Build a Better Butt: Three Glute Workouts for Women – Fitness Volt (2024)

For years, six-pack abs were the fitness-fashion must-have. Actors, pop stars, athletes, B-listers – everyone had shredded abs and was happy to show them off. Entire workout programs revolved around getting a washboard stomach, and abs training exercise machines were on everyone’s Christmas list.

While ripped abs are still popular, they’ve been somewhat overshadowed by another muscle group – the glutes. Since the Kardashians hit the big time, glutes have become the fitness accessory that no woman can be seen without.

Unfortunately, prolonged sitting means that a lot of women’s glutes are flat, soft, and weak instead of rounded, strong, and firm. Glute amnesia is the term often used to describe how some people have literally forgotten how to contract their butts.

The good news is that the glutes are highly trainable and will quickly respond to regular workouts. You don’t even need a fancy gym to train your glutes – bodyweight and freeweight exercises can be very effective. When it comes to glute training, consistency is the key.

In this article, we share three tried-and-tested glute workouts for women. And yes, men can do them too!

Glute Anatomy Basics

When most people mention their glutes, they’re talking about their gluteus maximus. However, there are three glute muscles, each of which deserves your attention if you want to develop a muscular, aesthetically pleasing butt.

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Gluteus maximus

The gluteus maximus is the most prominent muscle in the human body. It’s also potentially the strongest. Located on the rear and lateral aspect of your hips, the functions of the gluteus maximus are:

  • Hip extension
  • Hip abduction (superior/upper fibers)
  • Hip adduction (inferior/lower fibers)
  • Hip lateral rotation

Gluteus medius

The gluteus medius is found near the iliac crest of the pelvis, above and under the gluteus maximus. It works alongside the gluteus maximus and also has some additional functions of its own, too:

  • Hip abduction
  • Hip rotation
  • Pelvis stabilization

Gluteus minimus

The gluteus minimus is a small, triangular muscle located toward the back of the hip. Gluteus minimus also works with the gluteus maximus, but has some additional functions:

  • Hip abduction
  • Hip medial rotation
  • Pelvis stabilization

Bonus glute muscle: Tensor fascia latae

The tensor fascia latae, or TFL, is part of the glute complex, even though gluteus isn’t part of its name. The TFL a biaxial muscle, meaning it crosses two joints – the hip and the knee. As part of the glute group, TFL plays an essential role in the following:

  • Hip internal rotation
  • Hip abduction
  • Pelvis stabilization

To develop your best ever butt, you must pay attention to all the glute muscles. So, while the gluteus maximus is the biggest muscle in the glute complex, the other muscles also deserve your attention. After all, they’re vital for hip stability and performance. That’s why we’ve included a variety of exercises in the following glute workouts for women.

The Benefits of Glute Training for Women

Weak glutes are a modern-day epidemic. Prolonged sitting for work and leisure means that many people have feeble, flat, soft, underdeveloped glutes. Most women train their glutes because they want a better-looking butt. While this is no bad thing, there are several additional benefits to working your glutes hard and often.

These benefits include:

Less lower back pain

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Back pain is a common problem affecting a significant percentage of adult women, and a lot of back pain is caused by weak glutes. If your glutes are weak, much of the work they should do falls on your lower back, e.g., bending and lifting objects off the floor. Stronger glutes mean less stress on your lower back and a lower risk of back pain.

Glute-related lower back pain is especially common during pregnancy, as the shift in your center of gravity pulls you forward, and you’ll need strong glutes to counter this effect. Stronger glutes will also help stabilize your sacroiliac (SI) joint, which is another common cause of lower back pain for women.

In many cases, stronger glutes are the most effective way to prevent and treat lower back pain – with your doctor’s approval, of course.

Better posture

Posture is the alignment of your joints, which can be good or bad. Good posture puts minimal stress on your joints, ligaments, and muscles and is very efficient. In contrast, poor posture puts far more pressure on your joints and connective tissue and is very inefficient. Poor posture can lead to muscle tension, fatigue, and chronic pain.

Weak glutes can affect the alignment and position of your lumbar spine or lower back. It can also reduce pelvic stability. Stronger glutes can help prevent common postural problems such as hyperlordosis or an over-arched lower back.

A better-looking butt

While training your glutes has a lot of functional benefits, there is no denying the aesthetic appeal of a strong, firm, muscular butt. Great-looking butts don’t happen by accident; if you want a rear you can be proud of, you must train it hard, often, and consistently.

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Increased hip and knee stability

The hip is a very mobile ball and socket joint capable of a wide range of movements, including flexion, extension, medial and lateral rotation, abduction and adduction. However, that mobility comes at a price – reduced stability.

While increased mobility is generally a good thing, uncontrolled movement of the hip can cause hip pain and injuries and even affect your knees. For example, if your hips cave in while you are walking or running, you may experience pain in the medial part of your knees.

Strengthening the muscles around your hips will enhance joint stability and function, leading to more efficient movements and a lower risk of hip and knee pain.

Three Glute Workouts for Women

Here are your three glute workouts for women. But, before doing any of them, you must prepare your joints and muscles for what you’re about to do by warming up. Start with 5-10 minutes of easy cardio, e.g., air bike, rower, jogging, or jumping rope, followed by a few dynamic mobility and flexibility exercises for knees, hips, and lower back.

A ten-minute warm-up can save you months of lost training caused by an otherwise avoidable injury, so don’t skip it.

Ready? Then let’s get to work!

Bodyweight-Only Glute Workout

No time to go to the gym? Prefer home workouts? No problem! You can train your glutes almost using just your body weight. Do this workout at home, in your hotel room, in your garden, at the park – anywhere you want!

#Exercise SetsRepsRecovery
1Glute bridge marches2-412-2060-90 seconds
2Prisoner good-mornings 2-412-2060-90 seconds
3Frog pumps 2-412-2060-90 seconds
4Reverse lunges2-412-20 per leg60-90 seconds
5Side leg raises2-412-20 per leg60-90 seconds

1. Glute bridge marches

Target muscles: Gluteus maximus, hamstrings, core.

Steps:

  1. Lie on your back with your legs bent and feet flat. Brace your abs. Drive your feet into the floor and push your hips up so your knees, hips, and shoulders form a straight line.
  2. Without lowering your hips, lift one leg up and push your knee up toward the ceiling.
  3. Lower your foot to the floor, swap legs, and repeat.
  4. Continue alternating legs for the prescribed number of reps.

2. Prisoner good-mornings

Target muscles: Gluteus maximus, hamstrings, core.

Steps:

  1. Stand with your feet about hip-width apart. Bend your knees slightly.
  2. Place your hands behind your head and push your elbows back to open your chest. Brace your core.
  3. Hinging from your hips, lean as far forward as possible without rounding your lower back. Push your butt backward as you lean.
  4. Drive your hips forward and stand up.
  5. That’s one rep – keep going!

3. Frog pumps

Target muscles: Gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus, gluteus medius, hip abductors, hamstrings, core.

  1. Lie on your back with your legs bent and the soles of your feet pressed together.
  2. Push your knees apart.
  3. Drive the outside of your feet into the floor and lift your hips up to form a straight line with your knees and shoulders.
  4. Lower your butt back down to the floor and repeat.

Read more: Frog Pumps Exercise Guide: How To, Benefits, Muscles Worked, and Variations

4. Reverse lunges

Target muscles: Gluteus maximus, hamstrings, quadriceps, core.

Steps:

  1. Stand with your feet together and your arms by your sides. Pull your shoulders down and back, and brace your core.
  2. Take a large step backward, bend your legs, and lower your rearmost knee down to within an inch of the floor. Lean forward slightly to increase glute engagement.
  3. Push off your back leg, bring your feet back together, and repeat on the opposite side.
  4. Alternate legs for the required number of reps.

5. Side leg raises

Target muscles: Gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus, gluteus medius.

Steps:

  1. Lie on your side so your body is straight and your head is resting on your outstretched arm.
  2. Raise your uppermost leg to about 45 degrees, turning your hip slightly inward to maximize glute engagement.
  3. Lower your leg and repeat.
  4. Roll over and do the same number of reps on the other side.
  5. You can make this exercise more challenging by putting a booty band around your knees or wearing an ankle weight.

Freeweight Glute Workout

Freeweights provide a low-tech way to overload your glutes and build more strength. Barbells and dumbbells are available at almost every gym. They are also ideal for home workouts as they’re cheap, compact, and easy to store between workouts.

#Exercise SetsRepsRecovery
1Barbell Romanian deadlift2-412-2060-90 seconds
2Barbell hip thrust2-412-2060-90 seconds
3Dumbbell side leg raise2-412-20 per leg60-90 seconds
4Dumbbell high step-up2-412-20 per leg60-90 seconds
5Dumbbell sumo squat2-412-2060-90 seconds

1. Barbell Romanian deadlift

Target muscles: Gluteus maximus, hamstrings, core.

  1. Hold a barbell in front of your hips with a double overhand grip. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  2. Pull your shoulders back and down and brace your core.
  3. Push your hips back and hinge forward, lowering the bar down your legs.
  4. Descend as far as you can without rounding your lower back.
  5. Push your hips forward, stand back up, and repeat.

2. Barbell hip thrust

Target muscles: Gluteus maximus, hamstrings, core.

  1. Sit on the floor with your back against a sturdy bench. Rest and hold a barbell across your hips. Use a folded mat or squat par pad for comfort if required.
  2. Push down with your feet and lift your hips up to form a straight line between your knees and shoulders.
  3. Lower your butt back down to lightly touch the floor and repeat.

3. Dumbbell side leg raise

Target muscles: Gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus, gluteus medius.

  1. Lie on your side with your legs straight and your head resting on your lowermost arm.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in your other hand and rest it on your uppermost thigh.
  3. Raise your top leg to about 45 degrees, lower it, and repeat.
  4. The further down your thigh you hold the weight, the more challenging this exercise becomes.
  5. On completion, roll over and do the same number of reps on the opposite leg.

4. Dumbbell high step-up

Target muscles: Gluteus maximus, hamstrings, quadriceps, core.

  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, arms by your sides. Stand in front of a bench or step that’s about knee height.
  2. Place one foot on the top of the platform, drive your foot down, and step up. Try not to push off with your trailing leg.
  3. Step back down, switch legs, and repeat.
  4. Continue alternating legs for the duration of your set.

5. Dumbbell sumo squat

Target muscles: Gluteus maximus, hamstrings, quadriceps, core.

  1. Stand with your feet about 1.5 shoulder widths apart, toes turned slightly outward.
  2. Hold a single dumbbell in front of your hips.
  3. Pushing your knee outward, squat down as deeply as possible without rounding your lower back. Keep your weight on your heels to maximize glute engagement.
  4. Drive your feet into the floor and stand back up.
  5. Continue for the prescribed number of reps.

Gym Glute Workout for Women

Having access to a gym means there are lots of ways to train your glutes. In fact, there are so many choices that it can be hard to know where to start! Keep your training on track with this tried-and-tested gym-based glute workout.

#Exercise SetsRepsRecovery
1Barbell booty band back squat2-412-2060-90 seconds
2Cable machine pull-throughs 2-412-2060-90 seconds
3Dumbbell single-leg Romanian deadlift2-412-20 per leg60-90 seconds
4Cable hip abduction2-412-20 per leg60-90 seconds
5Barbell glute march2-412-2060-90 seconds
6Reverse hypers2-412-2060-90 seconds

1. Barbell booty band back squat

Target muscles: Gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus, gluteus medius, hamstrings, quadriceps, core.

  1. Put a booty band around your knees. Rest and hold a barbell across your upper back. Step out so your feet are about shoulder-width apart. Push your knees out against the resistance offered by the band.
  2. Bend your knees and squat down until your thighs are roughly parallel to the floor. Keep pushing your knees outward. Do not round your lower back.
  3. Stand back up and repeat.

2. Cable machine pull-throughs

Target muscles: Gluteus maximus, hamstrings, core.

  1. Attach a rope handle to a low pulley machine.
  2. Stand astride the cable with your back to the machine. Hold the handle in both hands in front of your hips. Take 1-2 steps forward to tension the cable.
  3. Push your hips back and lean forward, reaching back and through your legs.
  4. Drive your hips forward and stand up straight.
  5. Continue for the prescribed number of reps.
  6. You can also do this exercise with a resistance band.

3. Dumbbell single-leg Romanian deadlift

Target muscles: Gluteus maximus, hamstrings, core.

  1. Hold a dumbbell in one hand and stand with your feet together.
  2. Shift your weight over onto one leg. Bend your supporting knee slightly.
  3. Hinging from your hips, lean forward and lower the weight down toward the floor. Extend your non-weight-bearing leg out behind you for balance.
  4. Stand back up and repeat.
  5. Use your non-working arm for support if required.
  6. Switch legs and do the same number of reps on the other side.

4. Cable hip abduction

Target muscles: Gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus, gluteus medius.

  1. Wrap a strap around your ankle and attach it to a low pulley machine.
  2. Stand sideways onto the weight stack with your working leg furthest from the weight stack. Hold the machine for balance. Brace your core.
  3. Keeping your leg straight, lift your foot out to the side, taking care not to twist your hips.
  4. Lower your leg and repeat.
  5. Do the same number of reps on both sides.

5. Barbell glute march

Target muscles: Gluteus maximus, hamstrings, core.

  1. Lie on the floor with your legs bent and feet flat. Rest and hold a barbell across your hips. Use a folded mat or squat bar pad for comfort if required.
  2. Drive your feet into the floor and raise your hips so they form a straight line with your knees and shoulders.
  3. Keeping your hips up, extend your right leg.
  4. Lower your foot back to the floor, swap legs, and repeat.
  5. Continue alternating legs for the prescribed number of reps.

6. Reverse hypers

Target muscles: Gluteus maximus, hamstrings, core.

  1. Lie on the machine so your hips are in line with the lever arm pivot point. Place your lower legs behind the restraint. Hold onto the support handles.
  2. Extend your hips and legs out behind you, taking care not to hyperextend your spine.
  3. Lower your legs and repeat.

No reverse hyper machine at your gym? Don’t worry; you can also do this exercise with a regular workout bench, like this:

Glute Workouts for Women – FAQs

Do you have a question about these workouts or glute training for women in general? No problem, because we’ve got the answers!

1. How often can I train my glutes?

While it might be tempting to train your glutes more often, 2-3 workouts per week should be sufficient for most women. Muscles take on average 48-72 hours to recover between workouts, so training them more often could impede rather than accelerate your progress.

So, train your glutes every 2-3 days for best results, e.g., Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, or Monday and Thursday.

2. Will these exercises and workouts fix my violin hips?

Violin hips, aka hip dips, are where your lower glutes/upper thighs curve slightly inward. Contrary to what a lot of influencers believe, this is NOT something that can be fixed with exercise or diet and is caused by your bone structure. Hip dips are perfectly natural and not something you need to try and alter.

While training your glutes will enhance your general butt shape, your hip dips are here to stay. So, don’t worry about them, and focus on the things you can control instead.

3. Do I have to stick to the 12-20 rep range?

To build maximal strength, you must train using heavy weights and low reps, typically 1-5 per set with 85% or more of your one-repetition maximum. However, if you aren’t training for strength, it really doesn’t matter how many reps you do per set.

