Your glutes, the muscles that comprise the buttocks, are one of the major muscle groups on your body. The gluteus medius and gluteus minimus make up the upper portion of your backside. Working these muscles helps lift your buttocks and give them a curvier appearance. MayoClinic.com recommends including two or three 20- to 30-minute strength training sessions each week and doing at least 12 repetitions of each upper glute exercise.
Inverted flyers are an ideal upper glute exercise because the move targets both the gluteus minimus and the gluteus medius at the same time. To do an inverted flyer, stand with your feet hip-width apart, abdominal muscles engaged and arms hanging loosely at your sides. Lift your left leg up by bending your knee. Swing your right warm toward the front of your body and your left arm behind you. Hinging at your right hip, lean forward and reach out with your arms. Lean until you can't go further and straighten your left arm and left leg. Return to the starting position and repeat with your right leg to complete one repetition.
Bridges are a move that target your glutes only, making the exercise a good choice for working the muscles in your upper buttocks. To do a bridge, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Rest your arms at your sides, palms flat on the floor. Lift your hips into the air, creating a line from your shoulders to your knees. Lower your hips to the floor to complete one repetition.
Glute Activation Lunges
Glute activation lunges, a variation on the traditional version, lift your gluteus medius medius and gluteus minimus at the same time. To do the exercise, stand with your feet together and extend your arms out in front of you at shoulder height. Swing your left foot diagonally in front of your body and lower your body until your left knee reaches a 90-degree angle. As you lunge, rotate your arms and trunk to the left. Return to the starting position and repeat with your right leg to finish a repetition.
Glute kickbacks are a good exercise for activating the upper portion of your buttocks. To do a glute kickback, start on your hands and knees on the floor. Align your hands with your shoulders. Keeping your knee bent, lift one leg into the air until your foot is slightly higher than your head. Keep your glute muscles activated throughout the move. Lower your leg to the starting position and repeat with the other one to complete on glute kickback.
- Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images