The Best Glutes Workout To Grow Your Flat Butt (GYM OR HOME!)

by Jeremy Ethier - September 4, 2021

Struggle with a flat butt no more. In this article, I cover the butt workout (featuring 6 of the best glute exercises around) you should be doing for a perky butt.

I'm going to show you a glutes workout with 6 of the best exercises to grow your butt. Here's what I'll go through:

  • The science behind growing your glutes (i.e. the 2 muscles you need to focus on)
  • Exact glute exercises you can do with weights at home, or at the gym, to grow your butt

By the end of this article, your butt is going to be booty-full.

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Anatomy Of Your Glute Muscles

If you want to understand how to get a bigger butt (and fast), you first need to know the muscles involved. The glutes are composed of 3 main muscles - 2 of which you want to focus on:

  • Glute max: The biggest, most visible, and most powerful glute muscle. Its primary function is the pushing of your hips forward (otherwise known as hip extension).
  • Glute medius: Second biggest glute muscle located on the sides of your upper butt. It plays an important role in keeping our hips balanced when we move - so the glute max can do its job. It also has the unique function of moving your thigh away from your body's midline (i.e. hip abduction).

In the butt workout I'll cover below, the first, second, and last exercise will target the glute max in 3 different ways. The third and fourth exercises will then target the glute medius as a superset.

Let’s get into it!

Exercises To Include In Your Glutes Workout For A Perky Butt

Exercise 1: Glute-Focused Deadlift

The deadlift is going to be our primary heavy exercise for the glute max since it mainly involves pushing your hips forward (i.e. hip extension). But there are a few tweaks we'll want to make to ensure that your glutes are doing most of the work. Only have access to dumbbells? Don't worry. You can still apply many of the following tweaks in the same way.

How To Perform The Glute-Focused Deadlift In Your Butt Workout

First, we're going to use a foot stance that's about hip-width - with the toes slightly pointed outwards. This is important because if your stance is too wide (e.g. with a sumo deadlift), you'd be shortening the range of motion. This, in turn, limits your glutes' ability to push the hips forward.

A narrower feet stance for your deadlifts gives you more range of motion

Once you're in your deadlift position, squeeze your glutes hard and push your knees out against your elbows. In doing this, you should feel more of your glute muscles 'turn on'.

From here, brace your core, tuck your chin, and push your feet through the floor WHILE driving your hips forward to stand up. It's important to shift your thinking from:

  • "Pulling the bar up" TO
  • "Pushing the floor away" with your legs AND "driving your hips forward" to get the weight up

This ensures that your glutes - rather than your lower back - are moving the weight. On the way down, we're going to reverse the motion.

With your knees slightly bent, push your hips back to lower the bar. But only push your hips back as far as they can before your lower back starts to round. Otherwise, the tension will shift from your glutes to your lower back instead.

Maintain a neutral back as you deadlift in your butt workout

When done properly, you should feel a deep stretch in your glutes and hamstrings as you lower the bar. Once the bar is just past your knees, squat it down and then reset. Using dumbbells instead? You'll then want to instead stop just past your knees before coming back up - rather than going all the way down to the floor. Perform 3 sets of 6 heavy reps, with 3-4 minutes of rest between each set.

Exercise 2: Glute-Focused Walking Lunges

Now, we'll move on to exercise 2 in your butt workout: the glute-focused walking lunges. This will still demand the glute max to work hard. But it will also add a new balance demand on the glutes that you don't experience with deadlifts.

Bodyweight walking lunges will be our exercise of choice. But, once again, we'll implement a few tweaks (3, to be exact) to make it more effective than your standard lunge.

First, we'll align your body into a position that shifts more of the tension to your glutes rather than your quads. You can do so by slightly leaning your upper body forward while keeping your head in line with your body. And you'll want to maintain that position as you lunge.

Next, instead of simply stepping "up" after each lunge, think about stepping "forward". This subtle shift in thinking as you perform each step will shift more tension to your glutes rather than your quads. Use your front leg to propel and pull yourself forward. You can imagine that there was a thin wall of glass in front of you - and you're trying to lunge through it.

Think about lunging forward instead of lunging up during your butt workout

The third tweak is tricky to do. But it will help put more stretch on the glutes in the bottom position. This, in turn, requires them to work harder for you to return to the starting position. To implement the final tweak:

  • At the bottom position of each lunge, take your hands and apply some resistance to guide your front knee inwards
  • Then, push your knee back against your resisting hand as you stand up

Do 2 sets of 10 reps on each leg with about 2 minutes of rest between each set.

Knowing how to tweak exercises that suit your physique goals is pretty complicated. Thankfully, though, our Built With Science programs take the guesswork out of training, nutrition, and even mobility work - so you can focus on what matters: making gains. If you're interested:

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Exercise 3 & 4: Glute Medius Kickbacks + Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats (Superset)

Next, we're going to focus on the gluteus medius in our butt workout with a superset exercise, where we'll perform 2 exercises back-to-back without rest. Note: I first came across this superset from Coach Paul Carter.