In fact, studies suggest that you can perform anywhere from 5 to 35 reps per set and still make progress (1). Almost any rep count will work if you take your set close to failure.

12-20 is just a general guideline, and you can do eight, ten, twenty, or thirty reps per set if you wish.

4. What is the best diet to build a better butt?

Building a bigger, stronger butt is a type of hypertrophy training, better known as bodybuilding. As such, you’ll need to provide your body with the energy it needs for your workouts as well as muscle growth and repair.

Invariably, this means eating a slight calorie surplus, consuming enough protein, and eating mostly natural, clean foods.

It’s beyond the scope of this article to provide you with a diet to follow, but you can find all the information you need to write your own healthy eating plan in this step-by-step guide.

5. Can I just do glute workouts to get in shape?

Your glutes are just a small selection of the 600+ muscles that make up the human body. Trying to get in shape by just training your glutes is like trying to keep your car running by only ever checking the tire pressure!

While these glute workouts will certainly help, you need to train the rest of your body if you want to be in good shape. That means including upper body, cardio, and core training in your weekly workout schedule.

Glute training IS undoubtedly important, but it’s just one of the things you need to do to be fit and healthy.

Glute Workouts – Closing Thoughts

Whether you are training for better health, improved athletic performance, or want to look your best, glute training can help. Unfortunately, many women have weak, soft glutes, often because they spend too much time sitting.

Use these workouts to sculpt your perfect butt. However, remember that while the glutes ARE important, the rest of your body deserves the same amount of care and attention. Nature abhors imbalances, and going all glutes all the time will probably cause more problems that it cures.

More Glute Workouts:

  • Heart Shaped Butt: How To Grow and Maintain a Perfect Bum
  • How To Turn Your Square Butt Into a Bubble Bum [12 Best Exercises Inside]
  • The 10 Best Dumbbell Glute Exercises to Build a Better Butt
  • Glutes Ahoy! The Bigger Hips Workout

This article was written by Patrick Dale, a Training Editor with 30 years of experience in Personal Training and Strength & Conditioning. Passionate about accuracy and reliability, Patrick delivers content that is both informative and engaging. Should you have any questions or require further clarification on this article, please leave a comment below. Patrick is dedicated to addressing your queries promptly.

Stay on top of the latest fitness news and updates by adding Fitness Volt to your Google News feed: Build a Better Butt: Three Glute Workouts for Women – Fitness Volt (4)You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube for even more content.

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Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

Impression of the User:

Based on the user's request, it seems that they are interested in learning about glute workouts for women. They have provided an article that discusses the importance of glute training and includes three glute workout routines. The user appears to have a beginner level of knowledge on the topic and is looking for guidance on how to train their glutes effectively.

Expert Introduction:

As an expert in fitness and exercise, I have extensive knowledge and experience in glute training. I have helped many individuals achieve their fitness goals by providing effective workout routines and guidance. I am familiar with the concepts and exercises mentioned in this article and can provide you with detailed information on each of them.

Glute Anatomy Basics:

The glutes are a group of muscles located in the buttocks region. There are three main glute muscles: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. Each of these muscles has its own functions and contributes to the overall strength and appearance of the buttocks.

  1. Gluteus Maximus: The gluteus maximus is the largest and strongest muscle in the glute complex. It is responsible for hip extension, hip abduction (upper fibers), hip adduction (lower fibers), and hip lateral rotation.

  2. Gluteus Medius: The gluteus medius is located near the iliac crest of the pelvis, above and under the gluteus maximus. It works alongside the gluteus maximus and is responsible for hip abduction, hip rotation, and pelvis stabilization.

  3. Gluteus Minimus: The gluteus minimus is a smaller muscle located toward the back of the hip. It also works with the gluteus maximus and is responsible for hip abduction, hip medial rotation, and pelvis stabilization.

In addition to these three main glute muscles, there is another muscle called the Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL). Although not part of the glute complex, the TFL plays a role in hip internal rotation, hip abduction, and pelvis stabilization.

