6 Glute Exercises You Can Do at Home
Most people spend the majority of their time sitting.
Whether it’s at a desk, in the car, or on the couch, a lot of the day is spent in the seated position. Because of that, the glutes are commonly underdeveloped and weak, making the case for a strong glute program as part of your fitness routine.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a gym membership or large fitness equipment at home to build your glutes. You can tone, tighten, and strengthen your booty at home. You can do this with bodyweight exercises or by using some basic fitness equipment.
We’ve put together everything you need to know about the glutes and how to work them from the comfort of your own home, including the best glute exercises with challenging variations that’ll strengthen and tone your derrière.
Before you start blasting your glutes, it’s a good idea to understand the anatomical makeup of the area. Your glute group is made up of three different glute muscles:
- Gluteus maximus
- Gluteus medius
- Gluteus minimus
The gluteus maximus is the most dominant and largest of the gluteal group. It’s the outermost glute muscle of the three and is responsible for hip extension (moving your leg back in space).
The gluteus medius is the second largest glute in the group and sits higher up towards the top portion of your buttock area than the other two and is located behind the glute max.
The gluteus minimus is the smallest of the three muscles and the deepest, located underneath both the glute max and glute med. The glute med and min work together and are responsible for hip abduction (moving your leg out to the side) and internal rotation of the hip (e.g. rotating your bent knee inwards).
You can work your glutes at home using bodyweight or weighted exercises, such as squats, lunges, deadlifts, and more. You don’t need fancy equipment or big gym machines to build your glute muscles.
At-home glute work can be done with no equipment or with basic home gym equipment, such as dumbbells, kettlebells, and fitness bands.
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The best exercise for the glutes is a weighted movement with a bigger range of motion, such as a weighted squat, lunge, or deadlift. To maximize the effects of your glute workout, you should add isolated glute exercises to the end of your workout,such as lateral squat walks with a mini band. Smaller movements, such as a glute bridge, are also great for working the glutes but can be done as more of a warmup than the main portion of the workout.
- Start with smaller movements, such as glute bridges, as a warm-up.
- Progress to larger weighted movements, such as weighted squats, lunges, and deadlifts, as the main focus of your glute workout.
- Then add some isolating glute work with mini bands, such as a lateral squat walk.
We recommend doing a glute and leg-specific workout two to three times a week as part of a complete fitness routine that also works on the upper body, the core, and cardio. Incorporating other movements into your weekly fitness routine is essential to building a well-rounded, strong body.
Exercises that’ll lift your buttock fast are squats, lunges, and deadlifts. While getting a lifted behind isn’t necessarily a fast process, these exercises recruit the most muscles within your glute muscle group, so you’ll notice the most significant difference the fastest. If you’re not sure where to start, consider taking a sculpt class that’s focused on glutes and legs.
It’s important to remember that doing glute-focused exercises will provide some toning action, but you can't spot train to remove fat from a specific area. This applies to all parts of the body. For the glutes, having more body fat actually helps you have a bigger bum.
Yes, you can absolutely build glute muscles without weights. Performing bodyweight glute exercises will build your glute muscles, but if you want to build those muscles further and see more dramatic results, we recommend adding additional resistance or weight.
For example, a bodyweight squat will challenge the glute muscles, help to build them, and make them stronger, but a goblet squat with a kettlebell will put more load on your glute muscles, causing them to develop more than they would without the added weight.
Here are six glute exercises you can do at home, approved by our fitness experts at lululemon Studio. We’ve included more challenging variations for each exercise as well, for more experienced fitness levels.
You can do glute bridges using only your bodyweight or with resistance (such as a dumbbell or kettlebell resting near your hip bones). You may even choose to add a mini resistance band around your legs just above your knees for added glute activation.
- Start laying on your back with your knees bent, feet shoulder-width apart and flat on the floor, arms straight beside you, and palms on the floor.
- Engage your core and squeeze your glutes as you raise your hips towards the ceiling.
- Slowly lower back down to your starting position.
- Single-leg glute bridge
Squats are great for targeting the glutes and adding strength to the lower body. They can be done using bodyweight only or with added resistance from dumbbells or kettlebells.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and flat on the ground.
- Bend your knees and let your hips naturally hinge behind you as if you’re going to sit on a chair behind you. Keep your gaze forward, chest and shoulders proud, make sure your feet stay flat on the ground the whole time, and that your knees don’t go over your toes.
- Once you’ve bent your knees and lowered your butt to about the same height as the seat of a chair, squeeze your glutes as you return to your standing position.
