"A woman's strength is not judged by her arms; it's judged by her butt!!"
The gluteal muscles or glutes are your strongest and most prominent muscle group. Strong gluteal muscles symbolize strength, bravery, and youth. Because they sit in the middle of your body, the glutes are involved with most athletic endeavors that you perform on two feet.
If your glute muscles are weak, they make you less powerful and less efficient. Unlike other mammals, we have large, strong glutes that help us run forward. They are crucial for acceleration and jumping, as well as heavy lifting.
One of the most common reasons women join a gym is to strengthen their glute muscles and get fat off their butts. Well-toned glutes not only look attractive, specifically in women, but they also have health benefits as they support their lower back.
This article will show you how to train your glutes successfully. You will learn everything you need to know about glute muscle anatomy and the best exercises to build bigger, more muscular, and bubbled glute muscles.
From the many muscles that make up your buttocks, the largest are the gluteus maximus, medium, and minimus.
- Gluteus maximus: These are the largest gluteal muscles that form the prominence of the gluteal region. It originates from your tailbone to your iliac bone (a hip bone) and then inserts into your iliotibial band and the back of the femur (thighbone). The Gluteus maximus is your primary extensor for the hip. It is the largest, most outermost, glute muscle.
- Gluteus medius: It is half the size of the Gluteus maximus and located below them. It inserts at the side of the femur's head and originates from your iliac bones. Gluteus medius stabilizes your pelvis and works to rotate, extend, and abduct your hip.
- Gluteus minimus: This is one of three small gluteal muscles. It is located below the gluteus medius and at the base of your iliac bone. It is inserted in the front of the femur head. Gluteus minimus helps gluteus medius stabilize the pelvis when standing on one foot. However, it also abducts your hip and internally rotates it.
The remaining muscles at the hip are small in size with gluteus minimums or even smaller and located deep in the back. These include the piriformis and quadratus fimoris, the obturator internus, externus, the inferior gemellus, and the quadratus.
While these muscles are essential, they can be considered insignificant to train as they also get toned with exercises that work your larger glute muscles.
If you aim to get a firmer and toned butt, you should develop the largest glute muscle, the gluteus maximums, which is the main extensor muscle of the hip area.
Surprising Benefits of Building a Round Strong Booty
The list of these benefits will surprise you if you suffer from back pain, a weak core, or simply a lumpy body.
Protects Your Lower Back
A great booty will protect your lower back. Studies show that if your glute muscles become weaker, smaller muscles will need to step in to propel your legs forward. This extra stress on smaller muscles can cause strain in the back, hips, knees, and other areas of your body. Strong glutes are an excellent way to avoid the overuse of muscles.
Tones Your Lower Body
Your lower body will be toned and strengthened by a butt and thigh workout. These exercises can also help improve your fitness by supporting your body in lifting, bending, twisting, and squatting. Research proves that your workouts will be more effective if you move quickly.
Strengthens Your Pelvis
A weak pelvic muscle is common in obesity and childbirth. A weak pelvis indicates that your internal organs don't have enough support. As a result, it can cause embarrassing situations such as wind or other digestive problems. A great booty can help strengthen your pelvis and give you more control over your bladder and bowels.
You will perform more of your daily activities if you have a strong set of glutes. Walking upstairs, running, climbing, squatting, and standing becomes easier, thereby improving your everyday work efficiency. Your body will be more open to daily activities if it feels less resistant.
A well-toned booty can improve balance by supporting your core and reducing the risk of injury and falls. As we age, osteoporosis can cause our bones to become more fragile, and simple falls can cause hip fractures, broken bones, and head injuries.
Makes You More Attractive
All creatures have an instinctive desire to find a mate for breeding. Scientists believe that a woman’s strong booty attracts the primal brain part of the male brain, making them more appealing and attractive for the opposite gender.
Increases Athletic Performance
The Gluteus maximus muscle moves your thigh. It can produce power and improve your speed. Your body can propel forward by supporting your hips and improving overall agility. You can run, jump, or cycle faster if you work on your booty.
Improves Your Posture
A curving spine can lead to back problems. It can also cause a bloated belly appearance by pushing the stomach forward. People with weaker booty tend to curve their spine and tilt their hips forward. This tilt can be prevented by a strong, solid butt, saving you from back pain while giving you a slimmer appearance.
Balance and exercise challenge all muscle groups, giving you a better overall workout. You can keep your body engaged and challenged by improving your athletic performance and working out the right way.