Benefits of Glute Training for Women:

Training your glutes goes beyond just aesthetics. Here are some additional benefits of glute training for women:

  1. Less Lower Back Pain: Weak glutes can contribute to lower back pain. Strengthening the glutes can help alleviate this pain by reducing the stress on the lower back.

  2. Improved Posture: Weak glutes can affect the alignment of your lower back and pelvis, leading to poor posture. Strengthening the glutes can help improve posture and reduce muscle tension and fatigue.

  3. Better-Looking Butt: Glute training can help shape and tone the buttocks, giving them a more firm and muscular appearance.

  4. Increased Hip and Knee Stability: Strong glutes provide stability to the hip joint, reducing the risk of hip and knee pain and injuries.

Glute Workouts for Women:

Now let's dive into the three glute workouts for women mentioned in the article. These workouts can be done at home, with freeweights, or at the gym. Remember to warm up before starting any workout to prevent injuries.

  1. Bodyweight-Only Glute Workout:

    • Glute Bridge Marches: Lie on your back with your legs bent and feet flat. Lift one leg at a time while keeping your hips elevated. Alternate legs for the prescribed number of reps.
    • Prisoner Good-Mornings: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hands behind your head. Hinge forward at the hips while keeping your back straight. Return to the starting position.
    • Frog Pumps: Lie on your back with your feet pressed together and knees apart. Lift your hips off the ground, squeezing your glutes. Lower your hips back down and repeat.
    • Reverse Lunges: Step back with one leg and lower your body until your front knee is bent at a 90-degree angle. Push through your front heel to return to the starting position. Alternate legs for the prescribed number of reps.
    • Side Leg Raises: Lie on your side and lift your top leg while keeping it straight. Lower your leg back down and repeat. Switch sides and repeat.
  2. Freeweight Glute Workout:

    • Barbell Romanian Deadlift: Hold a barbell in front of your hips and hinge forward at the hips while keeping your back straight. Return to the starting position.
    • Barbell Hip Thrust: Sit on the floor with your back against a bench and a barbell across your hips. Lift your hips off the ground and squeeze your glutes. Lower your hips back down and repeat.
    • Dumbbell Side Leg Raise: Lie on your side and lift your top leg while keeping it straight. Lower your leg back down and repeat. Switch sides and repeat.
    • Dumbbell High Step-Up: Step onto a bench or step with one foot and push through your heel to lift your body up. Step back down and repeat. Switch legs and repeat.
    • Dumbbell Sumo Squat: Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and toes turned slightly outward. Squat down while keeping your back straight. Return to the starting position.
  3. Gym Glute Workout for Women:

    • Barbell Booty Band Back Squat: Place a booty band around your knees and hold a barbell across your upper back. Squat down while pushing your knees out against the resistance of the band. Return to the starting position.
    • Cable Machine Pull-Throughs: Attach a rope handle to a low pulley machine. Stand facing away from the machine and pull the handle through your legs while keeping your back straight. Return to the starting position.
    • Dumbbell Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift: Hold a dumbbell in one hand and hinge forward at the hips while lifting one leg behind you. Return to the starting position. Switch sides and repeat.
    • Cable Hip Abduction: Attach a strap to your ankle and attach it to a low pulley machine. Stand sideways to the machine and lift your leg out to the side. Return to the starting position. Switch sides and repeat.
    • Barbell Glute March: Lie on the floor with your legs bent and a barbell across your hips. Lift one leg at a time while keeping your hips elevated. Alternate legs for the prescribed number of reps.
    • Reverse Hypers: Lie face down on a reverse hyper machine or a workout bench. Lift your legs up behind you while keeping your back straight. Lower your legs back down and repeat.

Remember to adjust the weights and repetitions based on your fitness level and gradually increase the intensity as you progress.

I hope this information helps you in your glute training journey! If you have any further questions, feel free to ask.

Build a Better Butt: Three Glute Workouts for Women – Fitness Volt (2024)
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