up for 30 seconds, aiming for three full sets.

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Bulgarian Split Squats

Bulgarian split squat exercises for a round butt

Next up, it's time for Bulgarian split squats. Stover explains, "[This is] a unilateral exercise that can be tweaked to target the glutes and hamstrings by hinging forward at the hips."

First, get yourself into a typical lunge position using a bench, chair, or stairs. Keep one leg elevated on the bench while the knee on your other leg is in line with your heel. Now that you're ready, hinge forward just a bit as you also push back. Stover says that this will "create more tension on the back of the body" and your glutes. At the same time, lower your left knee toward the floor as your right knee stays facing forward. As you push down on your heel to move back up into the starting position, squeeze the right-side glute.

Stover suggests performing three sets of eight to 10 reps on each leg, completing all reps on one side before doing the other.

Side-Lying Hip Raise

side lying hip raise exercise

"This exercise targets the glutes in two different ways," Stover explains, adding, "One glute is actively working to move the leg away from the body and the other one is working to stabilize and lift the trunk in conjunction with the obliques."

To perform a side-lying hip raise, start out by laying down on your side. Keep your knees bent and your feet together. Make sure your hips and shoulders form a single line while the arm that's supporting you is in line under your shoulder. Kick into action by raising yourself up with your hips off the ground and lifting your top leg. As you do, make sure to activate your glutes, keeping your knee bent and flexing the top foot. Pause for a moment like this before returning starting position. Aim for three sets of 10 reps per side.

Banded Hip Thrusts

banded hip thrust exercise on workout bench illustration

When it comes to doing a banded hip thrust, Stover says that it brings your standard glute bridge to a whole new level. She adds, "Hip thrusts give a great range of motion and the added band some much-needed tension."

For this exercise, you'll need either a bench or a couch, along with an exercise band. First, wrap the band around your legs either above or below the knees. Get yourself into position by placing your back (around the mid to upper section) on the bench. Keep your feet flat on the floor, placing them just a bit wider than your hips. Your hips should be dipped down and your knees should be just behind the "bridge" of your feet.

In this position, squeeze your glutes while pressing down on your feet as you lift your hips and push your knees out. This will create resistance from the band. Don't arch your lower back while performing the movement. Instead, tuck your pelvis as you squeeze your glutes. Pause before returning to the starting position. (Note that the above photo also shows an optional leg raise at the top of the motion.) Your goal should be three sets of 15 to 20 reps.

Reverse Planks

reverse plank exercise

"This is a multi-purpose exercise that requires a strong pelvic tilt (which is where the glutes come in)," Stover says, adding, "It uses isometric training (holding a position) to build strength. The more engaged your glutes, the more effective the exercise."

For your final butt-targeting maneuver, Stover explains you'll want to start out with your hips on the ground and your legs straight in front of you. Place your hands a few inches behind your hips while keeping your fingers pointed out. Once you're ready, begin to squeeze your glutes as you lift your hips up. As you do this, imagine your chest opening wide.

Hold this position for 20 to 40 seconds. Aim for two sets in order to see the kind of backside-rounding results you're looking for.

Desirée O
Desirée O is a freelance writer who covers lifestyle, food, and nutrition news among other topics. Read more about Desirée
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