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This Effective Glute Workout Will Get Your Butt Into Shape, Trainer Says

This four-move circuit will strengthen your backside.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

The desire to sculpt a lifted, toned butt is real. While a round backside may look nice aesthetically, it can also help keep you physically strong and feeling well, according to Jacqueline Elbaz, a NASM-certified personal trainer based in New York City. And that's why we've put together an ultra-effective glute workout that will get your butt into shape.

"Having super strong glutes means your hips, calves, and core are also strong as they all work together," Elbaz explains. "Keeping all these muscles conditioned helps you perform daily movements like walking, sitting, and bending without pain. It also helps prevent injuries in your lower back, hips, knees, and ankles."

The gluteus maximus is your body's biggest muscle, so to ensure you're working and strengthening them from all sides, Elbaz says it's important to do four types of exercises:

  • Hip extension
  • Hip abduction
  • External rotation
  • Balance and stability

Below, Elbaz shares a four-move circuit that hits on all these components. "Collectively this program hits all of the glute muscles. The result is not only a nice-looking butt but a well functioning body in terms of daily movements and athletic ability," she explains.

Start off by doing all of the below exercises with just your body weight for resistance. As you improve, add workout bands or weights for an added challenge.

Read on to learn more about this productive glute workout, and next, be sure to check out The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.

Glute Bridge

woman performing glute bridge as part of glute workout

Lie with your back on a mat or rug. Place your feet flat on the ground and your hands down by your side. Contract your glutes, and push your hips upward toward the ceiling. Focus on pushing through your glutes and not engaging your hamstrings or lower back. Hold this position, and lower back down. That counts as 1 rep. Complete 3 sets of 20 reps.

Make this movement more difficult by holding a dumbbell between your hip bones.

Related: Get Rid of a Pot Belly in Your 50s With This 10-Minute Workout, Trainer Says

Straight Leg Clamshell

woman doing glute workout on mat

The straight leg clamshell is a slight twist on your typical clamshell exercise. You're going to lay on your side with your knees bent and your arm propped up so your weight is on your forearm. Straighten your top leg, raising it slightly so that it's hip height. Hold it there as you push through your bottom glute, shifting your weight to the outside of your bottom knee. Slowly come back down. That counts as 1 rep. Complete 3 sets of 20 reps.

Make this movement more difficult by adding a resistance band above your knees.

Related: The #1 Weight Training Workout To Reverse Aging After 40, Trainer Says

Bent Over Fire Hydrants

woman putting on resistance bands

Place your hands on a knee-level bench or chair. Make sure your back is flat and your hips are pushed back. Both legs should be softly bent. Raise the left knee outward, away from the body. This movement should open up the left hip. Lower back down, and repeat on the right side. That counts as 1 rep. Complete3 sets of 20 reps.

Make this movement more difficult by adding a resistance band over your knees.

Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift

woman performing single leg romanian deadlift as part of glute workout

For this exercise, you're going to stand with your feet under your hips. Slowly shift your weight onto your right leg, and move your left foot slightly back so that your toes are touching the ground. Balancing on your right leg, send your hips back as though you were trying to put your butt onto something behind you. Your right knee should be bent slightly, and your left leg should be straight, not locked. Keep your back flat, and continue to bend at the waist until your hands are about past your knees. Drive through your heel, and push your hips forward to stand up to the starting position. That counts as 1 rep. Complete 3 sets of 15 reps.

Make this movement more difficult by holding a dumbbell in each hand.

Dana Leigh Smith
Dana has written for Women's Health, Prevention, Reader's Digest, and countless other publications. Read more about Dana Leigh
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