Best Gym Machines for Firm Glutes (Buttocks)

Christiana Mikesch, CPT
Published by Christiana Mikesch, CPT | Senior Coach
Last updated: December 29, 2023
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One of the common questions I get from female clients is which home gym equipment is best for exercising the butt and making it firm.

Many products claim to be effective in bringing about this benefit, but the trick is to find the ones that target the glutes properly as well as other muscles in the lower body.

So, to help my female readers and clients, I checked countless user reviews and teamed up with my fellow trainers to curate a list of equipment that has worked in practice.

Let's dive in.

Quick Summary

  • To achieve firm and toned glutes, incorporating gym equipment like treadmills, stair climbers, leg press machines, and resistance bands is highly effective.
  • You should target all three gluteal muscles—the gluteus medius, maximus, and minimus—for well-rounded butt firming.
  • According to a study in the National Library of Medicine, the step-up exercise showed the highest Gluteus Maximus activation, averaging 125.09% of maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC).
  • Working with my clients, I found that combining these machines with free weights and bodyweight exercises offers the most comprehensive approach to glute strengthening.

Can You Do an Effective Bum Workout in Your Home Gym?

an image of a woman doing exercise to firm her glutes

Yes, you can do effective bum workouts in your home gym, as long as you have enough space.

While exercises targeting the glute muscle mass can be done with your body weight, using equipment makes them even more effective.

Here's why.

The best way to perform bum workouts is to overload the muscles around your bum.

The glutes comprise three muscles: the gluteus medius, the gluteus maximus, and the gluteus minimus. For an ideal firm and round butt, you should target all three.

That said, let's look at a few butt-firming gym machines that can help you work your entire lower body, especially the glutes.

Also Read: Butt Ups Workouts


Best Butt-Firming Home Equipment

an image of a woman on a treadmill

The equipment below can help you train your butt muscles.


I've found that using the treadmill with a high incline really targets the glutes, making it a convenient and effective option for those days when I'm not lifting weights.

It offers a productive workout to support muscle growth for a firm and lean backside.

"Using a high incline on the treadmill will increase the amount of hip flexion and extension, which are the two movement patterns required for activating your glutes."

- Tim Liu, Fitness & Nutrition Coach

While strength training exercises such as deadlifts also cause hip flexion, Harvard Health says that cardio workouts, such as those on the treadmill, create tension in the glute muscle [1].

From our experiences with clients using the treadmill four days a week, the results are visible in about 4-6 weeks.

Related: Top-Rated Compact Treadmills for Small Spaces 

Stair Climber

a picture of a person using a stair climber

According to a study in the National Library of Medicine, the stair stepper is one of the best machines for working the glutes that you can use at home [2].

My clients who've been using the stair stepper regularly says they've seen significant improvements in their glute strength and tone.

The good thing about stair steppers is that they exercise the entire lower body while emphasizing the glutes as you move your body weight up the incline.

While the stair climber is limited in exercise variety, you can use it at different paces, including a low pace for moderate exercise and a high pace for high-intensity exercise.

That's important for your butt as according to WebMD, moderate and high-intensity exercises get your heart in the fat-burning heart rate zone [3].

By burning fat, especially the butt, the machines help you tone it while at the same time making the bum stronger.

Resistance Bands

Also called booty bands, they provide a convenient and effective way of working out your butt while on a budget.

Ive integrated resistance bands into my routine and felt a noticeable difference in glute activation, especially during squats and lunges.

Resistance bands range from light (little resistance) to heavy (high resistance bands).

You might need to start with a light band before moving to a heavy resistance band. 

Most people use the resistance band before a high-intensity workout to increase blood flow and warm up.

However, studies show that booty band workouts also effectively activate the glutes, which is critical for a firm and strong backside [4].

Examples of glute exercises to do with resistance bands for a stronger butt include:

  • Deep Squat
  • Banded Side Step
  • Curtsy Lunge
  • Butt Kickback
  • Single Leg Deadlift

Leg Press Machine

a woman using Leg Press Machine

Using this equipment in your workouts engages your glutes, hamstrings, calves, and quadriceps [5].

The exercise machine also helped improve my range of motion and flexibility. It can prevent injuries from everyday activities such as walking and climbing stairs.

Examples of machines include vertical, horizontal, and 45-degree leg press machines, with the last being the most common.

To better target the butt muscles with this machine, I always advise my clients to position their bodies so that their hips bend slightly more than their knees.

I also advise them to avoid pushing too much weight to not damage their knees.

Other machines that can help firm your butt include:

  • Cable Pulley Machine
  • Elliptical Machine
  • Free Weights

Combining Glute Machine Workouts with Free Weights and Bodyweight Exercises

I've mixed machine workouts with free weights and bodyweight exercises for my clients. This has diversified glute training and enhanced their results.

Here's how you can combine these elements for optimal results.

Starting with Free Weights

Begin your workout with free weights. Exercises like dumbbell lunges or Bulgarian split squats awaken the glute muscles, preparing them for more intense machine work.

This approach also taps into stabilizing muscles, enhancing your balance and posture, which are crucial for effective machine workouts.

Transitioning to Machines

After the free-weight exercises, move to glute-specific machines like the hip thrust machine or cable glute kickbacks.

Machines allow for a more controlled and isolated glute workout, ensuring that these muscles are being worked thoroughly and safely, especially when they are already activated from the initial free-weight exercises.

Incorporating Bodyweight Movements

Incorporate bodyweight exercises like air squats, glute bridges, or step-ups. These movements can be used as a transition between free weights and machines or as a burnout session at the end.

They are excellent for improving muscular endurance and can be done anywhere, making your glute workout versatile and adaptable.

Related Articles:


What to Consider for Your Home Booty Workout

an image of a woman doing booty workout

Before making purchase decisions, here are three things you should keep in mind.


The amount of space you have determines which equipment you can store in your home gym.

You don't want to purchase a stair climber with insufficient ceiling height. Similarly, a treadmill can take up real estate and hinder other workouts.


Butt-firming equipment like ellipticals and cable pulley machines can be expensive.

So, it's wise to consider the cost factor before going shopping. But gym gear, such as resistance bands, is way cheaper but still effective.


Not all fitness equipment is created equal. The stair climber and treadmill are, naturally, going to be more effective in the long run.

Our team at Total Shape has tried many products over the years, and we have prepared this list of the best home gym equipment that passed our durability and safety tests, so make sure to check it out.


What Exercises Lift Your Buttocks at Home?

Exercises that lift your buttocks at home include jumping squats, walking lunges, donkey kicks, and glute bridges. Using weights, straps, and resistance bands while doing them adds more resistance and puts more emphasis on your glutes.

Does the Glute Machine Really Work?

Yes, the glute machine is an effective lower body exercise that targets the glutes specifically but also engages other leg muscles such as the hamstrings, quads, and calves.


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About The Author

Christiana Mikesch, CPT
Senior Coach
Christiana Mikesch, CPT is a personal trainer and author with contributions to publications like the Chicago Tribune and Yahoo. She emphasizes a holistic approach to weight loss, combining an energy-fueling diet, goal-oriented workouts, and daily habits. Her approach avoids short-term goals and fosters a lifelong commitment to health and well-being.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer
Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Holistic Nutrition from Clayton College of Natural Health and is the owner of Taylor Made Fitness. Her philosophy centers on cutting through the hype and misinformation surrounding dietary supplements, focusing instead on practical, science-backed strategies for health and weight loss.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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