Tone your butt without doing a single squat or lunge

Are bad knees affecting the way you tone your tush? While squats and lunges are great tools for building strong hamstrings and glutes, improper form mixed with years of wear and tear can leave you feeling a little weak in the knees. Amplify your assets with this booty-building workout – zero squats or lunges needed.

Kicking combo. This lower-body combo isolates the glutes and engages the abdominal muscles to stabilize and balance your body.

  • Start in a tabletop position with your hands aligned below the shoulders and the hips stacked over the knees.
  • Lift the right leg off the floor and extend the leg straight, away from the body.
  • Pull the leg back toward the body then lift the right knee out to the side, keeping a 90-degree angle at the knee (picture a dog at a fire hydrant).
  • Continue this back-and-forth sequence for 15 repetitions then repeat on the opposite side.

Kneeling roundhouse. Stay in the same tabletop position for this next exercise.

  • Elevate your right knee off the ground until your inner thigh is parallel to the floor.
  • Keep the core muscles tight as you kick your foot out. Make your movements smooth to avoid faults in your form.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat 12-15 times.

Single-leg shoulder bridges. While cardio exercises are vital for a healthy heart and circulatory system, they often rely on the quad muscles to do the heavy lifting. Practicing exercises that are mostly quad-dominant (running, stairs, cycling) causes imbalances to form in the muscles of the leg. Luckily, moves like this one home in on the hamstrings and glutes to promote muscle definition and posterior leg strength.

  • Start in a supine position with your left leg bent and your right leg extended. Keep your palms planted on the floor for stability.
  • Push through your left heel and elevate your hips until they form a straight line from the knee through the shoulders. Hold for 2 counts.
  • Slowly lower your hips back to the floor and repeat 20-25 times.

Note: Remember to keep your weight in your heel throughout the entire exercise. Doing so ensures that you are targeting the hamstrings and glutes.

{Repeat this circuit 3-5 times}

Don’t let a fear of squats and lunges bring you to your knees.

Earn it.

Ashley B. Greenblatt is a certified personal trainer in Philadelphia. To learn more about her training style and to subscribe to her newsletter, visit