15 Bodyweight Glute Exercises You Can Do Anywhere, From Our Favorite Trainers
Kristine Thomason is the health and fitness director at mindbodygreen.
Your glutes are a pretty powerful muscle group. In fact, they include the largest muscle in your body (the gluteus maximus), along with the smaller gluteus minimus and medius. Your glutes also make up an important facet of your core—essential to helping you move seamlessly through everyday life. So yeah, they're pretty incredible.
To help strengthen this vital body zone, we've rounded up some of our favorite bodyweight glutes exercises to try at home. Work through a few of your favorites for a glute-centric routine, mix them into your leg workout, or try one out when you want to light up this magical muscle group:
- Start in a standing position. Bring your feet parallel and hip-width distance apart.
- Step one foot back, bend both knees, and hold. Stack your front knee over your heel, and drop your back knee directly below your hip. Don't dip very low if you're experiencing any knee discomfort.
- Push deeply into your front heel to activate your glutes, and add a slight hinge forward to deepen the sensation. About halfway through, you can add a knee lift to get the heart rate up slightly.
- Continue for 3 minutes (1.5 minutes on each side).
Side seat lift
- Start by lying on your side using your forearm as a kickstand (forearm parallel to the front edge of your mat).
- Push into your forearm to come out of your shoulder, and then lengthen your top leg so that it reaches 1 inch longer (think: roll your top hip down).
- With your top leg reaching long, you'll add a small lift and lower, activating your side seat.
- Continue for 3 minutes (1.5 minutes on each side).
Narrow bridge lift knee fan
- Lie on your back. Place your feet together so the inside edges of your feet are touching, knees are touching, and inner thighs are squeezing together. You should almost be able to touch the heels with your fingertips.
- Activate your core, keep your ribs knit together, and reach your tailbone toward the backs of your knees. Shoulders stay wide and down your back, and you'll soften your jaw and upper body. Squeeze your knees together as though you're holding a hundred-dollar bill between them.
- Begin to fan your knees out and in while maintaining a deep push into your heels. Drop your back closer to the ground if you begin to feel tension in your lower back.
- Continue this for 1 minute.
Lunge with toe tap
- Start by standing. Step one leg forward and bend that knee slightly to get into a lunge position. Keep your knee directly over your ankle. Try to shorten your foot rather than let your arch collapse.
- Tuck your pelvis and hinge your hips forward. Create a long line from your head to the heel of your back foot.
- With 90% of your weight in the front leg, bring your back leg forward and tap your toe next to your opposite foot. Keeping the rest of your body still, return the foot to its starting position.
Lunge with chest lift
- Start in a lunge position.
- Engaging your core and keeping your spine neutral, hinge your chest forward, and slowly lower until your torso is nearly parallel with the ground.
- With control, rise back to your starting position.
Lunge with heel lift
- Start in a lunge position.
- Keeping the rest of your body still, lift the heel of your front foot until you're balancing on your toes.
- With control, slowly return your foot to the starting position.
Single-leg tabletop triceps pushup
- Start on all fours, in a tabletop position. Stack the shoulders right on top of the hands, and your hips right over your knees.
- Extend one leg out, keeping it at hip height. Be sure the hips stay parallel. Keep your elbows pointed toward your knees.
- Inhale as you bend your elbows, and bring your chest toward the floor. Go as far down as you can; try to line your nose up with your fingertips. Press the opposite shin into the ground.
- Engage your core, and slowly lift your chest back up to start. Keep your chest open, but don't arch your back. Repeat for 8 breaths.
- Get on all fours and come down to your forearms. Lift your armpits away from the floor and shift your weight into your upper body.
- Lift one leg up and hold. Bring your leg to a 90-degree angle, flex the heel, and square off your hips.
- Pull your waist in, and lift the ribs off the floor.
- Then lower your leg to the ground and lift it back up. That's one rep. Continue for 2 minutes.
- Lie on your side. Come down onto your forearm. Bend your knees.
- Lift out of your waist, lift out of your shoulder, and lift your heels. Keep your heels or toes glued together. Then lift and lower your knee.
- That's one rep. Continue to lift and lower for 2 minutes.
- Lie on your back. Place your feet hip-distance apart. You should almost be able to touch the heels with your fingertips.
- Pull your waist in, press through the heels, and hover your glutes just a few inches off the ground. Keep your waist pulled in, keep the ribs knitted in—don't puff the chest; keep it low. Keep the shoulder blades on the ground. Squeeze the glutes a lot; reach the tailbone toward the backs of the knees.
- Lift the glutes up by squeezing them and pressing into the heels. Then lower back down. to the starting position. That's one rep. Continue for 2 minutes.
- Start in a standing position. Bring your feet out wider than hip-distance apart. Toes turn out to 1 and 11 on a clock.
- Lower down, keeping knees over heels. Reach your butt back, and flip tailbone toward the sky. Drag your shoulder blades down your back. Separate the knees away from each other, don't let them knock in, and activate the outer glutes.
- Engage glutes to lift back up to start. That's one rep. Repeat for 2 minutes.
- Start in your squat position.
- At the bottom of the squat, squeeze your glutes, press into your heels, then roll through your feet and propel upward off your toes.
- Land softly on your feet, then use the momentum from landing to move into your next squat. That's one rep. Continue for 1 minute.
Curtsy lunge to squat
- Start in a standing position. Bring your feet out wider than hip-distance apart, with toes pointed at 1 and 11.
- Lift one knee up next to your body, then cross that leg behind your opposite leg.
- Press your back toes into the ground, and bend your knees. Send your hips back, tailbone up, waist in, and shoulders down.
- Lift your back knee back up, place your foot back down into a squat position, then lower down into a squat.
- At the top of your squat, lift the opposite knee up and repeat on the other side. That's one rep. Continue for 3 minutes.
- Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart, and turn your toes out to 10 and 2 on a clock.
- Bend your knees and lower down halfway and freeze. Knees should stack right over heels, and heels press into the ground. Tailbone is heavy. Keep shoulders and hips in the same line. Pull your waist in, drop your shoulders.
- From here, sink as low as you can. If your knees start to pop in, actively press them toward the wall behind you. Feel the outer glutes engage.
- Bring your arms out to the sides. Drop your shoulder blades down your back, pull the waist in, drop the collarbone, and sit a little lower.
- Continue lifting and lowering for 3 minutes while including movement variations with your arms.
- Bring your feet wider than hip-width apart, with your toes facing forward.
- Bend one knee and shoot your hip creases back; flip your butt cheek to the sky.
- Feel a big stretch in your inner thigh, then switch to the other side.
- Continue for 3 minutes, and incorporate some arm movements throughout.
Kristine Thomason is the health and fitness director at mindbodygreen. Kristine is a New York University graduate with a degree in journalism and psychology, and also a NASM-certified personal trainer. She has spent her editorial career focused on health and well-being, and formerly worked for Women’s Health and Health. Her byline has also appeared in Men’s Health, Greatist, Refinery29, HGTV, and more. In her current role she oversees, edits, and writes for the health, food, and movement sections of mindbodygreen.