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Fitness, Uncategorized, Women's Health

August 27, 2017

10 Best Booty Building Exercises


Whether you’re here due to the uprising of the Kardashian booty pump but aren’t about those implants, or you just enjoy weight training and want to grow them glutes…You’ve found your solution my friend.

I’ve built and am still building my glutes to this day. I did squats and deadlifts for YEARS without building a booty.  I still do squats and deadlifts because they are what bring me joy and I LOVE doing them.  I started doing more glute focused work after a back injury in 2014.  Ever since, I have honed in on my glutes and finding exercises where I see and feel the most results.  I have also noticed that I am better at “feeling” my glutes during squats and deadlifts now.  I can’t say I hate that.

On to the booty work!

Below, I have put together 10 of my favorite and MOST EFFECTIVE booty building exercises.  Make sure to read the tips and info I give before each exercise.

PRO TIP >> When training ANY muscle group for growth, there are a three things to remember/keep in mind.

  • Mind-Muscle Connection – think about the muscle that is supposed to be doing the work (in this case, your glutes)
  • Squeeze SO HARD at the Top – I ALMOST always use a tempo of 1.2.2 when training to build muscle. You want a bigger, higher, and better shaped back side? Try this tempo. First phase of the movement is ONE second, squeeze for TWO at the top, lower for TWO seconds back to your starting position.
  • Do What Works For YOU – what works for Sally might not work for you.  Squats make my husbands butt super sore. Whereas I literally don’t feel squats in my glutes AT ALL #quaddominant.  Try different exercises.  Find what works for you, and do variations of THAT.


The mini band warm up below is my GO TO for glute days (every leg day I do some kind of glute dominant work, so this is my warm up every leg day). You can get my favorite mini bands on amazon – Click here!


Perform 10 of each:

  • Lateral band walks – TOES FORWARD + KNEES OUT
  • Sagital plane band walks (forward + backward at 45 degree angle) – KEEP HIPS & FEET POINTED FORWARD!


  • Exercise name and notes ABOVE matching exercise video



  • Toes slightly pointed out
  • Hip pad well below hip bones
  • Rounded upper back
  • Weight at chest (can also be performed with no weight)
  • Drive hips into the pads at the top
  • KEEP A NEUTRAL LUMBAR SPINE – Do not, I repeat, DO NOT go into lumbar hyper-extension at the top. JUST SQUEEZE THE GLUTES!



**Sinlge Leg Exercises**

Working one leg at a time is UH-MAZING for focusing on and really isolating each glute.  It can also reveal weaknesses that you may need to hone in on.  Like my single leg back ext for glutes…Left side…it was a sad day for left glutes when I tried those.

2. Single Leg Back Extension FOR GLUTES + HAMSTRINGS

  • Toe forward
  • Hip pad well below hip bones
  • Rounded upper back
  • Weight at chest (can also be performed with no weight)
  • Drive hip into the pads at the top
  • Avoid rotation
  • KEEP A NEUTRAL LUMBAR SPINE – Do not, I repeat, DO NOT go into lumbar hyper-extension at the top. JUST SQUEEZE THE GLUTES!


3. Glute Kick Backs – Can also be done on a cable machine

This can vary gym to gym, machine to machine, but the following form should always apply.

  • Neutral spine
  • Drive through heel
  • Flex glute at the top (full hip extension)
  • Do Not go into lumbar hyper-extension (sway back)

4. Pull Up Machine Step Downs

  • Again, this can vary from gym to gym, find whatever grip works best for you, and go to town.
  • Tight core #always
  • Drive through heel until knee is near extension (almost straight)
  • Slow release on the way up



5. Bench Single Leg Glute Bridge/Hip Thrust

  • Upper back on bench (bench or surface is ideally lower than your knees)
  • Chin tucked, eyes forward
  • Knee above ankle
  • Whole foot on the floor (heel dominant)
  • Drive hips to ceiling
  • Aaaaannndddd you guessed it, squeeze at the top.


