This week’s Best Butt Exercises feature is a simple yet effective butt exercise that will hit the sides of your butt (the gluteus medius muscle) and help to round out your glutes to get that better butt shape that you’ve always wanted.

The best part I like about this exercise? It’s easy and you won’t find yourself huffing and puffing for breath. What you will get though, is a nice glute burn which tells you that you are well on your way to a better booty!

Exercise: Lying Side Leg Raises
Muscles worked: Glutes, Outer Thigh, Core (stabilizing muscles)
Jolie Recommends: 3 sets of 10 (repeat each set of 10 reps on each side, alternating sides between sets)
Difficulty rating: 2
Effectiveness rating: 6

Just like last week’s plank-turned-glute exercise, your butt will really benefit from this exercise when you add a resistance band loop around your ankles.

If you don’t have a resistance band, no problem, you can perform this one without any resistance at first, or alternatively with a set of ankle weights if you have access to some of those. If not, consider buying some! Ankle weights are great for building better buns.

Best Butt Exercise #15: Lying Side Leg Raises

How to Do the Move
  1. Start in the low-plank position on your elbows. Engage the core to create a straight line from the top of your head to your heels – no sagging of bellies or butts in the air!
  2. Keeping it straight, lift your right foot a few inches off the ground and keeping this height, move your foot out to the side (laterally) to a distance of about 1 – 2 feet. Try to keep this movement slow and controlled.
  3. At the full extension of the kick, hold for about 1 second.
  4. Keeping your foot hovering above the ground, return it towards your balancing foot, and touch down to the ground.
  5. This is 1 rep, repeat with the other foot on the other side and ensure to train both sides equally.

Perfecting Your Form

  • Keep your body balanced on its side by engaging the core. Don’t let your top hip sway towards the front or the back.
  • Try to keep your hips stacked vertically one on top of the other for the entire move.
  • Perform the leg raises slowly and with control, using your muscles to create the movement, not momentum.
  • Keep the toes pulled back and up towards your nose, and lead the leg raise movement with the heel of the upper leg.

Reppin’ It

Try for 3 sets of 10 reps on each side. I like to alternate sides between sets – I feel that it trains each side more equally, and also cuts out rest breaks between sets (one side ‘rests’ while you are working the other side).

Of course, if you like you can do 3 sets all in a row on one side and then switch sides to get a bit more muscle fatigue going on, but if you add resistance by ankle weights or a resistance band, you should be feeling the burn anyway.


Best Butt Exercises: Lying Side Leg Raises
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7 thoughts on “Best Butt Exercises: Lying Side Leg Raises

  • January 27, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    Does this exercise make you a “rounder shape round my hips”?

    • January 29, 2016 at 5:25 am

      Hi Anastasia, if you are using the correct muscles to do this exercise, it should target the gluteus medius – the muscles on the sides of your butt. Check out this anatomy post here to see exactly where this muscle is located – if you target this muscle the right way, it can help it to increase in size and may help fill out/round out your hips a little bit!
      Let me know if you have any other questions!
      Jolie x

  • June 14, 2017 at 10:03 am

    Should I do this exercise everyday?

    • June 14, 2017 at 12:11 pm

      You could Terry, you shouldn’t have any issues. But be sure to keep your body guessing by making it constantly challenging (See here for more info), otherwise you may not see the results that you’re after! You could also feel free to mix it up with other types of exercises as well.

  • February 1, 2019 at 7:21 pm

    This is a nice guide on lying side leg raises. I’m to add this to my routine and let you know how it goes in a month’s time. How do you measure the results? Mirror or the tape?

    • February 2, 2019 at 2:33 pm

      Thanks Abi! Personally, I usually go for photos and/or mirror for measuring results. Measuring tape is good too but I wouldn’t take measurements more than a couple of times a year as not all changes show on the tape. Good luck and look forward to hearing about how you went!


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