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How to Get a Bigger Butt: 5 Best Glute Exercises You Can Do at Home!

by Elliot Reimers, CNC, M.S. Candidate | Reviewed by Advisory Board

How to Get a Bigger Butt: 5 Best Glute Exercises You Can Do at Home!

Regardless if you’re a man, woman, younger, or older, one of the most sought after body features is a great butt. Nothing says “they must work out” like a big butt that pops. It’s one thing to have shredded abs, a big chest, and sleeve-splitting arms, but building a bigger butt brings the whole package together. (Note: We’re talking “bigger” as in stronger and more shapely, not flabbier.) 

The aesthetics of a bigger butt are just one of the positive aspects of having stronger glutes. In fact, the glutes are arguably the most explosive and powerful group of muscles in the human body. 

Want to squat more? Get a bigger butt. How about deadlifts? Yep, a bigger butt will help that too. Heck, the glutes are a major component of 100s of athletic movements, notably jumping, sprinting, and swimming.

So, what are the best exercises to get a bigger butt? Surprisingly, you don’t need to do anything too fancy or out of the ordinary to build a great booty. Even better, there are a handful of booty building exercises you can do in the comfort of your home with resistance bands. 

A Functional Butt Matters

Anatomically speaking, the “glutes” are a group of muscles consisting of the gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus, and gluteus medius. These muscles lie posterior and laterally to the pelvis, playing a major role in hip movement. When your goal is to get a bigger butt, these are the muscles you want to target. 

gluteal muscle anatomy

Each of these three muscles serves their own purposes biomechanically, yet they also work in tandem for mobilizing and stabilizing the core and lower body. Hence, the glutes are also crucial for proper spine/leg function. They are quite literally the foundation of strength, mobility and, for many, aesthetics. 

In terms of biomechanical functions, strong gluteal muscles are necessary for the following:

  • Extending the hips (e.g. swinging your leg backward while standing upright)
  • Rotating the hips internally and externally (e.g. pointing your toes/knees towards your midriff)
  • Hip abduction (e.g. spreading your thighs open while sitting)
  • Stabilizing the lumbar/sacral spine
  • Raising the hips out of a squatting position
  • Raising the trunk of the body from a forward-leaning position (e.g. when deadlifting)
  • Aligning major bones/joints of the legs (e.g. femur, patella, and tibia)
  • Maintaining a level pelvis when walking and sitting

As you can see, your glutes do a whole lot more than you might think! Maybe all the bikini competitors and female Instagram influencers who blast their booty five times a week are onto something? 

Jokes aside, the glutes should not be neglected whether you’re trying to get a bigger butt or not. 

Are You Neglecting the Glutes? 

Since life has a way of keeping us seated for much of the day, the glutes and hips are chronically neglected. Over time, this can lead to low back issues and poor posture, not to mention generally weak gluteal muscles. The more you can avoid prolonged sitting, the better. If you work behind a computer, try and stand up and walk around for at least 5-10 minutes per hour. 

To compound to lifestyle issues that cause us to neglect the glutes, many athletes, bodybuilders, and gym-goers alike overlook the importance of training their butt. For example, sprinters and basketball players often train their hamstrings, quads, and calves exhaustively because they assume those are the most important muscle groups for sprinting and jumping.

Yet, the glutes are integral to both of those movements. In fact, once these athletes start incorporating more glute work into their training routine, they see notable improvements in explosiveness, mobility, and overall performance.

If you’ve been neglecting glute exercises, there is no better time to start giving your butt the attention it deserves than now. 

On that note, here are five of the best exercises to get a bigger butt. 

Deadlifts (with Resistance Band)

Female deadlifting


From head to toe, deadlifts are the ultimate test of shear strength. Most gym-goers assume the deadlift is merely a “low-back” exercise, which isn’t necessarily true. Actually, deadlifts activate pretty much every major muscle in the body when done properly. 

Recall that one of the functions of the glutes is to raise the torso from a forwardly displaced position, which is exactly what deadlifts require. You’re only as strong as your weakest link, and if your glutes aren’t thoroughly developed you won’t be able to deadlift much.

