Do you think butt workouts on land are hard? Well, pushing through the water is even harder. The butt is made up of three muscles: the gluteus maximus, medius and minimus. Swimming in the pool recreates cable resistance. No matter which direction you move in, water pushes against you.

You can target the butt muscles using a variety of swimming strokes, drills and other in-water workouts. Remember to stretch before working out. Read about the importance of a dynamic warm-up here. Now that you are warmed up, it’s time to work that booty!

1. Tread Water

butt workouts treading water

Here is a twist on a classic! Get into the deep end of the pool and then follow our steps:

  1. Slightly bend your elbows while holding your arms out to your sides.
  2. Make small infinity circles with your hands.
  3. Keep your left leg straight and lift your leg until it is parallel to the bottom of the pool.
  4. Keep your right leg straight and perpendicular to the bottom of the pool.
  5. Point your toes and hold the position for 5 seconds and alternate legs for 30 seconds.

This is an exercise that will help tighten your butt muscles. You will feel it as you lift your legs under the water.

2. Kick Your Butt Off

Try this exercise next. It will focus on your lower-rear core muscles, the glutes and improve your kicking technique. In the shallow end, do the following:

  1. Hold the bottom edge of a kickboard with both hands so it is flat on the water’s surface.
  2. Extended your arms and push off the pool wall with your feet.
  3. Start flutter kicking to the other end of the pool using small and quick movements.
  4. Rest one minute once you reach the other side and repeat for 5 laps.

It should feel like there is a large coin between your butt cheeks. Doing the dolphin kick gives you a less strenuous workout. So the freestyle or flutter kick is recommended to work the gluteal and hip flexor muscles.

3. Noodle Frog Kick

Your upper and outer butt will get the biggest workout from this one. Usually, we focus on our upper body strength. So moving the arms with a noddle can be difficult. Perform this exercise starting in the shallow end:
  1. Place a pool noodle under your armpits and across your chest. 
  2. Lean forward into the water and lift your legs. Add another noodle if you do not float.
  3. Tilt forward and extend your arms straight out in front of your body.
  4. Push off the bottom of the pool and keep your head up.
  5. Propel yourself through the water using the frog kick. 
  6. Turn around and perform 5 laps.

Alternatively, you can hang off the pool and do the frog kick. Your glutes and quadriceps will get the biggest workout. This comes from squeezing your glutes and thighs tightly together.

4. Use Fins for Fitness

Use fins to add another element to the previous exercise. There is more resistance whether you are doing the flutter or dolphin kick. Fins can make you faster in the water like in this exercise:
  1. Tread water while wearing a pair of fins.
  2. Keep your head out of the water and your body in a vertical position.
  3. Alternate leg movements for a flutter kick or move them together for a dolphin kick.
  4. Repeat for 5 laps around the pool.

Both kicks work out your gluteal and thigh muscles. With some fins, your butt will be toned in no time! Use short blade fins for an extra challenge. They will help you improve your endurance and increase your leg power.

5. Jog It Off

Competitive runners love to jog, but did you know that swimmers do too!? Water jogging works the same way as it does on land. Let’s review how you dash through the pool:

  1. Stand in shallow water.
  2. Step forward while lifting your left leg while bending your knee.
  3. Continue jogging while alternating legs.
  4. Do about 5 laps around the pool depending on its size.

You also have the option of using a floatation belt. Although it’s more of a challenge to try this without one. Try out a variety of speeds and test your endurance. Water jogging exercises the gluteal muscles as each leg extends in front of and behind you.

6. Underwater Skiing

Your buttocks, arms and thighs are targeted with this butt workout. You will feel like you are skiing without the snow! Try this out in chest-high water with your feet hip-width apart:

  1. Push off the bottom of the pool.
  2. Simultaneously move your right leg forward and your leg backward.
  3. At the same time, move your left arm forward and your arm backward.
  4. When your feet touch the bottom of the pool, hop up and switch your arms and legs.
  5. Repeat the process for 3 minutes.

Focus on keeping your butt muscles tight during this exercise. The movements will help tone your behind. This is mainly due to keeping it in a firm position for an extended period.

7. Jump Squats

butt workouts jump squat

Here is one of the butt workouts that’s light on your joints. Doing a jump squat on land has little impact, while there is resistance in the water. Find some waist-deep water and follow our instructions:

  1. Start in a sitting position with your legs spread comfortably.
  2. Bend your knees and keep your back upright.
  3. Jump and come back down into the same position,
  4. Do 10 reps.

Body-weight squats work your glutes on dry land. This isn’t the case in the pool. Jumping adds more intensity. The water absorbs the impact, which makes this an exercise that’s light on the joints.

8. Leg Lift (Kick Back)

All you need for this water workout is a pool noodle or wall. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Lift your leg out behind you and keep it straight.
  2. Hold the position for 5 seconds.
  3. Lower your leg slowly and do not touch the floor. Keep it there for a second.
  4. Without touching the floor, lift your leg out to your side keeping it straight for 5 seconds.
  5. Bring your leg down again and hold it for a second before lifting your leg out behind you.
  6. Repeat the motions and do 10-20 reps on each side.

Flex your butt muscles to make the most out of this workout. This way your butt will feel the burn each time you lift either of your legs.

Stretch Again!

A post-workout stretch is as important as warming up. Swimming uses all of our muscles and stretching prevents pain during future butt workouts. Our muscles are left in a warm and contracted state after leaving the water. Stretching 10-20 minutes after each session is essential. Check our recommendations to learn more and see which stretches you should try out!

What are your favourite butt workouts? Got any effective ones we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments!