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5 easy exercises to tone your butt and thighs

Sculpt your lower body by adding these simple moves to your routine a few times a week.
Weighted donkey kicks work your glutes and hamstrings.
Weighted donkey kicks work your glutes and hamstrings.Tone It Up
/ Source: TODAY Contributor

Is a toned, sculpted booty on your wish list? The key to lifting, toning and shaping your butt is all about completing targeted glute exercises two to three times a week. Today we’re showing you five of the best moves for a beautiful (and strong!) backside.

And if you need more incentive to work that rear, know that these moves burn tons of calories, too! That's because working your lower body muscles — like your legs and butt — uses more energy to help shed fat from head-to-toe. Try these butt exercises at home and get ready to show off your toned, sculpted buns this summer.

1. Kettlebell squat

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This exercise sculpts the back of your thighs while lifting and toning the butt. You’ll also target your shoulders and biceps.

Hold a kettlebell or 15-pound dumbbell in front of you with your feet wider than hip-width. Squat down and back (think about sitting in an imaginary chair behind you) and touch elbows to knees.

Try to get your thighs parallel to the ground and drive your weight into your heels. Come up to a standing position as you raise the weight up and overhead. Repeat 15 times.

2. Bent leg kickback

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This exercise lifts the lower booty and tones the thighs.

Begin in table top position on your knees with forearms down. Engage those glutes as you lift your right leg straight back and up to the sky, foot flexed.

Lower back down with control and repeat 20 times. Switch sides.

3. Weighted donkey kicks

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This exercise lifts your backside like nothing else!

Begin in a table top position with knees on the ground and hands directly below your shoulders. Cradle a five-pound weight behind your right knee, keeping leg in a 90-degree angle as you lift straight up.

Think about stamping your foot to the sky as you lift. Complete 10 reps and switch sides. You can also complete this move without the weight, if it feels too difficult.

4. One-legged bridge

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This exercise shapes the booty and tones your thighs.

Begin in a bridge position with your back on the mat and legs bent at 90 degrees. Place a two- to five-pound dumbbell above your left thigh and lift that leg straight up.

Lift your booty by pushing up on your right heel as you keep your opposite leg in the air. Repeat 10 times and switch sides.

5. Mini band knee openers

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This exercise tightens your outer booty and outer thigh. You’ll really feel the burn!

Place the mini resistance band above your knees (this move can also be done without the resistance band).

Lay on your right side, knees bent back, feet together, with your body resting on that right elbow. Keep your feet touching as you lift that top knee up and back. Lower and repeat 20 reps. Switch sides.

Try these other workout routines: