The 8 Best Glute Exercises for Home & Gym

For a part of the body that we rarely get to see, the glutes get a lot of attention. Of course, we’ve all got our own idea of what our ideal butt should look like. To achieve it, we need to combine the right exercises with a healthy diet.

In this article, we reveal 8 of the best exercises for your glutes. The first four of them can be done at home with nothing more than a set of booty bands. The final four are designed to be done with a greater level of resistance in the gym.

There are three muscles that make up the glutes. The largest and most powerful is the gluteus maximus. This muscle’s origin is on the inside edge of the posterior side of the pelvis, close to the spine. Some of the fibers insert onto the top of the femur while other fibers attach onto the iliotibial tract on the outer thigh.

The other two glute muscles are the gluteus medius and the gluteus minimus. These two lie underneath the gluteus maximus and are, therefore, known as deep muscles. Unlike the gluteus maximus, they do not affect the look of a person’s rear end, but they help move better.

The function of the gluteus maximus is to extend the hip joint, moving the femur (upper leg bone) down and back. Having strong glutes propels you forward when you are walking or running, and can be a key factor in helping you to have a good posture along with reducing lower back pain.

Resistance bands are an ideal tool for working the glutes at home. As well as being inexpensive, they are extremely portable and easy to use. By simply slipping a booty band around your thighs you are able to transform any bodyweight exercise into a resistance exercise.

Most booty bands are sold in sets of 5, each at a different gradation of resistance. That allows you to progressively increase the resistance as you go. This is a key principle for developing bigger, stronger muscles.

Side Shuffle

  1. Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and a booty band around your thighs, just above your knees.
  2. Descend into a three quarter squat position, maintaining a neutral spine position. Clasp your hands in front of your body.
  3. Take a large lateral step with your left leg. Bring your right leg across to complete the step.
  4. Take five steps to the left and then five steps back to the start position.

Sets & Reps: Perform 3 sets of 5 forward and backward steps.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and a booty band around your thighs, just above your knees.
  2. Clasp your hands together in front of your chest and descend into a parallel squat, where your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  3. Pulse from the hip to come up and down about six inches. Do this 3 times.
  4. Push through your heels to return to the start position.

Sets & Reps: Perform 3 sets of 15 reps

  1. Place the booty band around your ankles and stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Maintain a neutral spine position, and descend into a parallel squat position.
  3. Take a large step forward, starting with the left leg.
  4. Perform 5 steps forward and then 5 steps back to the starting position.

Sets & Reps: Perform 3 sets of 5 forward and backward steps.

  1. Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and the booty band around your thighs just below your knees.
  2. Push through your heels as you lift your hips toward the ceiling. Keep your hands on the floor along with your shoulder blades and head.
  3. In the top position, pulse up and down three times.
  4. Lower and repeat.
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Sets & Reps: Perform 3 sets of 15 reps

  • Side Shuffle - 3 x 5
  • Band Squat Pulses - 3 x 15
  • Monster Walks - 3 x 5
  • Lateral Bridge Pulses - 3 x 15

Your glutes are muscles and, just like any other muscles, they respond best to resistance training. Training with weights will allow you to shape, mold, sculpt and perfect your butt. Having built a foundation on bodyweight moves, you’re now ready to work those buns into submission.

We’re about to show you 4 moves, along with set and rep recommendations... Even though it’s butt-centric, you’ll be working the entire lower body with these routines. Do this routine twice per week, ideally with a three gap between sessions to allow for total recovery.

  1. Stand with a kettlebell in your hands at your chest with a normal foot stance, feet angled outwards. Maintain a neutral spine and look directly ahead.
  2. Descend to a deep squat position, making sure that the hips are below the level of your knees.
  3. Power through your glutes to return to the start position.

Sets & Reps: During the first two workouts, do one set of fifteen repetitions. Each week add an extra set until you are doing three sets.

  1. Grab a barbell with a shoulder width grip, palms toward the floor. Feet should be shoulder width apart.
  2. Allow your hips and glutes to push back as you lower your upper to a 45-degree angle. This will stretch the glutes and hamstrings.
  3. Keep your arms locked out, return to the starting position

Sets & Reps: During the first two workouts, do one set of ten repetitions. Each week add an extra set until you are doing three sets.

  1. Stand with a kettlebell in your hands at arm’s length. The feet should be shoulder width apart with a slight bend in the knee. Maintain a neutral spine position.
  2. Swing the kettlebell back slightly between your legs, then contract the glutes to reverse the direction of the swing. Let the kettlebell travel up to the level of your chin.

Sets & Reps: During the first two workouts, do one set of fifteen repetitions. Each week add an extra set until you are doing three sets.

  1. Position yourself on the floor with a light barbell and sit it across your pelvis area.
  2. Lie with your shoulders on the floor and knees drawn up. Hold each side of the bar for balance.
  3. Tense and raise your glutes and hips to bring the bar as high as possible. Hold in the top position and then lower.

Sets & Reps: Perform one set of 15 reps for the first 2 workouts, working up to three sets by the end of Week 3. Progressively increase the resistance.

  • Goblet Full Squat - 1-3 x 12-15
  • Barbell Romanian Deadlift - 1-3 x 10 reps
  • Kettlebell Swings - 1-3 sets of 15
  • Barbell Glute Bridge - 1-3 x 15

Here’s a training plan you should try:

You now know the moves you need to build a butt to be proud of. The key to success, of course, is consistency. By sticking with a butt-centric workout twice per week, you’ll be steadily advancing on a rear end to envy.

So, get out there and kick butt – your own!

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Steve Theunissen is a freelance writer living in Tauranga, New Zealand. He is a former gym owner and personal trainer and is the author of six hardcopy books and more than a hundred ebooks on the topics of bodybuilding, fitness and fat loss. Steve also writes history books with a focus on the history of warfare. He is married and has two daughters.
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