By Diana Gerstacker
TheActiveTimes.com

With the year of the butt just behind us, it seems as though there has never been more attention paid to the backside.

While the fashion and entertainment industries were (and still are) celebrating famous booties, you might be wondering how to get your best butt. There's no shame in wanting a strong and toned backside -- not only is it a good look, but more importantly it’s a major part of a strong and fit body. Though many people talk about core fitness, your abs aren’t the only group of muscles that have a major effect on total body strength and power. Your glutes are among the strongest muscles in your body and they play a huge role in overall fitness, too. Yet, despite their importance, they are often overlooked and under-trained.

You should log some time strengthening your butt, it's a powerful tool. The muscles in our backsides help with everything from climbing stairs to running marathons and that's just the beginning. Our gluteal muscles -- gluteus maximus, medius and minimus -- are three of the most critical muscles that keep humans standing upright. Without those muscles, we wouldn’t be able to walk or maintain balance -- and heavy lifting, forget about it.

So, for overall strength and a great looking butt, you need to take some time to train. If total body fitness and proficiency at everyday tasks isn't enough motivation, these 13 moves will tone your behind and have your butt looking better than ever. How's that for incentive?

Get Your Best Butt With These Exercises

Glute Press
 

Glute Press

Start on your hands and knees. Balancing on your right knee, swing your left leg back. Your foot should remain level and your thigh should be parallel to the ground at its highest point.

Glute Press
 

Glute Press

Take the left leg back down slowly and repeat. Remember to switch legs.

Lateral Shuffle Squats with a Step
 

Lateral Shuffle Squats with a Step

Start with a step to your right, place your right foot on the platform. With your left foot still on the floor, squat down -- using good form (back straight, head up).

Lateral Shuffle Squats with a Step
 

Lateral Shuffle Squats with a Step

Pushing off the left foot, shuffle up and over the step, landing on the opposite side with only your right foot on the ground. When coming down, lower into a squat; repeat.

Box Jumps
 

Box Jumps

Start by choosing a height that feels comfortable, but is still challenging. When jumping, the goal is to get both feet firmly planted on top of the box at the same time.

Box Jumps
 

Box Jumps

This move provides both great cardio and strength benefits for your legs and backside.

Kettlebell Swing
 

Kettlebell Swing

Start standing with feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointed out, holding the kettlebell directly in front of you in an overhanded grip. Bend your knees slightly and set your hips back a bit, your body should be slightly lower -- but not in a squat.

Kettlebell Swing
 

Kettlebell Swing

Lower the kettlebell between your legs and in one swift motion, use your butt and hips to help get the kettlebell back up in front of you. During the exercise remember to keep your core and rear tight. There are tons of other kettlebell moves that are super effective; you can find a few here.

Side Lunge
 

Side Lunge

Start standing up straight, feet shoulder width apart. Take a big step with your right foot, to the right side and with your whole body leaning right, set your hips back and lower yourself down. Keep your back straight, don’t hunch over, make sure your right knee is over your toes and try to keep your left leg straight and then hold that position for a moment.

Side Lunge
 

Side Lunge

Both feet should be pointing forward and flat on the ground the whole time. Return to starting position and then do the same thing with your left leg.

Curtsy Lunge
 

Curtsy Lunge

Start standing tall, with your feet hip-width apart. Step your right foot behind your left and lower the right knee to the ground, but don’t touch the floor.

Curtsy Lunge
 

Curtsy Lunge

Hold there for a moment and then bring your foot back to start (or you can kick the right foot out to the side). Repeat a few times and then switch legs.

Jump Squats
 

Jump Squats

Start with your arms raised in front of you in whatever position feels most comfortable. Lower into a squat then on the way up power into a jump.

Jump Squats
 

Jump Squats

Come down from the jump directly into a squat and repeat.

Straight-Leg Deadlift
 

Straight-Leg Deadlift

Start with an amount of weight that feels comfortable, but challenging. Hold the barbell with an overhand grip, standing straight up, arms straight down. Bend your knees slightly, keep your back straight and let your hips move back as you bend down slowly.

Straight-Leg Deadlift
 

Straight-Leg Deadlift

Move the weight down the front of your legs as far as you can, while maintaining good form. Pull back up the same way; you should feel this move primarily in your hamstrings and glutes.

Resistance Band Lateral Step
 

Resistance Band Lateral Step

Start with a resistance band just below your knees, legs hip-width apart and knees bent. Squat down and take a big step to the side, with most of your weight on your heel.

Resistance Band Lateral Step
 

Resistance Band Lateral Step

Slowly move the foot you left behind so you’re back at starting position. Repeat and then switch legs.

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For the complete list of the Best Exercises For Your Butt, go to TheActiveTimes.com.

More From The Active Times:
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-- Group Exercise Workouts Taking the Nation By Storm
-- The Best Workouts To Do When You're Too Tired To Exercise

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