Suppose you want to build a robust and stable backside. In that case, you need to incorporate exercises into your leg workout that target the gluteus maximus, the gluteus minimus, and the gluteus medius.
These smaller muscles are essential for creating a supportive posterior and must be noticed.
One of the significant problems when exercising is that It is easy to forget the side glutes, as they can be hard to target. The importance of training your side glutes must be noticed. Doing so can lead to a more comfortable experience when walking or running, as well as improved balance and posture.
Thus, it is highly recommended that side glute exercises be included in your workout routine. So, adding specific exercises to your workout routine will ensure that these muscles, which may be challenging to reach, get the attention they require.
Getting ready to hit the gym? Include a few of the exercises below from our favorite trainers in your routine, and you'll be able to activate your side glutes quickly. Before starting your glutes workout, take your resistance band to warm up your lower-body.
Adding weights can increase the tension on your hips and glutes and make your workout more intense. You can thank me later.
Best Leg Exercises to Fire Up Your Glutes
Many exercises claim to be effective in building your buttocks, but if you are ready to challenge your workout and want to take yourself to the next level, reading on can help you get closer to your goal. Now you can get the booty you deserve with these glute-building moves.
Lunges and squats are the starters for any booty-building program, but do you know that a slight variation from basics can leave your lower body in surprise, and you no longer have to practice for long hours at the gym too? So drag out your exercise mat and some essential gym equipment to make a difference.
Let me tell you that reverse lunges, squats, pistol squats, and sumo deadlifts are great for targeting your glutes. But if you like a challenge that also works on your balance & coordination, then Bulgarian split squats or lateral lunges are a must-try. You can have those inner and outer thighs at their peak.
However, step-ups can take care of toning up your legs, while curtsy lunges can help strengthen your core muscles and quads/hamstrings.
Plus, walking lunges gives an overall workout to ensure all areas get worked out together! Remember your friend, the healthy nutrition and accurate supplements for enjoying maximum out of these exercises.
1. Reverse Lunges
Reverse lunges are one of the most effective exercises to target the glutes. This exercise works not only the glutes but also the quads, hamstrings, and core.
The main benefit of reverse lunges is that they can help you to improve balance, coordination, and stability. Reverse lunges can also help improve hip mobility, essential for many activities, such as running, squatting, and jumping.
If you want to strengthen your lower body, improve balance and stability, and develop muscular endurance while involved in a dynamic movement with a more excellent range of motion; reverse lunges are the best option. One specific benefit is that it targets your core and hip muscles.
Compared to traditional forward lunges, reverse lunges place slightly less stress on the knees and can help to improve hip and knee flexibility. Here’s how to perform it:
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands at your sides.
- Step back with your left foot, bending both knees to 90 degrees.
- Ensure your front knee is directly over your ankle and your back knee is close to the ground.
- Push off your back foot to stand back up, then repeat the movement on the other side.
- Repeat the exercise for 10 to 15 repetitions on each side when you are done.
Squats are the best exercise to target the glutes or butt muscles, claims a study. When done correctly, squats can help strengthen and tone the glutes, resulting in a tighter, firmer, and more sculpted look.
Squats also help improve balance and stability, requiring multiple muscle groups to complete the exercise. Moreover, they can also help improve overall body strength and posture, as you need to maintain a correct alignment throughout the exercise.
Last but not least, squats can help improve hip mobility, making it easier to perform everyday activities such as sitting, standing, and walking. Here’s how to perform it:
- Stand on a yoga mat with your feet hip-width apart while your toes point slightly outward.
- Slowly lower your hips, bending your knees and pushing your glutes back as if you were sitting in a chair.
- Maintain a neutral spine by keeping your chest up and shoulders back.
- Lower down to 90 degrees or slightly below. Press through your heels and drive your hips forward to stand back up once your thighs are parallel to the ground.
- Repeat this motion for 8-15 repetitions.
3. Pistol Squat
The pistol squat is a must-add to your workout regimen. It is a single-leg squat, meaning you squat down using only one leg while keeping the other leg off the floor. It is a great way to build strength and stability in the lower body and core.
Still, it can also help improve balance, coordination, and mobility, making it an excellent exercise for anyone looking to improve their overall athleticism.
The pistol squat is also a great way to fire up your glutes. Since you are only using one leg to perform the squat, it forces the gluteal muscles to work harder as they must stabilize the body during the eccentric (downward) phase of the movement.
