5 Of The Best Glute Exercises You Can Do At Home

5 Of The Best Glute Exercises You Can Do At Home

5 of the best glute exercises to get a bigger butt fast at home, according to personal trainers

You can do any of these exercises in the comfort of your own home or outdoors. No gym required.

  • The best glute exercises include fire hydrants, single-leg step-ups, and Bulgarian split squats. 
  • To build your glutes, train twice a week on non-consecutive days and eat more protein. 
  • Exercising your glutes is important because they help us walk, run, jump, and climb stairs. 

Glutes are the largest muscles in your body and have very important functions. They are responsible for maintaining balance and power when we jump, walk, or run. 

We spoke to two certified personal trainers to figure out the best exercises to strengthen your glutes. However, you should always consult a doctor or personal trainer before starting a new exercise regimen. 

What are glutes?  

Many people may want to strengthen and grow their glutes — otherwise known as your butt — for aesthetic reasons.

But when it comes to your physical health, having strong glutes is essential. "They are the primary mobilizers of the hips and thighs so when we sit, stand, jump, or even climb steps, the glutes are engaged for all these functions," says Ben Walker, a certified personal trainer and the owner of Anywhere Fitness, a fitness studio located in Dublin, Ireland.

The glutes consist of three muscles:

  1. Gluteus Maximus: This is responsible for hip extension, like when you are walking, and lateral rotation of the thigh, such as swinging your leg. 
  2. Gluteus medius: This is responsible for the movement of your leg away from your body, like when you're stepping out of bed, and balance. 
  3. Gluteus minimus: This is the smallest of the three muscles and helps with walking and rotating your legs.  


If you spend most of your time sitting, it's likely that your glutes are weak or underworked. Having weak glutes puts you at risk for developing gluteal amnesia, which is when your glutes forget how to function properly. If your glutes aren't working properly, it can affect your ability to move and cause knee and low back pain. 

"It's more important to keep your glutes strong because most people are spending sedentary due to their work environment and lifestyle choices," says Idalis Velazquez, a fitness trainer based in Miami, Florida.

Best glute exercises for women

To help you start building strong glutes, we've rounded up five of the best glute exercises with step-by-step instructions provided by Walker. 

1. Fire hydrant

fire hydrant
Fire hydrant starting position. 
fire hydrant 2
Fire hydrant move. 

Equipment used:  Resistance bands or ankle weights (optional) 

How to do it:

  1. Start on your hands and knees — your knees should be touching and your hands should be shoulder-width apart and directly below the shoulders.
  2. For added resistance strap on ankle weights, tie a resistance band above knees, or do both.
  3. Keep your back straight and look directly towards the floor at all times.
  4. Lift one leg up and away from your body at a 45-degree angle, keep your knee positioned at 90 degrees, and try to lift it until aligned with your hips. 
  5. Slowly lower it back to the starting position and repeat on the other side. 

Rep count:

  • Beginners: 12 to 15 Reps | three sets 
  • Intermediate: 15 to 20 Reps | three sets   

Muscles targeted: Gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, abdominals

2. Single leg step-ups

Single leg step up
Single leg step up starting position. 
Single Leg Step Up 2
Single leg step up end position. 

Equipment used: Dumbbell (optional) 

How to do it:

  1. Stand adjacent to a bench with back straight. 
  2. Place hands on your waist or hold one or two dumbbells at chest level. 
  3. Put one leg at a 90-degree angle and place it on the bench, keeping the other leg straight and firmly planted on the ground.
  4. Drive your body weight through the heel of your left leg and push off your right foot simultaneously. 
  5. Pause and hold your weight at your chest in the air for a second.
  6. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Rep count: 

  • Beginners: 12 to 15 Reps | three sets
  • Intermediate: 12 to 15 Reps | three Sets 

Muscles targeted:  Gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, abs, lower back

3. Side squats

Side sqauts
Side squats starting position. 
Banded Side Squats 2 (1)
Side squats end position. 

