A few weeks ago I was attending a yoga class. At the beginning of the class, the teacher asked what part of the body the students wanted to improve. Several of the students mentioned that they wanted to do glute exercises to focus on their butt. It was a little surprising to hear yoga students say that they wanted to focus on that part of their body, but considering that there was a 38 percent increase in procedures to enhance the derrière from 2010 to 2011, it shouldn't come as a surprise that many people are focused on improving their rear.

If someone wants to improve it, they have so many options that it can get very confusing. Workout gurus, health experts, and nutritional coaches are all chiming in on how to best enhance the butt's appearance. With all of this noise, what is the best option? Some workout programs focus on the glutes while improving strength. They are a lot cheaper than going through a procedure and you can perform them on your own time. Finding the best glute exercises for you depends on your workout level and desired results.

And, if you'll forgive the old pun, who doesn't want to improve their "asset."

Comparison Table

Name

Video

Modification

Barbell Glute Bridge

In the barbell glute bridge, you will be working on strengthening your glutes by doing some powerlifting. The exercise is good for people at the intermediate level. First, sit on the ground with a loaded barbell over your legs.

Barbell Hip Thrust

Similar to the glute bridge, in the barbell hip thrust, you will also be working on strengthening your glutes and powerlifting.

One-legged Cable Kickback

The one-legged cable kickback will focus on your glutes and strengthen them. It is an intermediate exercise.

Butt Lift (Bridge)

In the butt lift, or bridge, you will strengthen your glutes without the need for equipment. Your body will do all the work. 

Step Up With Knee Raised

The step up with knee raised is a great exercise for beginners, and similar to the bridge, it doesn't require any equipment.

Kneeling Squat

The step up with knee raised is a great exercise for beginners, and similar to the bridge, it doesn't require any equipment.

Glute Kickback

Just like the bridge and step up, the glute kickback is another exercise that strengthens the glutes without the need for equipment. It is great for beginners. 

Flutter Kicks

With flutter kicks, you will strengthen the glutes with little to no equipment. It is also a great exercise for beginners. 

Physioball Hip Bridge

The physioball hip bridge is great for beginners and strengthens the glutes using an exercise ball. First, lie on the ball so that your upper back is on the ball and your hips are unsupported.

Pull Through

The pull through exercise strengthens the glutes and is great for beginners. First, stand a few feet away from a pulley with a rope or cable attached. 


What Are Glute Exercises?

woman doing glute exercises

Glute exercises are workouts that focus on the portion of the body called the gluteus maximus, better known as the "butt" or "rear." The shortened and more common version of "gluteus maximus" is the word "glutes." Besides benefiting the gluteus maximus, the exercises benefit the hamstrings, and a group of muscles called the gluteals that are made up of the gluteus maximus (mentioned above), gluteus minimus, and gluteus medius. By strengthening these muscle groups, the exercises benefit many aspects of the body.

Besides strengthening the glutes and hamstrings, the exercises have many other benefits. Some of them include improvement in posture, less low back, hip, and knee pain, and fat loss. Furthermore, the exercises reduce bone density loss and increase lean muscle mass.

Glute exercises involve moving body parts in a way that allows the glutes and hamstrings to be strengthened and stretched. This includes squatting, sitting, kneeling, or lifting weights.


How We Reviewed Glute Exercises

We looked at several sites where physical trainers and bodybuilding experts discussed the best glute exercises. Then we compared their choices to the ratings on bodybuilding.com. focusing on exercises that are appropriate for people who are at the beginning or intermediate stages of working out. By focusing on these stages, the exercises we chose will appeal to a larger audience.


Top Ten Exercises In No Particular Order

After researching the exercises and looking at ratings, here is our list of the best glute exercises in no particular order. If you are ready to strengthen your glutes and improve your body, read on.



