No-Squat Butt Workout (20 Minutes)

No-Squat Butt Workout -- target your glutes with these low-impact bodyweight exercises

Hopefully you guys aren’t sick of bodyweight workouts because just about all my equipment is in storage for the summer. 😉 Today’s is going to focus on the glutes, and while I love squats, we’re seeking alternative ways to reach that booty burn.

I wasn’t able to shoot the video until later in the day yesterday because it rained all morning (=terrible lighting in my apartment) so I still have some editing to do. I’ll update the post later today with the video so check back here or my YouTube channel if you’d rather follow along than use the pictorial.

No-Squat Butt Workout (20 Minutes)

As you can see in the pictures, I’m not using any equipment for this workout. That being said, if you are advanced, wear ankle weights. I wished I had worn mine for the tabletop exercises.

Workout breakdown:

  • 20 minutes long, 10 minutes per side
  • 3 circuits (each 3 minutes long)
  • For each circuit: 20 sec per exercise x3
  • Rest for 30 seconds between circuits
  • Do each circuit on the right side and then repeat the three circuits on the left. If you’re a beginner, you might want to alternate instead (Circuit 1 Right, Circuit 1 Left, Circuit 2 Right, etc.).

No-Squat Butt Workout -- target your glutes with these low-impact bodyweight exercises

Circuit 1

  • Donkey Kicks | Start on all fours: knees stacked under hips, hands stacked under shoulders. From here, you’re going to press the bottom of your right foot up towards the ceiling, squeezing that right butt cheek. Pause at the top and then lower down most of the way (don’t let the right knee come to rest on the floor). As you do these, keep a straight spine by engaging your abs, pulling the belly button in towards the spin (this will protect your low back).
  • Donkey Kick Pulses | Hold the top of your donkey kick and pulse. This is a small movement. Instead of pressing the foot up, think of just making a fist with your right butt check–that contraction creates the tiny upward pulse of the leg.
  • Dynamic Donkey Kick Extensions | With your right leg, you’re going to continue to do a donkey kick, as described above. The difference is we’re going to bring the left leg into the picture as well. Tuck your left toes and hover your left knee off the ground in a table top position. As you do the donkey kick on the right, straighten your left leg (don’t lock the knee straight though), extending up into the air. Bend the left knee back to a hover as you bring the right knee down as well. You’ll be working your right glutes still but also that left quad.

Circuit 2

  • Single-Leg Hip Bridge Lifts | Lay on your back, arms flat on the ground by your side for support, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. From here, squeeze your glutes and lift your hips a couple inches off the ground so that your butt is hovering. Lift the left foot into the air as well. Leg can be straight or knee bent at an angle (my preference because I have tight hammies). This is your starting position. From here, lower your hips to a hover and then thrust them back up into your bridge, squeezing your glutes and driving through the right heel.
  • Single-Leg Hip Bridge Pulses | Hold the top of your bridge and pulse the hips up an inch and down an inch. Create this tiny movement by squeezing into the base of your seat (picture you’re making a fist with the right butt cheek). To modify, cross your left ankle of the right knee in a figure four as you do these–I had to take this modification almost every time!
  • Single-Leg Hip Bridge Hold with Toe Tap | Hold the top of your bridge position. Holding the hips high, tap your left toes to the floor and lift them back up (knee bent as you do this).

Circuit 3

  • Fire Hydrants | Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position, hands stacked under shoulders, knees stacked under hips. Keeping your right leg in that 90-degree angle, lift that knee out and up in a wing motion (like a dog lifting to take a pee), opening up at the hip. Bring it back in close to the starting position, but try not to fully rest the knee back on the floor. As you do these, try not to lean over towards the left. Press a little extra weight into that right hand to help keep your body centered as the right hip opens.
  • Hydrant Crunches | If you have tight hips like me, you’ll be in a stacked/open tabletop position for this one. To set up, get onto all fours and then lower onto your left elbow. Open up your right hip like a dog peeing on a fire hydrant so that your hips are stacked and you’re facing the side of the room rather than the floor. From here, you’re going to crunch the right knee in towards the right shoulder. Extend it back out straight, squeezing into the base of your seat as you straighten. These can be done on two straight arms with chest square to the floor but it is MUCH harder to hold the hip open when you opt for this alignment.
  • Hydrant Circles | Think donkey kick meets fire hydrant. Picture tracing a big circle with your right knee. Up, out, down and around. Watch the video–it’s hard to describe in words. 🙂

No-Squat Butt Workout -- target your glutes with these low-impact bodyweight exercises

WEARING | Camo Leggings by hpe c/o Shopbop // Nike Dri-Fit tank  // ToeSox grip socks

Ok before I end this post, something important:

Attention fellow bloggers!

I’m taking a “real” vacation next week, and want to schedule a few roundup posts while I’m away. These will include posts from the Pumps archives as well as posts from around the web. I’m going to do a workout roundup, a recipe roundup, and a roundup of general posts on the health/wellness topic. I would love to include your content! 

If you’re interested in having me link to your blog, send me an email with your favorite post from one of the three above topics. If you’re not a blogger but have recently read a great article, tried an awesome recipe you found online, or done a killer YouTube workout, I’d love for you to pass that along as well! Email me at: pumpsandiron[at]gmail[dot]com. Thanks guys! 🙂


Disclosure: Links to outfit details are affiliate. I appreciate your support!

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  1. I love that this lower body workout doesn’t include any squats – it’s easy to get in a rut and do them all the time. I’m planning on doing this workout tomorrow. Thanks for sharing it!

  2. Love these progressions through donkey kicks and fire hydrants! I will definitely incorporate these into my next barre class 🙂 thanks!

  3. Some of these are my favorites! I have a side leg/butt Pilates routine I’ve been doing for years. Love the small higher rep movements so much!

  4. Any time I can work the booty without having to do a squat, I LOVE it! Definitely going to try this over the weekend–I have a feeling I’ll be able to feel it right away! I shared 2 of my favorite super quick arm workouts ( on my blog on Wednesday–nothing like the awesomeness of your workouts but I love how simple & easy these both are! 🙂


  5. A great 20 minute workout. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Serious burn!! Thanks so much! 🙂

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