Tunde Oyeneyin - 20 min Glutes & Legs Strength

8 At-Home Glute Workout Moves For A Stronger Butt

Your body will thank you for doing these moves.

By PelotonUpdated October 12, 2023


Strengthening your glutes has many benefits both for your workouts and your everyday life. As your body’s stabilizers, the glute muscles work hard to keep everything in alignment, powering your posture and movement, increasing your strength, and supporting your other muscles too. 

To help you get your glutes in gear and achieve your health and fitness goals, we rounded up eight easy at-home glute workout moves from expert Peloton instructors, plus all the details on why booty strength-building is so important.

Why Strong Glutes Are Important

Think of your glutes as your body’s stabilization system. They’re responsible for your pelvic alignment and posture, controlling the ease of movement of your hips, legs, and torso. And, strong glutes mean less pressure on your lower back too, ensuring your weight is evenly distributed, preventing your lumbar spine from over-rounding. 

Strengthening your glutes also helps your workout performance by enhancing your mobility. From walking and running to jumps and squats, strong glutes add power to your performance, and reduce the risk of injury and strains. 

“Your lower body houses some of the largest muscle groups in your body,” explains Peloton trainer Selena Samuela. “So, the stronger you make your glutes and legs, the stronger you are overall.”

When it comes to glute training, it’s beneficial to get a clear understanding of what and where the gluteal muscles are. Knowing what you’re targeting can help you find the right exercises for your goals. 

Here are the three muscle groups that make up your glutes:

Gluteus Maximus 

This is the largest portion of your glutes, with a quadrangular shape (similar to a rectangle, but in 3D). It plays a prominent role in maintaining your upper body in an upright posture and is important for pelvic alignment. It’s also responsible for the movement of the hip and thigh, whether standing up from a seated position, climbing stairs, walking, running, or lunges. Any other movement that requires straightening your leg and being in an upright position will also be supported by the gluteus maximus. 

Gluteus Medius 

This is the muscle lying between the gluteus maximus and gluteus minimus. It is one of the main pelvic stabilizer muscles used while standing or walking. It works in tandem with the hip to move the thigh in two directions: internally, so the knee and foot twist inward, and externally, where the thighs open away from the body, with the knees outward. Helping your body balance on one leg, it also helps absorb the force of the ground pushing back against your leg when you’re running and absorbs the force of landing, too, making it a key muscle for runners to strengthen.

Gluteus Minimus

The smallest glute muscle, it works in synergy with the gluteus medius, predominantly acting as a hip stabilizer, abducting and rotating the thigh. You’ll be engaging this muscle when you’re running, walking, doing squats, lunges, and fire hydrants.

So now you know what you’re working with, you can start building strong glutes with specific butt exercises at home.

8 Home Workout Exercises For Strong Glutes

1. Squats

Squats are not only one of the best exercises to target the glutes, but they also work on your lower body strength in general.

  1. To start, stand with your feet hip-distance apart. For added intensity, hold weights at torso level or at your sides. 

  2. Next, bend your knees and lower into the squat keeping your knees behind your toes and your torso upright and contracted. 

  3. To stand, press into your heels. 

  4. Repeat for two to three sets of eight to 15 reps.

Muscles worked: Gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus, plus quads, hamstrings, adductors, calves, and core.

Peloton class recommendation: 10-Minute Core Strength with Jess Sims (Intermediate)

2. Lunges

The reason lunges are an effective exercise is that, in a staggered stance, you have to use your glutes to stabilize your body. In addition, the stance forces the glutes on the front of your legs to work harder while also working other muscles.

  1. Start by standing with one foot forward and one foot back, about three feet apart. 

  2. Now, bend both of your knees and lunge straight down, sending your back knee toward the floor. 

  3. Avoid lunging forward over your front toes, and keep your front heel on the ground.

  4. Then, press into your heel to stand. 

  5. Repeat for one to three sets of 12 to 15 reps. For added intensity, hold weights.

Muscles worked: Gluteus maximus and minimus, hamstrings, quads, and calves. 

Selena Samuela Lunge GIF At-Home Glute Workout Moves For A Stronger Butt

3. Step-Ups

For step-ups, you’ll need a platform high enough so that your knee is at a 90-degree angle when it is bent. You can also use the second step of a staircase while you hold onto the rail for balance.

