Tone and tighten your butt with this 31-day routine

Strengthen your lower body, tone your glutes and feel more confident in your swimsuit with this one-month plan.
Young woman stretching and warming up for training at the beach
Incorporating glute-centric exercises into your routine won't only help tone your backside, but also improve your performance in other activities like running. Westend61 / Getty Images/Westend61
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By Stephanie Mansour

Whether your motivation for stronger glutes is to feel more confident in a swimsuit, fit in your jeans again, or feel stronger when running, this full lower body workout focuses exclusively on the glutes to give your butt well-rounded definition. Plus, working some of the biggest muscles in the body (the glutes and legs) helps to burn more calories, speed up your metabolism and burn fat. By strengthening your glutes with our monthly plan, you’ll not only feel tighter and more toned, but also more stable with improved balance throughout your whole body.

There are three major muscles in your glutes — the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus — that work together to rotate, abduct and extend the hip. Fun fact: They’re also the largest and strongest muscles in the body.

When we build and tone the muscles of the butt (plus add in cardio), we’re not only building sleek muscle, but also burning fat and calories, and both of these things work as a one-two punch to building a more toned backside.

The Workout Structure

To help you tone the glutes from every angle, we’ve broken down our monthly routine into three exercise banks: standing exercises, modified plank exercises and floor exercises. Each of these three positions provides options for working the muscles in various planes of motion to effectively work the entire glute.

Since the glutes and legs are large muscles, it’s recommended to perform these exercises every other day (rather than doing the standing glute exercises today and then the lying down exercises tomorrow.) In between, take a day off from working your lower body and do something else like cardio from our walking plan or abdominals from our abs plan. We've provided an example of what that may look below.

Download your printable calendar here. Hang the calendar on your fridge, or keep it in your purse or car, for easy reference.

Day 1: Standing (3x)

Day 2: Abs

Day 3: Plank (3x)

Day 4: Rest

Day 5: Floor (3x) + Abs

Day 6: Rest

Day 7: Standing + Plank + Floor (1x)

Day 8: Rest

Day 9: Standing (3x) + Cardio

Day 10: Rest

Day 11: Plank + Floor (3x) + Abs

Day 12: Rest

Day 13: Standing + Plank + Floor (1x)

Day 14: Cardio + Abs

Day 15: Rest

Day 16: Standing + Plank + Floor (1x)

Day 17: Rest

Day 18: Floor (3x) + Abs

Day 19: Cardio

Day 20: Standing + Plank + Floor (1x)

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Day 21: Rest

Day 22: Rest

Day 23: Standing + Plank + Floor (1x)

Day 24: Abs + Cardio

Day 25: Rest

Day 26: Standing (3x) + Cardio

Day 27: Abs

Day 28: Rest

Day 29: Standing + Plank + Floor (1x)

Day 30: Abs + Cardio

Day 31: Rest

Exercise bank

Standing Glute Exercises

Pull Through Lunge

Standing with the feet hip-distance apart, step one foot back and one foot forward. Bend the back knee towards the ground as you bend the front knee tracking over the ankle. From here, press down through the front foot’s heel and pull the back knee up and forward towards your chest. Work the standing leg glute even more with an added squeeze at the top as the opposite knee comes up and through. Step the knee back and lower the foot back down, and repeat 10 times. Switch sides.

Mini Side Lunge into Pull Through

Standing upright, step your left leg out to the side and bend the left knee into a halfway side lunge. Press off through the left heel and bring the leg and knee back to center. Lift the knee up towards your chest as you squeeze your right glute and press down through the right heel. Repeat 10 times on this side and then switch.

Single Leg Deadlift

Standing upright, balance on the right foot. Extend the left leg behind you, and lean forward as you lift the left leg up behind you until it is parallel to the floor. Keep the leg straight and squeeze the left glute at the top. Then lower the leg back down towards the ground and bring your torso up to center. Repeat 10 times, then switch sides.

Side Lunge Left Lift

Step to the right and bend the right knee. From this side lunge, lift the left leg up and pulse it up as high as your hip, then tap it back down to the ground. Repeat this 10 times, and then switch sides.

Basic Squat

Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, bend your knees and sit your glutes back as if you’re sitting into a chair. Pull your naval in towards your spine and make sure your knees aren’t going forward past your toes. Then press down through the heels to stand back up while squeezing your glutes. Repeat this 10 times.

Modified Plank Glute Exercises

Lift and Tap

With your naval pulling in on your hands and knees, extend the right leg behind you. Lift the leg up as high as your hips, then tap it to the right. Lift it back up and bring it back to center. Lift and tap 10 times, then switch legs.

Raise the Roof

On your hands and knees, lift your right knee off the ground and pull your right heel towards your right glute creating a 90-degree angle. Push your right foot up towards the ceiling to engage the back of the leg and glute, and then release it back down to the starting position. Repeat 10 times, then switch legs.

Fire Hydrant

From hands and knees, lift the right knee off of the ground. Open the right knee to the right (as if you’re a doggy lifting your leg up to urinate!). Then bring it back towards center. Repeat this 10 times, then switch to the left leg.

Fire Hydrant into Leg Extension

Perform the exercise above, except instead of coming back to center, press the leg straight on a diagonal. Then bring it back to the fire hydrant position, and back to center. Repeat 10 times on the right, and then switch to the left.

Floor Glute Exercises

Lift and Lower

Lying on your side, with your legs stacked on top of each other, lift your right leg up towards the ceiling, and then lower it back down. Slowly do this so that you feel the outer hip and glute engaging. Lift and lower 10 times, then repeat on the other side.

Leg Circles

From the above position, lift the top so that your legs are not touching (about a foot above the bottom leg) and draw circles with your leg. Draw ten circles to the front, than reverse and draw ten towards the back. Switch sides.

Ride the Bike

Lying on your side with your top leg elevated, bend your right knee in towards your chest, then extend if out towards the front as if you’re pushing down on a bike pedal, press the leg back straight, and then bend the knee back in towards the chest. Repeat this 10 times.

Ride the Bike Backwards

Then ride the bike backwards on the same side! After completing 10 reps, flip to the other side to repeat on the other leg.

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