30 Day Butt Challenge: Build Buns Of Steel

Strengthening your glutes isn’t just a great way to have a sculpted butt that looks great in your favorite pair of jeans. The glutes, which are the primary muscles that form your butt, are one of the strongest and most powerful muscle groups in the body. 

The glutes are one of the key muscles involved in propelling you forward when you run, walk, jump, and climb stairs, and they help you squat, and get in and out of the car or a chair.

Moreover, having strong glutes can reduce the incidence of lower back pain, which often results when the hamstrings and lower back muscles are chronically overworked due to poor glute activation.

If you have been noticing that you’d like to tone and strengthen your butt, join us on our 30-day butt challenge to get your booty in gear.

In this guide, we will cover: 

  • What is the 30-Day Butt Challenge?
  • 30-Day Butt Challenge
  • Exercise Instructions for the 30-Day Butt Challenge

Ready to get glutes of steel! Let’s see what this butt challenge is all about.

A close-up from behind of a fit woman in pink spandex.

What is the 30-Day Butt Challenge?

The 30-day butt challenge is a 30-day program that encourages runners, other athletes, and currently, inactive people alike to spend just a few minutes every day on strengthening the lower body, with specific emphasis on the glutes.

The exercises in this 30-day butt challenge target one or more of the three primary glute muscles—the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus—which work together to extend, abduct, and rotate the leg and stabilize your pelvis and hips.

Over the course of this 30-day butt challenge, you’ll progress by increasing the difficulty and number of reps of each exercise that you do. The best thing about this challenge is that you don’t need any equipment, and each day should take only 5 minutes or less. No excuses!

30 Day Butt Challenge: Build Buns Of Steel 1

30-Day Butt Challenge

30-Day Butt Challenge Printout

(right click the image to save and print this Challenge, or scroll to the end of the article for a text version)

Exercise Instructions for the 30-Day Butt Challenge 

Walking Lunges

A person performing a walking lunge.

This exercise strengthens your butt, quads, hips, hamstrings, and core. Be sure to bend fully into each lunge, flexing both your knees to 90°.

  1. Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips.
  2. Step your right foot forward and drop into a lunge, sending each knee 90°. Your back knee should hover just above the ground without touching it, and your front shin should be perpendicular to the ground.
  3. Step your left foot forward and do the same thing, walking forward and alternating legs with each rep.  

Step-Ups

30-day butt challenge exercise: step ups

Electromyography studies have found that step-ups are one of the best lower-body strengthening exercises, and are great for runners looking to get a stronger butt. You can hold dumbbells or other weights to increase the intensity of this exercise. 

  1. Stand facing a plyometric box, bench, or step that is roughly knee height or slightly lower.
  2. Engage your core and glutes while you step up onto the box with your right foot, pressing through your heel to lift your body up.
  3. Step your left leg up onto the box as well so that you’re standing on top of the box with both feet.
  4. Step back down backward with your right foot first and then your left foot.
  5. Continue leading with the right foot for all your reps, and then switch sides.

Single-Leg Bridges

30-day butt challenge exercise: single leg bridges

Bridges are one of the most classic glute exercises and great for our butt challenge. During the 30-day butt challenge, you’ll progress from having your foot on the floor to raising your foot onto a stair or box, which requires greater glute activation.

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent, one foot flat on the floor (or on a step), the other leg up in the air, and your arms crossed over your chest.
  2. Squeeze your glutes to lift your hips up all the way until they are in line with your body from your knees to your head.
  3. Hold and squeeze for one breath, then slowly lower back down.

Jump Squats

30-day butt challenge exercise: jump squat

Jump squats strengthen all the primary leg muscles involved in running, such as the glutes, quads, and hamstrings, and many runners find that jump squats help activate the glutes more than regular squats, which is why they’re a mainstay in this 30-day butt challenge. Plus, they’ll give you a cardio boost.

  1. Begin in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lower your body into a squat by bending your knees and sitting your hips all the way back, as if reaching your butt back to sit in a chair. Engage your core, maintain a straight back, and keep your chest up and proud.
  3. Jump up into the air as high as you can, reaching up towards the ceiling.
  4. As soon as you land, bend your knees to cushion the landing, transitioning immediately into a full squat to begin again.

Walking Single-Leg Romanian Deadlifts

30-day butt challenge exercise: single-leg Romanian deadlift

This exercise activates your entire posterior chain, so it’s an excellent exercise for developing your glutes and hamstrings. Focus on squeezing your butt to help maintain your balance and drive the motion forward.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, chest up and proud, and arms at your sides, holding a dumbbell or kettlebell in each hand.
  2. Engage your core and glutes, and then take a step forward with your left leg.
  3. Load into that leg by bending your left knee (the one on the standing/support leg) about 20 degrees to activate your glutes while you lift your right leg off the ground.
  4. Hinge from your hips to tilt your torso towards the floor, keeping your gaze down to prevent hyperextending your neck. Simultaneously, reach your right hand with the weight down towards your left foot until you feel enough of a stretch in the hamstrings of your supporting leg. Your right leg should extend behind you as a counterbalance, and your torso should be relatively parallel to the floor.
  5. Contract your glutes to stand back up as you take the next step forward.

