15+ Best Exercises to Build an Upper Butt (With Images!)

It feels good to look good; part of that is taking care of your body. We already know that some people love to have cut abs, muscular thighs, and defined biceps, but a lot of people are interested in having a nice, firm upper butt. But how do you do that?

Some of the best exercises to get that plump upper butt are squats, lunges, deadlifts, hip thrusts, and Bulgarian split squats. These exercises strengthen your upper butt muscles and give your behind an excellent shape. Working on these at least three times per week will provide results in as little as 12 weeks.

So, if you want a firmer and shapelier upper butt, follow along with us as we explore these awesome glute exercises. Get ready to work on your upper butt – let’s start this journey to a better-looking you!

What are the Best Exercises for Your Upper Glutes?

We’ve compiled a list of fun exercises that work great for your upper glutes. So, get ready to try these moves to help you get a stronger and more toned butt!

Bulgarian Split Squat

Bulgarian Split Squat

Think of the Bulgarian split squat as a fancy name for a cool exercise that helps make your legs and butt super strong. It’s like doing a regular squat, but you use one leg at a time.

The Bulgarian split squat mainly works on your quads (those muscles in the front of your thigh), hamstrings (the back of your thigh), and, most importantly, your glutes (the butt muscles). It also helps improve balance and stability.

How to Do Bulgarian Split Squats

  1. Find a sturdy bench or a low step. Stand facing away from it.
  2. Take a big step forward with one leg.
  3. Put the top of your back foot on the bench or step behind you. Your front foot should be far enough away so that when you lower your body, your knee doesn’t go past your toes.
  4. Now, bend your front knee and slowly lower your body towards the ground.
  5. Keep your back straight and your chest up as you lower yourself down. Go as low as you comfortably can or until your front thigh is parallel to the ground.
  6. Push through your front heel to stand back up.
  7. Do the same thing for the other leg.

Single-Leg Deadlift

A single-leg deadlift is like a balancing act and a strength exercise mixed into one. It’s pretty cool because it helps you work on your balance while strengthening your leg and butt muscles.

How to Do a Single-Leg Deadlift

  1. Start by standing up straight with your feet together.
  2. Pick one leg to lift off the ground, and keep it slightly bent at the knee. This is the leg you’re going to be working with. Now, imagine you’re holding a suitcase or a basketball in the hand on the same side as your lifted leg.
  3. Bend forward at your hips (like you’re bowing), and at the same time, lift your non-standing leg straight out behind you. Keep your back and raised leg in a straight line. Your body should be like a T-shape. Go down as far as you can while keeping your balance and without rounding your back.
  4. Slowly, come back up to the starting position. Do this on both legs.

Clam Shells

Clam shells exercise

Clam shells are a simple and effective exercise that helps strengthen your hip muscles. It’s like doing a stretch, but it’s also a workout.

This exercise mainly targets your hip abductors the muscles on the sides of your hips. They’re essential for stabilizing your hips and keeping your legs working well.

How to Do Clam Shells

  1. Find a comfortable spot to sit down on the floor or a mat. You can even do this on your bed if it’s soft enough.
  2. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the ground. Keep your feet and knees together.
  3. Imagine you’re a clamshell (yes, like the sea creature!). Pretend your knees are the clamshell’s closed shell, and your feet are the hinge.
  4. While keeping your feet touching, lift your upper knee as high as you comfortably can, like you’re opening the clamshell.
  5. Hold it open momentarily, then slowly lower your knee to the closed position.
  6. Do this for about 10-15 times on both sides.

Lateral Leg Raises

Lateral Leg Raises

Lateral leg raises are a straightforward exercise that can help make your hips and outer thighs stronger. All you do is lift your leg to the side; that’s it! But you’ll feel the burn right in your hip abductors.

How to Do Lateral Leg Raises

  1. Find a clear spot on the floor and lie down on your side. You can use a yoga mat or a soft surface to make it comfy. Keep your legs and body in a straight line. Rest your head on your lower arm, and use your upper arm to support your head.
  2. Lift your upper leg as high as you comfortably can while keeping it straight. ( Like you’re trying to touch the ceiling with your foot.)
  3. Hold your leg up there for a second or two. You should feel your hip muscles working.
  4. Gently lower your leg, but don’t let it touch your other leg. Keep it off the ground.
  5. Do this for about 10-15 times on both sides.

Curtsy Lunge

These are graceful curtsies but with a twist. It mainly targets your quads, hamstrings, and your butt muscles. It’s an excellent workout for your whole lower body.