Let us look at the exercises that work best to build your glutes.
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Best Exercises That Targets Your Glutes
This section has selected five exercises that target different parts of your glutes muscles. These exercises complement each other in terms of which part they target.
You can create a great, round booty workout program by performing them altogether.
The squat is called the "king of all exercises" (or "queen, if you prefer) and is an excellent choice for glute training. Squats help protrude the hips, which is the primary function of the glutes exercises. This exercise is a great way to build glute muscles.
Recent research showed that deep squats double the gluteus maximus hypertrophy than simple squats. Even though deep squats can be more complex and technically challenging than half squats, it is worth the effort, even if you have to lift some weight.
Another study has shown that barbell squats result in double gluteus maximus muscles than barbell hip thrusts. It's important to note that the hip thrust weights are very low than squat weights.
Therefore, squats seem suitable for your overall body strength and building your glutes. Here is how you can do your squats following a proper form with or without weights. You can do squats using a barbell or a pair of dumbbells. You can also read through our squat guide for detailed techniques.
How to Do It?
- Set the barbell just below shoulder height and load the weight.
- Grab the weight with a wide grip and take the weight off the rack.
- Take a step back, hinge your hips backward and lower yourself to squat.
- Keep facing forward as you lift it off. Lower your body down. Make sure your buttocks are pushed backward and dropped downwards.
- Once you feel your thighs parallel with the floor, come back up.
- Keep your knees bent and make sure they are not locked completely.
- Go for another rep.
Barbell Hip Thrust
The barbell-mounted hip thrust exercise is perhaps the glutes' most intense and challenging exercise. It is similar to the squat and focuses on the hip-extending function of glutes. The hip thrust is a complement to the squat in many ways, such as:
- It is performed at a full range when the glutes reach a different muscle length closer to full extension. This position provides a different growth stimulus.
- This exercise projects a force in a different direction that might target other muscle fibers of your glutes.
- Because the glutes and hip extensors are isolated, it may allow you to concentrate your attention on the muscles worked. Doing this will lead to more excellent mind-muscle connectivity and, in turn, more glute muscle growth.
While there is much debate about which exercise is better for glutes: hip thrusts or squats, it seems safe to assume that both are excellent glute exercises. You can get the best of both by training both exercises.
Here is how you can do hip thrusts with or without weights. You can also read through our hip thrusts for detailed techniques.
How To Do It?
- Lie down with your torso facing up and keep the barbell on the crease of your hips.
- Squeeze your glutes and bridge up your hips.
- Lower the hips to the beginning position and repeat.
The Romanian Deadlift is a third method to work the hip-extending muscles fibers of the gluteus maximus. This exercise is designed to complement the other two exercises. It offers peak resistance from a different angle and muscle length.
The glutes work their most challenging in the stretched-out position close to the bottom of the squat. They will be working at a slightly different angle in the Romanian deadlift.
Like the hip thrust, the Romanian deadlift makes contact with your glute muscles easier. This exercise will create the "squeezing" feeling in your muscle that bodybuilders love.
The Romanian deadlift suits your gluteus maximus and your hamstrings and back muscles. Here is how you can do a Romanian Deadlift using a barbell. You can also read through our complete Romanian Deadlift Guide for detailed techniques.
How to Do it?
- Stand at a hip-width distance and hold the bar over your shoelaces.
- Place a double overhand grip, slightly wider than your hip-width, and deadlift the bar to the position such that your hips and knees are locked out.
- Begin the Romanian deadlift by pushing the hips back and extending forward so that the bar is rightly below knee length.
- Make sure to drive through the whole leg through the movement.
- Return and repeat for the desired number of reps.
Bulgarian Split Squat
Let's continue our European tour and move from Romania towards Bulgaria! The Bulgarian split squat is not only excellent for quads but also works many of your gluteus muscles.
While the hip extension is still being performed in this exercise, targeting the gluteus Maximus, you will also be targeting your gluteus Medius or Minimus. Bulgarian split squats also target smaller hip muscle groups that work hard for stability when standing on one foot.
This dynamic motion is likely to improve your athletic ability. This exercise is done one leg at a time, so performing this exercise with other glutes exercises helps correct any potential strength differences.
While you're working in a wide range of motion under loads, this exercise is excellent for building muscle and strength.
How to Do it?
- Keep your back against the bench. Take one long step in front of the bench.
