What Are Some Exercises for Your Butt Using Body Weight or Dumbbells?

You don't have to use heavy weights to tone your butt.
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Many women want to appear small everywhere except their butt. While skinny waists are in, flat butts usually are not. Performing muscle-strengthening exercises regularly can help keep your butt tight, shapely and toned. You don’t have to hit the gym to exercise your butt muscles. Many leg and butt exercises can be done using your own body weight or dumbbell weights for resistance. Add light dumbbell weights to your routine after mastering resistance exercises using just your body weight.

Duration, Sets and Repetitions

To gain health benefits, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends adults perform moderate- to high-intensity, muscle-strengthening exercises involving all major muscle groups, including the legs and butt, at least two days per week. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) suggests working each muscle group two to three times per week for best results. The ACSM also recommends completing two to four sets of eight to 20 repetitions for each exercise you perform, and waiting at least 48 hours before training the same muscle group again.

Wide-Stance Squats

To perform wide-stance squats, stand upright with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart. You can use your own body weight or hold dumbbell weights during this exercise. Keeping your back straight and upright, slowly bend your knees until your thighs are about parallel to the floor, then push back up to a standing position.

Narrow-Stance Squats

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You’ll really feel the burn when performing narrow-stance squats. Complete this exercise the same way as wide-stance squats, but stand with your feet and legs close together, almost touching each other. As with wide-stance squats, slowly bend your knees and lower your body until your thighs are about parallel to the floor; stand back up and repeat. To make this exercise more challenging, alternate narrow-stance squats with wide-stance squats, without resting between sets.

Jump Squats

Perform jump squats by standing with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Squat down until your thighs are about parallel to the floor and instead of slowly standing back up, as you would with regular squats, jump off the floor and back down into your squat position. Most people perform this exercise using just their own body weight, but you can also hold light dumbbell weights.


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Perform lunges by standing with your feet close together and taking a big lunge forward with one leg until your opposite knee almost touches the floor. Using your butt muscles, push your body back up into a standing position. Complete eight to 20 repetitions with the same leg, then switch legs.

Pulsing Lunges

Your butt muscles will burn after completing pulsing lunges. Begin by lunging forward with one leg until your opposite knee almost touches the floor; hold that position. Instead of pushing back up into a standing position, stay in a lunge position but quickly raise and lower your body, up and down, in a “pulse”-like motion. Complete eight to 20 up-and-down movements, or pulses, before switching legs.

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