Sir Mix-a-Lot spoke the truth. Great butts should be celebrated.

In fact, let’s kick off this article in the right frame of mind:

And now that we’re all on the same page, it’s time to talk about building an awesome butt.

Let’s start with some common mistakes and misconceptions…

You won’t get an amazing butt by obsessing over cardio.

You know those people grinding away on the Stepmill or incline treadmill every damn time you go to the gym?

Have you noticed that not much seems to change no matter how many steps they log?

Well, that’s because they think they can get a god(dess)like butt with cardio that purportedly “targets” the butt…and they’re wrong.

Unfortunately for these incline addicts, targeted fat loss is more or a less a myth.

Training a muscle does increase blood flow in the area, burn calories, and contribute to muscle growth, and all of this can help you lose fat…but none of it is enough to selectively lean out your derriere.

The reality is fat loss is a whole-body affair.

When you maintain a calorie deficit, your body reduces fat levels everywhere in your whole body (with some areas losing fat more quickly than others, but that’s another article).

That means you could do a billion crunches and without getting even close to a six pack unless you also reduce your overall body fat percentage. And the best way to do that is through proper dieting.

Bottom line?

Building a killer butt is, at bottom, pretty much the same as developing any other muscle group.

You train right and eat right to build muscle and lose fat and, eventually, arrive at the body you want.

Sprints aren’t  that great at defining the glutes.

best glute exercises

It’s easy to see why people might think that sprinting is the key to an ass that “breaks the Internet”:

Most sprinters have great butts.

Furthermore, anyone that has run a sprint can immediately tell that it trains the glutes, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to shred your booty.

Remember: only a proper diet can do that.

And because sprinting is one of the most demanding forms of cardio you can do, it also comes with a heightened risk of injury and overtraining.

While high-intensity interval training is an extremely effective form of exercise, when the goal is glutes, there’s no reason to put your body at risk when there are more effective exercises for getting there.

We should also note that most sprinters lift weights in addition to running, which explains why so many of them are very muscular.

In fact, their strength training probably accounts for their great butts more than the sprinting.

“Fancy” exercises aren’t necessary for a perfect butt.

You’ve probably heard that if you do the same exercises too frequently, your body will eventually fail to respond to them.

Thus, you’re told, if you want to build a great physique, then you need to switch up your workout routine on a regular basis.

This simply isn’t true.

“Muscle confusion” is a myth and constantly changing your workouts is probably more harmful than helpful.

This is true for any workout, by the way, not just your butt training.

The key to muscle development isn’t variety of exercises but progressive overload, which you can learn more about here.

Now, you should also know that anyone that claims that certain exercises work distinct portions of your glutes or your “glute-ham tie-in” is wrong.

The gluteus maximus is one muscle. There are no “upper” and “lower” regions to target with your training.

See for yourself:

glute anatomy

So, instead of trying to train different butt muscles in different ways, you need to focus on something much simpler:

Strengthening the gluteus maximum and minimus and the hamstrings.

And there it is: the “secret” to an awesome butt.

So what are the best exercises for building glutes and hamstrings, then?

Let’s find out!

The Absolute Best Butt Exercises

best butt exercises

Any halfway sensible glute-building workout will have you do exercises that involve hinging at the hips, such as the deadlift and squat.

This is good.

These exercises require your glutes to work hard against gravity while moving through their full ranges of motion.

Your butt workouts should go beyond this, though–they should load your glutes and hamstrings in a few other ways to maximize results.

We’ll, we’re going to cover it all here–both the foundational and “assistance” movements that will help you build a head-turning booty.


The squat has long been revered for its physique-building power, and for good reason.

It’s the single most effective movement for developing lower-body strength and muscularity.

And that’s why you need do yourself (and your butt) a favor and place squats at the forefront of your lower body training.

That said, you want to make sure you know exactly what you’re doing when you squat, so check out this article to learn the basics.

There are two other things you should know about squatting and your butt:

1. Squat Deep

The deeper you sink into your squat, the more your hamstrings and butt have to work.

And the more they have to work, the more muscle you’ll build for your efforts.

I recommend either full squats or parallel squats (but not half squats). Here’s a solid example of proper depth:

butt exercises

Spread Your Legs

No…not that, you pervert. 😉

What I’m talking about is the width of your stance as you squat.

Research shows that using a wide stance—one that is 125 to 150% of shoulder-width—increases activation in the glutes.

Here’s a good example:

best butt exercise


If someone wanted to pay me an offensive amount of money to do just one exercise for the rest of my life, the deadlift would be my choice. Without hesitation.

The reason for this is simple:

It trains just about every muscle in your body, making it one of the best for building whole-body strength and power. It’s also particularly well suited to heavy lifting, which is essential to building muscle and strength.