How to Do Curtsy Lunges

  1. Start by standing up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Put your hands on your hips or let them hang by your sides — whichever feels comfy.
  2. Step backward and diagonally with one foot to do this, like making an “X” with your legs.
  3. Bend both knees as you lower your body down. Act like you’re trying to touch your back knee to the ground, but don’t touch it. Keep your chest up and your back straight as you do this. Your front knee should be in line with your front ankle.
  4. Push through your front heel to stand back up and return your back foot to its starting position.
  5. Repeat the same thing on the other side.

Single-Leg Squat

Single-leg squats are like regular squats, but as the name suggests, you do them on one leg. Yes, it’s that simple.

This exercise mainly targets your quads, your hamstrings, and your glutes. It also works on your balance, which is super important.

How to Do Single-Leg Squads

  1. Stand up straight with your feet together.
  2. Choose one leg to lift off the ground slightly. This is the leg you’ll be working on.
  3. Hold your lifted leg out before you, and keep it straight.
  4. Imagine you’re sitting down in a chair that’s a bit far behind you. Bend your standing knee and lower your body.
  5. Keep your back straight and your chest up as you go down. Go as far as you comfortably can, aiming to get your thighs parallel to the ground.
  6. Hold that position momentarily, then push through your standing heel to come back up.
  7. Try to do about 10-15 squats on each leg.

Banded Lateral Walks

Banded Lateral Walks

Banded lateral walks are a fun exercise that involves walking sideways while wearing a resistance band around your legs. This exercise mainly targets your hip muscles, especially your hip abductors.

How to Do Banded Lateral Walks

  1. Get a resistance band and place it around your legs, just above your knees.
  2. Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees slightly, and make sure your back is straight.
  3. Take a step to the side with one foot, but don’t let your feet come together. Keep some tension in the band.
  4. Follow that with your other foot, taking a step to bring your feet back to hip-width apart.
  5. Keep taking sideways steps, maintaining tension on the band as you go.
  6. Do about 10-15 steps in one direction. Then, do the same number of steps in the opposite direction to balance things out.

Standing Hip Abduction

Standing hip abductions are a simple exercise involving lifting your leg to the side while standing up. It’s like a leg lift but focuses on a specific part of your hip.

These are, of course, great for your hip abductors. They help you move your leg away from your body’s center.

How to Do Standing Hip Abductions

  1. Stand up straight with your feet together. You can use a chair or a wall for balance if needed. Place your hands on your hips or hold onto the support for balance. Shift your weight to one leg while keeping the other foot flat.
  2. Now, lift your non-weight-bearing leg to the side as high as you can comfortably. Imagine you’re trying to touch the wall with your foot.
  3. Hold your leg up for a second or two. You should feel your hip muscles working.
  4. Gently lower your leg, but don’t let it touch your other leg. Keep it a bit off the ground.
  5. Do this for about 10-15 times on both sides.

Hip Thrust

Hip thrusts are a powerful exercise that helps make your butt and hip muscles strong. And it’s a super simple exercise you can do when sitting down.

The hip thrusts are mainly for building your glutes and your hamstrings. It’s a great way to build a shapely backside.

How To Do Hip Thrusts

  1. Find a comfortable spot on the floor or a gym mat. Sit down with your knees bent and your feet flat, hip-width apart.
  2. Rest your upper back against a sturdy bench or a surface that won’t move. Use a rolled-up yoga mat or a similar cushioning item if you don’t have a bench. Place your hands on the ground beside you, palms facing down.
  3. Press through your heels and squeeze your glutes as you lift your hips toward the ceiling. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees when you’re at the top.
  4. Hold this position momentarily, keeping your core engaged (keeping your tummy muscles tight).
  5. Lower your hips back to the ground, but don’t let them touch. Keep a little bit of space between your hips and the floor.

Sumo Squat

Sumo Squat

Sumo squats are a type of squat that takes its name from your wide stance, like a sumo wrestler. They’re an excellent exercise for making your leg and butt muscles strong. It mainly targets your inner thighs, quads, and glutes. It’s a fantastic workout for your lower body.

How to Do Sumo Squats

  1. Start by standing up straight with your feet wider apart than your shoulders. Point your toes slightly outward, like a sumo wrestler preparing for a match. Keep your back straight and your chest up.
  2. Put your hands on your hips or in front of you to help balance. Bend your knees and lower your body like you’re trying to sit on a low chair or a tiny stool.
  3. Go as low as you can while keeping your back straight and your knees in line with your toes. Try to get your thighs parallel to the ground if you can. Hold that squat position for a moment.
  4. Push through your heels to stand back up straight.
  5. Repeat for your reps.

