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40-Minute Booty Building Workout (6 Glute Exercises for Women)

Strengthen your glutes and lower body with this booty building workout: the 6 BEST glute exercises at home! The ultimate butt workout for women, targeting the glute muscles from all angles with squats, lunges, step-ups and glute bridges.

It’s no secret that I love a solid, strength training leg workout. One of the most common questions I get is how to build strong glutes.

The key to building strong glute muscles at home is a combination of compound lower body strength exercises and booty-burning glute isolation exercises.

The six glute exercises found in this butt workout for women target all three muscles in the glutes: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus.

Training your glutes not only strengthens and shapes the glute muscles, but also can reduce lower back pain and improve hip/pelvic stability.

two women performing a deadlift as part of glute workouts for women

Build strong glutes at home with the six best booty building exercises. This isolation-style glute workout for women can be done at home or at the gym.

Add dumbbell leg workouts like this one to your home training program 1-2 times a week to build muscle mass and increase endurance.

Workout Equipment:

Medium set of dumbbells. I suggest anywhere from 8-25 lbs. I used 15-20 lb dumbbells for this butt workout. Option to add a mini loop resistance band (discount code: NML) and a box or step.

Workout Instructions:

Follow along with the guided Booty Building Workout for Women on YouTube, led by certified personal trainer, Lindsey Bomgren. 

Your Workout Looks Like This:

  • 6 Glute Exercises (9 moves in total, with each exercise performed on the left side and right side)
  • Timed Intervals (perform each exercise for 40 seconds of work, followed by 20 seconds of rest)
  • Repeat All 6 Glute Exercises x3 Sets

Note: we re-filmed this glute workout to improve video and sound quality (and changed up some of the moves). You can find the original Glute Workout for Women on YouTube here if you’d like to compare them.

woman performing a low lunge with dumbbells as part of booty building workout for women

Prefer to Watch On YouTube?

youtube icon Glute Workout

Workout Outline

  1. Squats
  2. Step Ups (Right)
  3. Step Ups (Left)
  4. Romanian Deadlifts
  5. Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats (Right)
  6. Rear Foot Elevated Deadlifts (Right)
  7. Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats (Left)
  8. Rear Foot Elevated Deadlifts (Left)
  9. Hip Thrusts

6 Glute Exercises for Women


Targets: Glutes, quads and hamstrings.

The gluteus maximus is not only the largest muscle in the glutes, but also the largest muscle in the body. Squats mainly target the gluteus maximus, or lower glutes.

goblet squat - booty building workout for women

How To Do Squats

  1. Start standing feet shoulder-width distance apart, knees slightly bent, holding a single dumbbell at your chest (vertically so the dumbbell is touching your collarbone and sternum). Option to place a resistance band six inches above your knees.
  2. Lower down into a squat position, lowering your thighs until they are parallel to the floor. Drive your knees out toward your outer three toes.
  3. Drive through your heels to stand, returning to a standing position.

Modification: Perform squats to a box or bench, lowering your hips to tap the bench before returning to standing.

Step Up

Targets: All three parts of the glutes — the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus.

woman performing step ups to build glutes | glute workout for women

How To Do Step Ups

  1. Start standing, feet shoulder-width apart, core tight and engagaed. Option to hold a dumbbell vertically at your chest (goblet hold).
  2. Step your right foot up onto a bench or chair, planting your right heel firmly on the surface.
  3. Using the muscle in your right glute (rather than momentum from your left leg), press through your right heel to stand tall.
  4. With control, slowly lower your left foot down to touch the ground, returning to starting position.

Modification: Perform a reverse lunge and knee drive rather than step ups.

Romanian Deadlifts (RDLs)

Targets: The posterior chain or backside of the body. Specifically targeting the hamstrings, glutes, hips, calves, lower back and core. The RDL engages more of the glutes than a straight leg deadlift.

