Working out your glutes doesn't just get you a higher, tighter-looking tush. It can also work wonders for your body. This muscle group (one of the largest) acts as the middleman between your spine, back, and upper and lower body. Keeping those rear muscles in top form will help you stand up straighter, feel better, and perform like a rock star when you're doing outdoor activities like running or hiking.
This ultimate outdoor butt workout works as a standalone workout or incorporated into a walk, run, or hike. Either way you do it, warm up with a brisk walk before you get going. Aim to complete a total of three to five circuits of all six exercises.
1/6 Holly Perkins
Find a stair or bench along your route and stand with your back to it. Reach your left leg back and balance on your right leg. With your hands at your head, stand with a long, tall spine. Focus your energy and attention on the right leg and bend your right knee to lower downward. Send your hips back so that your right knee stays directly above your right toes, or slightly in front of them (one inch or less). Drive into your right heel to press upwards and return to a standing position keeping a slight bend in your right knee. That's one rep. From here, immediately lower down again without changing to your left leg, and complete a total of 15 reps. Change legs and complete the same on the other side. That's one set. (Get more leg workouts here.)
Related: 7 Simple Exercises That Show Results After One Workout
2/6 Holly Perkins
Stop anywhere along your route and stand with your feet together and hands on your hips. Balance on your right leg and extend your left leg back with your left toes touching the ground. Squeeze the left side of your butt to raise your left leg behind you. Think of this as a contraction, not as a swing, and pause at the top of the movement for a moment to really squeeze. Lower the toes back to the ground. That's one rep. Repeat on this leg for a total of 15 reps. Switch legs and complete the same on the other leg. That's one set. (Get the secret to banishing belly bulge from WH readers who've done it with Take It All Off! Keep It All Off!)
3/6 Holly Perkins
Find a level surface to stop and begin standing on your left foot with a slight bend in your left knee. Allow your right arm to hang relaxed and rotate forward from your hips until your right arm is perpendicular to the ground. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your right heel. Drive into your left heel and power your left glute to rotate back to the starting position. That's one rep. Repeat on this side for a total of 15 reps. Switch sides and repeat the same on the other side. That's one set.
Related: Exactly How to Use Squats to Lose Weight, Run Faster, and Get a Tighter Booty
4/6 Holly Perkins
Find a low wall or bench and stand with your feet hip-distance apart and arms reaching forward, parallel to the ground. Stand with a long, tall spine to activate your core muscles. Bend your knees and reach your hips backward to lower down into a squat. Pause at the moment when your butt just touches the bench. Drive into your heels, keep your chest lifted, and return to the starting position. That's one rep. Complete 15.
Switch up your squat with these 20 variations that will help you tone your butt:
5/6 Holly Perkins
Using a bench or stair, begin with your right foot fully on the flat surface and your left arm bent forward to assist you. Press into your right heel to press upward so that you are standing on the bench. Swing your left knee forward and up, and squeeze the right side of your butt and you switch arms. Use the strength of your right leg to slowly lower back down to the starting position. That's one rep. Press back upwards on this same leg and complete a total of 15 reps. Switch sides and complete the same on the other leg. That's one set.
Related: 7 Reasons Your Butt Isn't Changing No Matter How Much You Work Out
6/6 Holly Perkins
Stand with a wide stance and turn your toes open to 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. as if you were standing on top of a clock. Soften your knees and stand with a long, tall spine, with your hands in front of your shoulders. Imagine there are stings attached to your kneecaps being pulled outward, to pull you downward into a squat. Your knees should move in the same direction as your toes. Reach your fingertips down to lightly tap the ground. Drive into your heels to press back upwards to the starting position. That's one rep; complete 15.