The deadlift’s many benefits extend to our glutes and hammies, too, which is why it’s high on this list.

Doing deadlifts correctly requires some technical know-how, though. Check out this article to learn how to do them correctly.

Like the squat, the deadlift has several variations, too, with the most popular being the sumo deadlift, which is about equally effect for training the glutes as the conventional deadlift.

Personally, I favor the conventional deadlift because it’s most comfortable for me. To learn more about why, check out this article.

Regardless of your preferred style of pulling, it’s critical that you consciously activate your glutes while pulling.

You do this by squeezing your butt throughout the full range of motion—as you lift the bar off the ground, in the upper half of the ascension, and in the lockout.

Here’s a visual of incorrect and correct lockout positions. Notice that the glutes are fully activated when you maintain proper form:

butt exercise

Let’s take a closer look at what’s wrong and right about each of these positions.

The left-most image features one of the most common lockout mistakes around: over-extension. This increases the risk for lumbar injury and limits glute activation.

If you look to the next image to the right, you’ll see that the chest is pushed out and the shoulders are pulled back, as if he were bench pressing. This is incorrect.

Next up is shrugging your shoulders up toward your ears in the lockout position, which is also incorrect.

And last is the proper lockout position:

Standing tall without pushing the chest out or pinching the shoulder blades together, no lumbar extension, and the shoulders in a neutral, “packed down” position.

Hip Thrust

I know, I know.

Humping the air like Shakira in front of other people at the gym can be pretty embarrassing.

If you’re serious about carving head-turning glutes, though, then you’ll want to add the hip thrust to your butt building arsenal.

And when people sneak more and more peeks at your glute gains, you might find yourself thrusting in good company before long.

There are many variations of the hip thrust, but I recommend focusing on these three:

  • The band thrust
  • The barbell thrust
  • The single-leg thrust

Here’s how to do the band variation:

Here’s the barbell variation:

And here’s the single-leg variation:


You can’t go wrong with the classic lunge because it’s a fantastic exercise for training your entire lower half.

Here’s what a traditional barbell forward lunge should look like:

If you can’t do that due to knee problems, then the reverse lunge might be better for you.

Here’s how it works:

And if you don’t have a barbell setup or aren’t comfortable with it, you can use dumbbells as well. Take a look:

Bulgarian Split Squat

While technically a squat, the Bulgarian split squat looks more like a lunge.

It targets both the quads and glutes very effectively, so it’s a great exercise to add to your butt workouts.

Here’s how to do it:

Romanian Deadlift

This variation on the deadlift really zeroes in on the hamstrings.

As I mentioned earlier, a sexy backside requires more than just a butt–you need the hamstrings to match.

That’s why I like to see the Romanian deadlift included in butt workouts.

Here’s how to do it:

Glute Blaster

I’m generally not a fan of workout machines.

Most are less effective than free weight exercises and they don’t reduce the risk of injury nearly as much as some people think.

There are exceptions, though, and the Butt Blaster is one of them.

It’s a safe way to isolate and train the glutes with a movement that’s tough to mimic with free weights.

Here it is in action:

Building the Ultimate Butt Workout

That’s all you need in the way of butt exercises.

Once you just know how to turn them into effective workouts, you’ll be on your way to the butt of your dreams.

And that’s what we’re going to cover in this section of the article.

Let’s start with a few guidelines:

Like the abs and calves, the glutes seem to respond best to a higher frequency and variety of rep ranges. 

You don’t necessarily have to train a muscle group multiple times per week to make it bigger and stronger, but some muscles do seem to progress faster with more than one workout per week.

I’ve worked with thousands of people and I would consider the glutes one of these muscle group, which is why I recommend training them 2 to 3 times per week.

I also recommend that you train your glutes in the following rep ranges:

  • The 4 to 6 rep range (80 to 85% of your 1RM)
  • The 8 to 10 rep range (70 to 75% of your 1RM)
  • The 15 to 20 rep range (50 to 55% of your 1RM)

(And I’ll show you how to do this below.)

Take progression seriously.

Remember that the key here isn’t just doing these exercises–it’s progressing on them.

And that means adding weight when you hit the top of the rep range you’re working in (5 pounds for dumbbell exercises and 10 pounds for barbell exercises, specifically).

For example, if you’re working in the 4 to 6 rep range on the hip thrust and get 6 reps with 135 pounds, it’s time to move up to 145 pounds and then work with that new, heavier weight until you can thrust it for 6 reps, at which point you move up again, and on and on.