  1. Start by standing in front of the step or platform, placing your right foot on the step.

  2. Then, step up by pressing into your heel, touching your left toes to the step. 

  3. Keep your right foot on the step and bring your left foot down to the floor. 

  4. For increased intensity, bend your knee into a lunge. 

  5. Repeat for one to three sets of 12 to 15 reps on each side. 

  6. For increased intensity, hold weights or use a resistance band under your standing foot.

Muscles worked: Gluteus maximus and medius, quads, adductors, and hamstrings.

4. Sidestep Squats With Resistance Bands

The three preceding exercises mostly target the gluteus maximus. To address the smaller gluteus medius and minimus as well, try this one.

  1. Start by standing on a resistance band with medium-light tension, holding both handles.

  2. Take a wide step to the right into a squat while keeping tension on the band. 

  3. Next, step your left foot in. Continue stepping out and squatting to the right as far as you can. 

  4. Then, repeat the other way or for about one to three sets of eight to 15 steps.

Muscles worked: Gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus, plus quads, hamstrings, abductors, and core.

5. Hip Thrust / Glute Squeeze on Ball

Begin the exercise in a bridge position with your head resting on the ball and your bottom lifted. You can place weights on your thighs to increase the intensity. 

  1. Start by lowering your hips to the ground while trying not to let the ball roll around. 

  2. Then, squeeze your glutes to lift yourself back to the starting position. 

  3. Repeat for one to three sets of eight to 15 reps.

While the use of a ball for this exercise adds some instability, forcing your entire lower body to work harder while holding weights on your upper thighs adds more intensity to the exercise.

Muscles worked: Mainly targets the gluteus maximus and medius, plus hamstrings, quads, adductors, and core. 

6. Hip Extensions

Not only do hip extensions target your glutes in a more focused way, but they also work your core and shoulder muscles.

  1. Start by getting on your hands and knees with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly beneath your hips. 

  2. Now, keeping your right knee bent, lift your right leg until your thigh is parallel with your glutes. 

  3. Then, slowly lower your leg. Repeat for 12 to 15 reps on each side. 

  4. For added intensity, use ankle weights, or squeeze a weight securely tucked into the back of your knee.

Muscles worked: Gluteus maximus and medius, plus hamstrings, quads, adductors, and core.

Peloton class recommendation: 20-Minute Strength Roll Call with Callie Gullickson (Intermediate)

7. One-Legged Deadlifts

Single-leg deadlifts are a simple but effective exercise for strengthening and toning muscles while improving balance. Depending on your training level, you can perform them with or without weights.

  1. Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart and parallel. 

  2. Holding a kettlebell, a barbell, or two dumbbells in your hands down in front of you, lean forward, keeping your back flat and shifting your weight onto one leg while your other leg engages and starts to extend straight behind you. 

  3. Next, lift your extended leg and pitch your body forward until it forms a T-shape. Your arms should be hanging straight down as you hold the weight, and you should keep a slight bend in your standing leg. 

  4. Then, slowly bring your extended leg back to return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg. 

  5. Start with five reps per leg and then gradually increase the number of sets.

Muscles worked: Gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus, plus hamstrings, upper back, and core. 

Tunde Oyeneyin one-legged deadlift - At-Home Glute Workout Moves For A Stronger Butt

8. Hip Thrusts

With these movements, you can develop and strengthen your glutes while also improving your squats and deadlift power. Plus, you can use a variety of resistance, including a loaded barbell, a resistance band, or a dumbbell.

  1. Start by sitting on the ground with a bench behind you. 

  2. Bend your knees so your feet are planted on the ground and hold a barbell resting below your hips. 

  3. Lean back until your shoulders are on the bench and position the bar above your hips.

  4. Then, drive your hips up, lifting the bar. In the top position, your knees should be bent at 90° and your shoulders should be near the top of the bench with your body forming a straight line between them. Do not overextend. 

  5. Pause at the top of the lift and squeeze your glutes, then lower your hips slowly. 

  6. For strength, do three to five sets of five to eight reps each, with a heavy load. 

  7. To increase muscle mass, perform three to five sets of eight to 12 reps with a moderate to heavy weight. 

  8. For endurance, push through two to three sets of 15 reps with a moderate load.

Muscles worked: Gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus, plus hamstrings, adductors, erector spinae, and quads.

