Top 10 Glute Strengthening Exercises
It seems like these days everyone wants to be a part of the big booty crew – and why not?! There isn’t much out there more beautiful than a well defined, round butt.
While it’s true that the shape of your bum is largely determined by genetics, it’s also true that with hard work and dedication you can build a booty, even from scratch.
Before we get to work, it’s important to know what we’re working with. Keep reading to find what glute exercises you need to do to get your very own peach (and I’m not talking about breakfast)!
Your milkshake does more than bring the boys to the yard – in fact, your gluteus maximus is the largest and heaviest muscle in your body and plays a starring role in the powerhouse that is the “Posterior Chain.” Made up of your glute muscles, hamstrings, calves, and back – your posterior chain is the most powerful muscle group in your body, helping you do simple movements such as picking up something from the ground and putting it on a high shelf to more intense movements like executing power cleans, deadlifts, and box jumps. Go glutes!
Now that you know how powerful your booty can be, it’s important to know the different parts of the gluteal muscles and what they do.
- Gluteus Maximus. The most well-known of the glute muscle trio, the gluteus maximus is the largest muscle primarily responsible for hip extension. Hip joint extension is an absolute prerequisite for safe and efficient movement and also a key joint function needed to perform nearly any type of exercise. Strong glutes can make for better squats, deadlifts, and help improve overall athletic potential.
- Gluteus Medius. The Gluteus Medius is one of the muscles on the side of your hip. It is found under the gluteus maximus muscle and along with the gluteus minimus works to support your hip and help pull your thigh out to the side into a motion called a hip abduction.
- Gluteus Minimus. The smallest of the group of glute muscles, the gluteus minimus lies underneath both the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius. Its function is almost identical to the gluteus medius. The key difference is it helps stabilize the pelvis during different types of activity, for example, it provides stability when you raise your opposite leg.
Will I Get Different Glutes from a Home Workout vs A Gym Workout?
While it is totally possible to build a booty from the comfort of your own home, it is important to add some level of resistance to your glute exercises to get the lifted, rounded look that will earn you membership in the peach club.
You can start building your booty with popular glute strengthening exercises such as squats, but it’s wise to incorporate different types of resistance in your glute exercises such as weights, resistance bands, or kettlebells to help achieve the results you desire.
Best Glute Exercises At Home
These glute strengthening exercises can be performed at home and all include minimal equipment. For these particular glute exercises, the resistance will come from a popular resistance band loop called a booty band. A band is a cost-effective tool.
Perform this glute workout for the recommended reps and cycle through it circuit style for up to three rounds.
This exercise helps improve hip mobility and helps build the outer glute muscle. If you want curves – this is where it’s at!
To perform: Lie down on your side on a towel or exercise mat for comfort. Keep your legs stacked and bend your knees at a 45-degree angle. Now, slide your booty band into position right about your knees. Rest your head on your lower arm and use your other arm to brace your frame. Pay close attention to keeping your hip bones stacked as there is a tendency for your top hip to rock backward while performing the movement. Keep your feet touching, then raise your upper knee as high as you can without shifting your hips or pelvis. Don’t move your lower leg off the floor. Pause, and then return your upper leg to the starting position on the ground. Do 15-20 reps on each side.
This glute exercise concentrates on strengthening the muscles around the outer side of the hips. Also known as a standing hip abduction, it also targets the quadriceps.
To perform: Position your booty band directly above your knees or around your ankles. Stand with your feet slightly apart and keep a soft bend in the knees. Place your hands on your hips, or feel free to grab a chair for extra balance. Keeping your toes pointed forward and your foot flexed, lift your left foot off the ground and out to the side as high as you can and hold for two counts. Slowly return to a standing position. Perform 15-20 reps on each side.
Glute Crab Walks
Banded glute crab walks are an incredible glute exercise that tackles the whole booty in a functional, weight-bearing way. Focus on keeping your booty band stretched to full tension during the movement to get the best results.
To perform: Start this move by placing your resistance bands above your knees. Adjust your stance to slightly wider than hip-width apart, stretching the booty band to tension. Lower into a slight squat position and walk from left to right keeping the band tight during the entire exercise. When you have done eight steps in one direction, perform eight steps in the opposite direction.
The squat is the go-to exercise for booty building. Add in a resistance band and a jump for a whole new spin on this already amazing glute-strengthening exercise. Keeping the booty band pulled tight will keep your glutes activated through the whole movement while adding a jump activates fast-twitch muscle fibers, which is essential for booty gains. Don’t know what fast-twitch muscle fibers are? The simple answer is fast-twitch muscles are used in powerful burst movements while slow-twitch muscles let you complete tasks like distance running.
