11 Best Butt Exercises to Do at Home

In recent years, training at home has become the major door to fitness for many beginners. And while the gyms were closed, experienced gym-goers took it upon themselves to popularize training at home. Anything is possible with a pair of dumbbells.

And while the trend for slim thick body types is still raging, butt exercises remain the go-to narrative for any woman. And whoever tells you that shaping a nice round bottom at home is impossible would be lying. I’ve gathered some exercises used to enhance the glute muscles into one list. This is not a ranking chart but just a set of exercises that will help you tones up your glutes.

But, before, let’s check the basics.

What Are Booty Muscles?

gluteus muscles

Out buttocks consist of a large muscle group we call the glutes. In fact, these are three separate muscles:

  • gluteus maximus
  • gluteus medius
  • gluteus minimus 

The biggest of them (and the biggest muscle in the entire body) is the gluteus maximus. It takes up the largest portion of the visible shape.

“Gluteus maximus arises from the posterior gluteal line of the inner upper ilium and inserts into the iliotibial band of the fascia lata and the gluteal tuberosity.

Gluteus medius originates on the outer surface of the ilium and inserts on the lateral surface of the greater trochanter. This is a broad and thick muscle located on the upper outer surface of the pelvis. 

Gluteus minimus is the smallest of the three gluteal muscles, fan-shaped, arising from the outer surface of the ilium and inserted into an impression on the anterior border of the greater trochanter.”

Together, these three muscles are responsible for rotation, abduction, and extension of the hip joint.

Unfortunately, the modern sedentary lifestyle slowly leads to muscle atrophy. And glutes, being some of the major functional muscles of the body, need proper enhancement with our health in mind, not only aesthetics. And to strengthen the group, cardio is not enough. They require resistance training! For bot health and visuals.

Glute Bridge Exercises for a Firm Peach

How Often to Train Glutes?

Glutes, as well as quads and hamstrings that get the load alongside our buttocks, require plenty of time for rest.

On average, it’s recommended to train glutes no more than three times a week. With these regimes, the muscles get enough time to restore and work to the max during the next workout.

How to Grow Glutes?

As I’ve mentioned, glutes strengthen and grow as a result of resistance training. Cardio workouts alone will not give results as prominent as a pair of dumbbells will. Even when training at home.

And, honestly, a large muscle group like the glutes requires compound movements – meaning no need for isolation machines in the gym. It only takes dedication and some weights to train glutes.

Note that the following exercises will all include dumbbells in the instructions. However, if you don’t have them at home, there is no need to abandon glute exercises. You can replace dumbbells with any kind of heavy thing comfortable to hold. It may be bottles or gallons of water, books, or something else!

Remember to practice mind-muscle connection! Squeeze those glutes, try to feel what muscles work more during the exercises, and alter the angles that target the booty better!

How to Get Bigger Hips at Home

Best Butt Exercise at Home

Squat Diagonal Steps/Walk

The first exercise on the list is one of the most effective upper butt exercises. You’ve already seen it in the previous article on training gluteus medius. Thus, I’d like to include it in the list of generic home exercises as this particular muscle is hard to target.

Moreover, his first exercise is going to be a superset of two back-to-back variations actually. So that you work your butt and hips thoroughly.

Note that you’ll need some weights for this one!

Muscles Worked:

  • gluteus maximus
  • gluteus medius
  • gluteus minimus
  • hip flexors
  • inner thighs
  • outer thighs

How to do: 

  1. The first movement! Take a dumbbell in your hands and keep it up near your chest. Feet placed slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Squat not reaching a 90-degree angle slightly.
  3. Move one foot diagonally forward (outward) and return to the squat position. Repeat the movement with the same leg.
  4. Do 10 reps with each leg.
  5. The second movement! Move one foot diagonally forward, then move the other leg in the same way as well. Complete around 3 steps forward of such walk with each leg.
  6. While holding the squat position, walk back in the same fashion – your legs go diagonally backward. Continue for 30 seconds.
  7. If you find the weighted monster walking hard, start without weights.

Weighted Hip Thrusts

Hip thrusts are among the most popular glute-building exercises nowadays, largely thanks to their promotion by the Glute Guy himself, Bret Contreas. In this training regime, the coach suggests banded hip thrusts with a barbell. However, it can be easily changed to any kind of weight for home workouts.

Hip thrusts are on this list not only due to their popularity; they are highly effective as well.

Muscles Worked: 

  • gluteus maximus 
  • gluteus medius
  • gluteus minimus

Secondary muscles 

  • quadriceps 
  • hamstrings 
  • hip adductors
  • core 

How to do: 

  1. Set up a chair against the wall. Rest your shoulder blades on the edge of the chair, knees bent, and feet on the ground. Keep your feet hip-width apart. Take any type of weights you have at home and place them on your hips. Secure them with your hands.
  2. Anchor through your heels and raise your glutes up (tuck your pelvis and squeeze the glutes) to form a straight line from shoulders to knees. Your chin should remain tucked for maximum engagement. Hold for a second and lower to the starting position. Repeat 8-12 times.
  3. At the last rep, hold the position for around 20 seconds while squeezing glutes.