Barbell Glute Bridge

In the barbell glute bridge, you will be working on strengthening your glutes by doing some powerlifting. The exercise is good for people at the intermediate level. First, sit on the ground with a loaded barbell over your legs. A padded bar will help with any discomfort the barbell may cause. Next, roll the bar so that it is directly over your hips, and lay down on the floor. Keep the lower back and knees stable. Then lift your heels and raise the barbell by extending your hips, making sure to push the hips upward using your glutes. Your upper back and heels should support your weight. Finally, slowly descend to the ground with control.

The exercise ranks 9.4 out of 10 on bodybuilding.com. It costs anywhere from $$ to $$$ for a home barbell. If you choose to buy a barbell, you can find them on Amazon, Walmart.com, and other online and retail stores.



Barbell Hip Thrust

Similar to the glute bridge, in the barbell hip thrust, you will also be working on strengthening your glutes and powerlifting. It is an intermediate workout. First, sit on the ground with your back against a bench, your feet firmly planted on the floor, and a padded barbell on your lap. Keep the lower back and knees stable. Next, raise the barbell by extending your hips, making sure to push the hips upward using your glutes. Rise until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Finally, slowly descend to the ground with control.

The exercise ranks 9.1 out of 10 on bodybuilding.com. It costs anywhere from $$ to $$$ for a home barbell. If you choose to buy a barbell, you can find them on Amazon, Walmart.com, and other online and retail stores.



One-legged Cable Kickback

The one-legged cable kickback will focus on your glutes and strengthen them. It is an intermediate exercise. First, hook a leather ankle cuff to a cable pulley. Then attach the cuff to your ankle. Your feet should be at least two feet from the weight stack. Grasp the steel frame of the stack for support. Next, keep your knees and hips slightly bent and your abs tight while you contract your glutes to slowly kick the working leg back in a semicircular arc as high as it will comfortably go as you breathe out. Then at full extension, squeeze your glutes for a second to achieve peak contraction. Lastly, slowly bring your working leg forward, resisting the pull of the cable until you reach the starting position.

Repeat the exercise on the opposite foot, following the above steps. The exercise can also be performed with a resistance band. It ranks 9.0 out of 10 on bodybuilding.com. If you choose to buy the home equipment, you will need an exercise cable and a cable pulley. Combined, they run anywhere from $$$ to $$$. You can find them on Amazon, Overstock.com, and other online and retail stores.



Butt Lift (Bridge)

In the butt lift, or bridge, you will strengthen your glutes without the need for equipment. Your body will do all the work. The exercise is great for beginners. First, lie on the floor with your feet firmly planted, your hands by your side and your knees bent. Your feet are shoulder-width apart. Pushing mainly with your heels, lift your hips off the floor while keeping your back straight. As you lift your hips, breathe out slowly and hold it at the top for a second. Finally, breathe in as you slowly descend back to the floor. You can also perform this exercise with one leg, extending the opposite leg as you perform the above steps.

The exercise ranks 8.8 out of 10 on bodybuilding.com. Since no equipment is needed, it costs anywhere between $0 and $$ to $$ for a yoga mat to lay on while you perform the exercise. You can find mats on Amazon, yogaaccessories.com, and other online and retail stores.



Step Up With Knee Raised


The step up with knee raised is a great exercise for beginners, and similar to the bridge, it doesn't require any equipment. It strengthens the glutes and increases balance. First, stand upright with one foot on a bench or step, and push off your top foot, stepping onto the bench with both feet. Next, flex your right knee and hip, lifting your knee as high as it will go. Then reverse the motion to step down off the bench, and repeat the sequence with the opposite foot.

The exercise ranks 8.7 out of 10 on bodybuilding.com. With no equipment except the use of a bench or step, it costs $0, unless you buy a step, which is anywhere from $$ to $$$. However, any type of step that elevates you is sufficient for this exercise. If you do want to spend the money, you can find exercise steps on Amazon, Walmart.com, and other online and retail stores.



