The Best Exercises for Building Your Glutes

man squatting

Your glutes are more important than you probably realize. 

The gluteus muscles– yup, the ones that comprise your butt– are crucial muscles for your balance, stability, and posture. They're your strongest muscle group and greatly contribute to your overall mobility.

Today, most day jobs involve a desk and a computer. Sitting is the new smoking, and the damage to your body caused by a sedentary lifestyle will undoubtedly contribute to poorer muscle composition.

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That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best exercises for building your leg muscles and toning your buttocks, but first, let’s take a look at the muscles that form your bottom.

The Anatomy of the Butt

Your rear-end is comprised of three glute muscles: the maximus, medius, and minimus. The gluteus maximus enabled you to extend your legs back and rotate them to the outside, whilst the medius and minimus are smaller but still significant, serving as the internal rotator of the hip joint.

The gluteus maximus, as its name suggests, is the largest and most important muscle in the butt. That being said, it’s important to provide the maximus with as much stimulation as possible working out as growing this muscle will increase the overall size and sculpture of your backside.

man setting up for deadlift in the gym


Of course, it’s hard to beat the humble squat when it comes to workouts designed to develop your glutes. Not only do squats require considerable exertion from your leg muscles (quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves in particular), but by balancing a bar freely upon your shoulders, you’ll be promoting muscle activation and growth throughout your body, including your core.

Talking specifically about your butt, squats target your glutes directly, working to add tone and burn off any excess fat. Mid-low rep ranges will also encourage hypertrophic muscle growth throughout your upper and lower body.


Deadlifts aren’t just a great exercise for your legs, back, and just about every muscle in your entire body - but they’re also great for toning your derriere.

Best of all, deadlifts are compound movements that target core strength muscle groups including your abdominal wall, working to shape and tone muscles evenly throughout your body.

For muscle building, we’d recommend a high-weight to medium-rep ratio. 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions are ideal.

Hip Thrusts

The hip thrust is an excellent isolation movement, designed specifically to target your glute muscles and encourage growth. Not everybody knows how to execute a hip thrust, however, so here’s a quick walkthrough.

  1. Find a bench or chair that’s sturdy enough to take your full body weight.
  2. Sit in front of the side of the bench with your back leaning against it.
  3. Ensure that your butt is on the ground, your knees bent and your feet are flat on the floor.
  4. With the edge of the chair against your upper back, thrust your hips into the air until your back forms a straight line.
  5. Allow your back to lower slowly into the starting position.
  6. Repeat 8-12 times for 3 sets.


To properly grow and tone your butt muscles, it’s important that you incorporate a range of the above exercises into your workout routine so as to avoid plateauing.

As well as making use of isolation exercises and weight training, be sure to keep cardio a part of your weekly exercise regime. Running, rowing, and bicycling will keep your body burning fat and developing muscles whilst indirectly shaping your legs and glute muscles. You can't go wrong with improving your overall cardiovascular endurance. 

Lastly, and most importantly, in order to create a physique that you’re truly happy with, your diet plays a pivotal role. Eating clean foods, plenty of vegetables, and lean meats and fish will encourage muscle growth without adding on excess calories.

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