Besides that, the isometric hold at the bottom of the squat requires a lot of glute activation to maintain balance and stability. So overall, this exercise is a great way to target and activate the glutes, making it an ideal choice for those looking to build a stronger and more toned butt. Here’s how to perform it:
- Start by standing up straight and your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Then extend your one leg out in front of you and slowly lower your body down towards the floor, bending at the knee of the extended leg.
- Keep your chest upright and back straight as you lower down.
- When your extended leg is parallel to the floor, pause for a moment to get an excellent isometric contraction in the glutes, and then slowly raise your body back up to the initial position.
- Make sure to keep your leg extended throughout the entire exercise. Repeat the same process with the other leg. Aim to do 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps on each leg.
4. Sumo Deadlift
Fire up your glutes with a sumo deadlift, as it is a compound movement. It affects muscles such as the glutes, hamstrings, spinal erectors, and core. The sumo deadlift is a hip-dominant movement requiring more activation of the glutes and hamstrings than the quadriceps.
That makes it an ideal exercise for strengthening the posterior chain and building functional strength. It is also an effective exercise for developing muscular endurance. Because it involves many muscles, the sumo deadlift works for multiple muscle groups simultaneously, which can help build muscular endurance.
It is essential if you are an athlete, as it can help you perform better during competitions. Finally, the sumo deadlift can also help with mobility and flexibility. Since it is a hip-dominant movement, it can help open up your hips and improve your range of motion. One important thing while performing sumo deadlift is to maintain good form and focus on using the glutes throughout the movement. Here’s how to perform it:
- Hold a powerlifting barbell with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Point your toes outward, and keep your back straight.
- Bend your knees and sit back on your hips. Reach down to grasp the barbell with an overhand grip, ensuring your hands are slightly wider than your feet.
- Next, drive through your hips and lift the barbell off the floor. Tuck in your chin and keep your core engaged.
- As you lift the barbell, focus on driving your hips forward and then squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement.
- Gradually lower the barbell back to the ground, and repeat for 8-12 repetitions.
5. Bulgarian Split Squat
Bulgarian split squats are an effective lower-body exercise that can offer several benefits if incorporated into your workout routine. First and foremost, they target your glutes, quads, and hamstrings, making them an effective way to build strength and power.
Since Bulgarian split squats involve unilateral movements, they can help improve your balance, stability, and coordination, minimizing the risk of injury. Moreover, the single-leg nature of the exercise provides core activation, as the body has to work to maintain balance and stability.
Lastly, you can do Bulgarian split squats with a wide variety of equipment, regardless of gym set up, so everyone can benefit from them.
The good thing is that, as per your fitness level, you can increase the intensity by holding neoprene dumbbells in each hand or using a barbell across your back. Here’s how to perform it:
- Stand a few feet away from the adjustable bench and place one foot on it behind you.
- Next, bend both knees to lower your hips toward the ground until you're in a lunge position.
- Ensure your front knee is directly above your ankle and your back knee is close to the floor.
- Push through your front midfoot to return to the starting position, completing one rep.
- For best results, complete 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps on each side.
6. Lateral Lunges
Lateral lunges are also one of the most recommended exercises to target the glutes or butt muscles. One of the remarkable things about this exercise is that it is excellent for people of all fitness levels because it can be modified to suit the individual.
Lateral lunges can help increase overall strength and balance, improve flexibility and mobility, and help to build muscle in the glutes and legs. This exercise also helps strengthen the hip complex and core muscles, thus improving your posture and reducing the risk of injury.
By working on your glutes, you can also improve your performance and power in other exercises and activities. And if you are looking to improve your coordination and movement efficiency while preventing injuries during sports or everyday activities, incorporating lateral lunges can help.
Last but not least, add dumbbells to this exercise to increase the intensity. Here’s how to perform it:
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands at your sides.
- Step out to the side using your right foot, keeping your toes pointed forward and your left leg straight.
- Bend your right knee and lower your hips until your right thigh is parallel to the floor. Make sure your knee does not extend past your toes.
- Push off your right foot and return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side. Keep your torso upright and your core muscles engaged throughout the exercise.
- Perform 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps on each side.