How To Grow Your Glutes With The Glute Medius Kickbacks In Your Butt Workout

The first exercise we'll use is the glute medius kickback. It's a slow, controlled movement that may not look like much range of motion. But trust me - it'll ensure that tension is placed on your glutes rather than your lower back.

To perform glute medius kickbacks:

  • Put a cable setting down to its lowest and connect the strap around your ankle. Don't have access to a cable? You can set up a band wrapped around both legs or looped around a fixture instead.
  • Grab a pole or any ficture for balance once you're set up
  • Keep your torso upright, tuck your chin, and brace your core
  • Sweep your heel back but also slightly out to the side at roughly a 30-degree angle (remember: your glute medius performs the specific function of bringing the leg away from the body)
  • Go only as far as you can without arching your lower back. Or excessively tilting to the left or right.
Form tips for performing the glute medius kickbacks

If you execute this properly, you should feel a good burn in the upper/side portion of your butt. Do 12 reps on each side. Then, immediately move to the next exercise: the rear foot elevated split squats (RFESS). This exercise will also train the glute medius, but will now do so by challenging you to keep the hips and knees balanced as you move.

How To Perform The Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats

Here's how to perform the RFESS:

  • Grab a pair of dumbbells and elevate your back leg up onto a platform or stack of books
  • Get into a split stance position with the leg you just worked with the last exercise in front
  • Keep about 80% of your weight in your front leg and the other 20% in the back just for balance (like a kickstand)
  • Tuck your chin and bend your torso over just like we did earlier with the glute-focused lunges
  • From there, drop your back knee toward the ground. For more glute involvement: keep the shin of your front leg straight up over your foot (rather than bending it forward) as you lower yourself
Keep the shin of the front leg straight up over your foot as you perform the RFESS
  • Use your front leg to push back up at the bottom position
  • Repeat for a total of 12 reps
  • Once complete, do the other leg on both exercises to complete your first superset.

Then, you're going to repeat that 2 more times for a total of 3 supersets for each leg.

Exercise 5: 45° Hip Extension

In our deadlift and lunges, your glutes were challenged the most at the bottom position. This is where the glutes are fully stretched. This is one way to stimulate growth. But there's another way to stimulate growth: that is, with exercises that are most challenging at the top position. This is where the glutes are fully contracted.

This is where our last movement comes into play. I'll show you a gym version and a home version for you to pick from. The gym version is the 45° hip extension. To maximize glutes activation, we'll use a few technique tips covered in a previous article I made with the help of glutes researcher, Bret Contreras:

  • Set up the pad such that it's just below your hips; this maximizes the range of motion for your glutes
  • Brace your core, tuck your chin, and then bend at your hips to pull yourself down
  • From here, think about 2 points at the top and bottom of your butt. Squeeze your butt hard to bring these 2 points together to pull yourself up.
Squeeze your butt hard to bring the 2 points together during the hip extension
  • When done properly, you should feel a very strong contraction in your glutes at the top position.

And now, for the home version (exercise 6). It'll require just a stack of books:

  • Flatten your back against the floor
  • Place one foot up on the stack of books, with the other leg straight
  • From here, push up against the stack of books while raising the opposite leg to 90 degrees. Avoid excessively arching your back as you do so. Keep your body in a straight line.
Single leg elevated glute bridge
  • Hold this top position for 1-2 seconds while squeezing the glute of your planted leg hard.
  • Repeat this for 3 sets of 15 reps on each leg.

And congratulations! You've just finished a great booty-building butt workout.

The Best Butt Workout To Grow Your Glutes

The Best Glutes Workout

Glute-Focused Deadlift: 3 sets of 6 reps

Glute-Focused Walking Lunges (bodyweight): 2 sets of 10 reps each leg

Superset: 3 sets of 12 reps each leg

Glute Med Kickbacks

RFESS

45° Hip Extension OR Single Leg Elevated Glute Bridge: 3 sets of 15 reps

Wrap-Up

You can implement this glutes workout once a week. Or, implement these exercises into your other workouts throughout the week if you prefer. Either way, I hope you were able to see the importance of carefully selecting your exercises - as well as performing them in a way that maximizes growth for the target muscle.

Within our Built With Science programs, we apply that to each and every one of the workouts we provide. To join today, just take the free analysis quiz below to discover which of our programs will best help you transform your body:

Click the button below to take my analysis quiz to discover the best program for you:

And to check out some of my other articles, you can click here if you want to work on balancing your hips, and here if you want more butt stuff. Thanks for reading, and I'll see ya next time!

By the way, here’s the article summed up into a YouTube video:

The Best Glutes Workout To Grow Your Flat Butt (GYM OR HOME!)

The Best Glutes Workout To Grow Your Flat Butt (GYM OR HOME!)

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