Sprinting Is Actually One of The Best Butt Exercises

When most people think of butt exercises they think along the lines of lunges, squats, and stiff legged deadlifts. I don’t believe those exercises are as effective as sprinting is for your back side. Also, the problem with all of these lifts is that they can quickly build size in your hips, butt, and legs instead of building muscle density. If you enjoy those exercises and they work for you continue to do them, but add sprinting into the mix. I’ll explain the mechanics of how sprinting creates an amazing looking butt in a second. Let’s look at a picture of a nice butt first!
woman lying on a bed face down with a thong on
[I want to rest my head on her butt and take a nap.]

Do You Know What the Gluteal Fold Is?

Quit staring at that soft and shapely butt and begin reading again. Okay, just 5 more seconds. Times up! The gluteal fold is the area where the butt meets the hamstring. A person with a well developed glute-hamstring area would have a smooth transition between these two muscle groups. A person with less development here would almost be able to hold a pencil at the junction between the hamstrings and butt muscles.

Sprinting Will Develop this Area Without Bulking Up

Sprinting is an amazing way to develop definition and firm up the glute and hamstring area. The nice thing about sprinting is that it seems to build proportionate muscles in the legs, hips and butt over time. I always recommend sprinting over traditional leg exercises, because I believe sprinting builds great definition and tone in the lower body that can’t be duplicated with resistance training.

Running is is Mainly Powered by Your Gluteus Maximus

Jogging doesn’t really work this muscle to any great extent. Sprinting does a better job at working this muscle hard. The glutes are the largest muscle in the body. It takes more of an explosive movement to really contract this muscle hard. Alternatively, you could do heavy squats and dead lifts to engage this muscle. The problem hare is that the “time under tension” will build a large degree of mass in this muscle as well. Sprinting just involves many quick hard contractions that really firm up this muscle with less mass gain.

Some Tips On Sprinting Form

When you sprint, you need to relax your shoulders. There is a tendency to shrug the shoulders up as you sprint. The problem lies in the fact that if your shoulders start to rise, your hips lock up a bit…this decreases your ability to sprint quickly. Also, over time you will notice that your feet are barely contacting the ground for more than a split second. This is what you are aiming for. As you get better at sprinting, you will fly over the pavement in a way that is much different than jogging.

Other Major Benefits of Sprinting

Sprinting creates major metabolic changes in your body. Research has shown that high intensity exercise will burn calories long after your workout is complete. Sprinting also increases your body’s ability to increase HGH. Human Growth Hormone is your body’s natural fat burning hormone. If you only do low intensity exercise, you probably won’t cause your body to increase HGH release. Consequently, you burn less body fat if you only include low intensity exercises in your workout routine.

Sprinting Can be Done Outside or on a Treadmill

If you chose to do this exercise outside then go to a track or any place that has around 150 meters of pavement. Warm up by jogging for 100 meters and then walking back to the starting area. Do this 3 more times, but increase the intensity. The 5th set on is where you will want to go as fast as possible. This time, I want you to go about 25-50 yards before the starting area and jog the first 25 yards. Once you reach the 25 meter mark, sprint for 100 more meters. This is called a “running start” and it minimizes any chances of muscle pulls. Walk back to the starting area at a brisk pace and do this running start sprint 4 more times. This will kick your butt…literally!

Click Here—> Treadmill Sprinting Workout

Note: Don’t get worried that sprinting is going to build huge muscular legs and butt. It will create good tone and definition in a natural way. Celebrities like Jennifer Garner and Jessica Biel include sprinting in their workouts on a regular basis.

75 thoughts on “Sprinting Is Actually One of The Best Butt Exercises”

  1. Anna,

    The benefit of doing the steady state cardio after HIIT is that it uses the fatty acids that are released in the blood stream from HIIT. HIIT burns many calories and jacks up your HGH levels, but the added benefit of steady state cardio is that it is good for using fat for fuel. You are taking advantage of a great situation that your body is in right after doing HIIT. You can do the treadmill every day, but 1-2 days a week should be a little less intense.


    Sprinting will not build up your legs and butt, like lifting weights. I recommend to avoid direct leg lifts for this reason. If you really want zero chance to build up your legs, then do “marathon” cardio for a while…lower intensity running for longer periods of time…this is the best way to slim down your legs. Sprinting is better at tightening up you entire lower body, however.


  2. I have a few questions.

    Does sprinting build a bigger butt or makes it smaller? I store fat easily at the abs and lower body region. And, i tend to develop muscles easily around my thighs, so will sprinting develop big ugly muscles around my thighs and butt ??

    I heard that sprinting can also reduce abs fat efficiently but if sprinting also bulks up my thigh and butt muscles what kind of exercise I can do without developing bulky muscles and reducing abs fat at the same time??

