If bigger, rounder, firmer, and lifted glutes are one of your fitness goals, then you need to add these 5 glute exercises into your butt workout routine.
The fuller behind is made of the best glute exercises that activate all three glute muscles.
While you may want to grow your butt muscles for aesthetic reasons, having stronger glutes is essential for your physical health. Your glutes are the primary mobilizers of the hips and thighs. When you sit, stand, run, jump, climb, or step, the glutes are engaged for all these functions.
They not only help you shape your glutes to have a rounder look, but they can also strengthen the glutes, hips, core, and hamstrings.
With the right exercises and proper weights, you can start to see the difference in your butt in a matter of weeks.
The Glutes Consist of Three Key Muscles:
- Gluteus Maximus: This muscle is responsible for hip extension. It’s also the largest muscle in your butt and sits at the top of your gluteus curve. This muscle gets activated when you walk and in lateral rotation of the thigh, such as swinging your leg. To grow your glutes, working this muscle becomes key.
- Gluteus medius: This gluteal muscle is responsible for moving your leg away from your body. When you step out to the side and keep a balance, this muscle gets activated. It’s the second-largest glute muscle. This muscle sits on top of the gluteus maximus.
- Gluteus minimus: This is the smallest of the three gluteal muscles. This muscle helps with walking and rotating your legs.
If you’re ready to build firmer glutes, grab a pair of dumbbells, and let’s get started.
1. Dumbbell Hip Thrust
The dumbbell hip thrust is a strengthening exercise that builds stronger and more powerful glutes. It not only activates and engages all three major glute muscles, but it also strengthens the hamstrings, lower back, hips, and core.
When it comes to increased muscle mass in your butt, the hips thrust is one of the best moves out there. While in the gym, you spot many lifters performing this exercise using a barbell, you can easily perform the same exercise at home with a dumbbell.
The hip thrust is very similar to a glute bridge and fairly simple to perform. Yet, not performing it with proper form can easily diminish the benefits of the workout, so be sure to follow the instructions below.
How to do the dumbbell hip thrust:
- Grab a dumbbell and hold the ends of your dumbbell firmly. Stand with your back against the bench or a secured object that’s about your knee height.
- Sit in front of the bench with your back leaned on the edge of the bench. Make sure your shoulder blades are on the bench and your feet are planted firmly on the ground.
- Lift your hips off the ground and extend them to form a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. At this pose, your knee joints should form a 90-degree angle and your body is parallel to the ground. Squeeze your glutes to keep your back and hips in line and don’t let your hips drop during the workout. This is the starting position.
- Engage your core, hips, and glutes before you start. With control lower your hips until they almost reach the floor. When you hit the lowest point, extend your hips using your glutes and hips. Avoid using your back when you extend to avoid back pain and use of the unintended muscles.
2. Dumbbell Deadlift
The dumbbell deadlift is a dynamic glute exercise that improves your lower body strength and functionality. It’s a great way to work your hamstrings, hips, and glutes while also toning your core, arms, and shoulders.
Adding dumbbells to this workout can help you also add more resistance and work a greater range of motion.
The key to maximizing the use of your glutes in this workout is to squeeze your butt as you come up and keep your knees slightly bent for a full range of motion.
How to perform a dumbbell deadlift:
- Grab a pair of dumbbells using an overhand grip. Bring them right in front of your thighs and let your palms face your body.
- Tighten your core and glutes before you start. Hinge at your hips and slightly bend your knees. Let your dumbbells naturally come down to the shin level. Avoid curving your back and keep your back and spine neutral.
- As you lower your torso and hinge at your hips, feel the stretch in your hamstrings and glutes. Pause at the bottom for a moment and come up to the standing position. Complete 10-15 reps and aim 2-3 sets.
3. Jump Squats
Some of the best exercises can be performed with no equipment at all, and the jump squats are no exception.
This bodyweight move is far more than a great cardio workout. It works your glutes, hips, core, and hamstrings and strengthens all your lower body while building your cardio.
This is a great way to build a fuller butt with a solid muscle mass and with less fat. Because jump squat doubles as an anaerobic exercise, it’s an excellent way to burn more calories and achieve overall weight loss too.
The jump squats are one great exercise for people of all fitness levels, but if you are looking for more, you can perform them with a mini-band. It not only adds resistance, but it also teaches you to keep a wide stance as you jump and land.
How to perform the squat jump:
- Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Tighten your core and glutes and squat down. Bring both your arms back so that when you jump up, you can bring your arms up to add to the explosiveness.
- The moment you hit the lowest point of your squat, jump straight up explosively towards the ceiling.
- Land softly and lower your body into the squat, bringing your arms back. That’s one rep. Complete 10-15 repetitions.
4. Single-Leg Glute Bridge
The single-leg glute bridge is a bodyweight floor exercise that primarily works your gluteus muscles. It’s a unilateral move that forces the engagement of your glutes, hip flexors, back, hamstrings, and core to bring stability and balance as you lift.
This glute bridge challenges all your glute muscles including the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus. It’s an advancement from the regular glute bridge and brings more activation to each side of your glutes.
If you are new to the glute bridge, be sure to start with the regular glute bridge to learn the form first.
How to perform the single-leg glute bridge:
- Lie on your back on an exercise mat with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on the mat at your sides. Bend your knees and keep your lower back and pelvis gently pressed against the mat.
- Tuck your chin in, tighten your core and squeeze your glutes.
- Lift your right foot off the mat and straighten it out. Pushing your left foot into the ground, lift your hips up until your hips are in line with the shoulders and the knees. Avoid using your back and twisting your hips as you come up. Your hips should be fully extended at the top.
- Pause at the top and slowly lower your hips until they touch the mat. Control this downward movement and make sure to keep your glutes squeezed throughout. Repeat 10 times before you switch sides.
5. Reverse Lunge
The reverse lunge is a dynamic exercise that tones and conditions your lower body, mainly the glutes. It’s also a functional move that helps you carry out your daily activities with more ease and a greater range of motion.
By performing a reverse lunge versus the forward lunge, you get to target muscles like the gluteus maximum, the largest glute muscle.
It also works your hamstrings and hips in addition to the core and lower back as any other lunges do. If your goal is to shape and round your glutes, you need an exercise like this reverse lunge that activates the meaty gluteus maximum and more.
How to perform the reverse lunge:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with your hands on your waist. Take a large step behind you with your right foot.
- Engage your core and lower your knees down into a lunge position. You’ll be on your toes on the back leg and the front left thigh should be almost parallel to the ground.
- Keeping your core engaged, return to the standing position by bringing your right leg forward next to your left foot. That’s one rep. Complete 10 reps and switch sides.