Best Effective Glute Exercises and Workouts

Use dumbbells to build a better butt.
i Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

A better butt is every girls' dream -- who doesn't want a firm, toned, peachy posterior? The trouble is, most women aren't doing the right things to get great glutes. Your typical elliptical, treadmill and weight machine workout won't get you the results you want, so it's time to step up your training, switch your exercises and start your journey to beautiful butt muscles.

Free-Weight Exercises

The free-weight area may be dominated by testosterone-fueled men, checking their reflections every 30 seconds and talking in grunts, but it's your new home from now on. Free-weights are by far the most effective way to burn fat and increase muscle strength and definition writes Cassandra Forsythe in "The New Rules of Lifting for Women." Traditional free-weight exercises like squats and lunges with dumbbells or a barbell all hit your glutes far more effectively than any machine exercise and work the muscles in a much more natural range of motion.


Kettlebells are cannonball-shaped weights with a handle that look more like military artillery than something that you'd find in a gym. They might just be the single best piece of training equipment for your glutes. Kettlebells can be a little tricky to learn, but a brief session with a trainer will set you on your way. Kettlebell swings are the most effective glute exercise as they require a powerful muscle contraction to snap your hops forward, but other lower-body moves like squats and lunges hit the butt too. Even upper-body exercises such as snatches and presses recruit your glute muscles as stabilizers, so whatever you do with a kettlebell, your butt gets a great workout.

Deadlift Variations

The deadlift is usually associated with fat, hairy powerlifters, but if you look past the mounds of muscle mass you'll see that a lot of powerlifters have fantastic glutes, despite initial appearances. There's a reason for this -- deadlifts. The simple act of lifting a heavy weight from the floor to waist height engages your glutes more than any other single exercise. In an interview with female fitness professionals, strength coach Bret Contreras found that eight of the top women coaches in the strength and conditioning industry had a deadlift variation as one of their favorite glute exercises. If that's not a recommendation for the power of the deadlift, nothing is.

Body-Weight Exercises

Not going to the gym is certainly no excuse for having a weak, wobbly butt. There are plenty of highly effective glute exercises you can perform at home. Glute bridges, where you lie on your back and lift your hips towards the ceiling are a basic glute exercises, but the basics are still around because they work. To progress these try doing them with your feet on a chair or with just one leg on the ground. Jumping rope, hill running and sprinting on a beach are also highly-effective ways to hit your glutes while getting your cardio workout done at the same time.

the nest