6 Best Abs and Butt Exercises for Women

abs and butt workout

Bodyweight butt toning exercises for women to get a perkier butt, leaner legs, and flatter abs.

Lean and defined abs, legs, and butt do more than just make you look sexy in tight pair of jeans or a two-piece bikini.

They improve your structural function like walking, running, jumping, or sitting properly with good posture in a chair. 

So before we dive into the workouts let’s take a look at the muscles that make up your “abs”, “legs” and “butt”, so we can better target them with more effective exercises for better results.

Your butt consists of three primary muscles (Largest to Smallest):

  • Gluteus Maximus
  • Gluteus Medius
  • Gluteus Minimus

They help assist for movement in your legs, and provide balance for upper body.

Good strategic workouts help you strengthen and tone these muscles in your glutes.

Glutes Image

Glutes Workout

This workout plan consists of two routines:

  • Glute stretch routine
  • Butt toning Exercises

Glute Stretches

Glute stretches are designed to enhance your workout performance and increase the range of motions by stretching and conditioning the key muscles used in the workout. 

Abs and Butt Toning Exercises 

The workout is designed to target three body parts:

  • Abs
  • Thighs
  • Butt

These are the three most common trouble areas for women to lose fat.

Exercises are placed in order from most demanding compound exercises to less demanding or single muscle exercises.

Naturally, exercises that target more number of bigger muscles place a higher demand on the body, so they do best in the beginning of the workout.

Exercises with lesser number of muscles involved such as crunches are best suited at the end of the workout.

Perform all exercises in sequence. Do 2-4 sets each.

Best Ab and Butt Toning Exercises

Arms, Glutes, Legs  Bodyweight Workout

1. Seated Glute Stretch

The seated glute stretch is a good flexibility exercise that stretches the gluteus medius and hip external rotators muscles. 

Stretching is often pushed to the side or left for the end of workout, but it should be part of your exercise regimens and performed prior to your workout.

Frequent flexibility work reduces the risk of injury and improves the range of motion.

Adding glute stretches into your lower body workout day is extremely important since many of us suffer from tight, inactive glutes often caused by sitting on a chair all day everyday.

Lower body exercises often rely on the work of well stretched and conditioned muscles, and stiffness in your lower body can only lead to poor performance and higher risk of injuries.

Make sure to add a few stretches before you begin workout regimen. 

How to do a seated glute stretch:

  1. Sit with your legs straight out in front of your body.
  2. Cross your right ankle just above your left knee. Both knee should be bent and resting out to the side. Bend your left knee back in toward your body. Hands should be back behind your hips on the floor.
  3. Slide your butt down closer to your left foot. The closer your left is to your body, the deeper and greater you should feel stretch in your glutes, outside of the hip.
  4. Hold the stretch 25-30 seconds before switching to the other side for another 25-30 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times. 


  •  Keep your shoulders back and down and your chest as open as possible  throughout the stretch 
  •  Breathing is very important when perform this stretch.
  • Take long diaphragmatic breath in and out as you hold the stretch.

By keeping a nice flow oxygen to the body, you will allow the tight muscles to relax, and stretch better.

1. Glute Bridge

The glute bridge also known as the butt bridge or supine hip extension, is one of the best exercise for working your glutes (butt), lower back, and hamstrings.

This glute exercise is so simple, yet super effective at developing strength in your lower posterior.

It’s a great exercise to add to yourat home bodyweight workout routinebecause it is beginner friendly and doesn’t’t require any fitness equipment to perform.

Another characteristic of glute bridge that can make this a superior choice than other “butt toning exercises” is glute bridge is one of the few exercises that accommodates people with bad knees.

When many lower body exercises place pressure and stress on the knees, glute bridge does not.

It also works to improve the knees by strengthening the hamstrings muscles. 

How to do it:

  1. Lie on your back face up with your knees bent, arms to the sides, and your feet placed firmly on the ground.
  2. Keep your back in a neutral alignment, meaning neither arched or glued tightly to the floor. 
  3. Clenched your butt muscles, push through the heels, and raise your hips off the floor until your knees, hips, and shoulders form in a straight line.
  4. Pause, then slowly lower hips and butt back down to the floor. Do 12 reps, for 3 sets. 

2. Squat

Air Squat or bodyweight squat is one of the most effective “butt toning exercises”. Squat is also really effective at toning and shaping your thighs in addition to the buttocks.

You can perform this exercise using your body weight, a pair of dumbbells, a medicine ball, or a barbell.

