Home Healthy Aging Saggy Butt Exercises for Toning Up

Saggy Butt Exercises for Toning Up

by Zac Martin
herd of elephants

As time goes on, we typically become more inactive. Our metabolism slows and one day we look in the mirror at our derriere to find it’s become a dreaded saggy butt.

Life just gets busy and we find ourselves with less and less time to do what we truly want to do. Household chores need to be accomplished, bills need to be paid, and just keeping up with the family birthday party schedule makes it seem as if it’s impossible to get much of anything else actually done.

Consequentially, most forms of physical activity and exercise soon go out the window. This is a downward spiral that we see most people begin to engage in as soon after they graduate high school or college.

Whereas they were once playing sports, going on hikes with friends, and hitting the gym on a regular basis, now there are responsibilities to attend to, and these eat up time. As children are born, more responsibilities come along as well – most certainly not a bad thing – but the fact of the matter is that children are a responsibility, and they do require time.

This in turn equals less activity and exercise time.

By the time one has retired, decades of diminished exercise time and activity levels has already transpired and one of the end results is decreased muscle mass.

For many, they soon discover they’ve a saggy butt. How did that happen, and more importantly, what can be done about it?

gluteus maximus
Image Credit: anonymous, Gluteus maximus, CC BY-SA 3.0

Behind the Scenes

If we can better understand why something happens in the first place, we can better understand how to fix it as well. We’ve already covered how diminishing exercise levels greatly attributes to a saggy butt, but are there other variables at play here as well?

I believe so.

Glute Amnesia

Particularly within Western society, we tend to develop what is called ‘glute amnesia’ as we get older. This is simply a fancy way of saying that we quit using the large muscles of the glutes to climb hills, pick heavy things up, walk upstairs, etc.

Instead, we seem to rely more on the quadricep muscles of the anterior thigh. The quads soon learn that they are to be the major players, and those muscles become the prime movers of movement patterns that previously (and should) rely on the glutes primarily instead.

Use it or lose it is most certainly pertinent within the field of physical activity and exercise, and the result is that the glutes ‘forget’ to engage when you’re performing regular daily activities.

The glutes develop amnesia if you will.

Poor Nutrition

There are a host of variables behind why people gain weight, but the main point to understand is that fat mass and poor nutrition aren’t helping your efforts to deal with a saggy butt any. Muscle is firm. Fat is not. It’s fluffier and lumpier than it is anything else.

Which one do you think helps firm up a saggy butt more? If you guessed muscle mass, you guessed correctly. This is why proper nutrition is so important. It’s not only total overall health that’s involved, but it also helps you to keep your muscle mass.

Muscle mass is directly correlated to quality of life. If you’re stronger, you typically have a decreased risk of injury, you can accomplish activities of daily life easier, and you experience a few other positive health benefits as well.

You must ensure that you’re eating properly if you want to better deal with a saggy butt.

For those who are interested in reading more on nutrition, Volumetrics and Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook are two of the best books out there on the subject.


One of the main reasons that many develop a saggy butt is because of injuries that have sidelined them. As time goes on, injuries happen, and they virtually always lead to diminished physical activity. It’s hard to do everything you used to do at the gym if you’ve hurt your knee after a bad slip on some ice.

If one has found themselves sitting down more than they’ve ever sat down before because of an injury, then they’re not going to be getting the activity necessary to keep those muscles as large and strong as they would like.

To beat a saggy butt, one must find workarounds for injuries as a result.

Low Energy

This goes hand in hand with lack of time. If your daily schedule leaves you with nothing left to give, then you’re more prone to plop down in front of the TV in the evening, refusing to get up until it’s time for bed. If one is seeking to tone up a saggy butt, this is a problem that needs to be addressed.

Muscle mass doesn’t grow while one is constantly immobile.

Activity and Exercise Recommendations for a Saggy Butt

The first thing you want to do before engaging in any new exercise program is to clear it with your doctor. They are going to know your medical background and will tell you what is safe with any prior medical conditions that you have.

Once you’ve received the clear from them, the best option is to find an experienced personal trainer or exercise physiologist in your region. A personal trainer who has been training for quite some time is not only going to know how to train you to help you build muscle mass in your saggy butt but is also going to know the work-arounds of any medical issues you have.

For example, let’s say that somebody has two artificial knees, a torn hip labrum, or bad arthritis in their feet. In any of these situations, there are exercises out there which can aggravate the condition, making the pain (and condition) worse.

It’s for this reason that an experienced personal trainer should be sought out. If they know what they’re doing, they’ll be able to help you to target the parts of your body you want to hit without aggravating any surrounding areas.