Now, if you increase the weight and your reps fall below the bottom of the rep range you’re working in (in the example above, if you move up to 145 pounds and get just 2 or 3 reps), then the weight is too heavy.

In this case, you have a few options:

  1. Stick with the new weight for this workout and then try to reach your minimum reps with it in your next workout.
  2. Move up by 5 pounds total instead of 10 (using the 2.5 pound plates).
  3. Return to the weight from which you just increased, and keep training with it until you can get an extra 2 or 3 reps above the top (sticking with our example, 8 reps instead of 6).

I like to follow these tips in the order given:

I’ll try #1 first, do #2 if #1 didn’t work out, and only do #3 if the other two options didn’t work.

Emphasize proper programming (and don’t overtrain).

No matter what type of workouts you do, proper programming is essential.

That boils down to making the right choices in terms of exercises, frequency, intensity (weight lifted as a percentage of 1RM), and volume (number of reps performed).

















And when I look around the gym, overdoing it seems to be the order of the day. Many people assume that more training is always better than less and thus spend many hours per week beating their bodies into a pulp to get the bodies they want.

Well, this “more is better” philosophy is true to a point, but it’s not as hard to outstrip your body’s ability to recover as you might think.

And when you do, symptoms of overtraining start to set in and your further efforts can simply become counterproductive.

Fortunately, you can avoid all that by learning how to develop a proper workout program, which you can learn more about here.

For the purpose of this article, though, I want to stick with butt training and give you two butt workouts that you can start with right away.

Butt Workout Routine #1

Training 2 X Per Week

This is for people who have limited time to spend in the gym each week or want to spend a few days each week on upper body workouts, too.

In any case, rest 2 days in between each of these workouts.

Workout A


Warm up and then 3 sets of 4 to 6 reps

Rest 3 minutes in between these sets.

Hip Thrust

3 sets of 8 to 10 reps

Rest 2 minutes in between these sets.

Bulgarian Split Squat

3 sets of 8 to 10 reps

Rest 2 minutes in between these sets.

Romanian Deadlift

3 sets of 15 to 20 reps

Rest 1 minute in between these sets.

Workout B


Warm up and 3 sets of 4 to 6 reps

Rest 3 minutes in between these sets.

Barbell Lunge

3 sets of 8 to 10 reps

Rest 2 minutes in between these sets.

Hip Thrust

3 sets of 15 to 20 reps

Rest 2 minutes in between these sets.

Butt Blaster

3 sets of 15 to 20 reps

Rest 1 minute in between these sets.

Butt Workout Routine #2

Training 3 X Per Week

This is for people whose main focus in the gym is developing their lower body.

Rest 1 day in between each of these workouts.

Workout A


Warm up and then 3 sets of 4 to 6 reps

Rest 3 minutes in between these sets.

Hip Thrust

3 sets of 8 to 10 reps

Rest 2 minutes in between these sets.

Romanian Deadlift

3 sets of 15 to 20 reps

Rest 1 minute in between these sets.

Workout B


Warm up and 3 sets of 4 to 6 reps

Rest 3 minutes in between these sets.

Barbell Lunge

3 sets of 8 to 10 reps

Rest 2 minutes in between these sets.

Hip Thrust

3 sets of 15 to 20 reps

Rest 1 minute in between these sets.

Workout C

Hip Thrust

Warm up and 3 sets of 4 to 6 reps

Rest 3 minutes in between these sets.

Bulgarian Split Squat

3 sets of 8 to 10 reps

Rest 2 minutes in between these sets.

Butt Blaster

3 sets of 15 to 20 reps

Rest 1 minute in between these sets.

That’s it. And trust me–it’s harder than it looks.

Do these workouts consistently, train hard and push for progression, eat right, and you will get results.

What About Supplements?

best supplements for butt

I saved this for last because, quite frankly, it’s far less important than proper diet and training.

You see, supplements don’t build great physiques–dedication to proper training and nutrition does.

Unfortunately, the workout supplement industry is plagued by pseudoscience, ridiculous hype, misleading advertising and endorsements, products full of junk ingredients, underdosing key ingredients, and many other shenanigans.

Most supplement companies produce cheap, junk products and try to dazzle you with ridiculous marketing claims, high-profile (and very expensive) endorsements, pseudo-scientific babble, fancy-sounding proprietary blends, and flashy packaging.

So, while workout supplements don’t play a vital role in building muscle and losing fat, and many are a complete waste of money…the right ones can help.

The truth of the matter is there are safe, natural substances that have been scientifically proven to deliver benefits such as increased strength, muscle endurance and growth, fat loss, and more.

As a part of my work, it’s been my job to know what these substances are, and find products with them that I can use myself and recommend to others.

Finding high-quality, effective, and fairly priced products has always been a struggle, though.

