Whether you aspire to enhance your curves, increase your strength, or simply achieve a more defined posterior, you've come to the right place. In this guide, we will unveil a selection of the best glute lifting exercises, carefully curated to help you achieve your desired results.
As a personal trainer with more than a decade of experience, I conducted extensive research and decided to incorporate a repertoire of exercises that have proven to be highly effective in targeting and sculpting the glutes.
From compound movements that engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously to isolation exercises that directly isolate and activate the gluteal muscles, this guide provides a comprehensive toolkit for butt-lifting success.
- The best butt-lifting exercises are single-leg glute bridge, hip thrust, Bulgarian squat, jump squat, lateral squat walk, sumo squat with a dumbbell, and single-leg stability ball rollout.
- Targeting the gluteal muscles, such as the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus, is key to achieving a lifted and toned butt while improving overall lower body strength and stability.
- Consistency, progressive overload, and proper form are emphasized for optimal results, recommended 2-3 times per week of glute exercises with adequate rest and recovery between workouts.
Top 7 Best Butt-Lifting Exercises
A firm and lifted butt not only contribute to an aesthetically pleasing physique but also serves as a powerhouse for overall lower body strength and stability.
The gluteal muscles, comprising the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus, play a crucial role in various movements, including walking, running, and jumping .
You can unlock their true potential and gain a wide range of benefits by targeting glute exercises for building muscle mass.
A well-toned butt is an essential part of a fit and healthy body. Here are the top 7 best glute lifting exercises to achieve the perfect backside.
1. Single-Leg Glute Bridge
To perform a single-leg glute bridge, follow these steps:
- Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Keep your arms relaxed by your sides.
- Extend your right leg straight out in front of you, lifting it slightly above the surface, and keep your left heel on the ground with the knee bent.
- Engage your core and push through the heel of your left foot to lift your hips off the floor, creating a straight line from your shoulders to your knee.
- Keep your lifted leg extended and parallel to the ground, maintaining a strong contraction in your glute muscles. Hold the lifted position for a brief pause, focusing on squeezing your glutes.
- Slowly lower your hips back down to the starting position, maintaining control throughout the movement.
- Repeat the exercise for 8–12. Switch sides and do the same with your right leg. Execute 2–3 sets.
2. Hip Thrust
Exercises such as hip thrusts are highly effective at building glute muscles.
- Start on the floor with your shoulder blades resting against a stable elevated surface. Your knees should be bent, your feet flat on the floor, and your upper back resting on the bench.
- Place a barbell across the crease of your hips and place your hands around the bar. Adjust the weight or resistance level according to your fitness level and gradually progress as you become stronger.
- Once in position, drive your heels into the ground, brace your core, and push your pelvis upward by squeezing your glutes. At the top of the movement, your shins should be vertical, your torso parallel to the ground, and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Then, gently bring the weight back down and come to the starting position. Repeat 8–12 reps of 2–3 sets.
Related: Best Hip Thrust Machine
3. Bulgarian Squat
This exercise helps build a strong butt and improve your balance.
- From starting position, elevate the left foot flexed on a bench, step, or any stable surface.
- Engage your core and maintain an upright posture throughout the exercise.
- Lower your body, keep your right knee bent, and descend into a lunge position. Ensure that your right knee stays in line with your toes and doesn't extend past them.
- Push through the heel of your right foot to rise back up to the starting position and try to maintain control and balance throughout the exercise.
- Repeat 8–12 reps on one leg, then switch to the other leg. Perform 2–3 sets.
“It’s a great exercise because you don’t need much equipment to do it.”
- Fiona Scott, Strength & Conditioning Coach
4. Jump Squat
Jump squats is an advanced exercise that combines lower body strength with explosive power.
- Standing position with your feet hip width apart, toes pointed slightly outward, and arms at sides.
- Bend knees, engage your core, stick your butt back, and lower down into a deep squat.
- Once you reach the bottom of the squat, explosively jump straight up into the air, extending your legs fully.
- As you land, focus on landing softly by bending your knees and lowering your body back into the squat position. Always keep feet hip width apart.
- Repeat the movement immediately, performing consecutive jump squats for 8–12 repetitions.
5. Lateral Squat Walk
This exercise targets and activates your gluteus medius.
