5 best exercises for a perkier butt after 30

Your gluteus maximus (aka your butt) is the largest muscle in your body. Needless to say, it’s usually pretty strong, she says Michael Ditto, Head of Training Development for Pure Barre. If you want to sculpt a perky butt that fills out your jeans in all the right places, you’ll need to focus on three key movement patterns and exercises that fall under the following umbrellas: lunges, squats, and hinges. It’s also essential to be aware of muscle engagement, use proper form, and emphasize the mind-body connection while performing these movements. “In building strength, form truly is king,” Ditto points out. Ahead, we’ve identified five of the best exercises for a perkier butt after 30, so you can tone, strengthen, and improve the aesthetics of your butt.

As we age, it is common to notice that the skin and particular parts of the body begin to sag. Especially if you lead a more sedentary lifestyle or work an office job with minimal breaks to get up and be active, strengthening your glutes (and your entire body, for that matter) is especially important. Ditto shares that the most beneficial form of exercise when you’re looking to tone and perk up your glutes is strength training. “To get to a point where a more typical or traditional movement pattern feels challenging and you can tone/firm your glutes, you may need to include new equipment, a new variation in the pattern, more time under tension, or a combination of the above to make your muscles respond in a new way,” adds Ditto. “The value of adding intensity can help you overcome plateaus and increase strength and mobility in ways that impact your life outside of your workouts!”

Keep in mind that adding intensity to your workout can feel different for everyone; there is no one-size-fits-all approach, Ditto explains. Some exercises that work your glutes may be challenging for you and easier for someone else (or vice versa). “This depends on HOW you typically train and whether you’re integrating multi-joint, multi-planar movements into your fitness routine. Self-assessment is key when trying to add intensity, so consider how you’ve trained your glutes as you assess whether it’s need to add another challenge,” says Ditto.

Now, if you’re ready to give your glutes an impressive lift, read on for Ditto’s recommended exercises for a perkier butt after 30. And when you’re done, be sure to check out The 5 Strength Exercises For Women To Get Firm And Lean Into Their 40s.

split squat demonstration
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“Split squats challenge your balance, strength, and hip range of motion while targeting your glutes in a big way,” explains Ditto. “Any split stance is also a phenomenal check for imbalances on each side of the body, so you can easily see if you have strength imbalances on each side of the body.”

For split squats, you’ll need a ledge or bench, along with a medium to heavy weight. To prepare, sit on the bench, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Step your left foot forward and place the top of your right foot on the bench. Then, bend your knees to come down into a split squat. Push off your front foot to get back to standing. Squeeze your glutes. This counts as one repetition. Perform three sets of eight to 12 repetitions on each side.

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step-up exercise with dumbbells
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According to Ditto, “Weighted step-ups, similar to split-stance exercises, require improved balance and coordination, but can also add a challenge with the height of the box you’re stepping on. If you’re taller, note that you may want to A higher box: Aim for a box height that requires you to bend your knee to nearly 90°, which will require more glute recruitment and power as you push off the floor.

You’ll need a sturdy workout bench, box, or stool to perform this exercise. You will also need to have two medium sized weights, or you can opt for one weight if needed. To prepare, stand on the back of the box holding a dumbbell in each hand with your arms extended by your sides. Plant your right foot on the box and push through that foot to stand up. Your left leg should trail into the back of the box. Then, gradually step back down onto your left foot. Perform three to five sets of 10 reps on each side.

single leg romanian deadlift illustration
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The single-leg deadlift is an excellent choice for building strength and stability, and requires a lot of control from the obliques to ensure your hips stay straight throughout the exercise. “The hip hinge movement specifically and dynamically asks the glute muscles to engage through their full range of motion, and performing this one-sided variation requires improved coordination and balance,” adds Ditto.

You will need a barbell or set of dumbbells in hand for this exercise. To prepare, plant your feet hip-width apart. Bring your left leg back a little. Keep your right knee soft and avoid bending it as you pivot. Gradually lean forward as you lift your left leg, “focusing more on the hinge at the hip than the height of the leg,” instructs Ditto. “Keep your hips aligned and plan on reaching the weight and left hip equally toward the floor. Squeeze your glutes and press your right foot back up, challenging yourself to keep your left foot from coming down and supporting your weight,” she adds. He completes three sets of eight to 10 repetitions.

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fire hydrant operation
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Performing a leg abduction in a tabletop position is “a double whammy of valor,” as Ditto describes it, because it activates your gluteus medius and promotes activation of your obliques. “Remember the straighter your leg is, the heavier it feels in your glutes, think of your leg as a dumbbell for your butt!

You don’t need any equipment for this exercise, but feel free to incorporate a resistance band on your thighs or ankle weights. To prepare, assume a tabletop position on all fours. Straighten your right leg out to the side, keeping it in line with your hips. Your toes should point towards the ground. Gradually lift your leg, pause for a moment when you reach the top, and slowly “tap your toes” down. Perform three sets of 15 reps on each side. To make things more challenging, feel free to incorporate a 30-second isometric hold with small pulses to wrap up each set.

resistance band glute bridges
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Last but not least on Ditto’s list of the best exercises for a perkier butt after 30 is the bandaged glute bridge. Make sure you have a resistance band handy! This exercise will directly fire up your glutes, especially with the added resistance of the band.

To prepare, lie on your back on an exercise mat and bend your knees. The loop resistance band should be just above your knees. Keep your heels aligned under your knees and your arms extended by your sides on the ground. Then, squeeze your glutes to lift your hips up and off the floor. At the same time, press outward into the resistance band. Hold at the top of the bridge, then lower yourself gradually. To make things more challenging, lift one leg straight up and complete a single-leg glute bridge.

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