When it comes to growing your glutes, there are a few exercises you’ll want to include in your routine.
While hip thrusts take the lead in being the best glute building exercise, there’s a number of options you can pick from that target the glutes in different ways. Hip thrusts are definitely an exercise to have on deck but think of them as a compound exercise like squats or deadlifts.
These exercises will help you isolate your gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus, so you can have more control and power over the growth of your booty.
If hip thrusts just aren’t for you or they just never feel right, worry not. You can easily mimic them with single leg hip thrusts (or b-stance hip thrusts), single leg glute bridges, and regular glute bridges!
No matter what you choose, the most important thing that remains the same with every exercise is that if you want to see the booty grow, you need to have progressive overload. As long as you push yourself to get stronger, that muscle will grow.
At the end of the day, no variation of glute exercises will make your booty grow if you don’t take the steps needed every single day. Remember that consistency is key and with hard work, patience, and dedication, anything will happen. Afterall, this journey is a mental one.
That’s why it’s also important to truly enjoy how you’re moving your body. If only a few of these exercises allow you to be content and consistent, then you should definitely prioritize those. Those will be the most effective exercises for you.
Bottom line is, if growing your glutes is your goal, then these exercises are about to become your go-to’s.
How to: Rest your upper-middle back on a bench and plant your feet in front of you so your knees form a 90º angle. Then, holding your core tight, you want to lower your hips to the ground and push back up through your heels.
Pushing through your heels will help alleviate pressure off your lower back and refocus the weight away from your hamstrings and into your booty.
Once at the top, your knees should be bent at 90º and your shoulders should align perfectly with your core. Remember to always keep your chin facing forward and tucked in.
Feel free to adjust your weight for consistent results. Resistance bands are a great way to add resistance and build strength and can be handy both at home and at the gym!
Simply select your difficulty, wear the band right above the knees and thrust away. Your glutes will thank you later ;)
Single leg hip thrusts or b-stance hip thrusts
This is a slightly more advanced variation of the hip thrust so it’s best to give it a shot without any weight first. Single leg hip thrusts require lots of control from both your core and your glutes.
The goal is to always have your hips aligned and parallel to the floor.
How to: Set up for your hip thrust as usual but raise one foot off the ground. Push through the heel of the foot that’s planted on the ground and raise your hips keeping them aligned at the top. Once again, your knees should form a 90º angle and a straight line up to your shoulders.
For b-stance hip thrusts, keep both feet on the ground with one foot shifted slightly forward than the other. This will help you keep your balance and push more weight than a single leg hip thrust while still keeping the tension on one side.
Pushing through the heel of the foot that’s closest to you, tuck your chin and lift your hips until that knee forms a 90º angle. Once you’re done with your set, switch your feet and repeat to target the other side. Balance is key.
These variations of the hip thrust can help fix any imbalances in your body while simultaneously working and strengthening your core.
For a little extra challenge, try adding weight or upping your repetitions.
This exercise is perfect for giving your booty that lifted BBL effect. Donkey kick-backs are a staple to any leg day, but too often do we still see people doing this exercise without working the glutes at all!
You can do this exercise either on all fours, or standing up- both ways are just as effective and both gym and home friendly.
How to: Start by setting yourself down on all fours with your hands and knees placed directly beneath your shoulders and hips. Make sure you tuck in your tailbone and squeeze your core so your belly button feels like it’s being pulled in and up. Keeping your neck aligned with your spine, squeeze your core, push your hands into the ground while lifting one leg back and up toward the ceiling.
Careful not to overextend your leg to where you drop your belly and lose balance in your hips. The goal here is not to lift your leg up as high as possible but rather to squeeze the glute. Repeat on both sides.
Tip- picture pushing the bottom of your foot flat against the ceiling above you.
Once you’re ready to add resistance, you can use the following options:
- Tuck a dumbbell behind your knee and use that 90º angle to hold it in place as your lift and lower your working leg.
- Place a resistance band above your knees. This will help with not only strengthening the glutes but the abdominal muscles as well.
- Ankle straps are great for doing Cable kick-backs (standing variation of donkey kick-backs) at the gym.
Recreate Cable kick-backs without the cable machine with this at home kit.
The glute bridge works the same muscles as the hip thrust but is a more user-friendly version so it’s perfect to do virtually anywhere!
How to: Start by lying on the ground and bending your knees so your feet stay planted on the ground. Pushing through your heels and tucking in your tailbone (so your entire back lays flat against the floor), lift your hips until you form a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Once at the top, slowly lower your hips back down to the ground keeping your core engaged and your tailbone tucked throughout the entire movement.
Try adding resistance bands to help work the outer glutes for that nice round shape everyone loves.
Single leg glute bridge
To add an extra kick, try isolating one side with single leg glute bridges.
How to: Set yourself up for a regular glute bridge with your palms face-down by your side. Fully extend or lift up one leg, and pushing through the heel of the foot that remains on the ground, drive your hips up to form a straight and parallel line from your knees to your shoulders.
Remember to always pay attention to your hips and make sure they stay aligned and parallel to the floor. If you feel your hips rotating or shifting to one side, lower yourself to the ground, reset, and try again.
Lying hip abduction
Lying hip abductions are an excellent exercise for targeting your outer glutes. It works the gluteus medius and minimus, which are the smaller muscles of the glutes responsible for opening and closing your legs laterally.
How to: start by lying down on the floor on your side. Slightly bend the bottom knee for extra support while maintaining a straight back. You can rest your hand on your bicep so your spine stays aligned all the way through. Once you find yourself in a stable and relaxed position, lift your top leg without bending at the hips and slowly lower your leg back down. Repeat for repetitions and switch sides.
An ankle strap and tube band set are the best way to add progressive overload to this exercise but resistance bands can get the job done as well.
When it comes to growing your glutes, form and progressive overload are the key to your transformation. Remember to take your time to perfect your form before adding on any weight. This will ensure that your glutes get targeted and formed properly so you can get the most out of your workouts!
Suggested equipment (for the gym and at-home):
- Resistance bands
- Ankle straps
- Ankle straps + tube band set