Curtsy Lunge to Squat

A curtsy lunge is an effective exercise than puts more training on your glutes than on the quads. It’s regularly used for butt training. However, I’d like to make my exercises more challenging when working at home with limited equipment. And I suggest you do the same. That’s why this is a bit altered exercise.

Muscles Worked: 

  • quadriceps (rectus femoris, vastus intermedius, vastus medialis, and the vastus lateralis)
  • glutes (gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus)

Secondary muscles:

  • calves (soleus and the gastrocnemius)

How to Do: 

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Take weights (dumbbells, bottles, etc.) in each hand. Use something lighter than for the regular squats.
  2. Move one leg behind and diagonally to the opposite side.
  3. Bend the knees and lower until the rear leg’s knee almost touches the ground. Make sure the front knee doesn’t go beyond your toes.
  4. From there, move the rear leg back to the starting position and squat. Do not stand upright; move directly to the squat from the linge.
  5. Option one: repeat the movement on the same leg 10-12 times and then switch to the other side. Option two: alternate between legs.

Bulgarian Split Squat

A Bulgarian split squat is the standard set of exercises for athletes of all calibers. This is an intense exercise that puts focus either on quads or on glutes depending on the technique. For this article, we’ll put emphasis on the glutes, obviously.

For the maximum effect, you should work with weights. Take two dumbbells of the same weight or slightly lighter than for the previous exercise.

Muscles Worked: 

  • gluteus maximus
  • gluteus medius
  • quads 
  • hamstrings

How to Do:

  1. Set up a chair against the wall. Turn your back to it and make a set forward, so you have enough room for a split squat. Take dumbbells in each hand.
  2. Place your left foot on the chair. Knee bent. Lean slightly forward (it’ll focus more on the glutes.)
  3. Lower your hips and squat as low as you can. The right knee doesn’t go beyond the toes.
  4. Stand back up and repeat around 8-12 times.

If you feel more pressure on the quads than glutes, move slightly farther from the chair and lean forward a bit more.

Single-Leg Step-ups

I’ve already covered stepu-ps in the previous glutes muscles and would like to add them here as well. While working on gluteus medius, you are supposed to do lateral step-ups. Front stepups target gluteus maximus better. You can do both variations or alternate between them depending on what muscles you are working on that day more.

For this exercise, I suggest trying the first set without weight to work on the balance and then taking dumbbells in each hand.

Muscles Worked: 

  • gluteus maximus
  • gluteus medius
  • gluteus minimus
  • erector spinae
  • quadratus lumborum
  • obliques
  • hamstrings
  • gastrocnemius

How to do:

  1. Place a chair on the wall. Stand in front of it. Take the weights in each hand.
  2. Place your right foot fully on the chair.
  3. Engage your core, drive through the elevated leg and step up. Be sure to drive all the force through your right leg.
  4. Step back to the ground with your left leg. Make sure the landing is soft.
  5. Repeat 8-12 times and switch legs or alternate between the two.

RDL

Finally, the one exercise in the arsenal of every gym-goer. Together with Bulgarian split squats, RDL is the foundation of every leg day! Both are demanding yet highly effective.

Romanian Deadlift is the leading compound exercise of the posterior chain. It works fully and thoroughly.

The main catch lies in the technique. To keep your back safe, you must always keep it straight. And don’t go too low on RDLs. Your hamstrings and glutes should do most work.

Muscles Worked: 

  • gluteus maximus 
  • erector spinae
  • hamstrings
  • gastrocnemius
  • adductor magus
  • core 
  • trapezius
  • forearm flexors

How to Do:

  1. Stand straight with feet hip-width apart. Take a heavier dumbbell (or any other weight) in your hands.
  2. Bend the knees slightly. Keep your back straight. Drive through the heels.
  3. Start hinging your hips and lowering your torso as much as possible without putting strain on your back. Stop when your hips are not hinging anymore.
  4. Pause for a second to feel the posterior chain engaged. Raise back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat 8-12 times.

Lateral Lunge to Jump

A lateral lunge targets numerous muscle groups of your lower body. Side lunges are more effective in working gluteus medius than regular lunges. Plus, they work gluteus maximus thoroughly as well.

A standard weighted side lunge is a great exercise on its own. However, I’d like to add a bit of explosiveness to home workouts. After all, weights are limited, and we need a bit of diversity and fun in the otherwise monotonous weight training sessions.

So, this exercise will be done without weights!

Muscles Worked: 

  • gluteus maximus (medius and minimus)
  • quadriceps
  • hamstrings 
  • gastrocnemius and soleus
  • transverse abdominis
  • obliques
  • erector spinae

This is a full-body exercise with a bigger focus on the lower body.

How to Do: 

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart.
  2. Step out to the side with one leg, bend the knee, and hinge your hips. Keep your back straight, and don’t let the knee move beyond the toes.
  3. With your bend leg, drive through the heel, gain momentum and push your body back straight while raising the knee up and jumping slightly.
  4. From this position, repeat the side lunge with the same leg.
  5. After 12-15 repetitions, switch the legs.

