13 Best Glute Exercises For A Toned and Sculpted Butt

Shed excess fat and build glute muscles with a few easy-to-follow exercises.

Medically reviewed by Staci Gulbin, RD, LDN
Written by Charushila Biswas, MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist
Edited by Ravi Teja Tadimalla, BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health
Fact-checked by Payal Karnik, MSc (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach  • 

Glute exercises are the best way to get toned buttocks. They help strengthen the glute muscles that make it easy to walk, stand, sit, run, balance, and do chores with ease. If getting a firm and round butt is your goal, follow a proper glute workout routine and do these 12 glute exercises to shed the excess fat and build glute muscles. Do these exercises for 20 minutes every day to give your glutes a natural lift. Scroll down!

protip_icon Workout Blueprint: Glute Exercises For Women
  • Frequency: 2 times per week
  • Benefits: Reduce back pain, strengthen glute muscles, and improve posture.
  • Equipment Needed: Dumbbells, kettlebell, plyo box, stability ball.
  • Space Required: Small area, but exercises involving heavier weights require more space.
  • Assistance Required: Yes, for certain exercises
  • Who Should Avoid: Anyone with pelvic floor issues and chronic joint pain.

13 Best Glute Exercises For Women

Before you begin exercising, you must warm up. Take 10 minutes to warm up your body properly. Here’s an example of a warm-up routine below:

Warm-up

  • Neck tilt – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Neck circles – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Shoulder circles – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Elbow circles – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Wrist circles – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Waist circles – 1 set of 10 reps
  • Jogging on the spot – 1 minute
  • Side lunges – 1 set of 10 reps
  • High jumps – 1 set of 25 reps
  • Ankle circles – 1 set of 10 reps

Now that your heart rate is up and your muscles are awake, let’s start with the butt workouts, commonly referred as butt-shaping exercises.

1. Standing Alternate Cross Kicks

Image: YouTube @TwinCitiesOrtho

Target – Abductors, adductors, and glutes.

How To Do
  1. Stand straight with your hands spread out to your side at shoulder level.
  2. Lift your right leg and try kicking it to your left hand.
  3. Place your right leg back on the floor. Lift your left leg and try kicking it to the right hand. This completes one set.
Sets And Reps

3 sets of 15 reps

protip_icon Did You Know?
The gluteus maximus is the single largest muscle of your body.

2. Weighted Walking Lunges

Image: Shutterstock

Target – Glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and lower abs.

How To Do
  1. Hold a 10-pound dumbbell or kettlebell in each hand.
  2. Stand straight with your legs shoulder-width apart. Roll your shoulders back and relax them. Push your chest up, look ahead, and engage your core. This is the starting position.
  3. Take a step forward with your right leg.
  4. Flex both your knees and lower your upper body. Do not bend forward.
  5. Stop lowering your upper body when your thighs are horizontal to the floor and perpendicular to the shin.
  6. Get back up and place your left leg beside your right leg.
  7. Place your left leg in front.
  8. Flex both your knees and lunge down.
  9. Get back up and place your right leg beside your left leg. This completes one set.
  10. Then, walk in a straight line or in circles like this.
Sets And Reps

2 sets of 15 reps

3. Side Lying Leg Raises

Image: YouTube @3v878

Target – Glutes, adductors, and hip flexors.

How To Do
  1. Lie down on your right, place your left hand on your waist, and rest your head on your right hand. Place your left leg on your right, keep your knees relaxed, and core engaged. This is the starting position.
  2. Lift your left leg to an angle of 45 degrees and bring it back down.
  3. Do this 10 times and then lie down on your left.
  4. Repeat the above steps. This completes one set.
Sets And Reps

3 sets of 10 reps

4. Weighted Hip Thrusts

Image: YouTube @therealbellarahbek

Target – Glutes, hip flexors, quadriceps, and hamstrings.

