As trends in body shape and size change, so they also affect the kind of workouts people gravitate to. In the last decade or so, a round firm butt has been the one thing that everyone seems to want to get – and thus glute workouts have grown in popularity.
Stronger glutes are not just for appearance, but they also have functional uses that can make everyday life as well as athletic performance that much easier. The under butt aka the lower butt is one area of the glutes that is rarely mentioned in most booty workout routines.
To get that peach bum you must first make sure to exercise this area on leg days. Read on to learn more about why you should have a workout for lower butt, how to lift lower buttocks, the best under butt exercises at home or at the gym and much more.
How To Lift Lower Buttocks
First things first, what on earth are lower buttocks? Also known as the underbutt or the glute-ham tie-in, this is the area right below your butt where the glutes meet the hamstrings, right at the upper thigh.
If you take your hand and slide it right under your bum, you can feel the line/crease/fold (aka the gluteal sulcus or gluteal fold (7) where these two meet. The larger the butt, the bigger/deeper the crease.
Other than the size of the glutes, genetics, especially related to fat distribution affects how this area looks. If you have too much under butt fat, this area may end up looking saggy, ruining the desired aesthetics or a firm, round butt.
Adding underbutt exercises in gym routines or in your at home workouts, as well as losing some body fat (if you already have a lot), is one of the best ways to help lift your glutes.
BetterMe is your fast-track ticket to a long-lasting weight loss! Tailor your fitness journey and maximize your results with just a couple of swipes!
Why Should You Workout Lower Butt?
There are several reasons why you should do exercises to round the bottom of glutes and to strengthen the butt muscles as a whole. They include (1):
- Aesthetics – A round firm big bottom is one of the main reasons why many people choose to add butt exercises to their routine. Rounding out your lower bottom does not only look good, but if you struggle with self-esteem issues (especially regarding how your body looks), this may help improve them. Research has shown that improved self-esteem can lower the risk of suicidal ideation, anxiety, depression, eating disorders and can even help fix your attention problems (10, 13, 8).
- Improved posture
- Makes every day easier – We use the glutes in everyday activities like sitting, standing, walking, running, etc. Without strong glutes, we would not be able to do these activities as easily.
- Reduced low back pain
- Reduced risk of injury while working out as well as in day-to-day activities
- Improved balance and stability
- Weight loss – exercise of any kind, be it strength training or cardio helps boost calorie burning which helps with weight loss
- Improved athletic performance – Glute muscles also engage the muscles in the hips and legs which not only improves coordination and agility but also improves strength in these areas. This can help boost performance in cycling, jumping, swimming, etc.
- Improved circulation – Cardio is not the only kind of exercise that can boost circulation. The contraction and expansion of muscles during strength training can also help boost blood and oxygen circulation in the body.
- One study done on middle-aged and older adults showed that strength training helps with improved basal femoral blood flow and vascular conductance, which can help prevent metabolic syndrome, functional impairments, and osteoporosis (9).
What Muscle Is At The Bottom Of Your Buttocks?
Your entire butt is made up of 3 main muscles, namely the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. The gluteus maximus forms the bulk of the buttock area, from your hips to the bottom of the butt. This muscle is the most superficial and largest of all three muscles.
This also makes up the bulk of the shape and form of the buttock and hip area. This thick and fleshy muscle originates from the sacrum – in the butt crack, the ilium – hip bone area, the thoracolumbar fascia, and the sacrotuberous ligaments.
The gluteus medius lies between the gluteus maximus and gluteus minimus and is a primary hip abductor. It works to stabilize the pelvis and maintain the trunk upright when standing on one leg, running, and walking, whenever one leg is off the ground. Together with the gluteus minimus, they both work to abduct the thigh and rotate it internally (4).
Finally, the gluteus minimus is the smallest and innermost of the butt muscles, lying deep under the other two. The minimus acts as a hip stabilizer and abductor of the hip. It also shares a lot of the same characteristics as the medius from function to blood as well as nerve supply (5).
Which Are The Best Lower Glute Exercises At Home?
The best glute isolation exercises, specifically for the lower butt region are those that involve a hip extension movement.
In an older study published in 1983 in the Physical Therapy journal, researchers found that hip extension exercises such as walking up stairs, predominantly engaged the lower portion of the gluteus maximus (aka lower portion of the butt) while the adductor magnus muscle also played a primary role in hip extension when loaded. s (14).
In a more recent study published in 2016 in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, research findings also supported this theory.
In the study involving 20 participants and 11 different exercises, researchers found that the participants’ superior portion of the gluteus maximus had greater levels of activation during exercises that involved hip abduction and/or external rotation. The hip extension exercise, on the other hand, targeted both the superior and inferior portions of the gluteus maximus to a similar extent (6).
According to Healthline, a hip extension occurs when you extend or open the hip joint, thus increasing the angle between the pelvis and thigh.
Exercises To Round Bottom Of Glutes: At Home & Gym Friendly
If you are at the gym, do this with a barbell, and if at home you can simply use your body weight or a resistance band- if you have one at hand.
- Start by sitting on the ground in front of a bench. Rest your shoulder blades against the bench. The part of your back where the bra strap rests should be touching the bench.