- Place one foot behind you on top of the bench.
- Inhale and look forward. Then, squat down until your elevated leg knee touches the floor.
- While exhaling, reverse the movement and extend your front foot again.
- Take a deep breath at the top, and then repeat the process for the second leg.
- Repeat as many reps as you can for each leg.
If you are looking for a piece of multifunctional equipment that will help you perform your workouts and progress through them, then adjustable dumbbells by DMoose are what you should consider buying.
These adjustable dumbbells are easy to carry, and they will help you target multiple muscles and push yourself to the limit by using different weights.
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Banded Side Kicks
After much hip extension work, it is time to add the finishing touches. The banded side kick exercise targets your hip abductors: namely, your gluteus medius (among other muscles)
Standing on one leg, wrap a thin elastic band around your ankles. If necessary, grab something to balance you and kick-off to your side.
The exercise demands that your muscles work dynamically to lift your leg against the band on one side of your body. However, your muscles on the opposite side are not resting. They are working isometrically to stabilize your pelvis during the exercise, similar to single-leg exercises such as Bulgarian Split Squats and Bulgarian Lunges.
Here is How You Do It
- Put an elastic band around the ankles. For balance, you can hold something in your hands.
- Standing on one leg, extend your other leg outwards.
- Bring the leg back in resisting the band.
If you are thinking of investing in some resisting bands, these Hip Circle Bands for Lower Body by DMOOSE will help you tone and shape your booty to perfection.
These hip circle bands are made from high-quality premium elastic cotton, which provides maximum comfort and security. The product will not slip during a workout due to the non-slip rubber inside. These hip resistance bands will help you achieve the best results quickly.
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Glute Muscle Growth & Strength
So, what exactly does an effective glute workout necessarily look like?
Let's build on the exercises and create an example workout using different principles.
- Squat: 3 sets of 5 reps
- Hip Thrust: 3 sets of 8 reps
- Romanian Deadlift: 3 sets of 12 reps
- Bulgarian Split Squat: 3 sets of 15 reps each leg
- Banded Side Kick: 3 sets of 20 reps each leg
These exercises target all glute muscles from multiple angles, which means that they will help you target almost all muscle fibres.
The load-and-rep range includes a wide variety of reps. They include very low reps using heavy weights and high reps using light weights.
In addition, each exercise will have a slightly different force curve, which means peak resistance may occur in slightly different locations and at different muscle lengths.
The workout targets strength and muscle growth and will give you great results to shape up your butt.
The Bottom Line
It is imperative to have a comprehensive understanding of the anatomy and effectiveness of glute exercises. The exercises discussed in this article will help you develop stronger and more attractive glutes.
Remember that it's not only about having big buttocks but also being able to perform exercises effectively. This means that both your abdominals, lower back and glutes should be well-toned. The best thing you can do to get the most out of this routine is to eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water.
In addition, make sure you stretch properly before you train. Don't forget to track your progress. To ensure muscle growth and strength, you should increase your weight in each exercise as you progress through your strength gains.
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Tips for Stronger & Defined Legs
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- Barbalho, Matheus, et al. "Back Squat vs. Hip Thrust Resistance-Training Programs in Well-Trained Women." International Journal of Sports Medicine, vol. 41, no. 5, May 2020, pp. 306–10. www.thieme-connect.com, https://doi.org/10.1055/a-1082-1126.
- Fenato, Rafael Ratti, et al. "Comparison of Gluteus Medius Strength between Individuals with Obesity and Normal-Weight Individuals: A Cross-Sectional Study." BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, vol. 22, no. 1, June 2021, p. 584. BioMed Central, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12891-021-04470-8.
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- Kubo, Keitaro, et al. "Effects of Squat Training with Different Depths on Lower Limb Muscle Volumes." European Journal of Applied Physiology, vol. 119, no. 9, Sept. 2019, pp. 1933–42. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-019-04181-y.
- Leavey, Vincent J., et al. "Comparative Effects of 6-Week Balance, Gluteus Medius Strength, and Combined Programs on Dynamic Postural Control." Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, vol. 19, no. 3, Aug. 2010, pp. 268–87. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1123/jsr.19.3.268.
- Marques, Andrea, et al. "The Status of Pelvic Floor Muscle Training for Women." Canadian Urological Association Journal, vol. 4, no. 6, Dec. 2010, pp. 419–24. PubMed Central, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2997838/.