How to Do a Squat

  1. Stand as tall as you can with your feet spread slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Hold your
    your hands behind your head. 
  2. Look straight ahead and keep your torso as upright as possible for the entire exercise with your lower back slightly arched. 
  3. Tighten your abs, bend your knees, and lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back.
  4. When your thighs are parallel to the floor, hold the position for a couple of seconds and return to the starting position. 

3. Bulgarian Split Squat

The Bulgarian split squat or split lunge is a variation of squat exercises.

As the name implies, your legs are in a split position with your back foot elevated on a bench, chair or steps.

Tips: One coaching tip here is not to elevate your back foot any more than 4-8 inches.

The exact height of the bench, step, or chair should depend on your heights, but the general rule is elevate it just enough to place more emphasis on the front leg.

If it is too high, it can put too much stress on the hip flexors and also cause hyperextension of your spine and lower back. 

How to Do Bulgarian Split Squats: 

  1. Stand about 2 feet in front of a chair or bench (4-8 inch height) and place your hands on your waist(or let them hang down on your sides). Place the top of your left foot on the chair
  2. Bend your knees to lower your body as far as you can, keep your shoulders back and your chest up and out. Pause, then push through your right heels to return back to the start position. Do 10 reps then switch legs and 10 reps. Continue for 3 sets. 

4. Hip Thrust

Hip thrust is a super effective butt lifting exercise that strengths your glutes (butt).

Both squats and hip thrusts are excellent butt workkouts, but if you have a weak back and knees, hip thrust is a preferred choice.

While squats are very functional and one of the best lower body exercises for working the glutes, hamstrings and thighs, it requires more balance, coordination and core strength to perform than hip thrust.

Your squats can also be limited by your back strength, which is not the case with hip thrusts.

According to a post on Squats vs Hip Thrusts by Eric Cressey. The hip thrust is a much more stable exercise and simpler to perform and generally limited by glute strength, meaning that the set reaches failure when the glutes can no longer raise ups off the ground.

How to Do it:

  1. Sit in front of a bench, knees bent and feet flat on the ground, lean your upper back, shoulders against the edge of the bench. 
  2. Clenched Your butt and push through your heels to raise hips off the floor to form a straight line from your knees to shoulders, with your upper back completely resting on a chair, bench or couching.
  3. Pause 2-3 seconds, then slowly lower your hips and butt to return to the start. Do 10 reps for 3 sets. 

5. Bicycle Crunch

Bicycle crunch is a simple abdominal exercise that primarily targets your rectus abdominal muscles (A.K.A.. the six-pack muscle), located in your stomach and it allows you to move, tilt and bend your body.

Other abdomen muscles targeted are your obliques (A.K.A.. love handles that run along side your abs). Your obliques also help you to twist your torso and your spine. 

This crunch workout is great because you can activate your abs at a very high level without needing any fitness equipment or ab machines.

In fact, the bicycle crunch was named the best and most effective exercise for both your lower abs and upper abs by research sponsored by The American Council on Exercise (ACE). It’s been ranked higher than the plank.

Another secondary sets of muscles that get activated during the bicycle crunches are your Iliopsoas, also known as your hip flexors.

Iliopsoas allow your hips to flex, turn and rotate from side to side. Since this advanced crunch exercise stretches the hips and glutes, it can also be considered as a flexibility exercise.

Primarily the head of the Iliopsoas, the psoas major, gets engaged during the bicycle crunches. 

How to Do it:

  1. Lie down on the floor on your back with your hands behind your ears. Lift your legs about 4 to 6 inches off the ground and bring your shoulders up, so that your arms are in a wide V-Shape.
  2. Engage your abs to lift your upper body to drive your elbow toward your left knee, release, and then drive your left elbow toward your right knee. Continue alternating side to side for 10 each. 

6. Plank

Plank – Plank is one of the best core strength exercises that challenges your entire core to maintain a straight line position.

The planks involve contracting your muscles against your body resistance and is commonly used in injury rehabilitation or reconditioning of your core before doing spinal flexion exercises. 

How to do it:

Lie face down on your stomach, legs straight and feet together.  Bend your elbows and rest your body weight on your forearms. 

  1. Engage your abs and brace your core as if you were about to be punched in the stomach.
  2. Push your forearms away from the chest so your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.
  3. Hold the plank for 30 seconds.

This workout is designed to not just tone your legs, abs and butt, but also every inch of your body.

While the focus is your butt and abs, the exercises engage your core, shoulders, and arms. Enjoy it

Misato Alexandre


After making healthy living a priority, Misato lost over 20 lbs in less than 90 days. Instead of weight loss being a dreading experience, living the lifestyle of health and fitness granted her more happiness and joy than ever before. She co-founded Fitwirr to make health and fitness simple for everyone and share her tips through writing evidence-based articles on nutrition, weight loss, and exercise.

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