Best cardio workouts for your heart without losing your butt (or your mind)

We live in a society where butts are “in” (@KimK I’m looking at you). Since I was not naturally born with a butt like Jen Selter, nor will I ever have a butt like Jen Selter, I have to work with what god gave me. Unfortunately, in my case, what god gave me was a pancake ass. It’s still a touchy subject. We also live in a society where many people don’t know much about cardiovascular exercise and assume running miles on end is the best and only cardio workout. Although I’m sure that’s great for some peoples lifestyles and fitness goals, I’m not into it. I’ve come to the realization working out your butt/legs and still getting endurance training through cardio isn’t hard and is way better than running mindlessly, you just have to get a little creative with it. Below I’ve listed my favorite “butt-building” (I’m cringing too don’t worry) cardio workouts for each type of cardio machine. Each workout is roughly 20 minutes because I usually tap out at around that time, but obviously can be catered to whatever length works best for you.

Treadmill Butt Workout (25 Minutes)

5 Minute Warm Up

  • Treadmill Setting

    • Incline = 15.0 (or the maximum incline level on your treadmill)

    • Speed = 3.5

18 Minute Interval Sets

  • Alternate between two minutes of running and one minute of walking, adjusting the incline and speed as you switch (should complete 6 sets)

    • Running Treadmill Setting

      • Incline = 6.0

      • Speed = 5.5-7.0 (I like to build up to 7.0 gradually over the 6 sets)

    • Walking Treadmill Setting

      • Incline = 15.0

      • Speed = 3.5

2 Minute Cool Down

  • Treadmill Setting

    • Incline = 5.0

    • Speed = 3.0

Tips: Walking and running on incline can be hard on your back so make sure you are consciously engaging your core throughout the whole workout for spine support. Also running can feel like actual death but actively remembering to take deep breaths (in through your nose and out through your mouth) instead of shallow ones helps you push through the interval portion of the workout.

Elliptical Butt Workout (20 Minutes)

5 Minute Warm Up

  • Level = 7

5 Minute Sprint

  • Level = 11

8 Minute Intervals

  • Alternate between 1 minute at Level 10 and 1 minute at Level 8 (should complete 4 sets)

2 Minute Cool Down

  • Level = 6

Tips: Instead of raising your heels off the machine, make sure to actively keep your feet flat on the peddles of the machine and really push into the heel of your foot. The more you push into the heel of your foot the more your glutes are targeted and the better your results will be.

Stairclimber Butt Workout (20 Minutes)

8 Minute Moderate Climb

  • Level = 16

5 Minute Side Climb (Right)

  • Level = 10

5 Minute Side Climb (Left)

  • Level = 10

2 Minute Sprint

  • Level = 18

Tips: Loosely hold on to the machine so you don’t eat shit but don’t death grip the machine and cheat yourself out of a good workout. Also, just like the elliptical, the more you push into your heel the more you are targeting your butt and as ALWAYS remember to engage your core. The “climbing” motion is an amazing lower ab workout as well as butt workout.

Bike Butt Workout (20 Minutes)

5 Minute Seated Warm Up

  • Resistance = Light/Moderate

13 Minute Jumps

  • Alternate between one minute in Position 2 (standing with hands on bottom of handle bars) and one minute in Position 3 (standing in a more crouched position with hands on the ends of handle bars)

    • Resistance = Moderate/Hard

      • Gradually increase throughout the progression

2 Minute Seated Cool Down

  • Resistance = Light

Tips: The more your torso moves, the more pressure is placed in your back as opposed to your butt so keep your torso as still as possible when on the bike.

Machine Free Cardio Butt Workout (20 Minutes)

Part 1

  • 2 Minute Jumping Jacks

  • 1 Minute Jump Squats

  • 2 Minute Jumping Jacks

  • 1 Minute Jump Squats

30 second break

Part 2

  • 1 Minute Alternating Jump Lunges

  • 2 Minute High Knees

  • 1 Minute Alternating Jump Lunges

  • 2 Minute High Knees

30 second break

Part 3 (Burn Out)

  • 1 Minute Mountain Climbers

  • 1 Minute Jump Squats with toe tap

  • 1 Minute Mountain Climbers

  • 1 Minute Alternating Jump Lunges

  • 1 Minute Mountain Climbers

  • 30 Second Jump Squats with toe tap

  • 30 Second Alternating Jump Lunges

  • 1 Minute Burpees

Rachel WesthoffComment