butt routine

Photo: Laflor/istockphoto

Using only 5 moves, this routine works all three of the major muscles in your glutes, so your behind gets shapelier, tighter and more lifted. "These are classic exercises that, when done consistently and with correct form, create real changes," says the trainer who came up with the workout, Bradley Seidenglanz, an instructor at Barry's Bootcamp (a studio known for its classes devoted solely to your butt and legs) in Sherman Oaks and Hollywood, California.

For each move, do 5 sets of 15 reps. For moves where you have one leg forward at a time, do 15 reps on one leg, then 15 on the other—that's one set. Repeat until you've done 5 sets.
butt routine

Illustration: Florie Duhau

Goblet Squats

1. Hold a dumbbell* vertically, with the head of the weight in the heels of your palms, fingers wrapped around the side, weight resting against your chest.
2. With your feet roughly shoulder width apart, toes pointing slightly outward, bend your knees and drop your butt back and toward the floor while you keep your chest and chin up and shoulders rolled back. You should feel like you're pressing all of your weight into the floor through your heels. By doing that, you should be able to keep your knees directly above, not in front of, your feet.
3. Drop your butt just below your knees for a full, deep squat. After you get your butt down, drive yourself back up, keeping your weight in your heels and squeezing your glutes the whole time.

*Your weights should be heavy enough that you can do 15 reps of each move with correct form, but getting through the 15th one is a challenge. These moves can all be done without weights too—just make sure to do enough reps per set that you still feel like you need a break by the time you get to the last rep. Follow Seidenglanz's most important rule for results: Don't sacrifice a full range of motion for more weight. "It's better to use no weights but get all the way down in your squat than to only go part of the way down because your weights are too heavy," he says.

Illustration: Florie Duhau

Split Squats

1. With a dumbbell in each hand and arms at your sides, get into a split-stance position, right foot forward and both legs straight, with your feet far enough apart that if you kneeled down, your right knee wouldn't extend past your right foot. Your weight should be evenly distributed between the heel of your right foot and the ball of your left foot.
2. Bend both knees and lower your body down toward the floor, keeping your chin and chest up. Your left knee should be just behind your hips, not directly underneath them. Bend down until your left knee is 1 inch above the floor and your right knee is directly over your right foot.
3. Once you're at the bottom of your split squat, begin to stand up, driving your weight through your right heel and the ball of your left foot. Squeeze your glutes throughout.
butt exercises

Illustration: Florie Duhau

Hip Thrust

1. Get into position by sitting on the floor, back against a bench or couch, legs extended, with a dumbbell in each hand resting on top of your hips.
2. Bend your knees and bring your feet within 12 to 18 inches of your butt, plant your elbows on the bench or couch behind you, keeping your shoulders and upper back in contact with the couch or bench throughout the move.
3. Squeeze your glutes and thrust your hips up, holding the weights steady with your hands. Keep squeezing your glutes and lifting your hips until you're in a bridge position, with your hips as level with your shoulders and stomach as you can get them. Don't let your knees get wider than your shoulders. Hold for 1 second, then return to starting position.
dead lifts

Illustration: Florie Duhau

Sumo Dead-Lift

1. Place a dumbbell on the ground between your feet, balanced on one end, with the other end in the air. With your legs 6 to 12 inches wider than shoulder width apart, toes pointed out at 45 degrees, drop your butt down so you're in a sumo squat position. You want to push your pelvis backward so your butt is out behind you. Don't let your back arch, though—try to keep it as flat as possible.
2. Once you're down in the sumo squat position, grab the dumbbell with both hands by the end that's in the air, pinch your shoulder blades together and feel your muscles engage before you lift the weight.
3. Keeping your chin and chest up, push through your heels, squeeze your glutes, and begin straightening your legs. Thrust your pelvis forward when you're at the top of the lift, with legs straight, to work your glutes even more.
step ups

Illustration: Florie Duhau

Alternating Single Leg Step Ups

1. With a dumbbell in each hand and your arms at your sides, place your right foot on top of a bench or elevated surface that's firm and steady. You want a surface that's no lower than 12 inches and no higher than 18 inches from the ground.
2. Press your weight into your right heel and squeeze your right glute as you rise up onto your right leg on top of the bench or surface. Drive your left knee up as you rise until your knee is out in front of you and level with your hips.
3. Drop your left foot and reach it behind as you as lower back down to the ground, so you land in a lunge with your left knee 2 to 3 inches off the floor. Come out of the lunge to return to starting position.