Peloton class recommendation: 10-Minute Glutes & Legs Strength with Robin Arzon (Intermediate)

As an added workout tip, Peloton instructor Jess King has this recommendation to strengthen your glutes: Stand with your feet at hip-distance apart, with a resistance band around your ankles. Then, take side-to-side steps, to your right, and then to your left. According to Jess, this move allows you to "Organically feel the burn, and you'll know exactly where it's working."

Tips to Boost Your Glute Workout

Motivation is key to achieving your glute training goals. “Your mind is your strongest muscle,” says Peloton instructor Tunde Oyeneyin. “When you are about to do a squat, it’s your quads and glutes that initiate the movement, but first, your mind has to tell you that you’re capable of doing it.”

With that in mind, here are several tips to get the most out of your glute exercises.

  • Warm Up: Prepare your glutes for higher intensity movements, with one or two lower body focused warm-up exercises.

  • Build Your Reps: If you’re new to butt workouts at home, start with a smaller number of repetitions. You can always increase your reps as your strength improves. An appropriate amount of reps will depend on your fitness goals. The key, however, is to target each of the glute muscles and progressively add more weight and intensity.

  • Focus on Form: Maintain proper posture and squat form. For squats, maintain a tall posture with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and a slight bend in your knees. Your shoulders should be directly over your hips creating a stacked position. Then, evenly distribute your weight on your feet from heel to toe, to create a stable position.

  • Think Core: Be sure to engage your core muscles when performing your glute exercises.

  • Exercise Safely: If you experience any pain while performing a glutes exercise, discontinue the movement immediately.

  • Make Modifications: Be compassionate about your physical limitations. Avoid or limit glute exercises if you are healing from surgery, suffering from back, abdomen, knee, or ankle injury, or if you’re in the final stage of pregnancy or have just given birth.

Benefits of Glute Workouts

The great thing about glutes exercises is that they offer key benefits in your everyday life. At-home glutes workouts tailored to your current condition and goals can help in the following ways.

Help Improve Your Posture 

As the stabilizing force in your body and a base to your spine, strong glutes keep your pelvis and hip area aligned. This in turn, encourages proper curvature of your spine, distributing weight evenly throughout the body, ensuring good posture and gait, including up to your shoulders and even neck. 

In movement, your glutes are the force that propel you forward while walking or running. Part of what’s called your posterior chain—the muscles at the back of your legs and spine, glutes even help support you when you’re standing still too.

Weakness in your glute muscles can lead to your body going into a “path of least resistance mode”. This is where other muscles take over—such as your hip adductors and hamstrings, causing the mechanics of your movements to be out of sync, which may lead to discomfort or even strains along the hips or legs.

Support Agility

Not only do glutes help with everyday movements, posture, and strength, they also help your agility and forward momentum when you’re running or even playing tennis. Allowing you to change direction quickly, each of the glute muscles plays a role in this, with the gluteus medius coming into play for those ground strikes and power. Glutes are also important to other workouts too, from supporting your balance in yoga to powering your core in pilates.

Increase Your Back Strength

Back pain, especially chronic lower back pain, is a common problem. However, back pain can be helped with exercise that stretches and boosts the supportive tissue around your lower back. This is precisely what a glute workout does. Studies have shown that strengthening glute muscles has a direct impact on lumbar muscle strength, decreasing lower back pain and the risk of injury. 

Prevent Injury During Your Workouts 

Not only does your gluteus maximus provide pelvic and hip stability, but it also attaches to your iliotibial (IT) band–the strong, thick band of tissue that runs down the outside of your thigh, extending all the way from your hip bones to the top of your shinbone. Strengthening your glutes means extra support when extending, abducting, and rotating your hip.

Enhance Your Core Strength

Your core muscles are those that surround and protect your spine, hips, and stomach, and include your abdominal and lower back muscles. Your glutes form the foundation to your core, so by engaging your glute muscles during a workout, you naturally help build core strength to help assist you throughout your day. And, a strong core means you can add more weight to your workouts over time, not to mention ensuring your form and posture are spot on. 

Try adding lower body strength training into your weekly workout routine to set strong foundations for your fitness. And, check out the Peloton App for even more workout ideas and classes to challenge your glutes. 


Level up your inbox.

Subscribe for a weekly dose of fitness, plus the latest promos, launches, and events.

By providing your email address, you agree to receive marketing communications from Peloton.

For more about how we use your information, see our Privacy Policy.