Building your butt takes time, whether you do it by eating donuts or by building muscle. Since most people want a firm, toned rear end, focus on muscular hypertrophy for your gluteus maximus. Hypertrophy is defined as an increase in muscle fiber size, not number, according to IDEA Health & Fitness Association. It occurs when a muscle is stimulated beyond its normal ability. To build your butt, focus on exercises that involve hip extension, which is the primary function of the glutes. Eating a balanced diet to fuel your muscles, plus developing a good cardio program, will give you the best results.
Hit the Weights
Warm up for 5 to 10 minutes before beginning your glute exercises. Walking, jogging, cycling or even stair climbing are appropriate choices. Start at a moderate intensity and gradually increase the intensity to bring your heart rate up. A proper warm-up helps reduce your injury risk.
Begin with multi-joint exercises. Include squats, lunges and step-ups, or any of their variations. Perform a body-weight squat by standing with your feet hip- to shoulder-width apart. Bend your hips and knees as if you were going to sit in a chair. Lean your torso forward -- but keep your back straight -- as you lower your body to maintain balance. Stop when your thighs are parallel to the floor. Press back up to complete one repetition.
Performing walking lunges next. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Step forward with your right foot as far as you can. Bend both knees, keeping your right knee over the ankle and lowering the left knee toward the floor. Your back heel will lift so you are balanced on your right foot and the ball of your left. Stop when your front thigh is parallel to the floor. Bring the left foot forward next to your right and repeat the lunge to the left side for one complete rep.
Finish your multi-joint butt exercises with step-ups. Use a stable bench or platform that fits your whole foot. Stand facing the bench and place your right foot on its surface. Your knee should be bent no more than 90 degrees. Press through your right leg and lift your left foot onto the bench. Slowly lower your left and then right foot back down to the floor. Switch legs and repeat the exercise for one full repetition.
Complete the workout with isolation exercises if you choose. For example, use a stability ball to perform reverse extensions. Lie with your stomach on the ball and place your hands on the floor. Your legs should be relaxed with your toes touching the floor. Keep your knees straight and raise your legs as high as you can. Slowly lower your legs until your toes tap the floor for one rep. Add ankle weights to increase the difficulty.
Perform targeted glute exercises two or three times each week on nonconsecutive days. Perform three to six sets of six to 12 reps for each exercise. Use a challenging weight, but maintain proper form.
Perform cardio three to five times each week to keep your body fat low and show off your glutes. Do a minimum of 20 minutes, or up to 60 minutes daily if you need to lose weight. Choose challenging exercises that not only raise your heart rate, but work your butt.
Use the stairs to hit your butt during cardio. You can walk or jog up and down a flight of stairs to really use your gluteus muscles. Another option is to use a stair climbing machine in your fitness center.
Add an incline to your treadmill workout, or run on hills outside. Increasing the elevation hits your gluteus maximus more than moving on a flat surface. Walk or jog the hills, based on your fitness level.
Add sprints to your workouts. Sprints are short bursts of all-out running. They not only burn calories but these short spurts of exercise can really help define your glutes. For a very challenging workout, perform your sprints uphill.