Equipment used:  Resistance bands or dumbbells (optional) 

How to do it:

  1. Tie a resistance band just below both knees.
  2. Stand with feet together in a semi-squatted position.
  3. Step a little wider than shoulder-width apart to one side and lower yourself beyond 90 degrees.
  4. Make sure to push back with your hips, keep your core engaged, and back straight.
  5. Drive through your heel to push yourself back to the original position.
  6. Perform the same movement for complete rep count on one side and then repeat on the other leg.

Rep count:

  • Beginners: 12 to 15 Reps | three sets
  • Intermediate: 12 to 15 Reps | three sets   (Hold Single Dumbbell)

Muscles targeted:  Gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, abs, lower back

4. Glute bridges

glute bridges
Hip thrust. 
Hip Thrust 2
Glute bridge end position. 

Equipment used: Bench, single dumbbell (optional) 

How to do it: 

  1. Lie flat on your back on a mat or comfortable surface.  
  2. Place your arms extended by your sides with your palms face down on the ground or use your hands to hold a dumbbell on your hips for added intensity.
  3. Position yourself close to the bench so that your legs are situated at 45 degrees when resting your heels on its surface.
  4. Lift yourself upwards into a straight position by squeezing your glutes and driving your body weight through your heels.
  5. Hold the position for one second then slowly release and return to a flat spine.

Rep count: 

  • Beginners: 12 4o 15 Reps | three sets
  • Intermediate: 15 to 20 Reps | three sets 

Muscles targeted:  Gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, hamstrings, quadriceps, abs, hip adductors

5. Bulgarian split squats

Bulgarian Split Squat 2
Bulgarian split squat end position. 
Bulgarian Split Squat 1
Bulgarian split squat starting position. 

Equipment used: Dumbbells (optional) 

How to do it: 

  1. Stand about 2 to 3 feet in front of a bench or chair, facing away from it.
  2. To increase the intensity, hold one or two dumbbells at chest level.
  3. Bring one foot forward, positioned at a 90-degree angle, and place the other foot on the bench behind you.
  4. Keeping your torso upright and core engaged, bend your front leg to lower into a squat.
  5. Hold for one second, then drive your body weight through your right heel to bring yourself up and back to the starting position.

Rep count:

  • Beginners: 12 to 15 Reps | two to three- sets
  • Intermediate: 12 to 15 Reps | three Sets   

Muscles targeted: Gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, hamstrings, quadriceps, hip adductors

How to build bigger glutes 

If you want to build and strengthen your glutes you'll need to do more than just exercise them. Here are a few more additional tips: 

1. Be consistent. The best way to strengthen and grow your glutes is by consistently doing exercises that target them a few times a week. Velazquez recommends training your glutes at least twice a week on non-consecutive days.

2. Rest and recover. Muscles need at least 48 hours after a strength workout to recover and repair themselves. Overtraining can compromise results and could lead to injury. 

3. Increase your reps. For beginners, Walker recommends using weights that are light enough to perform exercises comfortably for 15 to 20 repetitions over three to four sets. Once you can comfortably perform 12 reps of an exercise with a one-minute break in between three sets, increase weight by one to two pounds. Eventually, you should work towards eight to 12 repetitions at maximum weight over three sets, says Walker.

4. Tweak your diet. Velazquez says a typical daily macronutrient breakdown — which are the protein, fats, and carbohydrates you consume per day — for those looking to lose fat and gain muscle is to consume: 

  • 40% protein
  • 30% fat
  • 30% carbs 

Insider's takeaway

The glutes, or gluteal muscles, are among the largest and most powerful muscles in the body. They play a crucial role in many everyday movements, such as walking, running, jumping, and squatting.

Having strong glutes can improve athletic performance, prevent injury, and enhance overall body shape and posture.

The glutes are made up of three different muscles that are essential for proper hip and thigh movement.

The best way to strengthen your glutes is to perform a variety of glute strengthening exercises on non-consecutive days and increase your weight over time.

Make sure to take rest days between strength workouts to avoid overtraining.

Back to blog