Building your glutes takes time and dedication, like any muscle. Your glutes are made of three muscles: gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. The one that most people are thinking of when referring to improving their “glutes” cosmetically to get a plump round bottom is the gluteus maximus (aka glute max). This muscle is responsible for extending and externally rotating your hip.
Luckily, the glute max has great potential for growth due to its size and amount of muscle fibers. These days, many people use surgery as a way to get a tiny waist and big round booty but there are natural ways that you can strengthen those glutes and add size! You will need to progressively load that region with exercises to get noticeable growth.
Some great exercises to target the glute max include: donkey kicks, bridges, single leg bridges, deadlifts and squats.
Under the glute max are the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus muscles. These muscles have different actions due to a different direction in the fibers. The gluteus medius is one of the most undervalued muscles in the body! It is primarily responsible for hip abduction (bringing your leg out to the side) but it also helps stabilize your hips when you walk. When this muscle is weak you can have biomechanical problems at the hips, knees and even ankles. It is crucial to strengthen the gluteus medius for proper function and to prevent injury!
Some great exercises to target the gluteus medius include: banded side step, standing hip abduction, lunges and clamshells.
One tip to really help activate and target the gluteus medius is to use a resistance loop. This will engage the hip abductors while performing these exercises by requiring you to push into the resistance. Using a resistance band can be key to getting the most out of your glutes! Be sure to start with a resistance that allows you to keep your knees apart and perform the exercises with proper form but challenges you to engage your glutes and get stronger!