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Moves to Give You Big Glutes

written by: Finn Orfano • edited by: KJ Fitness,Ink • updated: 5/21/2009

Big glutes mean a more powerful body. Use these five exercises to build powerful big glutes that will help you improve overall lower body strength.

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    How to Get Big Glutes

    Big glutes provide more than just a comfy cushion to sit on. The often-neglected butt muscles allow us to rotate and extend our legs. Given their important physiological function, increasing strength in the glutes leads to more powerful movements overall.

    When people talk about “big glutes” what they’re really referring to are the three major butt muscles: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. The gluteus maximus is, as its name implies, the largest of trio and it forms the bulk of your backside.

    Because the glutes are so important to leg functions, exercises that work the legs are great for the glutes. Moves like squats and lunges that activate many major groups in the legs are going to be great for your buns as well. Combined with moves that specifically target the butt, these exercises are essential for getting big glutes.

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    Exercises to Build Big Glutes

    This big glute workout should be combined with regular cardio and a healthy diet. Adding weights whenever possible to these exercises will also help increase the size of your glutes.

    • Burpees. This classic move combines a squat with a jump to target your glutes while working the whole body. Start as though you were about to do pushups with hands and toes on the floor and your body in a straight line. Bring your feet back under your chest, then explode upwards. As you jump, reach your arms up to gain extra height. Do three sets of 12 reps.
    • Lateral Lunges. Lateral lunges work the glutes, adductors, and quads. They stimulate different muscle fibers in the glutes than the typical lunge because of the horizontal motion. Take a wide stance and keep your toes pointed forward. Squat, bending your right thigh until it is parallel with the ground. Push up and repeat, squatting with left thigh. Do three sets of 12, alternating sides with each lunge.
    • Overhead Squat With Medicine Ball. This squat targets your glutes directly. The addition of a medicine ball also forces you to engage your core to stay stable through the movement. To start, stand with feet shoulder width apart. Holding a medicine ball in both hands over your head, engage your core and squat down. Keep your back straight as you squat and stop when your thighs are parallel to the floor. Squeeze your glutes and drive back up to starting position. Do three sets of 10 reps. Increase the intensity over time by adding a heavier medicine ball.
    • Single Leg Pelvic Lifts. This exercise targets the glutes. Lie on your back with your right knee bent. Keeping the right foot flat on the floor, rest the left ankle a few inches above the right knee. Squeeze your glutes and slowly raise your pelvis off the floor—but don’t arch your back. Keep raising until your back is straight. Work up to three sets of 20 reps.
    • Bent Kick Crosses. Bent kick crosses isolate the glutes. Add ankle weights to this exercise, and you’ll up the intensity. To start, get down on your hands and knees. Raise one leg, bending it at a 90 degree angle. This is starting position. From this position, push your raised leg up towards the ceiling. Maintain the 90 degree bend in your leg, pressing it no further than parallel to the floor. Work up to doing three sets of 20 reps on each leg.