Ask any woman: If there’s one thing that’s worse than fat, it’s dimply fat. After all, everyone hates cellulite. And that goes double for the ladies. Yes, this affliction plagues some men, but it’s far more prevalent in females.

While there are many theories to the actual cause of cellulite, one point that’s not disputed: It’s fat. So even if you’re still thin when cellulite starts to appear, the dimply area is likely the product of an increase in body fat. Think about it: A guy can be lean, but not have six-pack abs. The reason you can’t see his washboard is simply because a layer of fat is deposited just under the skin, hiding the muscle. That doesn’t have to equate to a beer gut, of course; softening up is a gradual process. And the midsection is the place where many guys seem to collect fat initially. For lots of women, fat tends to first accumulate on their butts and the backs of their thighs.

But that’s just one part of the problem. The other? The area where fat is stored under the skin seems to have a different structure than elsewhere on the body. And as those fat cells increase in size, this structural abnormality begins to become visible on the surface of the skin, leaving indentations.

That’s cellulite. The more those fat cells inflate, the more evident the cellulite becomes. The flipside: Lose the fat; say goodbye to cellulite. Trouble is, just as the butt is often the first place fat starts to appear, it’s frequently the last place it disappears. Which may explain why it seems like you can’t shake the cellulite.

Three best butt exercises. Use these moves to target, tighten, and tone your tush for good.

Exercise 1: Single-leg Hip Raise

single leg hip raises > OFF-56%

[A] Lie faceup on the floor with your left knee bent and your right leg straight. (Your right leg should be in line with your left thigh.) Now try to make your stomach as skinny as possible and hold it that way.

[B] Squeeze your glutes and raise your raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. (Your left leg should stay elevated the entire time.) Pause for 2 seconds, as you keep your tummy tight and continue to squeeze your glutes. Then lower back to the starting position and repeat. Key pointer: Your torso and hips should move as one unit. So the arch in your lower back should remain the same from start to finish. This way, you’re primarily doing the work with your glutes, not your lower back and hamstrings.

If that’s too hard: Do the same movement, but with both feet on the floor.

If that’s too easy: Do the same movement, but cross your arms over your chest instead of bracing them against the floor (as shown).

Exercise 2: Reverse Lunge

Reverse Lunges; How To Perform It And Its Common Mistakes

[A] Grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them at arm’s length next to your sides, your palms facing each other.

B] Step backward with your right leg, and lower your body until your left knee is bent at least 90 degrees and your right knee nearly touches the floor. Push yourself back to the starting position by pressing into the floor with your left heel. That’s 1 rep. Do all your reps, then repeat with your right leg.

If that’s too hard: Try the exercise with just your body-weight.

Make it even better: Try the exercise with your back foot on a Valslide—the secret weapon Valerie uses with all her clients. The idea: Think of your back foot simply as a support, so that you’re keeping most of your weight on your front leg. The Valslide will help you do this better, and that’ll make your butt muscles work harder.

Exercise 3: Stepup

Stepup exercise for legs. stock vector. Illustration of lunges - 83824118

[A] Grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them at arm’s length at your sides. Stand in front of a bench or step that’s about knee-height, and place your left foot firmly on the step.

[B] Press your left heel into the step and push your body up until your left leg is straight and you’re standing on one leg on the bench, keeping your right foot elevated. Lower your body back down until your right foot touches the floor. That’s one repetition. Do all your reps with your left leg, then do the same number with your right leg.

If that’s too hard: Try the exercise with just your body-weight.

Add variety: Stand sideways, with your right leg next to step. Then cross your left foot in front of your right leg and place your left foot on the step. Now perform a stepup. Focus on really pressing your left heel into the step to push yourself up.

Bonus: The Best Exercise for Your “Bum Smile”

Leg, Human leg, Shoulder, Joint, Standing, Waist, Style, Thigh, Chest, Knee,

Never heard of the bum smile? “That’s what I call the line where your glutes meet your hamstrings,” says Valerie. Here’s her pick for the best way to target that area.

The Exercise: Straight-leg Deadlift [A] Grab a pair of dumbbells with an overhand grip, and hold them at arm’s length in front your thighs. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent.

[B] Without changing the angle of your knees, bend at your hips (keep your lower back arched), and lower your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor [B]. Pause, then squeeze your glutes, thrust your hips forward, and raise your torso back to the start

Make it harder: Perform the exercise while balancing one leg. Do all your reps, then repeat with your other leg.