Booty Cardio Workout: Build Your Glutes With Cardio

Cardio is often forgotten when it comes to toning and shaping the body. However, resistance training doesn’t have a monopoly on muscle building and toning. The right cardio workout will not only burn calories, but will build muscle too, especially the gluteal muscles!

Why only work on shaping you butt with resistance training, if you can also target it with cardio? Combining a cardio and resistance training workout (check out the other half of the butt workout plan) that targets your booty will ensure maximum results and fast!

To work your butt muscles, while you’re doing cardio, do the following:

Running & Walking

If you want to burn calories, increase your cardiovascular endurance and tone your butt, add hills to your workout routine. Running or walking on an incline targets the glutes and the hamstrings. Therefore, increase the incline if you’re using the treadmill or if you’re exercising outdoors go for hilly terrain. 

If you’re running or walking outdoors you can also add some intervals during which you run or walk sideways. This will work your butt from a different angle. Walking sideways really works your gluteus medius (side butt muscle) and other hip muscles, helping to shape your butt.

Walking sideways also requires substantial coordination, which means your all your butt muscles have work incredibly hard to perform this unusual movement. If you’re working out on the treadmill try the booty-boosting treadmill workout below.

Stair Climber

Stand tall and position yourself so that you’re leaning forward slightly, bending from the waist. Push up through your heel on your front leg, squeezing your glutes at the top of the movement. Avoid pushing through your back leg.

Also, take big steps and if you can exercise handsfree. If you don’t hold onto the handlebars it will work your glute muscles harder as they have to work to stabilize you.

Elliptical Machine

Stick your butt out when you’re exercising on the elliptical machine and push down on your heel. This will target your butt, outer thigh and hamstring muscles and lessen the work done by the front of thighs (quadriceps).

Also, ramp up the resistance and stick to pedaling forwards (read more about how to use the elliptical to work different areas of your body). This will fire up your glute muscles. Try increasing the resistance and/ or incline so that you can only complete 1 to 2 minute intervals. Then, take a rest interval, during which you dial the resistance and incline right down to allow you to recover, and repeat.

Change things up and pedal in reverse. This will target your glutes in a different way and as a bony also really work your core.

Read more: How to get the best workout on the elliptical machine


The recumbent bike will do little to work your glutes. Instead head for an upright bike at the gym or cycle outdoors. Ramp up the incline on the stationary bike or choose a hilly terrain if your cycling outdoors. This will seriously target your glutes and hamstrings.

Booty Toning Treadmill Workout

The following treadmill workout is challenging. It is an HIIT (high intensity interval training) type workout. However, instead of walking faster, you up the intensity by increasing the incline.

This butt workout essentially combines strength work with cardiovascular exercise. In other words, you’ll be working your butt muscles, burning calories and boosting your metabolism. 

During the intense phases of the workout, bend your knees a little, dig your heels into the treadmill and squeeze your butt to really work those glutes.

Start with a speed of about 3 MPH, modify the speed (and incline) to suit you fitness level. As you get more fit, slowly increase your speed and/ or incline.

TimeIncline (%)

Make sure that you are fit enough to do this workout and if you have any pre-existing medical conditions clear it with your doctor. HIIT style workouts are incredibly effective, but intense! If you find it too challenging (e.g. especially towards the end) just adapt it and improve as you go along. Aim to do the workout 2 – 3 times a week on non-consecutive days. 

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  1. Doing only cardio will not fix the situation. You’ll be smaller but still have a soft mushy look. You need to include weight training. (You can do this with resistance bands) Having muscle on your body boosts your metabolism way more than cardio alone will, and it looks better than squishy. You also have to eat clean 80% of the time. Maybe one cheat meal once a week..or even a cheat day. (You’ll outgrow entire cheat days once you start seeing progress).

  2. I usually do intense cardio on the treadmill and i found this cannot tone/build my glute!! I will definitely try the eliptical workout next time:)

  3. Hello fellow fans of health! Help me if you can. I am 5’11 and I am overweight ( can’t believe I’ve just told you all this, but I want help so…) and I am not a real cardio person, really. I love resistance bands and I have a mesomorphic body (but one couldn’t tell since I’ve put on 25 lbs). Is there anyone out there who can point me in the right direction to transform and redesign this body of mine?
    Here goes….something!

    Thank you!

    • feel the burn – get off your ass and get to work. There aint no magic wand my friend. You’ve obviously eaten what you liked and exercised as little as you like and this is where you got doing what you LIKE. Maybe you should try another approach.
      Until you get to the size you want – you need to do cardio and more cardio.
      Start walking, even if only 2.5km a day. Enter a 5km walk in 4weeks time and work towards it.
      make your targets small and achievable and build your confidence in your capabilities


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