6 Best Butt Exercises You’ll Ever Need for Perfect Glutes

It turns out women are not the only ones obsessed with having the perfect glutes (buttocks).

Men are too! 

According to Huffington post and Cosmopolitan, men find the butt being one of the most desired and attractive body parts in a women.

Further more, based on their online surveys, men said woman’s butt turns them on the most.

To create more desirable backside, here are 6 best and only butt exercises you’ll ever need to shape a perfectly lifted butt men can’t resist.

Surprisingly, science and evidenced base studies revealed one exercise beat and ranked higher than the gluteal workout staple, squats!

Read more to find out which one. 

1. Squats

Squats are often referred to as the best glute building exercise by many fitness experts.

The American Council on Exercise (ACE), a leading fitness educational institution conducted a gluteal exercise study comparing 8 movements’ muscle recruitment patterns and confirmed the claims of the experts. 

In the ACE study, lead researcher John Porcadi, Ph.D found when traditional squat with performed with the knees going beyond 90 degree angle, it showed the highest gluteus maximus muscle activation. 

While different exercises are proven to have varying effectiveness, as proven in the case above, how you perform the exercise also dictates how well you work the target muscles.

For best results, always perform squat with proper form and see the ACSM squat safety guide for proper squatting techniques. 

If you are unable to squat due to “weak knees” and “lower back”, consider performing other glute exercises such as glute bridges and quadruped leg lifts that place less pressure on your knees and back. 

For more on exercise limitations, please consult with your physician for fitness advice and safety rules. 

2. Lunges

Whether it’s walking lunges, forward lunges, or weighted lunges, lunges are great for strengthening legs, glutes, quads (thighs) and most importantly shaping and lifting your butt. 

According to Jon Erick Kawamoto, CSCS fitness expert, lunges provide more than lower body muscle activation. 

On running.competitor.com, a leading runner’s resource site, he describes, lunges work and improve balance (in the frontal plane) as well as strengthening weak hip stabilizers (gluteus medius) and mobility.  

He adds, another great benefit of doing lunges is asymmetrical balance between the legs. 

This asymmetrical balance is something that’s often under trained in many bilateral exercises such as squats and deadlifts. 

Those two feet exercises tend to further strengthen the dominant leg, while weaker leg gets neglected and under trained.

This unbalanced training between two legs happens because in bilateral exercises, dominant leg tends to take over the work of a weaker leg. 

This unequal weight distribution was evidenced in Arizona State University’s study “Influence of Weight Distribution Asymmetry on the Biomechanics of a Barbell Back Squat.”, which examined the possible asymmetrical movements in bilateral exercises.

This unequal load distribution can lead to muscular imbalance and injuries over time. 

Kimitake Sato and Gary Heise, lead researchers of the study voice the importance of correcting weight distribution asymmetry and recommend utilization of single-leg exercises with both stable and unstable surfaces. 

Single-leg exercises, also known as unilateral exercises including lunges, one-legged squats, one-legged deadlifts 
contrarily train for the asymmetrical balance by working each leg independently. 

See the comparison between lunges and squats

This allows weaker leg to build equal strength as the dominant leg and helps create the asymmetrical balance. 

Tips: Ensure that both of your knees are bent at 90° angle and chest lifted throughout the exercise.

3. Glute Bridge

Done by physical therapists to fire up the glutes and hamstrings this is one move that needs including in every butt workout!

Sitting on the floor with your back against a bench, and a weight across your lap, squeeze the glutes and lift your hips off the floor so that your hips are level with your shoulders.

Beginners can regress this move by either omitting the weight or doing the move lying on the floor.

For a real bodyweight challenge, do this move in a TRX suspension trainer! That one is a hamstring burner!!!

4. Deadlifts

Deadlifts, they hurt so good! As with squats and lunges it’s a love-hate relationship but for a great butt they are a must.

Straight legs will emphasize more in the hamstrings and glutes, but if you have flexibility issues you can bend your knees a little while you work on your range of movement.

Take the work out of the back by pushing the hips back and keeping the back straight throughout the movement. Switch to a wide foot position for focus in the gluteus medius.

5. Side-lying hip abduction

While it might seem “old school”, this exercise has its place in any butt workout.

Research by Lindsay J. Distefano PhD from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC has shown that the side-lying hip abduction activates the gluteus medius more than squats, lunges and deadlifts.

You can do this exercise as part of your dynamic warm-up or in your exercise routine as we did here.

Whilst the move is simple, it’s effective.

How to do it.

  • Lie on one side, with the bottom leg bent, top leg extended.
  • In a controlled movement lift and lower the top leg.
  • Add weight for more challenging move.

6. Quadruped hip extension

This one is old-school meets new-school.

Surprisingly according to the researchers from the ACE study, the most effective glute exercise is not squat.
Their study found that the quadruped hip extension activates both the gluteus maximus and the gluteus medius more than any of other exercises tested in the study, including squats.

Image for the gluteus maximus activation (EMG results).

Gluteus maximus muscle activation graph exercise comparison

Image for the gluteus medius activation (EMG results).

Gluteus medius muscle activation graph comparison

It’s one that surprised me the most, says John Porcari, lead researcher of the study. 

He adds, although testing was done without any weight, if weight was used, they could possibly see even greater buttocks activation.

How to do it: 

  • On all fours simply bend on knee to 90° and lift the heel to the ceiling.
  • Add resistances to challenge the glutes further, and ensure your abs are engaged throughout the movement!

For each exercise begin with 6-12 reps with good form.

Progress the exercises by increasing the difficulty of the exercise. You can do this by performing single leg exercises, or increasing the weight, reps and sets to build the perfect buns! 

The Only 6 Butt Exercises You’ll Ever Need to Shape a Perfectly Lifted Butt

6 Butt Exercises for Women

Remember, strength is only half of the equation. 

If your butt still has too much junk in the trunk, then it’s important to increase cardio to burn additional calories.

There you have it, the only 6 butt exercises you’ll ever need to create a perfectly shape backside.

Read Next: 6 Best Abs and Butt Exercises You Can Do at Home

What other butt exercises have you tried and found effective? We would to love hear about it for our next glute building post. Leave us a comment below.

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