Moves to Get Your Best Butt this Summer

These 13 exercises will improve your fitness, strength and speed

With the year of the butt just behind us, it seems as though there has never been more attention paid to the backside. [slideshow:1368]

While the fashion and entertainment industries were (and still are) celebrating famous booties, you might be wondering how to get your best butt. There’s no shame in wanting a strong and toned backside—not only is it a good look, but more importantly it’s a major part of a strong and fit body.

Though many people talk about core fitness, your abs aren’t the only group of muscles that have a major effect on total body strength and power. Your glutes are among the strongest muscles in your body and they play a huge role in overall fitness, too. Yet, despite their importance, they are often overlooked and under-trained.

You should log some time strengthening your butt, it’s a powerful tool. The muscles in our backsides help with everything from climbing stairs to running marathons and that’s just the beginning. Our gluteal muscles—The gluteus maximus, medius and minimus—are three of the most critical muscles that keep humans standing upright. Without those muscles, we wouldn’t be able to walk or maintain balance—and heavy lifting, forget about it.

So, for overall strength and a great looking butt, you need to take some time to train. If total body fitness and proficiency at everyday tasks isn’t enough motivation, these 13 moves will tone your behind and have your butt looking better than ever. How's that for incentive?

Glute Press

Start on your hands and knees. Balancing on your right knee, swing your left leg back. Your foot should remain level and your thigh should be parallel to the ground at its highest point. Take the left leg back down slowly and repeat. Remember to switch legs.

Single-Leg Hip Extention

Start on your back with your arms out to your sides for stability, in a bridge. Bend your left leg and plant your left foot firmly on the ground then raise your lower body and right leg out in a straight line off the floor. With toes pointed back toward you, raise your hips and right leg higher, maintaining a straight line with your body. Your head should remain on the floor but your body should be at a 45 degree angle off the floor. Hold and then lower your right leg down without letting it touch the floor.

11 other Moves to Get Your Best Butt this Summer