7 exercises that can tone and shape the butt in 3 weeks

A shapely, rounded, perky tush not only gives you confidence in your yoga pants and bathing suit, but toning your backside with butt exercises will also make you stronger for your active lifestyle whether you run, cycle, swim, dance, climb, or play sports. This challenge takes minutes to do each day, requires no equipment, and is simple enough even for bodyweight-exercise newbies.

Getting started: This challenge consists of five basic exercises that target your glutes and thighs. Over the course of the challenge, you will increase the number of reps you’re doing of each exercise, eventually working up to three sets of 15 reps for each exercise. Below is an explanation of how to do each of the five exercises, followed by the plan itself. If the challenge ever feels too easy, go ahead and increase the number of reps, or repeat the circuit for another round.

Single-Leg Squat

Stand firmly with both feet together. Put weight into your left leg and lift your right leg into the air.
Keeping the leg lifted, bend the left knee into a squat. Then straighten the leg to complete one rep.

Pulsing PliƩ Squat

Start in a wide squat with the toes turned out and heels directly below your knees. Place your hands on your hips, keeping your shoulders over your hips and your back in a vertical line.
While holding this position, in a pulsing fashion, quickly lower and raise your hips one inch to complete one pulse.
Two pulses equal one rep.

One-Legged Reverse Plank Bridge

Begin seated with your hands behind you, fingers pointed away.
Press the heels of your feet and hands into the ground as you raise your pelvis off the floor until it is in line with your shoulders and knees.
Raise the right leg into the air.
Keeping the arms straight, lower your pelvis toward the ground, then lift it back up to complete one rep.

Superman Lift

Lie on your belly, engage your abs, and extend your arms straight out in front of you.
Lift your legs, arms, and chest off the floor as high as you can, extending the fingertips away from the toes.
Lower the legs, arms, and chest to one inch above the ground. This completes one rep.

Donkey Kick

Start on all fours, with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
Keep your right knee at a 90-degree angle as you slowly raise your leg behind you until your thigh is almost parallel to the floor.
Pulse your flexed foot toward the ceiling by squeezing your glutes. Your back should remain perfectly still in a neutral spine. The motion should be small and controlled with the muscle doing the work and not momentum.
Return to the start position to complete one rep.

The 3-Week Plan

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Follow the 21-day plan below. Every other day is a rest day to give your muscles a chance to rebuild and become stronger. If the exercise does one leg at a time, do that number of reps on each side. So for the first exercise, the single-leg squat, you’ll be doing eight reps on each side for a total of 16 reps.