Try These 14 Exercises To Work Out Your Abs And Butt At The Same Time

Life is busy. Between work, catching up with friends, seeing family, and carving out precious time for ourselves, it's a wonder that we're able to find time to work out at all. And when you manage to find that hour in the day (and we salute you for that!), it makes sense to try and get as much exercise bang for your buck as possible by combining moves to save time and maximize efficacy. Luckily, some muscle groups just make sense to work out together — like your abs and your butt, for example.

Both vital muscles for posture, our abs and butt provide us with the stability and power we need to get through everyday life, with our glutes improving our lower body movements and our core helping to bolster our form during exercise, says certified personal trainer Ashley Joi (via Well+Good). And the great thing is, these muscles are a doddle to train together. "The benefit of targeting both glutes and core in the same workout is that those muscles work together in a number of natural movements that we do, so it makes sense to find movements that work them together," states personal trainer Khalil Kelley. 

So what are you waiting for? Limber up, and take a look at these combo exercises that'll fire up your glutes and abs at the same time.

Single-leg deadlift

Single-leg deadlifts may sound intimidating, but trust us when we say that not only are they a cinch to master, but your muscles will also be thanking you. 

Single-leg deadlifts will not only target your core and your butt at the same time, but they'll give your legs a workout too, says Women's Health Magazine. And if that's not enough, the slow, focused nature of the movement assists in improving your overall balance, and adding weight into the mix can deliver an even more robust strengthening effect.

Begin your single-leg deadlift by standing up straight, with your feet planted at hip-width. Make sure that your knees aren't locked, with a slight bend in your legs. Then, gently transfer your weight onto one of your legs, and lift your other leg behind you, keeping it almost straight as your upper body simultaneously tilts forward. Keep moving, with your leg extending behind and your upper body moving forward, until your back leg and upper body are both parallel with the floor. Hold this position briefly, and then slowly return your body to your starting position, for a single rep. Repeat up to ten times, and then rest before your next set, before completing the movement on the other side.

Donkey kicks

You might think that donkey kicks have too undignified a name to incorporate into your workout routine. But we'd urge you to reconsider, thanks to the unparalleled effect they have on your front and back muscles. While the focus is on strengthening your glutes with donkey kicks, the activation your core receives gives it a workout too, with your shoulders also benefitting (per The Gym Group). As a bonus, this move is also great for beginners, and requires nothing more than a mat to do.

Start by moving onto your hands and knees, with your limbs stacked under your shoulder and hip joints and your neck and spine long and relaxed. Take one of your legs, and while activating through your core, raise it behind you, avoiding pivoting your hips as you do so. Move your lower leg towards the ceiling, squeezing your butt as you do so until your upper leg is in line with your upper body (like a donkey kicking out its leg, hence the name). Hold your leg at the top of the movement, and then gradually return it to your starting position, for a single rep.

Half Turkish get-up

While it may not be as well-known as some of the other exercises on this list, we promise you that once you've incorporated the half Turkish get-up into your workout routine, you won't look back. A variation on the regular Turkish get up, this exercise will provide you with benefits to your stability and balance and help to build your shoulder muscles (per SELF), while also giving you that all-important ab and butt blast.

To start, you'll need to get onto the floor. Sit on your butt, with your feet extended out in front of you, and a kettlebell in one hand, as Women's Health Magazine shows. Then, raise the kettlebell over your head, and bend the leg on the same side, planting your foot on the floor with your knee raised. Place your other arm with your forearm flat on the floor next to and slightly behind you, for stability. Then, looking at the kettlebell, press your hand and foot into the ground, lift your arm and body, and push your hip towards the kettlebell. Hold briefly at the top of the movement, and then lower your body back to the ground, for one complete rep.

Marching glute bridge

Like a parent who cares for all of their children, we love the glute bridge in all its forms. But honestly, the marching glute bridge kinda takes the cake for us (just don't tell our other kids that we have a favorite, okay?). This movement takes a simple glute bridge and adds in a marching component to super-blast the effect on your abs, while also retaining the glute-toning qualities that the regular glute bridge provides (per SELF).

Begin by lying on your back, with your legs bent and your feet planted on the floor, your hands outstretched by your sides. Take a breath, and push your hips towards the ceiling, making sure that your body remains straight, to move into a glute bridge. Then, slowly lift one of your legs off the ground and move your knee towards the ceiling, as though you're marching. Make sure that your hips don't move too much when you do this. Hold your knee at the top of the movement briefly, and then move your leg back to the starting position, ensuring that your hips don't dip as you do so. Repeat on the other side.

