Need a bit of cardio in your life? This week’s Best Butt Exercise is a great one because not only does it work out your butt to get a rounder and firmer shape – it’s also an excellent cardiovascular workout that will really burn those Calories!

step ups

Exercise: Step Ups
Muscles worked: Glutes, Hamstrings, Quads, and balance muscles (core), Cardiovascular system
Jolie Recommends: 3 Sets of 10 step ups per side. Add weight by holding a pair of dumbbells or a barbell/weighted bar to make it more challenging.
Difficulty rating: 3
Effectiveness rating: 8

Step ups are an easy exercise that may look quite basic, but are absolutely fantastic for your glutes and legs. You will need some equipment for this exercise – either a freestanding step that can be purchased from most fitness stores or online, or you can use a piece of sturdy furniture such as a chair or low table/bench.

If you are after a versatile yet stable step that can be used, this adjustable step from Amazon is one that you will see in most gyms (as well as the demonstration video below). Worth looking into if you often do step training at home or want to introduce some cardio into  your home fitness routine.


Best Butt Exercise #20: Step Ups

Step ups may be simple, but like any exercise, you still need to pay attention to your form to ensure you aren’t susceptible to injury from performing this exercise incorrectly.

The video below shows how to do step-ups correctly and also shows you a few variations you can do to make the exercise a little bit more challenging. This move is great cardio and should have you breathing heavily because you will be using your legs and glutes – some of the biggest muscles in the body.

How to Do the Move

Choose a step height that is suitable for your fitness level and  body. Usually around

  1. Start with feet positioned shoulder width apart, facing the step.
  2. Position your right foot up on the step in front of you with your knee bent at a right angle or greater.
  3. Squeezing your glutes and leg muscles, transfer your weight into the heel of your right foot and step up to the height of the step.
  4. Lightly touch your left toes on the step, and stand up tall at the top.
  5. Keeping your weight on your right leg, lower back down by bending your right knee and lowering your left foot to the floor as per the starting position. This is one rep.
  6. Repeat on the other side, once you have completed a number of reps on the starting side.

Perfecting Your Form

  • Your knee on your bent leg should never extend over the front of your toes when doing step ups.
  • Ensure you are using the correct step height. If you feel too much pressure in your knees, then lower the step until your muscles strengthen.
  • Keep your torso upright, back up straight and do not lean forward or backwards excessively.
  • Pause briefly at the top of the movement and give your glutes an extra squeeze by pushing your pelvis forward, before stepping back down and into the next rep.

Reppin’ It

Go for 3 sets of 10 reps per side, adding weights if the bodyweight version is not challenging enough. Because you’re training both legs, you shouldn’t need to rest between sets – simply move on to do the other side.

Let me know what you think of step-ups by leaving a comment below. I’m just thrilled that such a simple exercise can have such great benefits!


Best Butt Exercises: Step Ups

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