Best butt lifting exercises

When it comes to butt lifting, building strong gluteal muscles is essential. Strong glutes are valuable for more than just appearances, however. They also help with injury prevention.

We use our glute muscles every day through walking and sitting. Glute muscles have become well-known through today’s trends of ‘butt lifting’ or ‘butt building.’ While the size/shape of someone’s gluteus muscles will rely partially on genetics, there are definitely some exercises that focus on the glutes. For the ‘butt lifting’ effect, you need to grow the size of your glute muscles.

Different lower body exercises will target different glute muscles (minimus, medius, and maximus). To add to this, varying weight and repetition ranges will provide different stimuli to the muscles. Some exercises that are generally good to include in a glute-building routine:

1. Squats Squats are a classic movement that should be included in most people’s routines in some way, shape, or form. Not only do they work the glute muscles but also the quads (front of thighs), hamstrings (back of thighs), and core muscles. To ensure you are working the glutes during squats, you need to ensure you are getting adequate depth in the squat and not letting the knees track in on both the down and up movement. The glutes serve to externally rotate the hip, so if your glutes aren’t working or the weight you are squatting is too heavy, your knees may end up collapsing in towards each other. Not only does this mean you’re not working your glutes, but you are also risking knee injury! Prioritize good form in your squats over everything else.

2. Deadlifts While deadlifts are a slightly more advanced movement, they are also a great addition to a glute-building routine. In addition to externally rotating the hip, the glutes are also powerful hip extenders. i.e., when you hinge at the hip in a deadlift position, your glutes must work to extend the hip back to its starting position. At the bottom of the deadlift movement (when the weight is on the floor), the glutes must also work in their rotational capacity to push the knees out slightly.

3. Lunges/split squats Lunges or split squats allow each leg to work independently of the other, helping avoid any imbalances in strength between the left and right side. Having to support your whole body weight on one leg also provides an added stimulus to gain muscle and grow stronger. As with both the squat and deadlift, keeping the knee pushed out and tracking over the toes is crucial. For the health of your knee, also consider keeping your front knee behind your front toes.

While butt lifting may be a goal, at the end of the day, you want to strengthen and build all your muscles, not just your butt! All the exercises that you do to strengthen these glute muscles will also work on other muscles such as hamstrings, quads, and core, and that’s a good thing!

About the author

Picture of Cheyenne Holman

Cheyenne Holman

Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD)
Accredited Sports Dietitian
Certified Personal Trainer
Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Teacher