Sumo Squats

30-day butt challenge exercise: sumo squat

Any 30-day butt challenge is likely to have some type of squats, and this variation is great for getting your glutes on fire. You can hold dumbbells or other weights to make the exercise more difficult. 

  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, with your toes pointing about 45 degrees outward. Your hips should also be externally rotated.
  2. Inhale, pushing your hips backward as if reaching your butt back to sit in a chair. Make sure your core is engaged, your chest is up, and your back is straight.
  3. Exhale, pressing through your heels to return to the starting position.

Squat Holds

30-day butt challenge exercise: squat hold

This isometric hold will get your quads and glutes on fire. Keep breathing!

  1. Stand upright with good posture.
  2. Engage your core and descend into a squat, bringing your arms forwards in a counterbalance.
  3. When your thighs are parallel to the floor, stop and hold the position, breathing throughout.

Side Lunge 

30-day butt challenge exercise: side lunge

You’ll work your hips, quads, glutes, and adductors in this exercise. 

  1. Stand upright with your hands at your sides.
  2. Step your right leg out to the side, shifting your weight towards that side as you bend the right knee. Keep your left knee straight.
  3. Step back to the starting point.
  4. Complete all reps on one side and then switch.  

Side-Lying Leg Raise

30-day butt challenge exercise: side-lying leg raise

This move strengthens your hip abductors, which are muscles in your butt.

  1. Lie on one side with your legs straight and your head propped up on your arm.
  2. Lift your top leg as high into the air as you can.
  3. Slowly lower it back down.

Jumping Lunges

30-day butt challenge exercise: jumping lunge

This plyometric exercise is an advanced modification of walking lunges.

  1. Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips.
  2. Jump up, bringing your right foot forward and left foot back and land, dropping into a lunge, sending each knee 90°. Your back knee should hover just above the ground without touching it and your front shin should be perpendicular to the ground.
  3. Power back up into the air and switch your legs, coming down with the left leg in front. 

Deficit Reverse Lunges

30-day butt challenge exercise: deficit reverse lunge

Lunges are great for strengthening your entire lower body, including your glutes. This variation requires more glute activation, so it’s a perfect exercise for increasing glute strength. You can hold dumbbells or other weights to increase the intensity of the exercise. 

  1. Stand upright on a step, curb, or box.
  2. Engage your core as you step one foot back off the step as you drop into a deep lunge. Your front knee should be aligned with your toe, and your back knee should almost touch the ground.
  3. Your torso should be tilted forward about 20 degrees, hinging from the hips. Maintain a straight back.
  4. Push through the heel on the step to return to the starting position.
  5. Alternate legs.

This is going to be fun!

If you are looking to work your entire body, you can check out our Strength Training For Runners Guide.

30-day butt challenge exercise: isometric squat
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday SaturdaySunday
Walking Lunges
30 total steps (15 per leg)
12 Step-Ups per leg12 Single-Leg Bridges per side10 Sumo Squats

15-second Squat hold

10 Sumo squats
10 Jump SquatsWalking Single-Leg Romanian Deadlifts
12 per leg
12 Lateral Lunges per side

12 Side-lying leg raises per side
Walking Lunges
50 total steps (25 per leg)
20 Step-Ups per leg2 x 12 Single-Leg Bridges per side20 Sumo Squats

30-second Squat hold

20 Sumo squats
2 x 12 Jump Squats with 30 seconds rest in between setsWalking Single-Leg Romanian Deadlifts
20 per leg
2 x 12 Lateral Lunges per side

2 x 12 Side-lying leg raises per side
Jumping Lunges Alternating legs,
15 per leg
2 x 25 Step-Ups per leg2 x 12 Single-Leg Bridges with foot elevated on a step30 Sumo Squats

45-second Squat hold

30 Sumo squats
3 x 12 Jump Squats with 30 seconds rest in between setsDeficit Reverse Lunges
12 per leg
2 x 20 Lateral Lunges per side

2 x 20 Side-lying leg raises per side
Jumping Lunges Alternating legs,
20 per leg
3 x 25 Step-Ups per leg2 x 20 Single-Leg Bridges with foot elevated on a step40 Sumo Squats

60-second Squat hold

40 Sumo squats
2 x 20 Jump Squats with 30 seconds rest in between setsDeficit Reverse Lunges
20 per leg
3 x 20 Lateral Lunges per side

3 x 30 Side-lying leg raises per side
Jumping Lunges, alternating legs,
25 per leg
4 x 25 Step-Ups per leg
Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, and contributes to several fitness, health, and running websites and publications. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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