Our Trainers get asked on the daily how to get those booty gains, or make that peach pop, or to lift that gift, or to get that bubble butt. Whatever your lingo, one thing is for sure – a stronger butt is on everyone’s mind.


Whether you want to get stronger glutes, change their shape, fill out your jeans, or just stay toned during the holidays after a healthy summer, you’ll need to lift weight (body works too) to do it.


We’ve pulled together our top five best booty builders to add to your routine for lifted and sculpted glutes. Aannnddd we can pretty much guarantee you’ll be sore tomorrow…but don’t worry it’s that hurt so good kinda sore.


1. The Kettlebell Swing:

Andrea Franco, Trainer and product manager of group training, swears by the kettlebell swing. In her words, “This glute-dominate move is powerhouse. Not only will it fire your glutes, but it will improve your posture and overall conditioning.”


Top three Trainer tips:

  • This movement is all about the hinge - so watch out for too much squat. Think about bending down to pick up your sweat pants. Shins should be vertical, and hips should always stay above your knees. 
  • Make sure your torso and spine are neutral and stay stiff like a surfboard the whole time. This move will strengthen and protect your spine when done properly. 
  • Don't use your arms. The swing comes from firing your glutes at the top - think apples not applesauce! The bell should almost 'float' at the top and feel weightless. That feeling means you are doing it right! 


2. Single Leg Step-Up: 

As a former professional athlete, unilateral training propelled Jason Coulie’s career (check out his story here). He is a big proponent of training your body similar to the way you actually move. This type of training pays dividends both on and off the field. “Walking, jogging, housework and gardening all require some level of balance, coordination and agility. Because of this, one side of the body will work harder than the other. That’s why training each leg individually, like in the single leg step-up, is so important,” he explained.


In Jason’s words, “My goal is to add unilateral training to every routine so the hour I spend in the gym makes the 23 hours outside the gym easier, and more enjoyable.”


Top Trainer tips:

  • The key with step-ups is to determine the appropriate height first. Find the height that does NOT require assistance from the non-working leg, your core is as vertical as possible, and the knee of the working leg is tracking over the toes.
  • Stay square to the step and push off all four corners of the "step" foot without any assistance from the "ground" foot.  Its sole function is to help you balance and not to initiate movement. 
  • Start by mastering the latter portion of the exercise, when you are lowering back to the ground. Take at least three to five seconds to lower from the top to the bottom.  As you lower, focus on tracking your knee directly over your toes. Fight to prevent any sort of “plopping” at the bottom of the exercise.  This is when your glutes need to kick in the most!



3. Single Leg Deficit Bridge:

Briana Radar, the client experience manager at In-Shape Palmdale East, says this move is HANDS DOWN her favorite when it comes to building that booty. Because it prevents the dominate side of your body from taking over, it can help reverse and prevent imbalances.


Top three Trainer tips:


  • Bring one knee towards the chest.
  • Press the opposite heel firmly into the ground. 
  • Drive the movement from the glutes, not the lower back. 



4. Mini-Band Loaded RDL or Straight Leg Deadlift:

Andrew Sterkel, client experience manager from In-Shape Palmdale West, says this variation of the simple but effective Romanian deadlift (or straight leg deadlift) teaches proper lifting mechanics, generates power through the hips and creates a killer burn throughout the posterior chain.


Top Trainer tips:


  • Start standing, facing a dumbbell, kettlebell or barbell of appropriate weight. Place a mini-band on the thighs, a few inches above the knee. Place your heels shoulder-width apart, toes forward. Turn your knees out slightly and press thighs outward into the band, creating torque (rotational power) through the hips and turn on those glutes!
  • Bend at the waist, keeping your low back flat and your shoulder blades pulled down and back towards your hips. Pick up the weight with two hands and extend your hips to a standing position, and then return the weight to the floor.
  • Focus on pushing hips back to "load" the back of the legs, or hamstrings, with tension.



5. Clamshells: 

Known as external hip rotations, clamshells are a great exercise to improve hip mobility and…you guessed it…BUILD THAT BOOTY! Damian Weber, In-Shape’s manager of operations, learning and development, offers encouragement for first timers, “Depending on your flexibility, you may have difficulty initially hitting the full range of motion. Don’t worry! With time, the range of motion and effectiveness will improve.”


Top Trainer tips:


  1. Start lying on the floor on one side with your legs bent at around 90 degrees at the knees. 
  2. Keeping your hips stacked vertically on top of each other, hinge at the hip to bring the knee of your top leg up, opening your legs like a clamshell.
  3. Keep the heels touching each other and squeeze the glutes to drive the movement. It’s very important not to let your pelvis roll backwards as you raise your leg.
  4. Use your free arm and place your hand on your upper glute, so you can feel them working throughout the exercise. This kind of ‘focus’ for muscles working can actually increase the amount of muscle recruitment and activation.


Our Trainers have tons of exercises in their arsenals to work the glutes. So, if you want a bigger, rounder, firmer, perkier or stronger butt, make sure you sign up for your free biannual KickStart or ask a Trainer next time you’re at the club.