Kneeling Squat

The kneeling squat is a powerlifting exercise that strengthens the glutes and sculpts them at the same time. It is an intermediate exercise. First, set the bar to a proper weight in the power rack. Next, kneel behind the bar, putting a mat down on the floor to pad your knees. Then slide under the bar, racking it across the back of your shoulders. Your shoulder blades are retracted, and the bar is tight across your back. Now, unrack the weight. Looking forward, sit back with your butt until you reach your calves. Reverse the motion, returning the torso to an upright position.

The exercise ranks 8.6 out of 10 on bodybuilding.com. It costs anywhere from $$$ to $$$ for a combination of the barbell and bar rack. You can buy the equipment on Amazon, Walmart.com, and other online and retail stores.



Glute Kickback

Just like the bridge and step up, the glute kickback is another exercise that strengthens the glutes without the need for equipment. It is great for beginners. First, kneel on the floor with your hands and knees firmly planted, and the arms shoulder-width apart. Your head is looking forward, and your knees should be at a 90-degree angle between the hamstrings and calves. Next, exhale as you lift up your right leg until the hamstrings are in line with the back. They should be maintaining a 90-degree angle bend. Contract the glutes and hold the contraction at the top for a second. The upper leg should be parallel to the floor, while the calf is perpendicular to it. Finally, return to the starting position as you inhale. Repeat the sequence with the opposite leg.

The exercise ranks 8.3 out of 10 on bodybuilding.com. It costs anywhere between $0 and $ to $$ for a yoga mat to kneel on while you perform the exercise. You can buy a yoga mat on Amazon, yogaaccessories.com, and other online and retail stores.



Flutter Kicks

With flutter kicks, you will strengthen the glutes with little to no equipment. It is also a great exercise for beginners. First, lie on a flat bench facedown with the hips at the edge of the bench, the legs straight, and toes high off the floor. Your arms are on top of the bench, holding onto the front edge. Next, squeeze your glutes and hamstrings, making sure that your legs are straight and level with your hips. Then lift the left leg higher than the right leg. Lower the left leg as you lift the right leg higher than the left. Then repeat with the opposite leg.

The exercise ranks 8.3 out of 10 on bodybuilding.com. The only equipment needed is a flat bench without a back so that you can hold onto both sides of it for support. If you have the bench, the exercise costs $0. Otherwise, the exercise bench costs anywhere from $$ to $$. You can find them on Amazon, Walmart.com, and other online and retail stores.



Physioball Hip Bridge

The physioball hip bridge is great for beginners and strengthens the glutes using an exercise ball. First, lie on the ball so that your upper back is on the ball and your hips are unsupported. Your feet are firmly planted on the floor and hip-width apart. Next, extend your hips using your glutes and hamstrings. Lastly, pause at the top and slowly return to the starting position.

The exercise ranks 7.8 out of 10 on bodybuilding.com. It costs anywhere from $$ to $$ for an exercise ball. You can find exercise balls on Amazon, Target.com, and other online and retail stores.



Pull Through

The pull through exercise strengthens the glutes and is great for beginners. First, stand a few feet away from a pulley with a rope or cable attached. Next face away from the machine, straddling the cable, with your feet set wide apart. Next, bend at the hips and reach through your legs as far as possible. Keep your knees slightly bent. Then keep your arms straight and extend through the hips to stand straight up. All of the motion should originate from the hips. The exercise can also be performed with a resistance band.

It is ranked 7.4 out of 10 on bodybuilding.com. It costs anywhere from $$ to $$ for a resistance band to the cost of a gym membership. You can also buy the equipment, which includes the exercise cable and cable pulley. They run from $170 to $270. They are available on Amazon, Overstock.com, and other online and retail fitness equipment stores.



Glute Exercises Give Great Results

As long as there is a demand for products to enhance the appearance of the glutes, there will be many options to choose from. Glute exercises are a great choice because they give great results if you practice them on a regular basis, and they are inexpensive compared to having cosmetic procedures. Furthermore, you can do them on your own schedule.

You don't have to be an expert to start glute exercises. Begin with a beginner's exercise such as the glute kickback, and you can work your way up to an intermediate exercise such as the kneeling squat. With regular application and repetition, you will be on your way to a better rear.