Best Glute and Leg Exercises for Women
Updated: Feb 25
As a fitness professional for 32 years, one of the MAIN questions women tend to ask is "what are the best Butt exercises to do?"
With the right workout routine, you can increase the size or shape of your glutes, which helps create the appearance of a tighter, more lifted derriere. After all, a shapely rear is timeless.
Because we are sitting more every day, we tend to have a memory loss of out gluts! They need to stay firing all day to maintain their shape and ability to prevent back pain.
Additionally, weak glutes may be what’s preventing you from improving your 5K time or getting through a game of tennis by rolling your ankle. The glutes are the powerhouse for most of our lower- and full-body movements, from squats to jumping. If you want to increase your strength, power, stability, and limit the likelihood for injury, it is important to incorporate glute exercises into your workout. As a trainer and personal Beachbody Coach to women all over the US, I use some of the following workouts and ideas in my classes. Here are 10 great ones you can do below.
Add These Exercises to Your Workouts at Home or the Gym
You can get stronger, shapelier glutes with a few pieces of basic equipment and a handful of carefully selected butt exercises you can do at home — no gym membership or machines required. We sifted through dozens of Beachbody’s fitness programs and hand-picked some of the best exercises for glutes, including moves to tighten the buttocks and thighs as well as exercises to augment them.
If you’re not currently following a Beachbody program, be sure to incorporate a warm-up routine that includes some dynamic stretching.
Triple lunge with ginga
Appears in Core De Force: – MMA Plyo
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and
arms at your sides.
Keeping your chest up, back flat, and, core engaged, take a large step forward with your right foot. Lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the ground and your left knee is bent 90 degrees.
Extend your right arm out to the right, and bend your left elbow in front of your chest so that your left forearm points in the same direction as your right. This is the starting position.
Raise your body several inches then lower it, pulsing yourself upward a total of 3 times.
“Ginga,” or swing, to the left by pushing off your right foot and laterally jumping to the left. Land softly in a reverse orientation of the starting position: left foot forward, right foot back, arms pointing left. Follow with 3 pulses, and ginga right.
Repeat the sequence, completing equal reps on both sides.
Single-leg hinge with loop
Appears in: 80 Day Obsession – Booty Month 3
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Loop a resistance band around your left foot, and grip it with your right hand as you rise up to stand, feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent.
Keeping your back flat, your core engaged, and your left knee slightly bent, raise your right leg off the floor and hinge forward at your hips until your torso is as close to parallel with the floor as possible.
Return to a single-leg standing position and repeat the move, completing all reps on your left leg before switching sides.
Appears in: PiYo – Buns
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides.
Keeping your back flat and core engaged, bend your knees and push your hips back as if closing a car door with your butt, and lower into a squat as you raise your arms in front of you.
At the bottom of your squat, use a pulsing motion to raise and lower your hips a few inches. Complete three pulses before standing up. This is one rep.
Repeat the sequence, coming to a three-quarter standing position between each rep.
Stand upright, feet hip-width apart, holding a sandbag or dumbbell in both hands at your right shoulder. This is the starting position.
Step back with your right foot, crossing it behind your left leg as you lower in to a curtsey lunge. Simultaneously, bring the weight across your body to the outside of your left hip.
Reverse the motion, bringing the weight back to your right shoulder as you step back to the starting position, then repeat.
Perform equal reps on both sides.
Loop a resistance band around your legs just above your knees, and lie on your left side with your hips, knees, and feet stacked. Rest your head on your left arm, and place your right palm on the floor in front of your chest.
Bend at the hips, swinging your legs out to a 45 degree angle, then bend your knees to 90 degrees. This is your starting position.
Keeping your core engaged and your heels together, raise your right knee as far as you can without rotating your hip or lifting your left knee off the floor.
Hold for 1 second before returning to the starting position.
Repeat the move, completing all reps on one side, then switch sides, performing equal reps on both.
Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor about hip-width apart, holding a pair of dumbbells on your hips. This is the starting position.
Lift your hips as high as possible, squeezing your glutes as you rise up on the balls of your feet.
Reverse the movement to return to the starting position, and repeat for reps.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend both knees slightly and shift your weight to your left leg. This is your starting position.
Step your right foot behind and outside your left foot in a curtsy lunge, pumping your left arm back and your right arm forward.
Raise your body several inches then lower it, pulsing yourself upward a total of 3 times.
Return to the starting position, lightly tapping the floor with your right toes before repeating the movement.
Complete all reps on one side then switch, performing equal reps on both.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointed forward, holding a dumbbell or sandbag in both hands in front of your chest.
Keeping your back flat and chest up, bend your knees and push your hips back until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
Explode upward, jumping as high as you can
Land softly, immediately dropping back down into a squat to begin your next rep.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, with your arms at your sides. Place a strength slide under your left heel and extend your left leg.
Keeping your glutes and core engaged, simultaneously bend your left knee, sliding the disc toward your body as you lift your hips off the floor and into a bridge.
Slowly extend your left leg and lower your hips to the floor.
Complete all reps on one leg before switching sides, performing equal reps on both
From a standing, hip-width position, push your hips back, and bend your knees into a squat. As you lower your body, place your hands on your thighs, which should be parallel with the floor.
As you return to a standing position, extend your arms overhead and your right leg behind you, squeezing your glutes at the top of the move while keeping your core engaged throughout.
Lower again into a squat, returning your hands to your thighs, and repeat the move, this time extending your left leg.
Continue alternating legs, performing equal reps on both.
• Stand tall, hands on your hips, with your heels together and your toes turned out slightly.
• Move your right foot back, lightly touching the floor behind you with your big toe and letting your heel drop slightly inward. This is your starting position.
• Keeping your torso tall, lift your right leg behind you as high as you can, squeezing your right glute.
• Return to the starting position, gently tapping the toes of your right foot to the floor, and repeat.
• Perform equal reps on both sides.
“For more specific glute programs, you can check out the Brazil Butt Lift series or 80 Day Obsession, which places a strong emphasis on the glutes.
Anatomy of the Butt
Your body’s gluteal region is comprised of three major muscles that work together to move the legs and hips, provide balance, and offer stability during single-leg movements like walking, running, and climbing stairs.
Among the trinity of butt muscles, the gluteus maximus gets all the glory. As its name indicates, the G-max is not only the biggest gluteal muscle, it’s also the largest muscle in the human body. And, due to its superficial (closest to the surface) placement, it’s responsible for providing the booty’s famously rounded shape.
The gluteus maximus originates from the hip bone, sacrum, and tailbone. It runs across the rear at a 45-degree angle and inserts into the I.T. band and femur (thigh bone). The muscle’s primary function is hip extension, meaning that your gluteus maximus is (literally) behind everyday movements like standing up from a seated position, as well as athletic feats like the 40-yard dash.Gluteus medius
Originating from the ilium and inserting atop the front of the femur, the gluteus medius is the fan-shaped muscle responsible for abducting (lifting out to the side) the leg. The gluteus medius is also charged with medial and lateral rotation, turning the leg so the knee faces inward and outward. Without a sufficiently strong gluteus medius, you can develop an altered walking/running gait, which can lead to a number of movement related issues.Gluteus minimus
Despite its rank as the tiniest of all the butt muscles, the gluteus minimus plays a vital role in stabilizing the pelvis during walking and running. Originating from the ilium, the gluteus minimus attaches atop the femur. Like the gluteus medius, its main functions include lower limb abduction and medial rotation.
You can grab ALL of the following workouts at www.beachbodycoach.com/suzimckee or direct links provided to make it easier below.
Choose SHOP and type in the workout in the search that sounds like the best fit for you! I will then be your coach on this journey.