Sumo Deadlifts

These powerful exercises are like lifting a weight from the ground but with a notable wide-legged stance. ( Think of a Sumo Wrestler).

This is a great way to target your lower body, such as your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. These are some of the most essential parts of your body that you use for balance and lifting.

How to Do Sumo Deadlifts

  1. Stand with your feet much wider apart than your shoulders. Your toes should point slightly outward like a sumo wrestler preparing for a match.
  2. Place a barbell or a heavy weight in front of you on the ground. The weight should be right between your legs.
  3. Bend at your hips and knees to lower your body down. Keep your back straight and your chest up.
  4. Reach for the barbell with both hands, ensuring your hands are inside your legs.
  5. Now, it’s time to lift: Push through your heels and straighten your hips and knees as you stand up.
  6. Keep the barbell close to your body as you stand. Your back should stay straight.
  7. Stand up fully and then lower the barbell back down to the ground, keeping it close to your body as you go.

Weighted Donkey Kick

Weighted donkey kicks are a fantastic exercise that takes regular donkey kicks up a notch by adding some weight. Think of it as giving your legs and butt an extra challenge! The added weight makes your muscles work harder and build muscle.

How to Do Weighted Donkey Kicks

  1. Get a small dumbbell or another type of weight (you can also use a resistance band.)
  2. Kneel on the floor and place your hands under your shoulders. Keep your knees hip-width apart.
  3. Hold the weight securely with one foot, tucking it behind your knee.
  4. Lift your weighted leg behind you, keeping your knee bent at a 90-degree angle. Try to push your foot up towards the ceiling. Hold this position for a second or two to feel those glutes working.
  5. Gently lower your leg down without touching the ground and repeat the kick.
  6. Do about 10-15 Weighted Donkey Kicks on each side.

Single-Leg Bridge

This is a fantastic exercise where you lift your hips off the ground with one leg while keeping the other leg in the air. It’s the same thing as a bridge, but with one leg, hence the name. It’s a great way to target your butt muscles and hamstrings. It also helps strengthen your lower back and improve your core stability.

How to Do a Single-Leg Bridge

  1. Start by lying on your back on a comfortable surface, like a yoga mat or the floor. Bend your knees and place your feet flat, hip-width apart.
  2. Extend one leg straight up towards the ceiling. This is the leg you’ll be working with. Place your arms at your sides, palms facing down.
  3. Press through your heel on the foot on the ground to lift your hips toward the sky. At the same time, keep your raised leg straight and push it towards the ceiling. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your knee.
  4. Hold that position for a second or two, squeezing your glutes as tightly as possible.
  5. Gently lower your hips to the ground, but don’t let them touch.
  6. Do about 10-15 Single-Leg Bridges on one side.
  7. Then, switch to the other leg and repeat the same steps.

Romanian Deadlift with a Dumbbell

Romanian Deadlifts with dumbbells are a type of exercise that helps make your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back super strong. All you do is pick the dumbbells off the ground.

How to Do Romanian Deadlifts

  1. Stand up straight with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing your thighs. Keep your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Bend at your hips and lower your upper body forward. Your back should stay straight, and your knees should slightly bend but not too much.
  3. As you lower your body, keep the dumbbells close to your legs. Imagine you’re trying to slide them along your thighs. Go as low as possible while feeling a good stretch in your hamstrings. But don’t let the dumbbells touch the ground.
  4. Hold that position for a second or two to feel those hamstrings working.
  5. Now, it’s time to stand back up straight. Push through your heels and return your upper body to the starting position.

Lateral Lunge (Squat)

Lateral lunges, sometimes called side lunges, are a type of exercise where you step to the side and bend your knee like you’re doing a squat. This mainly targets your quads, your hamstrings, and your glutes. It also helps improve your balance.

How to Do Lateral Lunges

  1. Start by standing up straight with your feet together. Put your hands on your hips or keep them before you to help balance.
  2. Take a big step to the side with one leg. When you step out, push your hips back like sitting in a chair.
  3. Bend the knee of the leg you stepped out with and lower your body like you’re squatting on that one leg. Keep your other leg straight. Go as low as possible while keeping your back straight and your chest up.
  4. Hold that position for a moment.
  5. Push through the heel of the bent leg to stand back up straight.
  6. Do about 10-15 Lateral Lunges on each side.