- Sumo squat
- Pistol squat
- Jump squat
- Lateral squat walk
Deadlifts will make your glutes feel anything but dead after you’ve completed them. This simple exercise is guaranteed to supercharge your glutes and give them a nice lift. Deadlifts can be done using bodyweight only (typically for beginners) but are commonly done using weights (e.g. dumbbells). For some added resistance, you can loop a mini resistance band around the legs just above the knees.
- Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart and one dumbbell in each hand.
- Bending at the hip with your core engaged, hinge forward to create a slight bend in your knees as you lean forward and slide the dumbbells down your shins, maintaining a straight back.
- Once the dumbbells have reached halfway down your shins, start to straighten your legs and stand back up to return to your starting position.
- Staggered deadlift
- Single leg deadlift
Lunges are fantastic glute builders. They challenge your balance and stabilizing muscles. Plus, there are so many lunge variations to choose from to keep your glute workouts interesting. Add a pulse when you’re at the lowest part of the lunge for an added challenge.
- Start in a standing position with your feet flat on the floor and facing forward.
- If you’re doing bodyweight lunges, place your hands on your hips or out to the side for balance. If you’re using dumbbells, hold them by your side like you’re holding two suitcases throughout the entire movement.
- Shift your weight to your left foot and step forward with your right foot.
- As you plant your right foot firmly on the ground, bend your knees to about 90 degrees which will naturally lower your body down towards the ground. Maintain an upright posture with your upper body and keep your core engaged.
- Once your back knee (left knee) is just about to touch the ground, begin straightening your legs, pushing off of your right leg ever so slightly, to return to your standing position.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Reverse lunges
- Curtsy lunges
- Lateral lunges
- Jump lunges
- Split stance lunges
If you want to work your glutes while also challenging your core and your upper body, kettlebell swings are the perfect exercise.
- Start standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and the kettlebell a foot (or arms length) in front of you on the ground. Bend at the waist and grasp the kettlebell handle with both hands. Your palms should be facing your body, and your torso should be nearly parallel to the ground.
- Press your shoulders down and back and brace your core before as you tip the kettlebell backward towards you.
- Pull the kettlebell off the ground and allow it to swing between your legs. Your knees should bend slightly during this movement. Keep your back flat, core braced, and neck straight.
- Forcefully drive your hips forward to swing the kettlebell forward. Use your arms to control the kettlebell through space but don’t pull it up. The kettlebell should travel no higher than your shoulders.
- Allow the kettlebell to swing down and back through your legs. Control the descent by keeping your core engaged. As the kettlebell lowers, move immediately and fluidly into the next rep.
- On your final rep, allow it to swing back through your legs, and then place it a foot in front of you on the ground at the starting position.
- Single-arm kettlebell swings
- Staggered stance kettlebell swings
- Side step kettlebell swings
- Alternating arm kettlebell swings
- Double kettlebell swings
This simple and small movement can have a big impact on your glute muscle growth. Glute kickbacks can be done standing or in a tabletop position. For simplicity's sake, we’ll describe the one in a tabletop position, as this requires no additional equipment or furniture to secure the band.
- Start by placing the mini band around both of your legs, just above your knees.
- Slowly move to the floor into a table top position with your hands and knees on the ground. Your hand should be directly under your shoulders and your knees should be hip-width apart, directly under your hips.
- Shift your weight slightly to your left leg while maintaining a flat back and level hips. Your weight should be evenly distributed between your two arms and your left leg.
- Flex your right foot, engage your core, and bring your left leg up towards the ceiling, maintaining a 90-degree bend in the knee.
- Squeeze your right glute and maintain a flat back with level hips.
- Bring your right leg and right knee back to your starting position and repeat 8-12 times on that side before shifting your weight to your right leg and repeating the same motion with your left leg in the air.
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You should always take a minute to stretch your muscles after a glute-focused workout. Because many butt exercises require the use of other muscle groups (e.g. the quads, hamstrings, etc.), these should be stretched as well during your cooldown.
Here are the top stretches to do after your glute workout:
- Figure 4 stretch
- Quad stretch
- Hip flexor stretch
- Hamstring stretch
- Pigeon stretch
- Foam rolling
Glute Exercises at Home With lululemon Studio
If you want a killer butt workout that’s guaranteed to strengthen, tone, and tighten your behind, lululemon Studio has hundreds of booty-specific classes (with more going live each week). Our Sculpt classes and strength training classes are led by industry-leading personal fitness trainers and can be filtered for “butt and legs” only to help you get that glute-focused workout you’re looking for.
Tone, tighten, and strengthen your booty at home with the lululemon Studio App. Become a member today and get FREE 30-day access to all classes and workouts.