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5 Lower Glute Exercises for a Backside Boost

Hip Thrusts are one of the best lower glute exercises.

 

If what’s behind you has gotten a bit saggy over the years, and you’re in need of a perk-up, then you’re in good company.

According to Ubersuggest, 3,600 people have searched for the term “lower glute exercises” in just this past month. That’s a lot of rear ends that need an inflate. [1]

Since lots of people are in search of a more robust rump, there are plenty of tried and true lower glute exercises that will strengthen your lower glutes while also making them a bit more appealing to the eye. 

Today, we’ll talk about 5 of the best lower glute exercises: 

  1. Hip Thrust
  1. B-Stance Hip Thrust 
  1. Cable Pull Through
  1. Lying Leg Curl
  1. Bulgarian Split Squat

What is a Lower Glute? 

More affectionately known as “the underbutt,” lower glutes are what people refer to as the area on the body where the glute muscles meet the hamstrings. People with lower glutes that are more built tend to create the desired crease in this area. A well-worked lower glute tends to give your booty a boost–preventing it from looking flat and saggy. 

Anatomy of the Glutes

But technically, “lower glute” is not a scientific term. So, let’s get into some actual glute anatomy. 

The gluteal muscle group is made up of 3 major muscles, and each one contributes to your perfectly functioning glutes! 

Gluteus Minimus anatomy for lower glute exercises

 

Gluteus Minimus: Buried deep under the other two gluteal muscles and six times smaller than the Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Maximus combined, the gluteus minimus provides stabilization for your pelvis during leg abduction and adduction–moving your legs in and out. [2] 

Gluteus Medius for lower glute exercises

 

Gluteus Medius: Situated above the Gluteus Maximus on the outer side of the hip, the Gluteus Medius is approximately half the size of its larger counterpart. It engages during leg-lifting motions, such as walking or running, and like the Gluteus Minimus, it provides pelvic stabilization during this motion. 

 

Gluteus Maximus for lower glute exercises

 

Gluteus Maximus: The Gluteus Maximus is the biggest and most superficial of the three; in fact, it’s the biggest muscle in the body!

This is the muscle people reference when they talk about the lower glutes. But let’s get clear: There is, in fact, no single muscle that is just a lower glute muscle. 

The lower glutes or “the underbutt” are just the lower portion of the Gluteus Maximus. So today, we’ll focus just on the Gluteus Maximus because. 


Is it Possible to Isolate Lower Glute Exercises? 

But let’s address the question we’re all wondering: If the “underbutt” is just a small part of the Gluteus Maximus, is there a way to isolate the lower glutes in a workout? 

The answer is simple: Yes and no. 

There isn’t really an isolation lower glute exercise that will target just your lower glutes–without including some other muscles next to the lower glutes, such as the upper glutes or the hamstrings. [3] 

Is that a problem? 

Not really. 

Because to get a boosted backside, you’ll probably need these other muscles to work anyway. 

For example, part of what makes your glutes look rounder is a more developed crease from the Gluteus Maximus Muscle into the Hamstring. This will happen not just by working your lower glutes but also the Hamstrings as well. (Also check out our page If Your Glutes Are Sore Are They Growing?)

Typically, the larger the Gluteus Maximus muscle in the lower glute region, the larger the crease is where it meets your Hamstrings. 

Genetics Also Plays a Role 

It’s important to note that genetics also plays a role in how rotund someone’s rump has the potential to become. Certain people have more propensity toward a larger behind based on the fat distribution in their bodies.

Regardless of genetics, however, lower glute exercises will help define this area of your body. 

 

Benefits of Lower Glute Exercises

So, what’s all the fuss about this lower glute region, anyway? Is it worth the hassle it takes to work it out? I’ll let you take a look at the benefits and decide for yourself. 

Since the Gluteus Maximus is the larger muscle comprising the term “lower glutes,” we’ll talk about the general benefits of working out your Gluteus Maximus. 

Into Perky Booties? If, when you look in the mirror, you’re disappointed with the size or shape of your behind–especially in the lower region–lower glute exercises might be worth your while! 

Let’s hold for a minute to get a healthy perspective. It’s all up to each person and their preference, so you should feel no pressure for your behind to look “the right way.” 

But if you’re into perky booties and feel like you’re missing out, let’s address that FOMO and add in some lower glute exercises to your workout routine! 

Want better hip function? Your Gluteus Maximus is closely tied in with hip extension, so when you perform a lower glute exercise, you’re strengthening your glutes for activities in the daily grind, such as walking, running, or climbing stairs. 

Wanna stand taller? Lower glute exercises will lead to better posture–as the Gluteus Maximus contributes to pelvic stabilization and also supports the spine. 

Ready for More Explosive Power? If you’re an athlete looking to gain more power, lower glute exercises are a great addition to your routine. Strong Gluteus Maximus muscles provide that boost power needed to give you a quick start in a race, to wrestle your opponent to the ground, or to beat the opponent to the hockey puck. 


5 Lower Glute Exercises for a Bigger Backside 

Now that we know how to target the lower glutes and also the benefits of lower glute exercises, let’s dive in to 5 lower glute exercises–all of which have the potential to give you major results. 

Lower Glute Exercise #1: Barbell Hip Thrusts

Hip Thrusts are one of the best lower glute exercises

How to Perform This Lower Glute Exercise:

  1. Set a barbell to a desired weight. 
  1. Place a flat gym bench or box behind you, and lean back on the edge of the bench with your upper back. 
  1. Roll the barbell up over your legs till it’s positioned over your hips. I recommend using a barbell pad here, so the barbell doesn’t hurt your hips and pelvis. 
  1. Bend your knees, placing your feet flat on the floor.
  1. Place the crease of your hips against the barbell. This is your starting position. 
  1. Squeezing your glutes with this motion, press your feet into the floor as you lift your hips up, driving the barbell up with you. 
  1. Pause at the top. Then slowly lower back to the starting position, and repeat. 

