Total Shape is a reader-supported site. Purchases made through links may earn a commission. Learn more.

Butt Ups Workouts Uncovered: Secret To a Perfect Butt

Tracy Thompson
Published by Tracy Thompson | Senior Coach
Last updated: August 14, 2023

An essential aspect of any workout routine is strengthening the abs, as a strong set of abs supports your lower back, assists various movements, and helps you with daily activities.

In my decade-long experience training clients, I’ve discovered that one of the best ab exercises is the butt ups — a simple yet challenging workout that targets the entire core, including the lower back, hamstrings, and glutes.

In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about performing butt-ups to achieve those six packs you’ve always wanted.

Quick Summary

  • Butt-up variations and alternatives include single-leg butt-ups, stability ball butt-ups, and reverse crunch.
  • Butt ups are a bodyweight exercise that targets the core, glutes, hamstrings, and lower back muscles.
  • The benefits of butt-ups include improved upper body and core stability, increased hip mobility, and enhanced muscular endurance.

How To Do Butt Ups

Women doing butt ups exercise

Detailed instructions on how to perform the butt-ups exercise are described below.

What Are Butt Ups?

Butt ups are a full-body weight exercise targeting multiple muscle groups, including the core, abs, lower back, hamstrings, and glutes.

This exercise is equipment-free and can be easily performed in the comfort of your own home.

How To Perform the Butt Ups Exercise

Follow these steps to perform the butt-ups exercise: 

  1. Lie flat on the floor with elbows resting on your arms, legs bent, and feet on the ground.
  2. Arch your back slightly instead of keeping them completely straight.
  3. Lift your glutes toward the ceiling while squeezing your abs tightly to close the distance between your ribcage and hips.
  4. Exhale as you squeeze your abs tightly, ending up in a high bridge position.
  5. Breathe in and move your legs to the starting position. This is one rep.

Muscles Worked

Showing ab muscles

The butt-ups exercise works three muscle groups: the lower body core muscles, including rectus abdominis and obliques; hip flexors; and lower back muscles.

  • Rectus abdominis: This is the primary muscle targeted in the butt-up. It’s responsible for flexing the spine and bringing the ribcage closer to the pelvis.
  • Obliques: The internal and external obliques form a muscle group on the side of the abdomen. They flex the spine as you raise your glutes and descend back to the starting position.
  • Hip flexors: They include the iliopsoas and rectus femoris, which are responsible for raising the legs off the ground when performing the butt-ups.

Lower Back: Most prominent among this muscle group is the erector spinae, located along the spine, which is engaged to some degree during butt-ups.

Related: Best Hip Flexors Exercises


The benefits of butt-ups include: 

  • Abdominal muscle development: Butt ups use your body’s weight as you lift your glutes toward the ceiling and offer even more ab development than deadlifts for those looking to strengthen their core and lower body [1].
  • Easy to perform: They can be performed anywhere and require no equipment, making them a convenient option for those who don't have access to a gym.
  • Increased muscular endurance: By doing butt-ups, you can increase the endurance of the muscles involved, improve athletic performance and reduce the risk of injury and back and neck pain [2].

Butt Ups Variations and Alternatives

Women doing butt up alternatives

There are several variations and alternatives to butt ups exercise that you can try to add variety and challenge to your workout routine:

1. Single-Leg Butt Ups

This variation is similar to the basic butt-ups exercise, but you raise a single leg a few inches and keep it straight while lifting your hips.

“When you exercise using one leg at a time, your stronger side can’t overcompensate for your weaker side.”

- Griffin Nykor, Exercise Physiologist

To perform single-leg butt-ups:

  1. Start by lying down on your back with your arms and elbows on the ground, and then raise a single leg straight up.
  2. Planting the arms firmly on the floor, keep the other leg bent and your foot on the ground, and then lift your glutes toward the ceiling while squeezing your glutes and abs tightly.
  3. Slowly lower yourself to the starting position.

2. Stability Ball Butt Ups

Man butt ups with ball

This variation adds an element of instability, requiring greater core engagement and balance.

Follow these steps to perform the exercise:

  1. Start with the lower back resting on a stability ball with feet on the ground.
  2. Lift the glutes toward the ceiling while squeezing the abs tightly and end at a chest height high bridge position.
  3. Slowly lower yourself to the starting position.

3. Reverse Crunch

This exercise is an alternative to the butt-up that targets the lower abs. 

Here’s how to perform it:

  1. Get to the starting position by lying on your back completely straight, bending both legs and arms behind your head; raise your glutes toward the ceiling.
  2. By raising your hips off the ground, tightening your abs, and curling your knees towards your chest, you can effectively build muscle.
  3. Slowly lower yourself to the starting position.


How To Get Bigger Buttocks With Exercise At Home?

To get bigger buttocks with exercise at home, perform exercises like squats, lunges, and glute bridges using resistance bands or your body’s weight.

What Equipment Do You Need for Butt Ups Exercise?

You do not need any equipment for butt ups exercise as it is a bodyweight exercise that can be done anywhere.

Achieve a Flat-Toned Core With Butt Ups

Adding butt-ups to your workout routine can significantly improve strength, stability, and overall fitness.

Consider incorporating pre-workout supplements into your regimen to correct muscle imbalances.

It is essential to choose safe and effective products, and we have carefully tested and selected some of the best available options.

With consistency and dedication, you can achieve a strong, toned core and enjoy the many benefits that come with it.


Was this article helpful?

About The Author

You May Also Like

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




Learn More