Trainer Emily Skye, holding dumbbells, looks over her shoulder at the camera.
Emily Skye

Grow your glutes: the best gym booty workout for women

Emily Skye

Is your regular booty workout failing to give you the peach you’re after? I’m here to supercharge your lower-body training with an epic workout for your butt (in the gym).

I designed my 6-week Booty Challenge program for FIT to work your glutes from every angle – and any booty workout at the gym should do the same. That’s because your butt is actually made up of three main muscles: the gluteus maximus (your cheeks), the gluteus medius (at the top of your butt) and the gluteus minimus (at the sides, towards your hips).

The other key element of a good booty workout plan is diet. Remember to nourish your body with good food, including plenty of protein to support muscle growth. FIT makes it simple with an easy-to-follow meal plan, because to grow your glutes, you need to max your muscles!

Ready to get started?

Most well-equipped gyms should have a variety of booty workout equipment – but remember that safety is essential when using free weights or machines. Always start your glute workout lifting a light weight and nail the technique before lifting heavier. Even the best exercise for glutes could be useless (or dangerous) when done with bad form. It’s a good idea to regularly record yourself (or use mirrors) while working out in order to check your technique. Compare your form to the videos below to see if you’re on the right track.

If you have knee pain that holds you back during lower-body strength training, check out FIT expert Dr. Jessica’s tips.

Now if you’ve got your gym bag ready, I’ve got the exercises to grow your booty in the gym.

My best in-gym booty workout

This glute workout will have you building muscle and burning fat using fast-paced strength moves. Remember to warm up first, and cool down when you’re finished.

Round 1: Kettlebell swing to goblet squat
3 sets of 12 reps, with 60 seconds rest between sets.

I love kettlebell swings – they’re a full-body power generator and just about the best exercise for butt strength you can find! Adding a goblet squat delivers an extra supercharge for your glutes and legs.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, core engaged, and holding a kettlebell handle loosely in both hands. To start the swinging motion you drive your booty back, allowing the kettlebell to swing back between your legs. Then drive your hips forward until your body is straight and bring the kettlebell to your chest. Sit back into a goblet squat. Repeat.

Round 2: Cable glute kickbacks
2 sets of 8 reps, each side, with 60 seconds rest between sets.

You probably use cables for mostly upper-body exercises, but it can also be a booty workout machine. While kickbacks can help consolidate your glute gains, I’ve seen a lot of people in the gym getting it wrong. Start with a lighter weight and make sure you’re working your glutes before you add more.

Attach the strap to your right ankle, and stand with your feet together, leaning forward slightly with your back straight and core engaged. Now activate your glutes and kick your right leg up and back, controlling the movement with a slight pause at the top, then lower it back down. Do 8 reps on your right side, then switch the strap to your left ankle. If you catch yourself arching your back, reset your form and stay straight.

Round 3: Deadlift
3 sets of 8 reps, with 60 seconds rest between sets.

Want to know the best exercise for glutes? Deadlifts! They are a booty-building classic – if you get the form right. Start by lifting only the bar to lock in good technique, and make sure you’re feeling it in your glutes and hamstrings before adding weight.

Set up with your feet hip-width apart and, keeping your back straight, hinge at the hips and bend your knees to grip the bar with each hand at the side of your shins. With your chest up, core engaged and shoulders down, push your feet into the ground and squeeze your glutes to stand up tall and lift the bar. The bar should stay close to your body at all times. Repeat steadily.

If you’re learning the form using just a bar, you can start by holding it at your hips, then lowering it down to ankle height.

Round 4: Wide stance leg press
3 sets of 12 reps, with 60 seconds rest between sets.

To strengthen your glutes in the gym and shape your lower body, be sure to pay a visit to the leg press machine. Taking a wide stance position shifts emphasis to your inner thighs and glutes, to deliver booty benefits similar to a sumo squat.

Position yourself on the leg press machine with a straight back, arms at your sides, core engaged, and feet wider than shoulder-width apart on the middle of the pad. Your feet should flare slightly outwards, with your knees following in the same direction as you press the pad away with your heels, then bring your legs back towards your body. Make sure you’re engaging your glute muscles and pressing through the full range of motion.

Round 5: Dumbbell deficit reverse lunge
3 sets of 8 reps, each leg, with 60 seconds rest between sets.

Deficit training – when you add a platform to an exercise to increase the range of motion and the time your muscles spend under tension – is a variation we probably don’t use enough when it comes to growing glutes. Deficit lunges are a great way to pump up your posterior chain. Remember, the box you use doesn’t have to be as high as mine.

Begin with both feet on the box, around hip-width apart, with dumbbells in your hands by your side. Step your right foot back onto the floor and lower yourself down so that your right knee is almost touching the ground. Rise out of the lunge and bring your right foot back onto the platform. Keep your eyes locked on something in front of you to maintain balance. Engaging your core and glutes will also help to keep you steady and upright.

Round 6: Plank hold
3 sets of 40-second holds, with 60 secs rest between sets.

Hey wait, what’s this core exercise doing here? Isn’t this supposed to be about the best exercises to grow your booty in the gym?

It’s important that your booty workout routine is balanced, so I like to finish lower-body days with some core work. This helps to ensure your entire posterior chain is strong!

Place your elbows on the ground directly under your shoulders, engage your core by pulling your belly button towards your spine, and come up onto your toes. Try to maintain a straight line from your shoulders to your hips to your heels – don't dip at the hips or stick your booty into the air. Hold the plank for 40 seconds, remembering to breathe while you do.

Want the ultimate booty workout program for women?

To give your booty workout the ultimate boost, take on my 6-week Booty Challenge! I’ll help you grow your glutes and power up all your body and fitness goals, with a program that allows you to smash your booty workout in the gym or at home. Join me on FIT to get started with your first 7 days free.

Emily Skye
Personal trainer • Founder

Emily Skye is a strength training expert and the face of FIT, the digital fitness app that helps women worldwide build strength and confidence, stay active through pregnancy and rebuild post-pregnancy. Emily holds a Certificate IV in Fitness and Master Trainer qualification from the Australian Institute of Fitness. She is also co-founder of James Cosmetics and a mother of two.

Emily Skye
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