How To Do Butt Kicks


Chris Freytag demonstrates Butt Kicks exercise

Butt Kicks have long been a classic training exercise for runners. This cardio move strengthens the hamstrings, which is what helps increase acceleration and speed. But you don’t have to be a runner to benefit from this total body exercise. Not only does it work the hamstrings, but it’s also a great way to work the glutes and stretch your quads to prepare for movement. No matter how you do butt kicks, in place or jogging over a distance, you’ll be firing up your heart and boosting your metabolism, which is how to burn fat fast.

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How To Do Butt Kicks

  1. Start standing tall and bring one heel off the floor towards your glutes, the opposite hand comes up towards you shoulder like running arms, then switch to the other side.
  2. This exercise is working your hamstrings so you should feel this in the glutes and the back of the legs as you pull the heel in.

Quick Tips On Proper Form For Butt Kicks

To get the most out of this move, you have to use proper form. While Butt Kicks are a seemingly simple exercise, doing them incorrectly means you won’t get the results they’re intended to produce. Focus on keeping these three things in mind as you perform Butt Kicks:

  • Your thighs shouldn’t move as you lift your heels.
  • Don’t worry if your heel doesn’t totally make contact with your backside. Work on improving your performance over time.
  • Try to increase your speed as you go. The faster you go, the more you’ll work your fast-twitch muscle fibers and get your heart pumping for some effective cardio work.

The Benefits of Butt Kicks

Learning how to do Butt Kicks and incorporating them into a more robust routine will help you improve acceleration and endurance, burn fat, shape your backside and strengthen leg muscles.

Improves Your Running Performance

In order to increase your running speed and performance, you need to strengthen your hamstrings. Butt kicks intensely target the hamstrings and help increase your fast-twitch muscle response, allowing your legs to move more quickly. Butt kicks also work your glute muscles, and strong glutes are essential for optimal running performance.

Gets Your Heart Rate Up

Doing butt kicks is a great way to get your heart rate up, either before a workout or as part of a bodyweight workout. When you’re looking to warm-up before a run, you can do butt kicks to prepare your body for your jog.

Helps You Burn Fat

Getting your heart rate up through cardiovascular exercise is an essential part of losing weight and burning fat. While strength training is crucial for a fast metabolism, cardio is the other half of the fat-burning equation. You can’t just do one or the other: you need both strength and cardio exercises (like Butt Kicks) to help you burn fat and lose weight.

Helps Prevent Injury

Your hamstrings and quads are prone to overuse injury if you’re a runner or participate in other forms of exercise. Doing Butt Kicks a few times per week strengthens the hamstrings and quads and prevents injury from running or other high impact activity. They’re a great way to strengthen your lower body and make sure you have a good base for other activities.

They’re A Bodyweight Exercise You Can Do Anywhere

One of the best things about Butt Kicks is that they are an exercise you can do anytime, anywhere. When you’re on-the-go or don’t have any fitness equipment with you, you can use moves like Butt Kicks and other bodyweight-only cardio and strength drills to still get an effective workout in without a gym or fitness equipment.

How To Incorporate Butt Kicks Into Your Workout Routine

Butt kicks are a plyometric movement that will get your heart rate up and strengthen your hamstrings and glutes. You can use Butt Kicks as a warm-up for other workouts or incorporate them into your strength workouts as quick cardio bursts. You can also use them in bodyweight-only workouts when you don’t have fitness equipment at hand.

Butt Kick Warm-Up Workouts:

Workout Idea #1:  30 seconds of Butt Kicks, 10 deep slow squats, 30 seconds of Butt Kicks, 10 deep slow squats, repeat a few more times and you’re ready to go.

Workout Idea #2: 8-10 Walking Lunges, 30 seconds of Butt Kicks, high knee skip back to start position and repeat two more times.

Workout Idea #3: 1 minute of Butt Kicks, 1 minute of Jumping Jacks, 1 minute Plank and 10 hip circles.

Add A Cardio Burst To Your Strength Workout

Another way to incorporate Butt Kicks into your workouts is to add them into your strength training workouts for a quick cardio boost. You can include Butt Kicks or other cardio drills into virtually any workout you’re already doing, and you’ll reap the benefits discussed above of stronger hamstrings, improved running performance, increased fat burn, and injury prevention. Sound appealing? Try adding Butt Kicks as quick cardio bursts in your strength workouts with the ideas below:

Ideas for Using Butt Kicks As A Cardio Burst During Strength Training

Workout Idea #1:  A set of Russian Twists and Squats, then 1 minute of Butt Kicks. A set of Push-Ups and and Renegade Rows then 1 minute of Butt Kicks. A set of Bicep Curls and Tricep Dips then 1 minute of Butt Kicks. REPEAT

Workout Idea #2:

  • 10 Push-Ups, 1 minute of Butt Kicks, Repeat 3x
  • 10 Squats, 1 minute of Butt Kicks, Repeat 3x
  • 10 Oblique Burners, 1 minute of Butt Kicks, Repeat 3x
  • 10 Army Crawl Planks, 1 minute of Butt Kicks, Repeat 3x

Bodyweight-Only Workouts With Butt Kicks

You can also perform bodyweight-only workouts with Butt Kicks to get an effective workout done when you don’t have any fitness equipment on hand. Here are just a few awesome bodyweight-only workouts that use Butt Kicks:

Other Exercises Similar To Butt Kicks

Are you looking for other cardio exercises that can get your heart rate up and provide some variety? Try these other exercises related to Butt Kicks:

Targets: hamstrings, glutes

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