Icons like Beyoncé have made the quest for the perfect butt a popular one. Many people start by trying to train the glutes with cardio workouts but targeted fat loss doesn’t actually work for any body part. Fat loss occurs simultaneously in the whole body and requires a calorie deficit to actually reduce fat stores. Some areas might lose fat faster than others, but you have no control over where that fat loss comes from. Just like six pack abs require overall body fat loss and proper dieting, so does creating the perfect bum. The best way to get the butt you want is through a few specific butt building glute workouts.
The gluteus maximus is all one muscle, but the sculpted look of the perfect butt also requires well-built hamstrings so your butt lift workout should incorporate moves that work for both muscle groups. Glutes respond best to high-frequency training at a variety of weights and repetition ranges. Building the perfect butt requires a good butt lift workout two to three times per week with some workouts in the 4-6 rep range, some in the 8-10 rep range, and some in the 15-20 rep range (usually bodyweight exercises). Progression of weights is also essential. If you keep training with the same weight, you’ll eventually hit a plateau and only be maintaining muscle instead of continuing to build a bigger bum.
The best glute exercises are actually only a few foundational staple moves, so start by building glute workouts with these 7 moves.
Squats target the entire body, with an emphasis on the core and lower body. There are a lot of squat variations like front squats for focusing on the quads and back squats for focusing on the glutes and hamstrings. The width of your squat stance affects which muscles you work the most during squats. A narrow squat stance will work the quads while a wide squat stance will work the glutes and hamstrings.
If you want to do weighted squats use barbells, dumbbells, or Swiss balls, but many people choose to do squats with a barbell in a squat rack for safety. To do a squat, start in a standing position then keep your back straight and head up as you bend your knees and sit back into a squat position like you are sitting on a chair. Continue lowering until the hamstrings are almost at calf level. Exhale as you start to rise back up by straightening your legs and extending your hips to stand.
Deadlifts work the back and core as well as all large body muscles from the shoulders to the legs with a focus on the glutes, quads, hamstrings, hips, and abs. The lower back is one of the weakest body parts which can lead to instability and injury during deadlifts so it is an important strengthening exercise that requires careful execution throughout the entire movement.
To do a deadlift, stand with your feet halfway under a barbell with feet hip-width apart and toes slightly turned out. Grab the bar with a narrow grip; your hands should be shoulder width apart with arms placed just outside the legs. As you go in for the lift, bend your knees until your shins reach the bar, then lift with your chest as you straighten your back without moving the bar or dropping your hips. Pull the bar as you stand up straight, keeping the bar against your legs and locking your hips and knees. Return the barbell to the floor by pushing back the hips and bending your legs as the bar lowers to knee height.
- Hip Thrust
Hip thrusts are a great bum workout for strengthening the glutes. To do this move, begin by sitting on the ground with a bench behind you and a weighted barbell laying over your legs. Using a padded bar can greatly reduce discomfort during this exercise. Before you start, roll the bar up directly above the hips and lean back against the bench with your shoulder blades close to the top of the bench. This movement begins by driving your body weight through the feet and extending the hips vertically into the bar. Support your weight using your shoulder blades and feet and extend as far as possible before reversing the motion to return to sitting.
Lunges are a great staple move for working the quads and bum. To do a lunge, keep the upper body straight and shoulders back while engaging the core. Start by stepping one leg forward and lower your hips until your knees are bent to a 90-degrees. Lower your front knee until it is above the front ankle and don’t let it push out any further or you will make yourself prone to injury. Don’t allow the other knee to touch the floor. Then put your weight on your heels as you push back up to stand. Repeat on the other leg.
- Romanian Deadlift
This move is a variation of the standard deadlift used to target the hamstrings. To do a Romanian deadlift, hold a barbell at hip level with palms facing down. Keep your shoulders back and back arched with knees slightly bent to get into starting position. Now you will lower the bar by pushing your butt back as far it can go, keeping the bar close to your body and head looking forward with shoulders back. Your maximum range of hamstring flexibility should be slightly below the knee if you do this move correctly. When you reach the bottom of your range of motion, start rising back up into a standing position by pushing your hips forward.
- Bulgarian Split Squat
This is one of the more difficult moves on this list but it’s a great butt exercise. Start by standing the length of a lunge away from a bench, holding a dumbbell in each of your hands. Rest the top of one of your feet on the bench then lower your body until your rear knee is almost touching the floor and your front thigh is almost parallel to the floor. Return to standing and repeat with the other foot.
- Glute Blaster
A lot of workout machines at the gym aren’t nearly as effective as many people think, but the glute blaster is an exception to that rule. It’s a useful machine that targets the glutes individually and it can’t be replicated by any move with free weights. Repeat this move on each of your legs following the instructions on the machine to stand on one foot while using the other foot to push back the pedal on the machine and extend that foot directly behind you to work the glutes.