Low to high wood chop

When was the last time you tested out your lumberjack skills? Been a while, right? Well, even if you live in the middle of a city, learning how to chop down a tree is a skill that will serve most people well (hey, you never know when you might need to!). And the low to high wood chop can help you get your first taste of that axe life, while also working your upper abs, obliques,and glutes, and boosting your heart rate for a bit of cardio action, too (per PopSugar).

You'll be pleased to hear, though, that you won't need an axe for this move — just a dumbbell or kettlebell. Stand, and place your feet as you would to do a regular squat, holding your weight in front of you with both hands. Then, move into a squat position, while simultaneously twisting your body so that the weight moves to the outside of one of your legs. Then, pushing up through your legs, twist the weight to the other side, pushing it above your head, allowing your outside foot to pivot slightly should it need to. It's tempting to use momentum to complete this action, but focus as much as possible on keeping things controlled and slow, moving through your torso.


The superman is a staple of fitness programs worldwide, and is frequently included as a move that works your lower back (per Healthline). But the benefits extend far beyond your back muscles, and the superman will also seriously fire up your glutes and your abs, as well as your hamstrings. What's more, this exercise requires no equipment to do, and the improvements to your spinal support system and posture it offers make this a workout move that'll benefit you long after your exercise session is done.

To kick things off, lie face-down on the floor, or a mat. Make sure that your legs are straight, with the tops of your feet touching the floor, and your arms are extended out over your head, as though you're about to take flight a la Superman. Then, lift your arms and legs off the ground at the same time, avoiding crunching your neck back as you do so. Activating through your core and your glutes, continue to lift until your arms and legs are at the top of their natural range of motion, around six inches for most people. Hold the position briefly, and then return your arms and legs to the floor. Repeat this 8-12 times for a full set.

Squat jacks

Okay, look. We know you're not going to love us for including squat jacks in this list. They're hard to do. But nothing worth having ever came easy, people, and the fact of the matter is that squat jacks are seriously effective. In addition to working out your glutes big-time, squat jacks also activate and fire up your core, states certified strength and conditioning specialist Chris Ryan (via Women's Health Magazine). The wider stance you take on during the squat jack also makes it a great hip-opening exercise.

Begin by standing in a neutral position, with your feet at hip-width and your spine and back straight. Move down into a slower-stance squat, until your upper legs are parallel to the floor. Then, jump your legs to a wider stance, trying to resist the urge to straighten your legs back up as you do so. Land, with your legs still bent, in a wide-stance squat, and then quickly jump them back in to your starting position (as you might with a jumping jack — see where they get the name?). Repeat as many times as you can.

Plank glute kickback

Plank glute kickbacks are a great way to take a beloved workout move and make it even more effective. Mixing up your plank with some simple movement, the plank glute kickback targets both front and back. "Your core is the target, and your glutes are activated once the kickback is included," states personal trainer Ashley Joi, who also notes that it's a move that encompasses other muscles to make it a full-body move (per Well+Good). Efficient much?

To do a plank glute kickback, start by moving into a high plank position, with your hands stacked neatly under your shoulder joints, and your body remaining in a straight line from your heels to the top of your head. Then, take one of your feet and kick your leg back and above you, activating the glute as you do so. Return your foot to the ground, and then repeat with the other leg, alternating between the two for around 30 seconds (or however long you can hold your plank). And if you want a real challenge? Try throwing in a push-up between each kickback, to build even more upper body strength.

Squat press to twist

One of the great things about working out your glutes and your abs at the same time is that you can frequently do so while working out other muscles, too. Such is the case with the squat press to twist. This move not only works your central muscles, but the pressing motion, done with dumbbells, will also give your shoulders a serious burn.

Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand, holding each one lightly by your shoulders (per Women's Health Magazine). Then, sending your butt back behind you, move into a squat position, with your legs coming down to around a 90-degree angle. Drive through your feet to come back to standing, and as you do so, push the weights up and above your head, while simultaneously twisting to one side. Twist back down, come into a squat position again, and then immediately push back up and repeat the press-and-twist to the other side. Return to your starting position, for a full rep. If you want a challenge, try doing this move with heavier weights, to maximize the action through your entire body.

