5 Butt Strengthening Moves To Reduce Injury and Sculpt Your Muscles


As a World Champion professional triathlete I was programmed to move forward very fast. When you swim, bike and run, a lot of your workouts are designed to move you forward and straight to the finish line. This often leaves your sides neglected, think: hips and glutes. I didn’t realize that I wasn’t engaging my glutes by strengthen my sides until I was in a horse accident and broke my hip. As I recovered I began to train my butt muscles with the help of Brenna Backe from KOA Fit. Strengthening your butt muscles doesn’t just prevent injury, it helps to sculpt and lift your butt and helps your balance. Below are 5 essential moves to strengthen and sculpt your butt. 

Lunge Knee Up

Good for: Strengthening Glute Max and Opening the Hip FlexorsScreen Shot 2016-01-11 at 12.17.47 PM

Start with your right foot forward, left foot back in a lunge position. Place hands on either side of the right foot. Make sure the right knee is directly over the right ankle.

Tighten your tummy and push through your right foot squeezing your right hamstring and butt to come all the way up to a standing position on your right foot. Lower back down slowly to your start position being extra careful to not let the right knee fall in or shift forward.

Repeat 8-10 times on the right side and then repeat on the left.

Step Up

Good for: Strengthening Pelvic Stability and Improving BalanceScreen Shot 2016-01-11 at 12.21.20 PM

Start with your right foot on a step (or log) so that you have about a 90-degree angle at your knee.

Lengthen your torso and turn your palms open to put yourself in good posture. Tighten your tummy, press through your right foot, and quickly step up into a single leg, balance position on top of the step.

You will get a lot more butt work if you really think about lifting yourself tall.  Repeat at a quick pace 15-20 times and then switch to the left foot.

Single-Leg Sit-to-Stand

Good for: Strengthening Core, Quads, Hamstrings, and GlutesScreen Shot 2016-01-11 at 12.21.56 PM

Start in a seated position where your knees are level with your hips. Lift the left foot off the ground.

Keep your core tight and press through your right foot to come to standing. Lower slowly and land softly back to your seat.

Repeat 8-10 and then switch sides. You can also have a friends assist you to help keep proper form (pictured).

Curtsy-to-Cowboy Lunge

Good for: Strengthening Gluteus Medius and Improving Hip StabilityScreen Shot 2016-01-11 at 12.23.53 PM

Start with your left foot forward and your right foot behind you to the outside of your left foot in a “curtsy” position. Make sure the front knee stays over the front ankle at the start and throughout the move.

Keep you torso tall and don’t bend forward. Press through your left foot and bring your right knee up and slightly out to the side in a “cowboy” position.

Lower yourself back to your start position. Repeat 8-10 times and then switch sides.


Good for: Strengthening and Shaping the Side of the Butt and Preventing Knee InjuryScreen Shot 2016-01-11 at 12.25.02 PM

Start with your right foot forward, left foot crossed behind you to the outside of the right leg.

Put your left hand on the ground to the inside of the right foot. In one quick motion, jump to the side, landing on the left foot with the right foot crossed behind you and the right hand on the ground to the inside of the left foot.  

Repeat 10-20 times.

Photos by: Carlos Palacios


January 23, 2016 at 4:55 am

These looks like so much fun. I can’t wait for all the snow to melt here so I can get to the beach again. Until then, I’ll try these moves in my living room!

Team Athleta

January 24, 2016 at 5:28 pm

Thanks for sharing, Isabelle. Agreed – these moves are perfect for waiting out the winter chill. Love that you don’t need any equipment either! ^Helen

Leave a Reply to Isabelle Cancel reply