How to Get Stronger and Rounder Glutes: The Only 3 Exercises You Need

There is a ton of reasons to grow a bigger, stronger booty. Whether you are a hiker, gym goer, or retiree, you use gluteus muscles in almost all moves you make. 

Needless to say, having stronger glutes is helpful and functional. It impacts your everyday movements and boosts your aesthetics as an added bonus. 

Here is your ultimate guide on what your gluteus muscles are, and how you can make your glutes stronger and better. 

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What are gluteus muscles?

Gluteal muscles

There are three main gluteus muscles that make up your posterior chain. 

Gluteus maximus

The gluteus maximum is the largest muscle in your butt that cover most of your butt cheeks and hip area. The main function of this muscle is to extend and rotate your thigh externally. This muscle only works when necessary but it’s involved in getting up, running, and climbing the stairs. 

It works together with piriformis and iliopsoas muscles to execute the external rotation of your hips.

Gluteus medius

The gluteus medius is the second largest muscle located in the posterior hip. This muscle is responsible for standing upright and maintaining balance. It’s connected to the hip joint and serves in internally rotating the thigh. 

Gluteus minimus

The gluteus minimus is the smallest of the three, yet it’s still vital in making your leg’s rotational movements. It serves the same function as the gluteus medius and is responsible for movements that happen in the hip joint. 

As with the gluteus medius, this muscle works in abducting and internally rotating the thigh. It also functions as a stabilizer for the pelvis and maintains balance. 

1. Kettlebell Squat 

Kettlebell Squat 

The squat is the king of glutes exercises. Your glutes are lazy muscles and when they are in a seated position, they are being inactive. 

But getting up and squatting down, those gluteal muscles get highly engaged and activated. That’s why it’s so important to perform squats to grow stronger glutes. 

Not to mention, the squat is a functional move that trains for an essential movement like lowering yourself to sit down. 

You can use any type of free weight to perform a squat, but if you are already using a kettlebell for this workout, you can perform a kettlebell squat. 

How to perform a kettlebell squat: 

  • Hold a kettlebell upside down with both hands in front of your chest. Grab the bell part of the kettlebell and keep it close to your body. 
  • Engage your glutes and abs, and hinge at your hips to lower your butt to a squat position. Stop when your knees are bent at a 90-degree. Pause at the bottom position for a moment, and come up to the starting position. 
  • Repeat 10 times and complete 2-3 sets.

2. Bulgarian Split Squat

Bulgarian Split Squat

The Bulgarian split squat is one of the best exercises to target the gluteus muscles. Traditionally a quad exercise, this move involves far more than your leg muscles. 

Because this squat is a unilateral exercise, it requires balance, which comes from the activation of the gluteus maximus. The other gluteus medius and minimus are also engaged as stabilizers, making it a perfect move for the posterior chain. 

How to perform a Bulgarian split squat 

  • Hold a kettlebell in one hand and bring it to your shoulder level with your palm facing in. Let it rest on top of your shoulder. 
  • Stand in front of a secured bench facing away from the bench. Put one foot on the bench and adjust your front leg so the toe point forward. Once you are steady in the position, lower the back knee until your front knee is at a 90-degree angle. 
  • Keep your glutes engaged and core activated. Come up to the starting position and repeat 10 times. Switch sides and complete 10 reps on the other side. 

3. Barbell Hip Thrust

Barbell hip thrust

The first workout you need to grow your hip and glutes is the dumbbell hip thrust. 

While it places the greatest emphasis on the gluteus maximum, it’s one exercise that involves all the muscles in your posterior. 

It requires a bench and barbell bar. 

This glute exercise is a major exercise when it comes to building a resilient posterior. It’ll develop strength and grow your gluteus muscles along with hamstrings, hip flexors, and core. 

If you are new to the exercise, you can start with a dumbbell hip thrust. 

How to perform the barbell hip thrust:

  • Start by seating on the ground with a secured bench behind you. Place a barbell bar (weighted or not) over your thighs. 
  • Slowly roll the barbell bar down to your hips and lean on your bench so your shoulder blades come right above the bench. 
  • In one motion, extend your hips while pressing through the feet to drive power and strength. Squeeze your glutes on top and release them to return to the starting position. Complete 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions.

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