To perform: Secure your booty band above the knees and stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width. Lower into a squat keeping the weight in the back of your heels. Move down as if you were going to sit in a chair. As you come up out of the squat explode into a jump while keeping your legs wide enough to hold tension on the band. Return to starting position and repeat for 15-20 reps.
Banded Donkey Kicks
The ultimate glute exercise for strengthening and growth, donkey kicks are popular and effective in building a firm booty.
To perform: Position your booty band above the knee. Place a towel or exercise mat on the floor and lower down onto your hands and knees. Keep one knee firmly planted on the ground, then straighten your opposite leg and push up while squeezing your glutes at the top of the movement. Keep the movement slow and methodical as you return to the starting position. Perform for 10-15 reps on each side.
Best Glute Exercises at the Gym
While you can build your glutes at home, the gym typically offers a wider array of equipment and machines that can help you target your glutes in different ways.
Take your phone to the gym and use The LadyBossⓇ Pocket Personal Trainer to perfect your form.
Below are five glute exercises that can be done at the gym to get your booty poppin’. Perform this glute workout circuit style for the recommended reps and cycle through up to three rounds.
If you are new to lifting heavier weights, performing a sumo squat in your gym’s Smith Machine is a great way to introduce yourself to a new type of resistance that targets your glutes.
To perform: Unlike a regular squat rack, the Smith Machine has a fixed bar that helps keep you steady so you can focus on form. Set the bar to chin height and lock it in place. Center yourself underneath the bar. Rest the bar on your shoulders and take an overhand grip on the bar. Keep your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with toes pointing forward and slowly stand up releasing the bar from its locked position. Once the bar is free and you are in starting position, begin to lower into a squat. Focus on keeping your weight shifted into the back of your heels and lower yourself down until your upper legs are parallel to the floor. Push back up through your heels and return to the starting position. Repeat for 12-15 reps.
Wide-stance Leg Press
Performing a leg press in the classic narrow stance puts an emphasis on the quadriceps—who knew that just a slight adjustment in foot placement could make the leg press a booty-building powerhouse!
To perform: Sit in the leg press and place your feet on the footplate slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, toes slightly pointed out. Bend your knees lowering the footplate towards your torso until your knees are positioned right above your chest. Extend your knees back out, returning to starting position. Keep your knees aligned with your toes through the full movement. Repeat for 12-15 reps.
Bulgarian Split Squat
This movement emphasizes glute activation by channeling your body weight into the glute muscles in the grounded leg.
To perform: Place a flat bench behind you in a horizontal position. Plant both feet shoulder-width apart and slowly step your right foot backward, elevating it on the bench behind you. Carefully shuffle your left foot forward, you are now standing in the starting position. Bend both knees to approximately 90 degrees, being careful to evenly distribute your weight into both legs. When executed correctly, your front knee will be aligned with your ankle. Push through the heel of your grounded foot and toe of your elevated foot and return to starting position. Repeat 10-12 reps on each side. This exercise requires balance and precision. Once you’re able to perform this exercise with your body weight, add a barbell rested on your shoulders.
Targeting similar muscles as banded donkey kicks, this glute exercise will allow you a full range of motion on the cable machine while providing variable resistance.
To perform: Set the cable pulley to the bottom position on the cable tower. Connect the ankle attachment to the cable pulley and wrap the ankle attachment around your left ankle. Turn and face the cable tower. Extend your arms out and hold onto the cable tower in front of you for balance. Take a step back and fully extend your arms. Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, keep your right leg firmly planted and extend your left leg behind you while keeping your foot in a flexed position. Squeeze your glute at the top of the movement and slowly lower your left leg back into the starting position. Repeat for 12-15 reps on each side.
A great glute exercise for the gym that can be adjusted for difficulty by adding more weight to your barbell. Hip thrusters target your posterior chain, which can help increase the overall strength of your lower body.
To perform: Place a flat bench horizontally behind you. Begin seated on the ground facing away from the bench. Lay a barbell across your hips holding it securely with your hands in an overhand grip on the outside of your hips. With your knees bent and feet firmly planted on the floor, lean back into the bench so it is lightly pressing into your upper back. Keep hold of your barbell and begin to raise your hips off the floor pressing your weight into your heels. Raise your hips up until your body forms a straight line parallel to the floor. Lower your hips to return to starting position without letting your glutes touch the floor. Repeat for 12-15 reps.
Whether you choose to make your booty building goals a reality from home or in a gym, the most important thing you need is dedication and consistency.
Strengthening and building your glute muscles takes time and patience, but the results are so worth it! These glute strengthening exercises will get you off to a great start, but it’s important to switch it up from time to time to promote muscle confusion for the best results.
If you loved these exercises but crave more, The LadyBossⓇ Pocket Personal Trainer is the best tool to give you a wide array of glute workouts. The trainer includes not only exercises you can do at home or the gym, but it also provides recipes, grocery lists, and other helpful information that will accelerate your results.
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