Considering that this exercise requires proper coordination, I’ll also include a video instruction from YouTube.

Kneel to Squat

This one exercise is deceptively easy on paper. This is the basic movement, but it becomes exponentially harder as you do it.

A squat to kneel exercise comes in two variations: one-sides and the full circle. I’ll provide both instructions so you can choose the one that meets your needs and fitness level for the glute workout. In general, they target the same muscles. So, the differences are subtle.

Muscles Worked: 

  • gluteus maximus 
  • gluteus medius 
  • quadriceps
  • hip flexors
  • adductor magnus
  • hamstrings

How to Do:

  1. Begin in a standing position. Feet shoulder-width apart. Toes directed slightly to the sides.
  2. Brace your core and squat.
  3. From this position, lower your right knee to the ground. Then the left one. Keep your back straight all this time.
  4. From the kneeling position, place your right foot on the ground beneath you, then the left. Do not rise; remain in the squat position. Repeat the circle 8-12 times.
  5. Option two: from the initial squat position, lower on your right knee, then return to the squat position. Work one leg around 10 times, then switch sides.

Single-Leg Glute Bridge

This glutes exercise is an enhanced version of the regular glute bridge. And while the latter is effective too, a home workout requires variation and a complex approach. A single-leg bridge is harder than a regular bridge, especially when you bring weights to the plait. Note that you don’t have to start with weights right away; try this one as is at first.

Muscles worked: 

  • gluteus maximus 
  • gluteus medius
  • gluteus minimus
  • hamstrings
  • hip flexors
  • lower back muscles

How to do: 

  1. Lie face-up on the floor. Arms stretched by your sides. Bend your knees. Your spine and pelvis are in a neutral position touching the floor.
  2. Engage your core and lift one leg off the ground. You can either extend it up or bend place on the other leg sideways.
  3. Squeeze your glutes, and drive through the heel into the ground. Continue squeezing your glutes as you push your hips up to form a straight line from your knees to your chest. Shoulders should remain on the ground.
  4. Hold at the top for a second and slowly return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat 10-15 times.

Weighted Sumo Squat

A sumo squat is one of the best squat variations to target specifically glutes, not quads as the regular squat does.

A sumo squat’s benefits are a better focus on glutes and inner thigh muscles, core engagement, and improved flexibility.

If you are new t this type of squats, start without weight to test your strength and flexibility. Stretch your hamstrings and quads beforehand.

Muscles Worked: 

  • gluteus maximus
  • quadriceps
  • hamstrings
  • adductors (inner thighs)
  • gastrocnemius and soleus
  • hip flexors
  • core (transverse abdominis, erector spinae, obliques, and multifidus)

How to Do: 

  1. Stand straight with feet around 3-4 feet apart. You can also move your legs further apart if your flexibility allows. Toes pointed to the sides at around 45 degrees. Take a dumbbell in your hands. Bring it to your chest.
  2. Lower into a squat position, and move your hips slightly back and down. Your heels should be firmly placed on the ground, back straight, and your knees shouldn’t go beyond your toes.
  3. Lower till your thighs are almost parallel to the floor, or go slightly lower.
  4. Pause at the bottom for half a second and stand back up to the starting position.
  5. Repeat 8-12 times.

Banded Clam

The burnout of your training will feel like a real BURNout with a banded clamshell. This 70s-inspired resistance-band exercise will work your gluteus medius as none other could. Take a hard resistance band and go slowly if you want to feel a real burn. Don’t forget to maintain a full range of motion for optimal results.

Muscles Worked: 

  • gluteus medius 
  • gluteus maximus 

How to Do:

  1. Lie on your left side. Your whole body is straight. Resistance bands slightly above the knees.
  2. Bend the knees to 45 degrees and bring them in front of the body. Keep your heels together.
  3. “Open up” your right leg rotating the hip to the side. Complete the full range of motion without rotating your hips.
  4. Repeat 8-12 times and switch to the other side.

How to Do Glute Kickbacks (Variations and Muscles Worked)

In Conclusion

Of course, any butt workout is better than no workout at all. However, the optional way to strengthen weak glutes is by optimizing your home workout. That is why you need to incorporate only the best exercises into your training. Remember that bodyweight exercises have to be combined with resistance training and a proper rest period for optimal results.

Sources:

  1. Gluteal Muscles – Wikipedia
  2. Bret Contreat, Glen Cordoza, Glute Lab: The Art and Science of Strength and Physique Training Hardcover – September 17, 2019, SNBN-10: 1628603461
  3. Muscles of the Gluteal Region – (Feb. 2021, Oliver Jones, Teach Me Anatomy)

About

Irene’s fitness journey began in 2017 with attending classes to improve her health and researching the anatomy of working out. After years of investigating trendy and “up and coming” fitness regimes, she is ready to share the tips and advice she’s learned from athletes and expert trainers of the field.