Regardless if you’re a man, woman, younger, or older, one of the most sought after body features is a great butt. Nothing says, “Yeah, she/he workouts” like glutes that pop. 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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Image credit: @SoheeFit (Facebook)
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.
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.
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:
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.
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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!
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