How To Do
  1. Hold a barbell (with or without weight plates depending on your fitness level). Keep your legs shoulder-width apart, elbows close to your body, chest up, and core engaged.
  2. Sit in front of a bench and place your shoulder blades against it.
  3. Keep your knees flexed, shoulder-width apart, feet flat on the floor.
  4. Thrust your hips up so that your shoulders, pelvic region, and thighs are in the same line. Hold this pose for 2 seconds.
  5. Lower your hips.
  6. Just when you are about to touch the floor, lift your hips again.
Sets And Reps

3 sets of 10 reps

Madison, a health blogger, shares her exercise routine that helped her tone her butt: “My goal, again, was to grow my booty. I wanted it to be bigger and more shapely. So, I wanted to create a split that would help me reach my goal the quickest. What I found was that two lower-body days a week was perfect. This allowed me to hit my glutes twice a week with ample rest time [in] between and every other muscle twice (i).”

5. Squat Jumps

Image: Shutterstock

Target – Glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, lower abs, and calves.

How To Do
  1. Stand straight with your legs shoulder-width apart, knees soft. Keep your hands by your side, chest out, shoulders relaxed, and look straight ahead.
  2. Flex your knees, push your buttocks out, and sit down until your thighs are horizontal to the floor. Make sure your knees are not overshooting your toes.
  3. As you do so, flex your elbows, and bring your hands close to your chest.
  4. Get back up and jump. Make sure that the transition from standing up to the jump is continuous.
  5. As you jump, straighten your hands and push your hands down to your sides. This will help give you the necessary force to propel your body up.
  6. Land softly on your feet and get back into a squat position.
Sets And Reps

3 sets of 10 reps

6. Donkey Kicks

Image: Shutterstock

Target – Glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and core muscles.

How To Do
  1. Get on all fours. Make sure your elbows are directly under your shoulders and knees directly under your pelvic bones.
  2. Relax your shoulders, look straight ahead, and engage your core.
  3. Lift your right knee off the floor.
  4. Keeping your knee flexed, push your right knee up, toward the ceiling.
  5. Hold it for a second and place your knee back on the floor.
  6. Repeat this 9 times before doing the same with your left leg.
Sets And Reps

3 sets of 10 reps

7. Leg Press

Image: Shutterstock

Target – Glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, lower abs, and lower back.

How To Do
  1. Set your weights and inclination of the backrest and leg rest.
  2. Sit on the machine. Lie down and place your legs on the leg rest. Your knees will remain flexed.
  3. Hold the side handles for support.
  4. Push the leg rest and extend your legs fully.
  5. Hold it for a second and slowly flex your knees and bring the leg rest back to the starting position. Do not let your leg come to a halt. Push the leg rest again.
Sets And Reps

3 sets of 20 reps

8. Two-Arm Kettlebell Swing

Image: Shutterstock

Target – Glutes, lower back, shoulders, and lats.

How To Do
  1. Hold a 12-pound kettlebell with both your hands.
  2. Stand with your feet wide apart, knees soft.
  3. Roll your shoulders back and bend down a little. Keep your neck and back in the same line. This is the starting position.
  4. Swing the kettlebell up until your hands are in line with your shoulders. Squeeze your glutes.
  5. Go back to the starting position.
Sets And Reps

3 sets of 10 reps

9. Single-Leg Deadlift

Image: YouTube @TheBettyRocker

Target – Glutes, hamstrings, lower back, and shoulders.

How To Do
  1. Hold a 5-pound dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Roll your shoulders back, keep your chest up, core engaged, and look ahead.
  3. Place your right leg a little ahead of your left leg. This is the starting position.
  4. Flex your right knee slightly, bend your upper body, and lift your left leg off the floor.
  5. Lower your upper body, your hands extending straight down, and your left leg extended back.
  6. Hold this pose for a second and come back to the starting position.
  7. Do this 9 times and switch legs.
Sets And Reps

3 sets of 8 reps

protip_icon Quick Tip
To engage your glute and hamstring muscles effectively, concentrate on pushing the weight through your heels.

10. Box Jumps

Image: Shutterstock

Target – Glutes, hamstrings, quads, and core muscles

How To Do
  1. Stand two steps behind a knee-height stable box.
  2. Keep your knees soft, shoulders rolled back, and core engaged. Flex your elbows and keep your hands close to your chest. This is the starting position.
  3. Jump and get on top of the box. You may straighten your hands and flex them back again to help propel your body onto the box.
  4. As soon as you land on the box, squat down.
  5. Jump back on the floor.
Sets And Reps

3 sets of 8 reps

11. Fire Hydrant

Image: Shutterstock

Target – Glutes, abductors, adductors, hip flexors, hamstrings, and lower abs.