Movement Tips 

  • For really targeting the glutes, it’s best to do deadlifts with a wider stance (i.e. sumo deadlifts) or as stiff-leg deadlifts and focusing on the tension in your posterior chain throughout the movement. 
  • Ideally, you should be doing deadlifts with a loaded barbell, but if you’re in a pinch and want to do them at home with a band, that’s certainly deadlift 
    • Using resistance loop exercise bands (sometimes called “mini bands”), simply step inside the loop and grab the other end with both hands (see image below).
  • Remember to brace your spine by taking a big breath and holding it in your belly before/during each repetition.
  • Quality > Quantity; don’t compromise your form just to add more weight to the bar. 




Squats are another top butt-building exercise, along with being a highly functional total-body movement. The conundrum is that squats are a fairly technical exercise (especially with a loaded barbell) and require a level of mobility and muscular balance that many people lack. Thankfully, bodyweight squats and banded squats are great alternatives for those who are new to squatting, and they can be done virtually anywhere. As you become more advanced, it’s best to get in the habit of squatting with a loaded barbell for maximum glute development.

Movement Tips

  • As the saying goes, “Ass to grass or it doesn’t count!” Get your butt down until the top of your thighs are level with the crease in your hips. Try not to lean your torso too far forward. It might take some practice without any resistance (bar or band) to get used to the squatting motion and increase your mobility. 
  • For barbell squats, place your feet slightly inside shoulder-width apart and keep your toes pointing relatively straight (a slight outward rotation is fine). 
  • The bar should rest across the upper back/trapezius region.
  • Place your hands evenly on each side of the bar, a few inches outside of shoulder-width; tuck your elbows under the bar and towards your torso. 
  • Take a deep breath and hold in your belly throughout each squat. 
  • Begin each rep by “pushing” your hips backward and keeping your torso at about a 60-75 degree angle (don’t lean too far forward!). Descend naturally until the top of your thighs are at least parallel with the floor, then explode back to a standing position by “pushing the ground” away from you and driving through your heels.


  • Banded squats are a great booty builder you can do at home. The same core barbell squat mechanics apply; place a resistance loop band around both legs, just above or below the knees, and use your arms as a sort of counterbalance by keeping them elevated in front of you at shoulder height (see image below). 

Band squats

  • It might help to take a video of yourself squatting so you can get a better sense of how your form is coming along. 

Hip Thrusts & Glute Bridges

hip thrust

Hip thrusts and glute bridges are the ideal movements for learning how to extend the hips forcefully, making them the veritable “king” of exercises to get a bigger butt. If you’re not feeling much glute activation from deadlifts or squats, start with glute bridges and hip thrusts. 

The great thing about these exercises is that they are nowhere near as technical as squats and deadlifts, making them much easier to dive right into. It also helps that you can do glute bridges and hip thrusts basically wherever life takes you. As you get stronger and need more of a challenge, barbell hip thrusts will take your booty to the next level. 

Movement Tips

  • For barbell hip thrusts, sit on the ground with your mid/upper back against a bench. With a barbell in your lap just above your nether regions, plant your feet under your knees and drive your elbows into the bench behind you. 
  • Take a deep breath and explode your hips off the ground by contracting your glutes and driving through your heels forcefully. Use your hands to prevent the bar from rolling up or down your body throughout the movement. 
  • Lower the bar slowly to the beginning position to complete the repetition, being mindful to not hyperextend your back.
  • For hip thrusts with no weight, all you need is a bench/couch/chair to lean against (see image below). Glute bridges are essentially the same movement but while laying flat on the floor. You can also wear a loop band around your thighs to up the challenge of these exercises.

hip thrust

Image credit: @SoheeFit (Facebook)

Band Clamshells

band clamshell

Clamshells are a fantastic hip abduction exercise that you can do anywhere. Essentially, this movement replicates the action of opening your thighs, reducing the angle between your hips and knee. In addition to targeting the glutes, clamshells are a superb exercise for training the hip stabilizers. Try doing these to loosen up your hips and glutes before a workout. 

