Even though so many of us strive for a tiny tummy, a round and lifted booty is the second standard most women try to attain in their fitness programs. In fact, many songs are about, if not dedicated to, the glutes. And I’ll tell you right now, if you listen to some of those songs while doing my “Best Glute Exercise” Workout, you’ll be on fire!
How To Get Started On Growing Your Glutes
One of my top goals in my exercise journey has been to grow my non-existent butt. I was not blessed in the booty department, so I’ve had to put in WORK to get the booty I have. I’ve created a list of the BEST glute exercises that you can be doing in the gym (or at home!) to get a sexy behind.
Form is crucial for glute exercises. Your quads and hamstrings try to take over during so many leg/glute exercises (they’re bigger and stronger muscles)… You want to get the most out of the exercises you’re doing (i.e., your glutes doing the work and not your other leg muscles!). Below, i’ve included descriptions of each of the exercises on my “Best Glute Exercises” List to pair with the image, as well.
Your Top 5 Glute Workout Moves: 1. Weighted Step Ups , 2. Romanian Deadlift , 3. Overhead Weighted Lunges , 4. Hip Thrusters , 5. Curtsy Lunges
1. Weighted Step Ups: Grab a bench, a chair, or something that you can step on (and that will hold your weight!). With a dumbbell in each hand, place one foot on the bench in front of you and use that foot to step up. Push with your HEEL (to activate the glutes). Carefully step down. You can add a kick back with your second foot once you’ve stepped up onto the bench for an added glute move.
2. Romanian Deadlift: Start with your feet shoulder width apart. You should be holding a barbell, overhand grip. Flex your hips, and bend towards the ground. Push your butt back as far as you can. Bend your knees slightly, if necessary. DO NOT round your back. Your back should be arched, slightly.
3. Overhead Weighted Lunges: Hold a plate, a dumbbell, or a barbell above your head. Perform either stationary or walking lunges. Don’t let your back knee touch the ground and don’t let your front knee pass your toes! Push through your heel.
4. Hip Thrusters: You’ll need a bench (or a chair). Sit with your back against the bench (your shoulder blades should be what is touching the seat). Your heels should be close to your butt while you’re in the sitting position. Place a barbell across your lap. To perform this move (which, in my opinion, is one of the BEST glute exercises), push through your heels and push your hips up. Squeeze at the top. Go back down, but DO NOT let your butt touch the ground until you’re done with multiple reps! Optional: hold at the top for 5 seconds before going back down.
5. Curtsy Lunges: When it comes to the outer butt area (i.e., hip abductors), this is one of the best glute exercises, in my opinion! Start standing up straight. This will be similar to a stepping-back lunge… but, instead of stepping one leg straight back, you are going to cross it behind your other leg. Keep your front knee in line with your front foot and don’t let that knee pass your toes!
As a personal fitness trainer, I hope you try these best glute exercises at your next lower body workout! All of these butt workout exercises are GREAT for getting that round,sexy booty! These can be your go-to glute exercises at home as well as your top glute exercises at the gym. It’s up to you! If you don’t have weights at home for working out, get something that weighs as much as a textbook and use that as your weight. Or invest in some dumbbells for these glute exercises at home!
If you enjoyed, “The Best Glute Exercises and How To Do Them Correctly,” you may also enjoy The Best 5 Gym Home Leg Exercises and 8 of the Best Cardio Workouts to Lose Weight Fast!
*Images shown in infographic are from WorkoutLabs.com. CWPS doesn’t design, create, or own these images.
Among the vast list of leg exercises out there, I’ve narrowed it down to 5 of the BEST leg exercises you can do to work the various leg muscles effectively and efficiently.
Ready for the top 5 best gym and home leg exercises for your next workout?
But before we get into the exact leg workout moves, you need to understand how important it is to strengthen your lower body. And also, I want to make sure you can do these exercises with ease (for confidence and for injury prevention), I’ll explain each one.
The Importance of Leg Day Defined:
- Overall Body Strength: When you train your legs, you’re actually working out multiple muscle groups! Leg Days are one of my favorites for this exact reason. It’s a great cardio workout (many of your leg muscles are the biggest in your body, so working them out is using a lot of energy and burning a lot of calories!)… AND your core is being utilized as well. Multiple birds. One stone.
- Symmetry: Ever seen someone at the gym with a huge upper body and scrawny legs? It’s not the best look.
Your 5 Best Leg Exercises Are: 1. Dumbbell Lunges , 2. Box Jumps , 3. Sumo Squats , 4. Hamstring Curls , 5. Weighted Barbell Squats
1. Dumbbell Lunges: This leg toning exercise can be stationary or walking lunges. One foot steps outward, bend your knees. Your front knee should not pass your toes and your back knee shouldn’t touch the ground.
2. Box Jumps: Stand in front of a heightened surface. Squat down to gain leverage so you can jump onto the height in front of you. Carefully step back after jumping.