    Please help me.


  3. Rusty,

    First, thanks for this website. I discovered it ab a month ago and have been doing HIIT 5x per week since then. This + diet allowed me to loose 12lb. I love it and feel absolutely amazing!

    Is it too much if I do trademill HIIT every day? I just love the energy boost it gives me – it literally changes my outlook!
    How ab twice per day (AM + PM). Is it even healthy for your heart to do it so frequently?

    And finally, what is the benefit of a 20-40 min jog (which I have been skipping) immediately after 20 min (excl warmup and cooldown) HIIT?


  4. Hi Rusty,
    I just started reading your blog and love the advice! I just have one question: from reading your comments, it seems as though you recommend doing weight training at the start of your workout, followed by HIIT/cardio. Is this the best way to work upper body muscles?

  5. Farah,

    Go over to youtube and look up squats. There are great instructional videos there.


  6. hi can u tell me what is the squats and how can i make my butt bigger i have nothing i feel very bad i will every thing please help me thanks you freind bye

  7. Nan,

    Do some squats if you want a bigger butt. I RARELY recommend squats, but in your case it will help you reach your goal. As far as getting a bigger butt, don’t dwell on this. I would venture to say that about 1/2 the male population likes the smaller Victoria Secret Model style butt. I am a big fan of both looks 🙂


  8. Is sprinting really capable of building a bigger butt though, not just shaping up the gluteal fold? I need help building a bigger butt. I don’t have access to a gym right now but do have an elliptical and free weights at home. If I do HIIT my waist shrinks (‘yeah’) however, my butt shrinks even more, its ridiculous.

  9. Rusty,

    Yes, the health club where I work out does have some “step-mills” as well as lots of other cardio machines, such as all the different ellipticals, etc. So, that sounds like a good plan… I will do 10-15 minutes worth of very intense HIIT on the Treadmill, and then I will follow up with some steady state cardio (20-30 minutes more), sometimes on the Treadmill, but maybe occasionally alternating with some steady state on the stepmill and ellipticals, and stairmasters to stave off injuries.

    I am pretty excited and motivated with all of this new info and I expect some great results in short order. I will check back in a month of two and let you know how it is going.

    Thanks again….!



  10. NancyJ,

    Thanks for the compliment and I’m glad you found my site. I like it when new people start reading and commenting. There is a growing number of people who are regular readers and it makes it fun to connect with many people.

    I am one of the rare trainers that advises against squats and direct leg work for most people. This is a HUGE deal for a lot of trainers…I get criticized for it on a regular basis, but I don’t care…tough cardio works your legs in a way that increases definition without increasing size. I know that is what women want!

    Do you have a Stepmill in your gym? This is the type of stair stepper that has “Real” stairs kind of like an escalator. This is a great substitute for the treadmill.

    Also…if you begin your workout with a hard HIIT workout on the treadmill for 10-15 minutes, then ellipticals keep the heart pumping really well. You hop on for 20 minutes after your HIIT. Same with the stairmaster. I don’t like these exercises on their own, but they are a great thing to add after you have jacked up your heart rate on the treadmill.

    You are doing the right think to get the look you are shooting for! Don’t stress about missing the direct leg work…you will get outstanding results from intense cardio. Slim and sexy 🙂

    Have a great one!


  11. Hi, Rusty,

    I am sooooooo glad that I stumbled onto your site/blog about 2 weeka ago… you have now become my favorite “fitness guru” and here’s why:

    The fact that you promote the (sexier) Lean and Tone look, instead of the ÃœberMuscular-Hunky look that most trainers try to get us to work toward is exactly in keeping with my own personal desire and philosophy — but I have had trouble trying to find any fitness experts who felt that same way and could give good advice toward that end.

    I am a medium to slightly built female, 5’4 115 lbs, and have been fairly athletic all of my life, so I am not a wimp. However, I am capable of getting over-developed hip and thigh muscles when I over-exercise them. Fortunately I have really, really great posture (years of great ballet training), sleek, slim but toned arms, and even somewhat wide shoulders for a female (which can make the waist, hips and legs look leaner). But overtraining the legs and glutes, etc, can really wreck your figure, I am now sadly discovering — the hard way!

    For the past couple of years, I decided I needed professional help to get my figure in shape, so I hired a pretty good professional trainer. In general, he has really helped me quite a bit, teaching me how to use freeweights using good form, etc — BUT — he has been having me do high-rep lunges and squats and the muscle has been building up faster than the fat has been coming off! I think that HE thinks that my problem is just a little subcutaneous fat, but I think it is MORE than that — too much muscle!