6. Barbell Hip Thrusts (the mother of all glute growth + make you feel strong AF)

  • Upper back on bench (bench or surface is ideally lower than your knees)
  • Padding of some kind between your hips and the bar (trust me…I learned the hard way before I found Bret “the glute guy” Contreras.
  • Chin tucked, eyes forward
  • Knee above ankle
  • Whole foot on the floor (heel dominant)
  • Drive hips to ceiling
  • Pin rib cage down
  • Squeeze glutes at the top – DO NOT hyper-extend low back! Just looking out for your 80 year-old-self.



7. Sumo Deadlift From a Deficit – Can be done with DB’s as well

Please note: these are an advanced movement and should not be done if you do not have experience deadlifting from the floor.

Anything “sumo” has the potential to put emphasis on the glutes.  But these bad boys are my all time fav.  Why? Because they increase the range of motion (larger range of motion than just pulling from the floor). These allow me to sit deeper into my hips and really feel the drive through my glutes.  Now, a few things to note:

  • Neutral spine from start to finish
  • Tight lats (yes these work your ENTIRE back side)
  • Get hips as close to the bar as possible
  • Feel tension in the hamstrings
  • Drive chest up + hips towards the bar
  • Squeeze like the dickens at the top and pull the bar into your hips
  • Release SLOWLY to the floor – NO NOT BREAK NEUTRAL SPINE.


8. Dumbbell Lateral Step Ups

These are great with no weight as well.

  • Weight in hand furthest from bench/step
  • Whole foot on bench
  • Little to no push off back leg
  • Drive through heel on bench
  • Completely lock out top leg and squeeze glute at the top
  • Lower slowly driving hips Back.



9. Seated Band Abduction

This can also be done on an Abduction machine at the gym

  • Mini band just under knees
  • Hit all three positions – leaned back, sitting up right, and leaning forward.
  • Neutral spine in all three positions
  • Feet do NOT need to stay planted
  • Keep knees at 90 degrees – heels under knees
  • Use glutes to pull knees apart
  • You can do these slow or fast, whichever you feel more!

10. Standing Single Leg Band Abduction

This can be done on a cable pulley system as well.

  • Mini band around ankles
  • Hips tucked under you (don’t let your butt stick out and arch your low back)
  • Neutral spine
  • Toes pointed forward
  • Both legs locked out (completely straight)
  • Use glute to pull ankles apart
  • You can do these slow or fast, whichever you feel more!
  • You should feel an intense burn in the “pocket” of your glute/hips.


Those m’dear are my 10 best booty building exercises.  You’ve got band, bodyweight, machine, dumbbell and barbell options.  There is really no reason to have a flat bum if you don’t want one.  Go amp up your booty gains and make sure to join my mailing list if you don’t want to miss FREE gains and inspiration.  Click here to join!


  1. Annelies says:

    Thanks for these! Which band would you recommend for numbers 9 and 10?

  2. Annelies says:

    Also- how often do you recommend doing these? I alternate 2 whole-body workouts 3 times a week at home (so can only do numbers 5-10). Would it make sense to split these up into 2 and add them to my 2 routines? So do numbers 5-7 with workout A, and 8-10 with workout B for example? Thanks 🙂

    • Annie says:

      Hello Annelies! It depends on your goals, I personally lift legs three days a week and do a combination of four of these exercises per day. That is simply what has worked best for me. Your split makes total sense. I suggest doing the band work every workout. You simply can’t overdue it with band work. The larger lifts I leave to one per week. Everything in between is up to you! Let me know if that answers your question or if you have more!

  3. I have the mini bands that you use in the videos above and I just got a sling shot band which I notice gives me way more resistance in my band warm up and an increase "feel" in my glutes. I use it above my knees for the lateral walks, forward and backward. Obviously I can’t do the 180s with that position. Do you like the ankle/mid calf placement of the band better than above the knees? Do you do it for a injury prevention reason? Do you have concerns with the thicker bands? Thanks.

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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.

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