Movement Tips

  • Loop a mini band around both thighs, just above your knees.
  • Lie on your right side and prop up your head with your right hand. Bend both knees and bend at the hip so your thighs are perpendicular to your hip. Keeping your feet together, elevate your feet to hip height, while your knees stay touching the floor.
  • Keep your feet together as you lift your top knee (your left knee) toward the ceiling.
  • Slowly lower your left knee down to return to your starting position. That’s 1 rep.
  • Complete all your reps, then repeat on the other side.
  • Alternatively, these can be done while lying supine with your back against the floor. Raise your hips (much like a glute bridge) and then spread both thighs by pushing your knees out. Slowly bring your knees back in to complete the rep.

Standing Glute Kickback

glute kickback with band

Glute kickbacks are another simple and effective exercise for blasting the butt. While you can do these with a weighted machine or a cable pulley, the most practical approach is with a loop band placed around the ankle since you really don’t need much resistance for these to activate the glutes. 

Movement Tips

  • Loop a mini band around both legs at your ankles and stand with your feet placed hip-width apart.
  • With your hands on your hips or at your chest, shift your weight to the right leg and place the toes of your left foot on the floor about an inch diagonally behind your right heel. There should be a slight tension in the band.
  • Tighten your core and swing your left leg backward in a controlled fashion about 6-12 inches, being mindful to keep your torso upright and your knee straight.
  • Return your left foot back to the starting position (toes touching the floor) while keeping slight tension in the band to finish the rep.
  • Complete all your reps for one leg, then repeat on the other side.

Turn Up the Intensity of Your Banded Booty Workouts

If you’re stuck at home or on-the-road and only have a loop resistance band to work with, you can still get an intense butt-building workout in by performing circuits of the exercises mentioned above. Here’s how to blast your glutes quickly and effectively with circuit training:


  1. Band Squats
  2. Standing Glute Kickbacks
  3. Band Deadlifts
  4. Band Hip Thrust (or Glute Bridge)
  5. Band Clamshells

Note that you can modify the order these exercises are done in, this is just the most efficient as far as transitions between movements go. 


  • Perform one set of each exercise in a successive fashion (i.e. exercise 1 → exercise 2 → exercise 3 → ...)
  • Do 20 reps per set of each exercise, resting as little as possible before moving onto the next.
  • Once you’ve completed one set of all five exercises, that counts as one circuit.
  • Rest for 60 seconds between circuits, then repeat.
  • Do the entire circuit at least two times.
  • As you become more advanced, challenge yourself by using stronger bands, increasing the reps per set, and/or doing more circuits.

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Go Build Your Booty!

Last but not least, let’s move onto the outright most effective exercise to get a bigger butt: the hip abductor machine!

...Just kidding! (Sorry, but you’re much better off focusing on the exercises mentioned above instead.) 

Incorporate any, or preferably all, of these five glute exercises into your training routine to build your booty and reap the many benefits of having a strong, shapely rear end. With patience, consistency and proper nutrition, you will see results. 

And remember, don’t be afraid to go hard and heavy (safely) on weighted exercises like squats, deadlifts, and barbell hip thrusts. Your glutes are a highly capable group of muscles and you’ll be amazed at how much weight you can lift after you’ve trained them intensely over a period of time.

On a final note, remember that nutrition plays a huge role in sculpting your butt. It doesn't matter how hard or frequently you train, if you don't nourish yourself appropriately, you won't see great results. Be sure to check out our Beginner's Guide to Counting Macros to make the most of your booty building workouts!

Elliot Reimers, CNC, M.S. Candidate
Elliot Reimers, CNC, M.S. Candidate


Elliot is a NASM Certified Nutrition Coach (CNC) and M.S. candidate in the Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology program at Michigan State University. After obtaining his B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Minnesota in 2013, Elliot began freelance writing and has since written 100s of articles pertaining to nutritional science, dietary supplements, exercise physiology, and health/wellness. As an inveterate “science nerd,” he loves helping people understand how nutrients, supplements, and exercise work on a cellular and molecular level so they can be smarter about what they put in - and do to - their bodies. When he's not busy writing or studying, you can find Elliot pumping iron, hiking the mountains of beautiful Colorado, or playing the piano.

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