The Romanian Deadlift (or RDL) differs from a conventional straight leg deadlift based on where the movement starts. Conventional deadlifts start with a barbell on the ground, which is pulled upwards. RDLs start with dumbbells at your thighs, which are then moved down towards the ground.

two women performing romanian deadlifts

How To Do Romanian Deadlifts

  1. Start standing feet hip-distance apart and knees bent slightly. Hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of your body (overhand grip, palms face your body).
  2. Hinge forward at the hips, pushing your hips back as you lower the dumbbells down along the front of your body. You should feel a stretch in the back of your legs (hamstrings). Focus on keeping your back in neutral alignment with your neck and shoulders throughout the entire movement. Keep a slight bend in your knees to avoid ‘locking out’ the joint.
  3. Drive through your heels to push your hips forward, squeezing your glutes as you return to a standing position.

Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat

Targets: Legs, glutes, quads, hamstrings, hips and core.

This single leg exercise will challenge your balance and has been named one of the best exercises to build glute strength.

woman performing a rear foot elevated split squat (bulgarian lunges) as example of glute exercises for women

How To Do Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats (Bulgarian Split Squat)

  1. Kneel in front of your bench or chair, then place your left foot behind you on a chair or bench, shoelaces down. Hold a dumbbell in your left hand.
  2. Step your right foot forward (it will vary for everyone, but a little over a foot in front of your bench). Your front thigh will be parallel to the floor. This is the bottom of your movement.
  3. Drive through your front right heel, squeezing your right glute to return to standing. Feel your front glute engage to power the movement.
  4. With control, bend your knee to lower down back to the starting position (back left knee should lower down close to the ground), to make your front thigh parallel with the ground. Shoulders remain stacked over hips throughout the movement.

Modification: Perform a standard reverse lunge or split squat, keeping your back foot on the ground rather than elevating it on a chair.

Rear Foot Elevated Deadlift

Targets: Glutes, hamstrings and core.

two women performing rear foot elevated single leg deadlift - butt workout for women

How To Do Rear Foot Elevated Deadlifts

  1. Start standing in front of a bench or chair, holding a dumbbell in your left hand. Place your left foot behind you on the bench, shoelaces down.
  2. Keeping hips square, press your glutes back towards the wall behind you, hinging at the hips and gliding the dumbbell down your front leg until you feel a stretch along the back of your right leg. Range of motion will be different for everyone.
  3. Exhale as you press through your front heel and stand tall, returning to starting position.

Modification: Perform a staggered deadlift, keeping both knees bent slightly, 80% of your weight in your front heel and 20% in your back toe.

Hip Thrust

Targets: Glutes (both the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius), hamstrings and hip adductors.

two women performing hip thrust exercise - booty building workout for women

How To Do Hip Thrusts

  1. Sit in front of a bench or chair, feet flat on the floor and hip distance apart. Lean back, resting your upper back on the bench. Hold one dumbbell at your hips, resting on your hip bones. Option to place a resistance band six inches above your knees.
  2. Press through the heels to lift your hips until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line. Pull the belly button in towards the spine to protect the low back and prevent overextension.
  3. Hold at the top of the hip thrust for a moment before lowering your hips back to the starting position with control.

Modification: Perform glute bridges from the floor.

Glute Workout for Women FAQs

Can You Build Your Glutes At Home?

When you think about strengthening your glutes, you probably think about deadlifts and hip thrusts with a heavy barbell. However, you can achieve strong glutes at home with just a set of dumbbells by increasing reps and focusing on glute activation during each move.

What Exercise Works The Glutes The Most?

The best glute exercises activate all three parts of the butt — the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus (the lower, upper and side glutes). Some of the best glute exercises include weighted step-ups and dumbbell glute bridges or barbell hip thrusts.

Do Squats Make Your Butt Bigger?

Muscular hypertrophy, or muscle growth, is reached through a combination of load (or weight) and volume (or reps performed). In order to grow your glutes, you need to progressively overload the muscle by increasing load or volume over multiple weeks.

Can I Build My Butt Without Weights?

While strength training is the most effective way to build the glute muscles, if you don’t have weights available you can strengthen the glutes using just your bodyweight or resistance bands.

Pin this: Booty Workout – The Best Glute Workouts for Women

Glute exercises for women pin for pinterest

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    • Hi Kristen! Great question, sorry I should have been more clear — it’s reps per side; so 20 per leg. Thanks for checking out the workout and I hope you enjoy this booty burner! xo-Lindsey