My Take On This Lower Glute Exercise: 

This is one of the best lower glute exercises, but good form is key! 

Your core should remain engaged during the entirety of this motion, and to avoid lower back injury, you should not excessively arch your back–allowing the power to come from none other than the muscles we need to work–your glutes and your hamstrings. 

I also recommend going lighter on the weight and seeing what feels good before you go too heavy. 

For a variation on this exercise, check out our video about the Kas Glute Bridge

 

 

Lower Glute Exercise #2: B-Stance Barbell Hip Thrusts

B-Stance Hip Thrusts are one of the best lower glute exercises.

How to Perform This Lower Glute Exercise:

This lower glute exercise is basically the single-leg variation of the hip thrust. For the move, you will follow all the steps for the hip thrust, instead of having both feet planted firmly on the floor in equal positions, you will stagger your stance. 

  1. To do this, keep your feet shoulder-width apart. Then, bring the left foot closer to your body. Your left toes should be in line with the back of your right heel. 
  1. Then, lift your right toes up in the air, so just your right heel is on the ground. Now, you're perfectly positioned to place all the emphasis on your left glutes as you perform this motion. 
  1. When you’re done with the B-Stance hip thrust, reverse the position of your legs to get an equal workout. 

My Take On This Lower Glute Exercise: 

Another one of the best lower glute exercises, this single-leg variation is great because–by placing the emphasis on just one leg at a time–you rule out potential imbalances in your glutes. 

It ensures that one glute isn’t overcompensating for the weakness of the other. 

I recommend alternating this workout in your routine with regular hip thrusts–just to switch it up. 

Lower Glute Exercise #3: Cable Pull Throughs

How to Perform This Lower Glute Exercise:

  1. At a cable station, set the pulley to its lowest position, using a rope attachment. 
  1. Face away from the machine, and grab the ends of the rope handle between your legs. 
  1. Walk forward until you feel tension on the rope. 
  1. Stand upright with the rope attachment pulled out in front of you. 
  1. Then, bend at the knees, hinge back at the hips, and lower your chest to the floor–as you allow the rope handles to pass between your legs and behind you. 
  1. Then, squeeze your glutes to return back to the starting position. 

My Take On This Lower Glute Exercise: 

This lower glute exercise is basically like a standing hip thrust. So if the hip thrust is just not your jam–for example, maybe you have lower back pain when performing that motion–try the cable pull through, and see if it works better for you!  

Lower Glute Exercise #4: Lying Leg Curls

How to Perform This Lower Glute Exercise:

  1. Find a lying leg curl machine at your gym. If you’re not sure what that is, check out THIS ARTICLE. 
  1. Lie on your stomach, so your knees are just below the smaller bench. 
  1. Adjust the leg pad, so it hits just above your ankles. Hook your feet under the leg pad. 
  1. Tense up your hamstrings slightly before you begin this lower glute exercise. 
  1. Curl the weight up towards your butt, squeezing your hamstrings as you perform this motion. Bring the weight as far up as possible. 
  1. Keeping your hamstrings squeezed, slowly return back down to the starting position. Then repeat. 

My Take On This Lower Glute Exercise: 

This one's all about the hamstrings. 

Part of getting a defined lower glute region is working your hamstrings as well. This is an isolation exercise–meaning it just focuses on one muscle–and I enjoy adding it to any leg day routine. 

Lower Glute Exercise #5: Bulgarian Split Squat

Bulgarian Split Squats: one of the best Lower Glute Exercises

 

For this lower glute exercise, you’ll need a comfortable, yet sturdy elevated surface behind you to place your foot on. I recommend a Smith machine set to its lowest setting with a barbell pad over it–but you could also use a box or a gym bench. 

You’ll also need a set of dumbbells. 

  1. Place one knee on the ground, hooking your foot on the elevated surface behind you. 
  1. Your other foot should be planted on the ground–with your knee bent in a 90-degree angle. 
  1. Push your hips forward, making the front of your body flat. 
  1. Lean your torso forward over your front knee. 
  1. Grab the dumbbells, bringing them on either side of the front foot. 
  1. Now, with 90% of the weight on your front foot and 10% of the weight on the back foot, lift yourself up until your front leg is straight. 
  1. Then, lower yourself back down, keeping the dumbbells in line with your foot during the entire motion. 
  1. After you complete all sets on one side, repeat on the opposite side. 

My Take On This Lower Glute Exercise: 

When I have a Bulgarian Split Squat in my routine for the day, I always have to arm-wrestle myself to get to the gym. These are painful. 

But that just means they’re effective. You’ll feel it in your quads and glutes, and it’s an effective lower glute exercise to develop strong lower glutes. 


Glute Stretches for Glute Pain

Don’t let glute pain and tension stop you from working out your lower glutes. 

If your lower glutes are giving you grief, I recommend some resources: 

First, check out our article on Gluteus Maximus Trigger Points. In this article, we’ll give you tips on potential causes of your glute pain–as well as massage tips and stretches to help! 

For massage: I recommend the QL Claw, our at-home massage device for lower back pain. This tool brings the feeling of going out for a massage to your home, and it can provide instant relief for any glute pain you may be experiencing. 

For stretches: Check out this video, where we explain 3 of the best stretches for glute pain relief! 

 

Good luck on your journey to more defined lower glutes! 

 

 

Now that you've read about lower glute exercises, check out our pages on back extensions for glutes and B-stance RDL!

 

Sources:  

[1] https://app.neilpatel.com

[2] Davies, Clair, and Amber Davies. The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief. 3rd ed., New Harbinger Publications, Inc., 2013.

[3] https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/body

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