Warrior 3 leg balance

One of the things we love most about working out is when you stumble across a move that has its roots in a different practice, but which can be adapted to achieve an altered effect. The Warrior 3 Leg Balance is just that kinda move. This exercise uses the form of the Warrior 3 pose, found in yoga and used to promote balance (per Yoga Journal), and amps it up to get your abs and butt going while retaining its ability to improve your stability.

Start in a regular standing position, your legs hip-width apart, says SELF. Then, transfer your weight to one of your legs and raise the other knee, so that your thigh is at a 90-degree angle to your body. Keep your arms bent, and your hands in front of you, by your hips. Then, take the risen leg and extend it out behind you until it's straight, and as you do so, hinge your torso forward from the hips and reach your arms out in front of you. Your arms, torso, and back leg should all be in a straight line. Hold the position here briefly, and then return to your first position, with your knee raised in front of you. Repeat for 12-15 reps, returning your foot to the ground should you need to regain balance temporarily.

Single-leg multi-planar reach

The single-leg multi-planar reach might sound complicated (and, if we're being honest, a little like it's from outer space? Not gonna lie, we love that), but once you get the hang of it, it's a cinch to do. Not only that, but it's an accessible exercise that'll hit multiple muscle points. "This move is a great one to activate your core with the balancing element and your glutes with the hip extension," according to personal trainer Khalil Kelley (via Well+Good). And the all-over movement the exercise entails means that your butt will be getting a serious workout.

Stand in a neutral position, and place your hands on your hips. Then, transfer your weight onto one leg and bend the knee slightly, kicking out your other leg so that it's hovering off the ground in front of you. Tap your elevated foot next to your stabilizing one, and then, without losing balance, extend your leg out to the side. Return it to the center again, and then extend the leg out behind you. Repeat the full range of motion, from front to side to back, as many times as you desire.

Bird dog

Bird dogs are stalwart members of workout sequences worldwide, and we know why. Despite looking pretty unassuming, it's one of the best ways to hit your abs and your butt at the same time, while also assisting in the reduction of lower back pain, according to Healthline. One of the best things about bird dogs, however, is just how simple they are. Their accessible nature makes them a move suited to people of all experience levels, and people with limited mobility and/or older adults — although it's important to always check with your doctor if you have concerns about doing this exercise.

Begin by moving onto your hands and knees, with your spine remaining neutral, as SELF shows. Then, lift one of your hands off the ground, with your leg on the other side lifting from the ground as you do so. Extend your arm out to the front, and your leg to the back, ensuring that your hips don't rotate. Keeping your abs engaged, hold this position for a few seconds, and then return your limbs to their starting positions. Complete your full set of reps (around 12-15 of these movements) before switching sides to the opposite limbs.


Okay, here's the deal. We don't need celebrities or famous faces to endorse exercise moves for us, but it kinda does help sometimes. So that's why when we saw that the rainbow exercise was beloved by no other than Adriana Lima (per SELF), we knew we had to give it a second look. And we're glad we did: as Love Sweat Fitness creator and personal trainer Katie Dunlop explains, the rainbow is an exemplary butt-activating move that doesn't put too much pressure on your leg muscles, and which also keeps your core engaged throughout.

Start on your hands and knees, with your back straight and your limbs under your joints. Then, extend one of your legs, so that your toes are reaching back as far as they can behind you. Move that leg out to the side, and then, "engaging the glutes, point your toes as you lift the leg up and over to the opposite side in an arch motion, squeezing at the top," Dunlop explains. Move your leg back the other way, following the arch until your toe touches the floor on the other side. Adding in some additional weight on your ankles will activate your glute muscles even further.

Windmill lunge

We're a big fan of exercise moves that are named after energy-generating mechanisms. In our opinion, there just aren't enough of them! The Solar Panel Squat, anyone? The Electric Dam Push-Up? Get us a patent on those, stat!

Okay, we're kidding, obviously. But the windmill lunge is one move that is both very real and very good for your butt and your abs, particularly your oblique muscles on either side of your torso (via PopSugar). Begin by standing in neutral position, and then step one of your legs out to the side gently, to come into a side lunge. As you do so, twist your arm on the opposite side down so that it's touching the inside of your lunging foot, your other hand extending up above you, so that your arms are performing a windmill movement. Push your lunging foot back so that you're back into your regular standing position, and then repeat the movement on the other side. Try and do the move 20 times or so for a full set.