Will Running Lift the Buttocks?

Running can help get you the butt you dreamed of with no equipment needed.
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Running is one the best ways to give your butt a lift. However, understanding key factors such as running speed, stride length and elevation is a prerequisite for maximizing results.

How it Works

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

Running engages the muscles of the buttocks. These include the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus muscles. Anytime only one foot is touching the ground, you can be sure that your butt is being engaged, stabilizing your pelvis so you don't fall.

With each step, tiny muscle fibers are contracting. This contraction causes tiny tears in the muscle. With rest, these muscles will repair themselves, becoming tighter and stronger. The compact nature of these strengthening muscle fibers are what cause the butt to 'lift'.

In addition, running burns more calories than most forms of exercise. If a runner weighs 160 pounds and runs 5 mph for 1 hour she will burn 600 calories. The fat loss achieved will remove the soft, sagging tissue that covers hard, lean muscle.

What to Do

The steeper the incline, the more the buttocks is engaged. Finding a steep hill, stairs or increasing the incline on a treadmill will maximize results. Running on flat ground will work just fine, but longer runs are necessary to obtain the same benefit. Avoid long stretches of decline running because it minimizes gluteus contraction.

Changing up the length of your stride and speed will engage different parts of your glutes, so will running in a zigzag or circular pattern. Mix it up to feel the burn and maximize the lift.

Run at least three times a week for 30 minutes. Don't run so fast that you can't hold a conversation, but not so slow that it isn't challenging. Increase the frequency and speed after one month.

Common Myths

You cannot spot-reduce fat from your butt or anywhere else. Fat is lost according to genetics and calories burned. It may not be lost in the order you want.

Running will not make your butt bigger. High rep, low weight resistance training is a more effective way to build the gluteus muscles if that is your desire. Squats are your friend.

Flexing the butt too many times will not cause dents or cellulite to appear. Cellulite is usually a result of smoking or a poor diet.


Running can be hard on the knees and heart for unhealthy individuals. Be sure to begin slowly and gradually raise your mileage. Never increase your mileage by more than 10 percent a week. Obtain doctor's approval before beginning any rigorous exercise program.

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