To perform this exercise, follow these steps:
- Standing position with your feet hip width apart and bend knees, assuming a half-squat position. You can place a resistance band above your knees to increase difficulty.
- Shift your weight onto your right leg and take a wide step to the left with your left leg. It's important to maintain feet shoulder width and keep your feet facing forward throughout the exercise. Avoid bouncing and instead focus on taking slow and deliberate steps from side to side.
- While stepping to the side, bring your right leg over to return to the starting position. Repeat this movement for 8-10 steps.
- Now, perform the same steps in the opposite direction, ensuring that you return to the starting point by the end. This completes one set. Execute 2-3 sets of this exercise.
6. Sumo Squat With Dumbbell
To perform a sumo squat with a dumbbell:
- Stand with your feet positioned slightly wider than shoulder hip-width apart, maintaining feet hip distance, and keeping your toes pointing slightly outward.
- Performing this exercise, hold a dumbbell vertically with both hands, allowing it to hang in front of your body. Adjust the weight of the dumbbell according to your fitness level and gradually increase it as you become stronger.
- With knees slightly bent and in line with your toes. Lower your body down into a deep squat position, pushing your hips back and keeping your back straight.
- Continue descending until your thighs are parallel to the ground or as low as your flexibility allows.
- Push through your heels to return to the starting position, straightening your legs and engaging your glutes and thighs.
- Repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions, maintaining proper form throughout the exercise.
7. Single Leg Stability Ball Rollout
To perform the single leg stability ball rollout focusing on the left leg, follow these six steps:
- Place the stability ball on the floor and position yourself facing down with your arms straight on the ground and the ball under your hips.
- Extend the left leg behind, resting the top of the left foot on the ball while keeping the right foot grounded.
- Bend the left knee, bringing the heel towards the glutes, maintaining the bent knee position.
- Engage the core and ensure proper body alignment with a straight line from head to right foot.
- Slowly roll the ball away, extending the left leg while maintaining control and a tight core.
- Return to the starting position by bending the left knee and rolling the ball back towards your body. Repeat and switch sides for balance.
Which Muscles Lift the Butt?
The muscles that lift the butt are mainly the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus.
Developing these muscles is essential for achieving a lifted and toned booty. These muscles are very important to maintaining good posture and balance.
Exercises like squats, deadlifts, and hip thrusts target the butt maximus and promote its development.
Located beneath the gluteal maximus muscle, the gluteus medius is a fan-shaped muscle responsible for hip abduction and pelvic stabilization .
The smallest of the glute muscles, the gluteus minimus, shares similar functions and shape with the gluteus medius.
Engaging in gluteus minimus exercises contributes to a well-defined side butt appearance .
"To shape and lift your butt, you need to focus on exercises that target the gluteal muscles, such as squats, hip thrusts, and glute bridges. These exercises lift, combined with progressive overload and proper form, will help you build strong, firm glutes."
- Bret Contreras Strength & Conditioning Coach
How Frequently Should One Engage in Glute Exercises for Optimal Results?
For optimal results, it is generally recommended to engage in glute exercises 2 to 3 times per week.
This frequency allows for sufficient stimulus to promote muscle growth and strength while providing adequate rest and recovery between workouts.
Moreover, these exercises cater to individuals of all fitness levels, from beginners to advanced athletes, and can be performed in a variety of settings, whether at the gym, in the comfort of your home, or even outdoors.
Gradually increase the intensity, resistance, or difficulty of your exercises over time to continue challenging the glutes and promoting progress.
Remember, consistency and proper form are key to achieving optimal results.
As with any exercise program, it is essential to listen to your body, start gradually, and seek guidance from a fitness professional if needed.
Can You Lift Your Butt With Exercise?
Yes, you can lift your butt with exercises that focus on the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. Consistency, progressive overload, and proper form in your exercise routine, combined with a balanced diet, can contribute to achieving your desired results.
Is It Ok to Train Glutes Every Day?
No, training the glutes every day may not be the most optimal approach for muscle growth and recovery. When you exercise, you create microscopic damage to the muscle fibers, so the glutes, like any muscle group, need time to rest and recover in between workouts to allow for proper muscle repair and growth. Experts suggest that working out the glutes 2-3 times a week with proper rest in between can lead to better results without the risk of injury.
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