5 Exercises to Work Out Your Glutes

09 November, 2018

There are several strengthening exercises that are great for working your glutes. They’ll help get everything in good shape. Do the exercises below if you want to lift and firm up your butt!

If you’ve gone to the gym before, you might recognize a few of the exercises on our list. If you haven’t, don’t worry! We’ll be as detailed as possible so that you can follow the instructions at home and see results.

Read: The Best Exercises for Beautiful Hips

1. Squats

Squats are a classic workout and great for strengthening your glutes. If it’s the first time you’ve tried them, mind your posture. Squat as if you were sitting in a chair. Check this video out for more instructions.

With squats, knee pain is a danger. If you have knee pain, it could mean that you’re passing over the tips of your toes. Or, it could also mean that you’re not keeping your pelvis back far enough.

When you get the hang of squatting, you can add weights to your workout. Some workouts call for a bar, but you can also use dumbbells if you have them.

As you squat, try to squat lower each time. It’s a good way to strengthen your glutes. You can also do sumo squats, which entail a wider leg stance.

2. Backward lunges

Backward lunges for glutes.

You already know how to do normal lunges by lightly touching the floor with your knees. However, if you want to strengthen your glutes, try backward lunges. Always keep your back straight.

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There are two ways to do this exercise:

  • The first is by alternating legs, lunging one leg back and then the other.
  • However, the second option (the more popular one) is by completing all the repetitions with the first leg and then working on the other.

We want to remind you again that as you get the hang of the exercise, you can add weights to your workout. You can use dumbbells or a bar for a toner butt.

3. Pelvic lifts

There are a lot of names for this exercise, but we’re just going to call it by it’s most simple name: “pelvic lifts.” Lay on the floor with your feet on the ground. Lift your pelvis upwards as high as you can.

This video will should you how to do the lifts. Remember to never go on your tip toes. Your feet should always be completely flat on the floor. You can also do this exercise by keeping your feet on an exercise ball, on the wall or a platform.

As you get more comfortable with the exercise, you can add weights to your workout. Put a bar or some weights on your stomach for a more intense workout.

4. All-fours

All-fours for glutes.

For these exercises, you’ll need to get on all-fours. This position will let you do two different exercises to strengthen your glutes.  Let’s take a look at them:

Lateral abduction

  • In the all-fours position, you’re going to work your glutes by lifting one of your legs to the side.
  • The left has to be in the original position, bent. You should only be lifting it on one side (as shown in the picture above).

Leg lifts

Leg lifts for glutes.
  • The next exercise that you can do in this position involves lifting your leg upwards.
  • Here, your leg should also be bent and you should tighten your glutes to raise your leg as much as possible.

5. Deadlifts

This exercise might seem like it’s not doing much for you. However, you need to lift a heavy weight and lift correctly for results.

  • To do deadlifts, keep your knees slightly bent so that your pelvis sticks out in the back a little.
  • With the weight in your hands, lower your torso to the floor while looking straight forwards to keep your back straight. Start standing up straight.
  • As you’re going up, push your pelvis forwards and straighten out your legs.
  • Remember to use your butt muscles to raise your body. Some people do deadlifts on a platform to start even lower for a more intense workout.

Have you ever tried any of these strengthening exercises for your glutes? Do you think there’s one that works better than another? Remember, if you don’t know how many reps to do, the magic number is 12. This is especially good for exercises that use heavier weights. For the others, you can feel free do do more than 12 reps if you’d like.

  • Distefano, L. J., Blackburn, J. T., Marshall, S. W., & Padua, D. A. (2009). Gluteal Muscle Activation During Common Therapeutic Exercises. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. http://doi.org/10.2519/jospt.2009.2796
  • Contreras, B., Vigotsky, A. D., Schoenfeld, B. J., Beardsley, C., & Cronin, J. (2015). A comparison of gluteus maximus, biceps femoris, and vastus lateralis electromyographic activity in the back squat and barbell hip thrust exercises. Journal of Applied Biomechanics. http://doi.org/10.1123/jab.2014-0301
  • Hamstra-Wright, K. L., & Bliven, K. H. (2016). Effective Exercises for Targeting the Gluteus Medius. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation. http://doi.org/10.1123/jsr.21.3.296