7. Step Ups
Step-ups are a great way to target the glutes. The step-ups are a simple and effective exercise that can be done anywhere. Step-ups are the answer if you want to improve your strength and power and bring stability to the glutes, hips, and legs.
Step-ups can also be used to increase muscle mass, as well as to improve overall athletic performance, improve balance, and coordination. This exercise also offers a variety of cardiovascular benefits as it can help improve your cardiovascular health by using both aerobic and anaerobic energy systems.
Step-ups can increase your heart rate, improve circulation, and boost your maximum oxygen capacity. You can also burn calories and fat by incorporating step-ups.
All these benefits can help improve overall health and fitness, so if you are looking for ways to simultaneously improve your posture and stability with a handful of cardiovascular benefits, then you are at the right place. Here’s how to perform it:
- Stand on a step or a box about 6 to 12 inches high. Begin by standing in front of the box or step with your feet hip-width apart.
- Place one foot on the box or step and push off with the other foot, bringing the leg up to the same level as the standing leg. Be sure to keep your chest and your core engaged throughout the movement.
- Lower the leg back down and repeat on the other side. For an added challenge, you can hold a pair of dumbbells in each hand while performing the step-ups.
- You can also increase the box height or step to make the exercise more challenging.
- Start with two sets of 8-12 repetitions on each leg and increase the number of sets and repetitions as your strength and endurance increase.
8. Curtsy Lunges
If you want to target and strengthen the glutes, as well as to increase overall lower body strength and flexibility, curtsy lunges are a great way to do so. This exercise is an excellent way to improve balance and stability, as it requires you to move while maintaining balance.
Additionally, curtsy lunges also help improve core strength and posture. All you need to do is to keep your torso upright and your core engaged during the movement. Doing so can help you maintain an erect body posture and can help reduce the risk of posture-related pain.
So, the curtsy lunge can increase hip mobility, which is essential for many activities, such as running and jumping. These benefits make the curtsy lunge a great addition to any total body workout. Lastly, hold a weight plate in each hand while performing the exercise for an added challenge. Here’s how to perform it:
- Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart.
- Then, take a significant step backward with your right foot, crossing it behind your left foot.
- Bend your knees and lower yourself into a lunge, ensuring your right knee is directly over your ankle. Push through your left foot to bring yourself back up to the standing position.
- Repeat the steps on the other side by stepping backward with your left foot and curtsying your left knee over your left ankle.
- Continue alternating sides for 10-15 repetitions.
9. Walking Lunges
Do you like to fire up those butts in a short duration? If yes, read on to further reveal what else you can achieve with these walking lunges. Walking lunges are an excellent exercise for targeting and strengthening your glutes or the muscles of your buttocks and hips.
It is an easy and exciting exercise that targets your multiple joints. This exercise can help you build strength and power. You can also improve your balance and coordination if you practice these lunges.
Further, it can also increase your range of motion throughout the body. It also activates and engages your core muscles and provides a great cardiovascular workout to help burn calories and fat.
Additionally, walking lunges can help improve your posture, reduce the risk of injury, and help build a more toned and sculpted backside. Here’s how to perform it:
- Start by standing on a yoga mat with your feet hip-width apart and keeping your hands on your hips.
- Take a significant step forward with your right foot, lower your body, and bend your right knee at a 90-degree angle so your left knee is close to the floor.
- Next, push off your left leg into another lunge with your left leg forward this time.
- Continue repeating 3 sets of this motion with 8-12 repetitions, alternating between your right and left legs.
Good news, people! You can now have glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves workout at home. Get ready to build yourself with your glute and quad exercises. Build strength, flexibility, and balance by working on your glutes with various exercises.
Squats, lunges, step-ups, leg extensions, and glute bridges are all great exercises to target your glutes and get them toned. With regular and dedicated practice, You can start to see results soon. So if you're looking to fire up your glutes and get a more robust and toned backside, get to work!
Remember always to keep proper form and be consistent with your workouts. You can get the glutes you've always dreamed of with effort and dedication. And lastly, remember that adding correct supplements and nutrition can produce tremendous results.
- Ribeiro, Alex S., et al. “A Brief Review on the Effects of the Squat Exercise on Lower-Limb Muscle Hypertrophy.” Strength & Conditioning Journal, vol. 45, no. 1, Feb. 2023, p. 58. journals.lww.com, https://doi.org/10.1519/SSC.0000000000000709.