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4 Butt-Lifting Exercises For A Killer Body

'After six months I could wear certain bottoms without Spanx, which was incredibly freeing.'

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woman doing donkey kicks on a purple background
Matt Hawthorne/Gallery Stock
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It’s a known fact that gravity takes over as we age. However, I wasn’t prepared for how soon it would get its mitts on certain body parts (like my bum), and proceed to pull it down as far as possible.

Sitting at a computer certainly doesn’t help things along at all. And while the butt squeezes I was taught via a magazine from the early ’90s when I was working at a recruiting job in my 20s are great and all, they weren’t doing it for me any longer.

I had to take my sagging bum into my own hands — and to my surprise, with less than an hour a week, I’ve given myself a raise.

Here are the exercises I’ve been doing consistently, twice a week, for less than a year. One day I do 20 minutes of bum exercises, then another I’ll do a half hour. I think my bum has lifted an inch, and I’ve had to buy bigger pants to compensate for my plump peach — which I don’t mind doing at all.

The fun parts of these exercises are you can do them in front of the television at home, and they aren’t complicated. You’ll feel the burn and know they are working, but you don’t have to do any crazy moves or twist your body into weird poses.

I saw changes to my backside within three months, but I felt them earlier (so did my boyfriend). I noticed my core felt stronger and my lower back didn’t get as tired. When I clenched my bum in the mirror, it felt a lot harder.

After six months I could wear certain bottoms without Spanx, which was incredibly freeing.

Donkey kicks

Get on all fours with hands directly below your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Keep a flat back, suck in the core. Lift one leg — making sure to keep it at 90 degrees — and lift your heel to the ceiling while engaging your glutes. Make sure you go slow and control the movement up and down. Speed doesn’t win here; you want to clench and act as though your leg is moving through quicksand. I do 20 on one side, then pulse for 20 (pulsing just means smaller, shorter movements) and move to the opposite side.

The most important thing to remember here is don’t let your back arch. Watch yourself in a mirror the first few times if you need to, or imagine a glass of water is sitting on your back.


Standing up nice and tall, put your feet together and kick one leg in back of you. Keep your leg long, toe pointed, and engage your glutes. You are not trying to go fast and high here. Just slow and controlled. You can hang on to something if it makes it easier for you. I do 20 of these, then 20 pulses, then switch legs. These are great to do without equipment, but when I added in ankle weights and a resistance band, it really sped up my results.

Side leg raises

Lie on your left side and stretch out your left arm so your head is resting on your bicep. Balance yourself with your right arm. Make sure your body is in a straight line. You want your shoulders, hips and legs to be stacked. Flex your feet and lift your right leg about 2 feet to 3 feet off the floor and hold for three seconds. Slowly lower, keeping the glutes clenched and core engaged. Repeat for 20 reps, do 20 pulses, then switch sides.


Lie face down with legs straight behind you and slightly spread apart. Reach your arms in front of you and raise legs and arms at the same time as if you were flying. Hold for about three seconds, then slowly lower. Make sure to keep your head neutral and squeeze those buns. Do 20 reps and 20 pulses.

After doing these exercises, I got myself some resistance bands and ankle weights to keep the momentum going. The moves were getting too easy, and I wanted to be challenged because I know my body — it won’t change unless I challenge it. So, start with these exercises and add weights or a resistance band later if you’d like. Your gains will keep you motivated, I promise.