How To Do
  1. Get on all fours. Make sure your neck and back are in a straight line. Keep your core engaged. This is the starting position.
  2. Lift your left knee off the floor and extend your leg out toward your left side.
  3. Stop when your thigh is at a 45-degree angle with the floor.
  4. Go back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat this 9 times and then do it with your right leg as well.
Sets And Reps

3 sets of 10 reps

12. Weighted Squat Pulse

Image: Shutterstock

Target – Glutes, adductors, hip flexors, hamstrings, and quads.

How To Do
  1. Hold a 10-pound dumbbell in both hands.
  2. Stand straight with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart.
  3. Flex your knees, push your buttocks back, keep your back straight, and lower your body into a squat. Your knees must not overshoot your toes.
  4. Instead of getting back up to the starting position, pulse up and down 5 times.
  5. Get back up to the starting position.
Sets And Reps

3 sets of 5 reps

13. Frog Pumps

Frog pumps for toning glutes
Image: Shutterstock

Target – Hamstrings, glutes, and hip muscles.

How To Do

  1. Lie down on your back.
  2. Bend your knees, bring your feet together, and open your knees out to the sides, forming a diamond shape.
  3. Place your arms by your sides and rest your palms on the floor.
  4. Press your lower back into the mat and keep your chin tucked into your neck, ribs down, and shoulders on the ground.
  5. Exhale and push through your heels, raising your hips up.
  6. Squeeze your glutes, making sure to keep your hips stationary.
  7. Inhale and lower your hips back down to the floor.

Sets And Reps

3 sets of 10 repetitions

Glute exercises are your best bet if you are aiming to get your buttocks in shape. These not only help you lose the excess flab in your hips, but also help tone and strengthen your glute muscles. Weighted walking lunges, side lying leg raises, hip thrust, leg press, or kettlebell swings, you can choose any of the above-mentioned 12 glute strengthening exercises as per your time, stamina, and location. With proper warm ups and 20 minutes of these glute activation exercises everyday, you would soon find your buttocks in their best shape and strength.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do glute exercises make your bum bigger?

Yes, glute exercises make your bum bigger as they work on the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus muscles.

Can I train glutes every day?

No, it is not necessary to train your glutes every day. You can train them twice or thrice a week as glutes also need time for recovery, which further contributes to their strength.

How do you hit all 3 glute muscles?

Exercises such as squats and lunges can help you hit all three gluteal muscles. Some trainers suggest following the rule of thirds for glute building. According to it, one-third of your glute workout should contain horizontal exercises such as hip thrusts, one-third should contain vertical exercises such as deadlifts, and the final one-third part should contain rotary exercises such as clamshells. However, there are no relevant studies to support this rule.

Can glute exercises help to alleviate lower back pain?

Yes, they may help alleviate lower back pain. According to a study on patients with chronic lower back pain, when glute strengthening exercises and lumbar segmental stabilization exercises are performed together, they can increase lumbar muscle strength and balance and significantly reduce lower back pain (1).

Key Takeaways

  • Standing alternate cross kicks, donkey kicks, squat jumps, leg press, and box jumps are some of the best glute exercises to shape your buttocks.
  • You can do these either at home or the gym as they require minimal equipment.
  • Warming up before the glute training exercises helps increase the heart rate and wake up your muscles.


Discover how to sculpt your glutes and achieve a rounder, firmer back with exercises. Check out the video to know the 5 must-do glutes exercises that will give you the body you desire.

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

    i. 3 Exercises That Grew My Glutes in Six Months
    https://medium.com/@madbov7376/3-exercises-that-grew-my-glutes-in-six-months-96d5a9cca701

    References

    Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

    1. The effects of gluteus muscle strengthening exercise and lumbar stabilization exercise on lumbar muscle strength and balance in chronic low back pain patients
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4713798/
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