Your gluteus muscles include the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. Together, these three muscles power your performance and prevent injuries. Including plenty of booty work in your workouts is especially important for people who spend several hours of their day sitting down. Not only will this lead to weaker butt muscles, but it can actually flatten your rear end.

Benefits of a toned tush

A strong butt will improve your posture, which helps you avoid back pain. Weak glute muscles put you more at risk for back, knee, hamstring and groin injuries. Your rear end is responsible for keeping you stable when you’re changing directions. Butt muscles also provide power for everyday movements like jumping and lifting. Including strength exercises into your workout routine is an effective way to postpone age-related bone-density loss. Since your gluteus muscles are such a large muscle group, working the butt is an important area of focus for many people.

Matt Westenburg

Work your butt off with cardio

Your butt muscles help you accelerate and decelerate, so cardio is a great way to engage your booty. For a cardio workout that’s also bootylicious, increase the incline on the treadmill and practice running hills outside. Sprints are another way to build booty without adding bulk. This intense cardio exercise requires a lot of explosive movement from your glutes. Stair steppers and ellipticals are other options to tone your tush.

Matt Westenburg

Body weight booty work

Squats come many different versions, but all of them will effectively tone and strengthen your butt. Sumo squats, curtsy squats, jump squats, one legged squats and weighted squats are just some of the ways you can get off your butt and start working it. Lunges are another versatile exercise. Whether you’re doing walking lunges, lateral lungs, jump lunges or any other version, you gluteus muscles will feel the burn.

Other effective glute exercises include hip thrusts, dead lifts, box jumps and step-ups. Hip thrusts, or hip lifts, begin with you lying on your back and your feet planted shoulder width apart. Squeeze your glutes, lift your hips and hold the position. Raising one foot into the air at a time increases the difficulty. Gym equipment like the leg press, leg curl and leg extension machines are not necessarily helpful because they restrict your motion.

The muscles in your gluteus maximus power your performance and prevent injuries. It’s important to focus on all three of your gluteus muscles by including a variety of exercises into your workout. So, what are you waiting for? Hit the gym and start working your butt off.