Dumbbell glute workout: target minimus, medius & maximus muscle groups

Got glute goals? Build a stronger booty by challenging the entire muscle group with this targeted dumbbell glute workout…

Strong glutes do much more than look good in a pair of jeans. Strengthening this key muscle group will help improve your posture, boost your athletic performance, decrease your risk of injury and make daily activity – sitting, standing, walking upstairs – that little bit easier.

But if you want to work your butt, you need to target all three glute muscles – the minimus, medius and maximus – for full effect. These muscles work together to support hip extension, abduction and rotations, so you’ll want to hit your glutes from every angle. Luckily, this workout from online fitness coach, Nicki Petitt is just the ticket.

How to do this glute workout:

Warm up for this glute workout by doing some glute-activation exercises. We’ve suggested the frog pump exercise, but you could also try banded walks, bodyweight squats and bodyweight single-leg deadlifts for extra variety. These moves will wake up your butt and leg muscles, which can get a big groggy after hours spent sitting in a chair.

Next, perform the following moves in order. Do each move for 40 seconds, then take 20 seconds of rest before repeating another 40 seconds of work. Move onto the next move after performing two sets, and repeat the entire circuit two times.

frog pumps dumbbell glute workout


Wakes up your glute and leg muscles

  1. Start lying on your back and bring the soles of your feet together by your bottom, with palms flat on the floor by your sides (A).
  2. Lift your hips and squeeze your glutes at the top (B, below right). Try to create a straight line from your knees to your chest.
  3. Repeat for 40 seconds, take 20 seconds of rest, then do it again.

sumo squat dumbbell glute workout sumo squat


Builds strength in your lower body, plus helps develop stability, mobility and flexibility

  1. Start in a standing position with feet wide apart and toes at 45 degrees. Hold a dumbbell in both hands with arms hanging down straight (A).
  2. Bend at the hips and knees to squat down, with your back straight and eyes facing forward. Lower until your thighs are parallel to the ground (B).
  3. Keep your weight over your heels, sit in the squat for a second, then push through your heels to return to standing. To make it harder, increase the tempo – three counts down, one to drive up.

step back lunges step back lunges


Works your glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves and abdominals

  1. Start standing with feet shoulder-width apart, a dumbbell in each hand, arms by your sides (A).
  2. Brace your core, as you lunge the left leg backwards, keeping your front knee behind your front toes. Your chest is up (B).
  3. Ensure your back leg is an inch or two off the floor, core engaged and hips stable. Bring your back leg forward to come to standing, then repeat on the same side. Perform the next set on the other side.
  4. To make it tougher, add four pulses to the bottom of each lunge position.

curtsy lunges glute dumbbell workout


Works the glute medius, quads and hip abductors

  1. Start in a standing position with a dumbbell in both hands in front of your chest, elbows down (A).
  2. Bracing your core, step your right foot behind your left foot, lowering your hips until your left thigh is parallel with the floor (B). The right knee should hover an inch above the floor.
  3. Maintain a flat back and ensure your hips don’t twist throughout the movement.
  4. Reverse the movement back to the start, then repeat. Switch to the left side for the second set.

dumbbell glute workout deadlift dumbbell glute workout deadlift


Works the hamstrings, glutes, lower back and core

  1. Start in a standing position with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in both hands with arms straight and hands in front of hips (A).
  2. Push your bottom backwards, hinging at the hips and maintaining a straight back, to lower the dumbbell towards your shins (B).
  3. Pause at the bottom when you feel your hamstrings tighten, then drive your hips forward to stand tall, and squeeze your glutes at the top.

elevated hip thrust elevated hip thrust


Works the glute max and medius, plus the hamstrings

  1. Start lying on the floor with your feet raised onto a chair or similar surface (a step will do), knees bent at 90 degrees and a dumbbell resting safely on your hips (A).
  2. Drive through your heels to raise your bottom, creating a straight line from knees to shoulders (B)
  3. Lower with control. Repeat the movement, squeezing your glutes at the top of every rep.

Words and model: Nicki Petitt | Photography: Eddie Macdonald | Clothing from Lululemon; trainers from Under Armour

Related content:

  1. 10 minute yoga glute workout to tone your bum
  2. 8 best Pilates leg exercises to tone your thighs & glutes
  3. Legs, bums and tums home workout plan (with weights)

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