That’s why I took matters into my own hands and decided to create my own supplements. And not just another line of “me too” supplements–the exact formulations I myself have always wanted and wished others would create.

I won’t go into a whole spiel here though. If you want to learn more about my supplement line, check this out.

For the purpose of this article, let’s just quickly review the supplements that are going to help you get the most out of your butt (and other) workouts.


Creatine is a substance found naturally in the body and in foods like red meat. It’s perhaps the most researched molecule in the world of sport supplements–the subject of hundreds of studies–and the consensus is very clear:

Supplementation with creatine helps…

You may have heard that creatine is bad for your kidneys, but these claims have been categorically and repeatedly disproven. In healthy subjects, creatine has been shown to have no harmful side effects, in both short- or long-term usage. People with kidney disease are not advised to supplement with creatine, however.

If you have healthy kidneys, I highly recommend that you supplement with creatine. It’s safe, cheap, and effective.

In terms of specific products, I use my own, of course, which is called RECHARGE.



RECHARGE is 100% naturally sweetened and flavored and each serving contains:

  • 5 grams of creatine monohydrate
  • 2100 milligrams of L-carnitine L-tartrate
  • 10.8 milligrams of corosolic acid

This gives you the proven strength, size, and recovery benefits of creatine monohydrate plus the muscle repair and insulin sensitivity benefits of L-carnitine L-tartrate and corosolic acid.

Protein Powder

You don’t need protein supplements to gain muscle, but, considering how much protein you need to eat every day to maximize muscle growth, getting all your protein from whole food can be impractical.

That’s the main reason I created (and use) a whey protein supplement. (There’s also evidence that whey protein is particularly good for your post-workout nutrition.)


WHEY+ is 100% naturally sweetened and flavored whey isolate that is made from milk sourced from small dairy farms in Ireland, which are known for their exceptionally high-quality dairy.

I can confidently say that this is the creamiest, tastiest, healthiest all-natural whey protein powder you can find.

Pre-Workout Drink

There’s no question that a pre-workout supplement can get you fired up to get to work in the gym. There are downsides and potential risks, however.

Many pre-workout drinks are stuffed full of ineffective ingredients and/or minuscule dosages of otherwise good ingredients, making them little more than a few cheap stimulants with some “pixie dust” sprinkled in to make for a pretty label and convincing ad copy.

Many others don’t even have stimulants going for them and are just complete duds.

Others still are downright dangerous, like USPLabs’ popular pre-workout “Jack3d,”which contained a powerful (and now banned) stimulant known as DMAA.

Even worse was the popular pre-workout supplement “Craze,” which contained a chemical similar to methamphetamine.

The reality is it’s very hard to find a pre-workout supplement that’s light on stimulants but heavy on natural, safe, performance-enhancing ingredients like beta-alanine, betaine, and citrulline.

And that’s why I made my own pre-workout supplement. It’s called PULSE and it contains 6 of the most effective performance-enhancing ingredients available:

And what you won’t find in PULSE is equally special:

  • No artificial sweeteners or flavors..
  • No artificial food dyes.
  • No unnecessary fillers, carbohydrate powders, or junk ingredients.

The bottom line is if you want to know what a pre-workout is supposed to feel like…if you want to experience the type of energy rush and performance boost that only clinically effective dosages of scientifically validated ingredients can deliver…then you want to try PULSE.


The Bottom Line on the Best Butt Exercises

best butt exercise for size

Forget Pinterest challenges, million-rep bodyweight workouts, and “secrets” and “weird tricks.”

This is how you build a great butt.

  • Do the right exercises correctly.
  • Do them frequently.
  • Stick with heavy weights.
  • Push for progression (get stronger)
  • Make sure your diet is right
  • Be patient

Do all that consistently and your butt will never be the same again.

Want More Workouts?

How to Create the Ultimate Upper Chest Workoutupper-chest

The Best Back Exercises to Build Your Best Back Everbest-back-exercises

The Best Shoulder Workouts for Men & Womenbest-shoulder-workouts-for-men-women-1

The 6 Absolute Best Quads Exercises You Can Doquads-exercises

The 6 Best Hamstring Exercises You Need to Dohamstring-exercises

The Absolute Best Biceps Workout

The Absolute Best Triceps Workouttriceps-workout-1

Beyond the “Best Ab Exercises” (How to Actually Get Abs)best-ab-exercises

The Definitive Full-Body Workout Guidefull-body-workout

The Ultimate Forearm Workoutforearm-workouts-4

17 Bodyweight Exercises That Will Skyrocket Your Gainsbodyweight-exercises-3

What’s your take on butt exercises? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

+ Scientific References