3. Sumo Squats: Stand with your feet past shoulder width apart and your toes pointed outwards. Hold dumbbell with both hands and keep the weight in front of you (as pictured above). Squat down past parallel if possible, but make sure your knees don’t pass your toes. When you push up, push through your heels.
4. Hamstring Curls: This can be done on the “Hamstring Curl” Machine OR can be done on a bench/ flat surface with your legs hanging off the end and a dumbbell in between your ankles. Make sure you maintain control while curling your legs up to your butt. I think this may be the best leg exercise for bad knees. But consult with your medical doctor before giving any of these a try!
5. Weighted Barbell Squats: When doing weighted squats, form is CRUCIAL. So, use an appropriate weight (or no weight at all if you’re new to squats). Keep your chest up, and your knees behind your toes. Weighted Squats are certainly the most well known leg exercise for mass and toning – and for good reason too!
Are you ready to tone your legs?
These can be home leg exercises… or leg exercises at the gym! All of these exercises can be done at home (with the help of resistance bands and dumbbells!). Always make sure to keep form throughout all of these leg toning exercises! Safety first. When your form breaks, you put yourself at risk for injuring yourself. Additionally, stretching after doing weight exercises is beneficial for recovery.
*Images in the infographic are from WorkoutLabs. CWPS does not own or design them.
If you enjoyed learning about the Best Leg Exercises, you’ll also enjoy Cardio Exercises to Lose Weight Fast, The Best Glute Exercises and How To Do Them Correctly, and other free workouts!
The Best Workout for Toned Legs
I’ve got a love/hate relationship with Leg Day Workouts. I love to see the results of it… but, man, leg day is HARD! Not to mention, you’ll feel all your hard work in your sore muscles for days after a good leg workout. Make sure to stretch and get your protein in after!
Related: The Best 5 Gym and Home Leg Exercises You Need To Do
This Workout Includes Some of the Best Glute Exercises, Inner Thigh Exercises, and Hamstring Exercises:
- 5-10 minutes on a stationary cardio machine (treadmill, bike, elliptical, stairmaster)
- 3×10 Weighted Squats. Increase the weight after each set.
- 10 Split Bulgarian Squats (one foot resting on a bench, so you’re only squatting with one leg)
- 20 Weighted Walking Lunges
- Repeat 3 times
- 10 Cable Donkey Kick-Backs (or, if you don’t have access to a cable machine, then just do regular donkey kick-backs)
- 20 Curtsy Lunges
- Repeat 3 times
- 75 Glute Bridges or Hip Thrusters (You can split this up into a couple of sets if you’d like!)
Related: The Best Glute Exercises and How To Do Them Correctly
If you enjoyed this workout, you may also enjoy some of my other workouts!
Leg Day Fun
I love training my legs and glutes. In fact, I’m happiest when i know I have a great leg and glute workout after work. When you train such large muscle groups, your heart and lungs will be working! I shared this short leg and glute workout with CTD Sports a couple of weeks ago and it was shared on their social media pages last weekend. I’m sharing it here to explain what some of these individual exercises are, and provide key form information for maximum results!
Legs and Glutes Workout
3 x 12 Donkey Kickbacks
12 Weighted Hip Thrusters
12 Jump Squats
Repeat 3 Times
3 x 12 Back Extension
3 x 20 Lunges with Kickbacks
Burnout Set: AMRAP Goblet Squats
How To Perform These Leg and Butt Exercises
Cable Donkey Kickbacks: Find a cable machine and a bench. Start with a low weight! Hook the cable grip around your shoe and place your opposite knee and hand on the bench. Make sure you push through your heel to really target the glutes.
Supersets: A Superset is a technique where you perform two exercises in a row with next to no rest in between. For this workout, you will be super-setting weighted hip thrusters and jump squats.
Weighted Hip Thrusters: Find a bench and grab a barbell. Put your shoulder blades on the bench (you’ll want to be perpendicular from the bench) and place the barbell across your hips. With your knees bent and your heels squared under your knees, push the barbell up through your heels to the ceiling.
Jump Squats: Try to get as much air as you can while keeping your squat form!
Back Extension: This will target your glutes and your lower back! You can do this exercise on a machine or on a stability ball. Either way, you’ll be facing the ground and using your back to lift yourself up. You can use weights or just cross your arms in front of your body. Start bending forward slowly at the waist as far as you can BUT make sure you keep your back FLAT. Keep moving forward until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings and you can no longer keep going without rounding your back. Now, slowly raise your torso back to the initial position and hold at the apex.
Walking Weighted Lunges: Grab a barbell and place behind your neck OR grab a weight plate for each hand. Find a straight path where you can walk. Lunge down that path (20 total / 10 per leg).
Last, but certainly not least, The Burnout Set: Goblet Squats. This is a wide stance with your toes pointed outwards. Hold a dumbbell (push yourself!) between your legs (don’t forget to keep your back flat!) and squat. AMRAP means as many reps as possible! Do this until failure!!
If you enjoyed this leg and glute workout, you may also enjoy The Best 5 Gym and Home Leg Exercises You Need To Do and Get Rid of Thigh Fat with this Killer Leg Day Workout.