A Quick Caveat

Know that the below does not consist of medical advice. We at Elder Guru highly recommend that you seek out such from licensed medical practitioners if that is what you are after. Also, we highly recommend that you talk to your personal trainer.

If something hurts, they need to know.

Pushing through pain is never a wise course of action within a gym setting. If it hurts, don’t do it. An experienced personal trainer can always find a workaround for an injury. No pain, no gain doesn’t apply here.

Also, please be truthful with your trainer up front as to what medical and joint conditions you have. It helps them to build a better (and safer) program for you.  

What are some of the exercises your personal trainer may recommend? Here are a few this author has seen been used in the past after examining dozens of trainers through the course of his own personal training career:


There are several different variations of this exercise, but they all do the same thing: target the muscles of the lower body. Personal trainers like using variants of this exercise because the glutes are one of the prime movers involved with the motion of sitting down and standing up. Or at least they should be. Remember what we said about glute amnesia?

Trainers also must watch out who they prescribe squats to, however. Those with arthritic knees or hips don’t tend to handle squats very well.

Fire Hydrants

For fire hydrants, one simply gets on all fours and raises one leg out to the side as if they’re a dog marking a fire hydrant. It’s most certainly not the most graceful of exercises, but it does target the glutes rather well.

Personal trainers like prescribing these for people who need a lower impact workout, as it’s minimal stress on the joints. Trainers do have to be careful about working with people with hip replacements with this exercise, however, and often seek physical therapist approval before using such with these clients.

Side-Lying Hip Abductions

This is another low impact exercise that personal trainers enjoy using with clients to deal with a saggy butt. There are a handful of different variants that can be used for this movement pattern, but they all focus on targeting the hip abductors: the glutes.

For this exercise, trainers have their client lay on their side, raising their leg up to the ceiling, focusing on engaging the glutes throughout the entire motion.

Hip Abduction Machine

Most gyms have a machine looking something akin to a medieval torture device that is referred to as a hip abduction machine. With this piece of equipment, the user pushes their knees against two foam pads so that their legs ‘open up’.

As usual, there are a few different variants of this exercise, but they all focus on targeting the glutes. Personal trainers like to prescribe these for people interested in toning a saggy butt because of how well they engage the glute musculature.

Glute Bridges

This exercise is performed by laying on one’s back with knees bent, and then flexing one’s butt to pick themselves up off the floor. Variants used can involve barbells, minibands, benches, and different foot placement.

Trainers like prescribing glute bridges because they can be done by a large majority of people, and don’t tend to aggravate pre-existing joint conditions.


This exercise requires proper training to be performed safely. If one has sought out such, and their personal trainer deems it to be a safe exercise for them, this is a fantastic way to not only build total body strength, but to build up the glutes as well.

Variants with this exercise involve kettlebells, differing stances, height changes, and more. Do ensure you seek out proper training for this exercise, however. You don’t want to injure your back.


This exercise looks like a clam that is opening and closing its mouth. All one needs to do to engage in this exercise is to lay on one’s side in something of a fetal position and open and close one’s knees – just like a clam.

A lower-impact exercise, trainers often use bands to add further resistance to the movement.

Butt Wait! There’s More!

Perhaps what you need to know more than anything else about how personal trainers help their clients deal with a saggy butt is that it takes time.

You cannot expect instant results here. You’re going to have to put in around three months’ worth of effort before you begin to see results. That’s the approximate amount of time it takes for muscle hypertrophy (growth) to begin to occur. You’ll see improvements in strength with your personal trainer well before that time, to be sure, but these are predominantly going to be neurological changes within your leg and glute musculature.

And that’s great. Improving your strength is a good thing.

But improving your saggy butt was the original goal here, and for that, one must be patient and willing to put in the effort required to see results.

The Bottom Line

Fixing a saggy butt takes work, and you have to be willing to put in the effort if you want to see results. If you have the patience and desire to put in the effort with a personal trainer for an extended period, you can see improvements in your saggy butt.

Trainers often remind people that you didn’t save for retirement in one fell swoop. It took small, regular installments over a period of time. The same can be said for building muscle mass. It’s not going to happen after a months’ worth of killer workouts.

Instead, it’s regular and challenging workouts that are performed over time. In the end, this is how one deals with a saggy butt. What are your thoughts on the situation? Are there other exercises or lifts you’ve seen people perform at the gym to help deal with a saggy butt? Have you been training with a trainer to tackle such? Let us know in the comments below!


Source: https://drbodygadget.com/glute-amnesia/

Source: https://health.usnews.com/wellness/fitness/articles/how-long-does-it-take-to-build-muscle

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