The Kitchen Bench Butt Workout

Get your butt beach ready...The Pilates Way!

We all want to look good!

It’s OK, you can admit it. Looking good (whatever that means to you, because we all have a different opinion of what looking good is), makes you feel confident and gives your self-esteem a big boost.

And even if you don’t go to the beach, having a toned, tight butt is one of the goals that pops up quite a lot when we are talking to our clients.

So, I’m going to give you three simple exercises that you can do at home to get your butt in to shape.

But before I do that, we need to talk about the “Pilates Way” of developing your gluteal muscles and why it’s so important for your spine to have a strong butt.

Let’s get the technical stuff out of the way first.

You have three gluteal muscles…see below.


It’s really important to remember that the body does not work in isolation, so although we are specifically talking about this area of the body, on an individual basis, we would do an assessment on the entire body’s bio mechanics. 

The “Pilates Way” of developing strength is to create postural (or core) strength with the muscles that are deepest in your body so that the bigger “moving” muscles have a stable base to work from.

The butt muscles that are deepest and act as postural muscles are the gluteus minimus and medius. They help to stabilize your hips and pelvis and when they are not strong, it can create issues in your hip, knee, ankle and foot and also in the lower back.

The biggest glute muscle and the one that everyone wants to look perky and toned is the gluteus maximus and it’s the powerhouse of the hips.

To have great function and great looking glutes the “Pilates Way” is to work on stability first and strength second, increasing your ability to do every day activities and sports activities injury free and with power.

 So let’s get started!


(If you are injured or have bio mechanical issues in your body, check with your health practitioner before trying theses exercises)

A kitchen bench is usually the ideal height for these exercises, but you can use anything really. Go outside and use a tree trunk, or outdoor table. Whatever it is, it should provide you with some stability and be about hip height. Do a little warm up first by going for a 10 minute walk.

Level 1

Start here to develop some strength in your stabilising glute muscles. If you find this level challenging, practice for 3-4 weeks before attempting the next level.

Stand at the kitchen bench and lift your left leg out to the side

The right leg should be long with a straight knee

Do not let your body get pushed off the right side, keep it upright imaging you have a wall next to your right hip and it can’t move.

Lift the leg as high as you can 10 times, then hold it up and “pulse” 10 times.

Repeat on the other side

Then repeat on each leg another 2 times



Level 2

OK, so now it’s time to work on the powerhouse butt muscle, gluteus maximus at the same time as working on your hip stability.

Stand at the kitchen bench and reach your left leg behind you and towards the floor, but not touching it.

Your left leg should be very straight.

Keep the right knee aligned over the right foot

Do 10 times and then hold it at the bottom and “pulse” the left leg 10 times.

Repeat on the other side

Then repeat on each leg another 2 times


Level 3

This is a more advanced exercise and is designed to get amazing hip mobility, stability and strength…all at the same time. Do not attempt unless you have progressed through the other 2 levels.

Stand at the kitchen bench, arm’s length away and hinged at the hips

Stretch your left leg back behind you and lift it to the height of you hip

Lift the left hip and stretch the left leg towards your left shoulder, keeping it at the same height as your hip

Keep your shoulders facing the kitchen bench and not lifted or twisted.

Do 10 times and then hold the leg at a right angle to your body and “pulse” 10 times

Repeat on the other side

Then repeat on each leg another 2 times



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