    Last year, for personal reasons, I had to drastically cut down the amount of exercise I was doing, in order to sell my house, buy a new house, move, etc., and as a result, I was (1) not doing any weight-training at all for 2 months, and (2) eating fairly little food per day, (no special diet, though, mainly small sandwiches for dinner and lunch) due to nervousness and stress from moving, and (3) continually moving and lifting boxes, unpacking stuff, continually moving and lifting, but no really “heavy” weight lifting.

    The result was that within about a month, I had not only lost about 5 or 6 pounds without trying (down from 116 bs to 110 lbs), but my legs and hips becames much, much smaller and slimmer with the slim toned muscle showing through… just what we “girls” like! All of this without really trying! I wasn’t even really eating ‘clean’, but my caloric intake was “fairly low” during this time, maybe 1200-1300 calories per day. By the way, I had had my Body Fat Percentage measured hydrostatically before and after this weight drop and at a LBM of 94 lbs, I went from 20% all the way down to 16% body fat! And my hip and thigh and waist measurements went way down, also. Upper body seemed to look the same… somewhat toned, but very slim. Lots of friends and coworkers (men and women) would stop me to ask “what I did” to get to look so good — and the fact is that I (a) quit weight training the lower body and (b) kept calories low while I burned off fat doing some packing/unpacking tasks.

    Of course, as soon as I went back to my regular life style, including regular training again, with the weighted squats and lunges etc, and eating a little more food per day, I gained back the “chunkier” lower body look that I had been so glad to lose earlier! My hips and thighs no longer looked slim and went back up to 115/116 lbs!

    But after reading all the GREAT STUFF at your blog, I am now back on the path to reducing/eliminating the lower body weight work and increasing the amount of running that I am doing, including interval work. Even on Weight Training Days, I do some running immediately afterwards. (Years ago, I did nothing but cardio; I even ran a half-marathon, but my body didn’t lreally look as good, because the upper body was too “thin” due to no weight training.)

    That just confirms for me what you are advocating… eliminating heavy weight training for lower body, especially for girls, but doing a little upper body work to keep toned. In my case, there is no danger of overtraining the upper body, because I just don’t have the genetics to bulk there, but lower body is another story. Even a little bit of bulk there is not the look I want.

    Now, I do have a couple of questions for you:

    (1) Since I don’t want to develop big thigh and butt muscles, which cross-training methods for cardio do you recommend, in addition to running? Is Stair-master/ Stair-climber ok? Row machine? Eliptical trainers? I understand why swimming and biking may not be the best answers. I just don’t want to overdo the running, in case I develop injuries.

    (2) Prior to working out, are the 6 grams of carbs in Propel enough to ruin a fasted cardio? How about the 2 g of carbs in coffemate? I hate black coffee and am not crazy about green tea, either. So should I just stick with plain water before and during the workout?

    Please advise.

    Thanks so much!


  12. Sai,

    I’m always cautious when talking about swimming. On one hand, I think it is an incredible workout for your overall health…but studies have shown that it is really tough to reach low body fat levels from swimming.

    The truth about swimming and weight loss…

    Read this article, It will shed more light on the subject. Thanks for the compliment about my site. I appreciate it.

    Have a great one,


  13. Yo Rusty
    I searched on your site for ‘swimming’ but no article on it. I heard swimming is a great activity for fat loss and muscle tone. and I’m dieing on hear on what you have to say about it

    Once again kudos 4 creating this GREAT site

  14. Amanda,

    Both jogging and sprinting have different benefits. Since your legs ar a bit bulky and muscular, I’m going to recommend jogging for all but one workout per week. Once a week do HIIT sprints instead of jogging…but jog the rest of the time. This will give you all the great fat burning benefits without the bulk.

    One other benefit of jogging…it is healthy for your heart. Yeah…I guess I don’t talk enough about health, but steady state cardio is great for cardiovascular health. It is a win-win for sure.

    Have a great one,


  15. wow…what quick response. thanks! Just to clarify–should I stop sprinting, which is what I’ve been doing after the TT workouts and just jog or should I add in 20 minutes of jogging on top of lifting and sprints? Thanks for clearing up what constitutes a “high carb” day as well, as I was eating them throughout the day.

  16. Amanda,

    Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. I appreciate them all, because if you have a question it is very likely that someone else reading this will have the same question. You are actually helping a ton by commenting!

    I am going to suggest a simple solution, that should help a bit.

    1) It is fine to cycle carbs and it does work well, but no matter what…eat the majority of your carbs after working out (you have a 2-3 hour window). So on a low carb day…eat just a few carbs after working out…on a high carb day, eat more carbs after your workout.

    2) Don’t eat any calories at all 3-4 hours before your workout…and even that meal 3-4 hours before should just be a quick digesting protein source or a bit of protein with fruit.

