Having strong and toned glutes (aka butt muscles) is about more than just looking good. Sure, it’s great to have a firm behind for purely aesthetic reasons, but it’s also important to work on your glutes because of more practical concerns. Your butt, along with your core, plays a key role in stabilizing your entire body, both when you work out and during your everyday activities.
But how can you get there? We talked to Adam Friedman, a Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute trainer and proprietor of Advanced Athletics, Inc., about the perfect workout to target your glutes. Friedman suggests performing this “butt-training workout” twice a week. A bonus benefit is that cardio is included because the high number of reps ensures that your heart will be pumping hard and fast to achieve what Friedman calls “a substantial cardiovascular effect.”
- Grab an open corner of the gym floor, and assemble the band, kettlebell and dumbbells you’ll need for this workout.
- Do the prescribed number of reps for each exercise, take a 30–to–60 second break, then move on to the next exercise.
- Cycle through these six exercises two to three times, depending on your fitness level.
Hip Extension and Cross
12 reps each side
Get into a tabletop position on the floor on your hands and knees. Brace your abs to form a straight line from your shoulders to your hips. Lift up your left leg and place your left knee in the bend of your right leg. Then straighten the leg and reach your heel as far back as you can. Do all reps, switch legs, and repeat.
This isolation exercise targets your thighs and glutes while increasing stability throughout your core.
Band Side-lying Leg Raise
12 reps each side
Lie on your side with a circular band around your ankles. Brace your abs, and stabilize your body with your hands. Squeeze your butt, and lift your top leg up. Keep your leg in line with your bottom line. Lower your leg down. Do all reps, switch sides, and repeat.
The band side-lying leg raise is an isolation exercise that strengthens the outer thigh. The exercise also improves stability through the core and hips.
Start with your feet either side of the kettlebell. Bend down and pick up the kettlebell by the handle, the drop your hips down and back with a slight bend through the knee. Swing the kettlebell up to shoulder height, driving the hips through as you swing the kettlebell up and driving it down to gain momentum. Make sure you keep your core tight and your glutes squeezed, and try not to over extend the back.
The kettlebell swing builds power and explosiveness in the hips and lower body. This exercise also increases strength in the lower back, core and shoulders.
Dumbbell Overhead Bulgarian Split Squat
15 reps each side
Grab a set of dumbbells and press them directly over your head so your palms are facing each other. Place one foot in front of you and the other foot behind you resting on a flat bench. Keeping your core tight, slowly lower your body until your front knee is bent to 90 degrees. Make sure your front knee does not go in front of your toes. Pause, and then drive through your front heel back to the start position. Repeat for the prescribed number of sets and repetitions and then switch legs.
The dumbbell overhead Bulgarian split squat is a hybrid exercise that strengthens the shoulders and legs. The movement also improves core strength, stability and balance.
Single-leg Romanian Deadlifts with Dumbbell
8 reps each side
Stand on one leg, holding a dumbbell in each hand. With your arms straight, bend your standing leg slightly and push your hips backwards, lowering your torso toward the ground as your rear leg trails behind you to help with balance.
Push your chest out, only lowering as far as you can without your lower back rounding. Pause, and then reverse the movement, returning to the starting position. Squeeze your glutes at the top.
The single-leg Romanian deadlift with dumbbell builds strength in the legs and hips. This exercise also improves balance and stability throughout the core.
Side Lunge Jump Off
15 reps each side
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Take a large step to the side with your right leg. Bend your right knee and squat down. Keep your left leg straight. As you squat down, bring the weights toward the ground on either side of your right foot. Jump up with your right leg, then land and return to the lateral lunge position. Do all reps, switch legs, then repeat.
The side lunge jump off is an explosive and dynamic exercise that develops strength and power through the lower body with an emphasis on the quads, glutes and hamstrings. The exercise also improves lower body flexibility and hip mobility.