It’s Not Too Late: 11 Moves for a Better Butt This Summer

It’s Not Too Late: 11 Moves for a Better Butt This Summer featured image

Ah, summer—the time where swimsuits are on heavy rotation and cheat meals drop to a minimum. But if you’re feeling a bit late to the summer fitness train, don’t fret. We reached out to top trainers and fitness experts—they count Jennifer Lawrence, Heidi Klum and Anne Hathaway as past clients—for their top moves to get a better butt for bikini season in no time. 

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Butt-Lift Deadlifts

Dalton Wong, author of The Feelgood Plan, founder of Twenty Two Training and former trainer of Jennifer Lawrence, says this excercise lets you reall feel the pull of your hamstrings while targeting your glutes. To add even more tension on the glutes, Wong recomends holding additional weight.

1. Push your bottom backward until your weights are level with your shins.

2. Keep your spine and arms straight.

3. Drive your hips forward to stand.

Pro Tip: “Make sure you tense your butte when you come up out of the deadlift.” 

Repeat this move for one minute. 

Photo courtesy of Dalton Wong

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Jumping Air Squat

Fitness instuctor Emily Breeze Ross Watson recommends this twist on an old favorite that works the butt, hamstrings and quads for even better results. 

1. Begin standing. 

2. Bend both knees like you’re going to sit on the couch (you must get below parallel). 

3. Engage your glutes and stand back up, opening the hops to full extension and jumping off the ground.

Repeat for 30 seconds or for 20 reps. 

Photo courtesy of Emily Breeze Ross Watson

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Sumo Lunge to a Side Kick with a Squat Jump

David Kirsch, celebrity trainer and author of Ultimate Family Wellness, recommends this move, which incorporates martial arts and plyometrics to deliver a total thigh, hip and butt blast. 

1. Stand in a “sumo” position with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, knees bent and body weight over your heels. 

Photo courtesy of David Kirsch

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2.  Take a large step sideways with your right leg, bringing your right knee in toward your chest and then over to the right in one continuous movement (basically a roundhouse kick).

3.  As soon as your right foot touches the ground, bring your knee back into your chest and complete a side kick, kicking your right heel out to the side.

Photo courtesy of David Kirsch

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4.  Lower your right leg to the floor, returning to sumo position. Squat down while keeping the weight in your heels and stick out your butt. Keep your knees directly above—not in front of—your toes.

5.  Spring up while thrusting your arms overhead. Land on your heels, rolling forward onto your toes. Repeat with a sumo lunge and side kick with your left leg and another squat jump. 

Continue alternating right and left until you have completed fifteen lunges on each side and thirty squat jumps.

Photo courtesy of David Kirsch
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Step Up

Wong says this is the perfect exercise to work out the butt area. “You can either step up onto an individual step or try two at a time.”

1. Engage your right butt cheek, plant your right foot and step up.

2. Lift your left foot up, too.

3. Step down, then repeat on the left leg.

Alternate sides for one minute. 

Photo courtesy of Dalton Wong

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Assisted Pistol Squat

According to Watson, this amped-up squat not only strengthens your butt, quads and hamstrings, but also engages your abs for a multi-fasceted approach. 

1. Stand on your left leg behind a bench with your right leg extended and your heel on the bench (with your hands behind your head or in fists at your chest with elbows bent to start). 

2. Bend your left leg as much as you can. 

3. Return to starting position. 

Repeat for 30 seconds or 15 reps, switch legs, then repeat. 

Photo courtesy of Emily Breeze Ross Watson

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Lateral Lunge

“This is the perfect exercise to hit the glutes, as it requires you to move laterally,” says Wong.

1. With a weight in each hand, hold the dumbells on either side of your bent right knee.

2. Balance 80 percent of your weight on your right heel. 

3. Step to the center and repeat with your left side. 

Pro Top: “When lunging to the side, make sure the opposite leg remains straight for maximum tension in the glutes.”

Perform for one minute on each side. 

Photo courtesy of Dalton Wong

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Single Leg Bridge

Watson says this under-the-radar move is great for working your backside and hamstrings.

1. Lie face up on the floor behind a bench with knees bent, one foot on the bench and your arms on the floor by your sides.

2. Lift your hips so that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.

3. Pause, then slowly lift and extend your leg straight up.

4. Lower your leg, then repeat on other leg.

Repeat for 30 seconds or 10 reps, switch sides, then repeat. 

Photo courtesy of Emily Breeze Ross Watson

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Reverse Crossover Lunge to Lateral Lunge

According to Kirsch, this combination move works to engage your inner and outer thighs, butt and hips. 

1. After standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips, step your right left back and behind your left leg and lunge, almost as if curtseying.

2. Reverse to return to the starting position. 

3.  Step your right leg out to the side laterally without pausing. Step into your right heel, keeping the right knee aligned with the heel. Your anchor leg should be in a 90-degree angle. Keep your hips, heels and knees forward and aligned. Repeat, but step your left leg back.

 Perform 15 reps (or 15 lunges on each side).

Photo courtesy of David Kirsch

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Wong suggests doing these twice a week, such as a Tuesday and Thursday, adding that you’ll get the fastest results if you change up your cardio every week. “Alternate running with skipping, spinning, rowing, swimming or blasts on the cross-trainer.”

1. Run for three minutes at 70-percent effort.

2. Sprint as fast as you can for 15 seconds. 

Repeat these speed intervals for 15 minutes (or four rounds). 

Pro Tip: Whatever cardio you choose to do, Wong says to maintain the three minutes steady/15-second sprinting ration for maximum results. 

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Split Lunge

To work out your hamstrings, butt, quads and core, try this move from Watson that you can really feel working

1. Stand on your right leg in front of a bench with your left leg bent behind you, shin and toes pressing into the bench and your hands behind your head.

2. Bend your right leg, pushing the bench down with your left leg. 

3. Return to starting position.

Repeat for 30 seconds or 20 reps, switch legs then repeat. 

Photo courtesy of Emily Breeze Ross Watson

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Single Leg Deadlifts

According to Kirsch, this balance-challenging exercise will tone and sculpt your inner thighs while shaping your butt.

1.  Start with your feet shoulder-width apart.

2. Balancing on your right leg, bend at the waist and reach your left hand down to your right foot.

Photo courtesy of David Kirsch

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3. Extend your left leg straight behind you.

4. Keep both hips square (i.e., facing down) during the movement. 

5. Return to the starting position. 

Perform fifteen repetitions on each leg.

Photo courtesy of David Kirsch

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