    3) Keep doing Kettlebells and Turbulence, but finish off your workout with 20 minutes of jogging on the treadmill (I know Pavel and Craig Ballantyne hate cardio, but it helps slim down the lower body on women very well). I want you to begin jogging, because this is going to slim down your lower body quickly.

    Don’t change any other variables for the next 60 days and I’m betting you will quickly slim down to a lean look. All my female friends that have incredible bodies end their workouts with running. I’m almost 40 and most of these women are in their mid 30’s.

    Get back to me in a month or two if you still look bulky. I’ll help you make a few more adjustments.

    Hope that helps!


  17. Hi,

    I don’t normally leave comments on blogs, but I found yours by googling, of all things, what to do about getting “too bulky”. By now I’ve read all your posts and am convinced you know what you’re talking about. I’m 25 and by most accounts, am in pretty good shape. I lose and gain weight/muscle pretty easily, but I tend to get too muscle-y for my liking. I really don’t like being called “buff” but would rather be slim and would settle for just jiggle-free. In the past I used to run but got tired pretty quickly after a couple months, so I jumped on the you-only-need-weights bandwagon. I have been working out with heavy weights and kettlebells and packed on ten pounds of muscle and now none of my jeans fit. It is very frustrating. I always felt like I have to choose between cellulite butt or big huge muscle butt. For the past three weeks I have been doing Turbulence Training circuit workouts and HIIT sprints 5-6 days a week and carb/calorie cycling between 1300-1600 calories a day. The only problem is I haven’t lost a single pound. Not. One. Pound. And my jeans aren’t getting looser. I’m 5’7 and weigh 136 (after all that muscle). I would like to lose about ten pounds. Some questions:

    You’ve mentioned Turbulence training here and I was wondering what parts you agree/disagree with specifically as it is low rep/high intensity?

    Will the kettlebells have a bulking effect (specifically lower body)? I use 25 lbs for swings.

    (As an aside, the models that they use in women’s fitness magazines like Shape cannot possibly look that way by doing the exercises they model…so what are they doing that keeps them from looking like the Viking women with pigtails in the bodybuilding mags? 😉 Is it HIIT, superior genes, what??

  18. Rusty,
    I dont know how I missed this one! Ive read almost all of your discussions. I know in the past Ive really focused on squats and lunges but I always ended up making my body bigger rather than toning it up. You’d think I would have seen the correlation but….I was doing a workout setup by one of those so called “trainers” and I trusted what they said. Well…it didnt work! Ive never had big hips but after doing all of those leg/butt/hip exercises I ended up adding inches to my lower body. I eventually focused more on cardio and then was able to lose those inches I added. I see people all of the time doing all of those squats with heavy weights and 8-12 reps) with the thought that they are going to “tone” their lower body when it really is making it bigger! I’m thankful for your site! I actually have worked out for years but have been doing it all wrong. I am making so much progress since following your advice. I measured again tonight and Im done 8 inches! WOW!!!!!!!!!!! Im also down 6 pounds. Thanks, Rusty. You’ve inspired me to be the best I can be. I want to be 40 and FABULOUS!

  19. Bob,

    I’m getting pumped up big time for the Olympics. I LOVE track and field, basketball, swimming, gymnastics, etc…I’m going to be posting big time about the Olympics as we get closer. The athletes in the Summer Olympics are the best of the best.

    I can’t wait to see Webb! Running 400m in 47 seconds is out of this world fast!


  20. Hey I saw you guys talking about distance runners neglecting their upper bodies. This is VERY true for the most part. The new American record holder in the mile (with a time of 3 minutes 46.91 seconds) is an exception. When Webb graduated from High School in 2001 he was already muscular for a distance runner, and has continued to gain lean strength since then. Webb can run a 400 meter sprint (one lap) in under 47 seconds and has finished some races with 50 second 400s. Hist is top level sprinting speed is partially due to his upper and lower body muscle strength that most distance runners do not have.

    Here is a picture of Webb after he annihilated the US olympic trials in 2004

    This is Webb after he broke the American mile record last year…maybe not quite as muscular as in ’04 but still much more built than most distance runners.

    Looking jacked while winning the 2007 American championship for 1500m.

    I don’t know what Webb’s upperbody lifting routine is but I have read that he can bench 3 sets of 15 reps on 145 pounds…pretty good for a guy listed as weighing 145.

    If you do any searches on Webb you might see lots of critics talkign about how he hasn’t had much success at the world championships and olympics, but that should change at the Olympics this year. Last year he ran the fastest mile and 1500 times in the world, and second fastest half mile (1:43.84!!!) in the world, but peaked too early. With his training adjusted to peak about a month later this year he should have a realistic shot at bring Gold back to America in the mile.

    Haha sorry to ramble on about a distance runner but thought some people might find this interesting.

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