Must-Do Pilates Moves for a Great Butt

Here's the greatest thing about Pilates butt exercises: We almost never do anything that affects just one part of the body. Therefore, these Pilates moves will work the backs of your legs, abdominal muscles, and back too!

It is not recommended that you do all of these exercises in a row. These are options to add to your regular balanced routine. In Pilates we work our muscles in context with the effort you need for the exercise, so don't over-do your glutes (butt muscles). Stay balanced. Be sure to click on the full instruction links to get the details for each exercise.

Pelvic Curl

Pelvic curl
Ben Goldstein
  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Exhale: Do a pelvic tilt by engaging the abdominal muscles to pull your navel down toward your spine.
  3. Inhale: Press down through your heels to curl the tailbone up. The hips raise, then the lower spine, and finally the middle spine.
  4. Come up to the base of the shoulder blades with a straight line from hip to shoulder.
  5. Hold the position for 5 full breaths digging your heels down into the mat. Inhale one last time.
  6. Exhale: Use abdominal control to roll the spine back down to the floor. Begin with the upper back and work your way down.
  7. Repeat 3 to 5 times.

Heel Beats

Heel Beats
Ben Goldstein
  1. Lie on your stomach with your forehead on your hands. Your legs are together, straight underneath you.
  2. Lift your abdominal muscles away from the mat. Feel your spine lengthen.
  3. Turn your legs out very slightly at the hip. Draw the inner thighs together and keep the heels as tight as you can. 
  4. Keep your abs lifted as you draw the legs up in the air off the mat. Lengthen them as straight as you can.
  5. Quickly beat your heels together and apart.
  6. Do 20 beats. Rest and repeat.


Ben Goldstein
  1. Lie on your stomach with the legs straight and together.
  2. Keeping your shoulders away from your ears, stretch your arms straight overhead.
  3. Pull your abs in so that you lift your navel up away from the floor.
  4. Lift everything up in the air. The head, arms, legs, and abs all lift up into a lengthened reaching position. 
  5. Paddle the right arm up and the left leg up. Then switch.
  6. Begin alternating right arm/left leg, then left arm/right leg, pumping up and down in vigorous pulses.
  7. Breathe in for 5 counts and out for 5 counts. Perform a total of 30 counts or 3 full breath cycles.

Leg Kick Back (With or Without Exercise Band)

Leg kick back
Ben Goldstein
  1. Start on all fours with the middle of the exercise band around the right instep. Hold the ends under the hands
  2. Lift your abdominal muscles.
  3. Keep your right knee bent and extend your right hip so that your thigh is parallel to the floor.
  4. While maintaining the height of the knee, slowly kick your heel back so that the leg is straight.
  5. Bend your heel back toward your butt. Don't let the knee fall.
  6. Repeat 8 - 10 times.

If you don't have an exercise band, you can do this without.

Double Leg Kick

Double leg kick
Ben Goldstein
  1. Lie face down with your head to one side, and legs together.
  2. Clasp your hands together behind your back, as high as possible.
  3. Inhale: Pull your abs in, lifting your belly away from the mat. 
  4. Exhale: Legs together, bend both knees and kick your heels toward your butt in a three pulse kick.
  5. Inhale: Keep your hands clasped and extend your arms behind you, arcing your upper body high off the mat. At the same time, stretch your legs out straight, just above the mat
  6. Exhale: Return to the starting position with your head turned to the opposite side.
  7. Repeat 3 full sets alternating right to left.

This is an intermediate exercise. Start small.