Curtsy Lunge with Dumbbell

Curtsy lunges with dumbbells is a particular exercise that combines lunges with a graceful curtsy-like movement. It’s great for your quads, hamstrings, and your butt; an overall lower-body workout without the back.

How To Do Curtsy Lunges with Dumbbells

  1. Start by holding a dumbbell in each hand, and let your arms hang down by your sides.
  2. Stand up straight with your feet about hip-width apart. Keep your back straight and your chest up.
  3. Take a step back and diagonally with one leg, kind of like making an “X” with your legs.
  4. Bend both knees as you lower your body down. Imagine trying to curtsy to someone fancy, but don’t touch your back knee to the ground.
  5. Keep your chest up and your back straight as you do this. Your front knee should be in line with your front ankle.
  6. Push through your front heel to stand back up straight.
  7. Do about 10-15 Curtsy Lunges on each side.

Good Mornings

Good Mornings (a great way to start your morning) are an exercise that helps make your lower back, hamstrings, and glutes firm. It’s pretty simple as you bend forward. You can do this in just a few minutes before your day.

How to Do Good Mornings

  1. Start by standing up straight with your feet about hip-width apart. You can place your hands on your hips or behind your head, whatever feels comfortable. Keep your back straight and your chest up.
  2. Now, here’s where the “morning” part comes in Bend forward at your hips (like you’re bowing), but keep your knees slightly bent, not locked.
  3. Lower your upper body down until it’s almost parallel to the ground. But be careful not to go too low and hurt your back.
  4. Hold that position for a second or two, feeling the stretch in your hamstrings and lower back working.
  5. Now, it’s time to stand back up straight. Push through your heels and use your hamstrings and lower back muscles to lift your upper body back up.

Three Upper Glute Workout Plans

Here are a few upper glute workout plans to get you started; one for all fitness levels:

Beginner Upper Glute Workout

ExerciseSetsRepetitions
Bodyweight Squats310-12
Clam Shells310-12/side
Standing Hip Abduction310-12/side

Intermediate Upper Glute Workout

ExerciseSetsRepetitions
Sumo Squats412-15
Lateral Leg Raises312-15/side
Single-Leg Bridge310-12/side
Good Mornings (with or without dumbbells)310-12

Advanced Upper Glute Workout

ExerciseSetsRepetitions
Romanian Deadlift (Dumbbell)412-15
Weighted Donkey Kicks312-15/side
Single-Leg Deadlift310-12/side
Banded Lateral Walks310-12 steps in each direction
Hip Thrusts412-15

What are The Benefits of Strong Glute Muscles?

Having strong glute muscles offers a wide range of benefits:

  • Improved posture
  • Enhanced athletic performance
  • Reduced lower back pain
  • Increased metabolism
  • Better balance
  • Injury prevention
  • Efficient movement
  • Stronger core
  • Enhanced aesthetics
  • Joint health
  • Functional strength

When Should You Expect to See Results?

The timeline for seeing results from glute exercises varies from person to person and depends on factors like genetics, consistency, diet, and workout intensity. You’ll see certain changes at different times such as better posture in just a few weeks, while aesthetic changes will take two to three months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my bum flat at the top? 

A flat upper bum can be attributed to a combination of factors. Firstly, genetics plays a significant role in determining one’s body shape, including the natural structure of the gluteal muscles. 

Additionally, they may not fully develop if you haven’t engaged in targeted exercises to build your upper glutes. Prolonged periods of sitting, a common aspect of modern lifestyles, can also weaken and flatten the glute muscles over time. 

How long does it take to grow the upper glutes?

The time it takes to grow upper glutes varies from person to person based on factors such as genetics, consistency, workout intensity, and diet. Generally, you may start feeling stronger and notice improved muscle endurance within a few weeks of consistent training. 

Is three times a week enough to grow glutes?

Yes, working your glutes three times a week can be sufficient to promote growth and strength development, especially for beginners.

However, the effectiveness of this frequency depends on several factors, including the intensity of your workouts, exercise selection, nutrition, and individual recovery ability.

Wrapping It Up

In a nutshell, if you want to get those upper glutes looking strong and awesome, it’s a journey that mixes science with good old dedication. Upper glutes aren’t just for show; they boost your overall strength, stability, and how great you look.

But hey, don’t expect overnight miracles. Building upper glutes takes time, and you’ll need patience and serious commitment. So, keep those targeted exercises on your regular to-do list, pay attention to what your body tells you, and don’t be afraid to dial up or down the intensity as needed.

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