- With your legs flat on the ground, roll a loaded barbell over your legs all the way up to the pelvis. For more comfort, add a squad pad or a rolled-up yoga mat.
- With both hands placed onto the bar to hold it in position, bring your heels closer to the buttocks. Please note that the perfect distance for you is based on trial and error. Experiment with different positions/distances and use the position where you can feel your glutes doing the majority of the work
- Pushing through the heels, and with the shoulder blades on the bench, thrust the weight and your pelvis up towards the ceiling
- Once your back and hamstrings form a straight line you have reached the top of the movement.
- Hold for 2 seconds then lower the weight to the starting position.
- This is 1 rep. Do 3 sets of 10 reps
If you’ve mustered up the courage to crush your weight loss goal, let Betterme take the sting out of this demanding process. Our app will help you restructure your habits, remold your life and crank up your fitness results!
Deficit Reverse Lunges
Unlike normal lunges, this movement provides a deeper hip flexion which not only improves and challenges hip mobility but it also recruits more from the glutes (12)
- Set up a low platform using an aerobic step or some free weights – i.e weighted plates.
- Stand on the platform with your feet together and knees slightly bent for balance and stability. Brace your core, pull your shoulders down and back, and look straight ahead.
- Take a step back, place the ball of your foot on the floor, bend your legs, and lower your rear knee down to about an inch above the floor.
- Keep your balance by slightly leaning forward but do not round your back. This can help keep the lower back safe from injury and effectively engage your muscles
- Push off your back leg and return to the platform. This is one rep
- Complete one set of desired reps on one leg before switching to the other and repeating the process
To make this exercise more challenging, hold some free weights – dumbbells or kettlebells – in each hand. If you are not at the gym, use a low stair step and improvised weights like water bottles to complete this workout.
- Stand with your feet hip-width
- Grab a pair of free weights of the desired weight in each hand. Hold them using an overhand grip and keep them at arm’s length in front of thighs.
- With a slight bend in your knees, hinge at hips and lower torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor. Make sure that the weights are as close to the body as possible.
- Pause here for 2 seconds, then slowly return to standing. Keep your spine and back naturally arched during the entire movement.
- This is 1 rep. Complete 3 sets of 12 reps for the entire exercise.
- Grab a pair of dumbbells and place your right foot on top of a box, bench, or step.
- Without moving your foot and with your core engaged, drive through the ball of big toe to come all the way up to standing on the step.
- Slowly lower down until the back foot touches the ground, keeping the front foot on the step the entire time.
- That’s one rep. Do 10 reps then switch legs and repeat.
Bulgarian Split Squats
If you are #gymtok or #gyminsta, then you know that Bulgarian split squats are the ‘IT’ glute workout of the moment.
- Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms at your sides. Have a sturdy elevated object behind you – most people use a gym bench. You can also use a chair or couch if at home.
- Bring your right leg behind your body and elevate the foot on your chosen platform. Engage your abs and inhale.
- Descend into a squat by bending your front knee. Move down until your front thigh is almost parallel to the floor. Ensure that your knee is either over your ankle or slightly behind.
- Pause at the bottom for a moment and press through your front heel to extend your knee to stand. Exhale. This is 1 rep
- Inhale one more time and repeat the movement. Do 8 to 10 reps per leg for a full set.
Ps. Keep your reps as slow and controlled as possible. Slow controlled movements target the muscles more effectively – burning more calories and giving you better results.
If you do not have a kettlebell at home, improvise using detergent jugs, a heavy backpack, an actual tea kettle, milk or water bottles, paint cans, etc.
- Hold a kettlebell (or improvised weight) with both hands and stand with feet hip-width apart, and knees slightly bent.
- Hinge at the hips and lower torso until it forms a 45-degree angle to the floor. Ensure the back is naturally arched and let the weight swing between your legs.
- Keeping arms straight, thrust hips forward, straighten knees, and swing the kettlebell up to belly button/chest level.
- That counts as 1 rep. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.
Cable pull throughs are a good machine assisted version of this workout.
Glute Kickbacks with Cable Machine
- Attach an ankle strap to a cable machine, then loop it around your ankle then add desired amount of weight to the machine.
- Standing with your feet together, lean forward slightly. Make sure that you are keeping your back flat and your core engaged.
- Squeeze the glute to activate the muscle, then lift the leg attached to the machine, kicking it back behind your body with control.
- Pause at the top of the movement, then slowly and controlled, lower back to the starting position.
- Do 10 reps on this leg, then switch the strap to the other leg and repeat. Do 3 sets per leg.
If you are not at the gym, or if your gym does not have this machine, a good alternative workout for lower butt to cable glute kickbacks is donkey kicks. The only major difference between these two is that in donkey kicks the knee is bent at a 90-degree angle, while in the cable variation, it is extended.
How To Get A Smaller Butt
If you feel that your butt is too big, it could be because you have too much fat distribution in this area. This could be due to being overweight or simply because according to your genetic fat distribution, you store most of your fat in the buttocks.
The best way to get a smaller butt is through exercise. The best workouts for this are:
- High-Intensity Cardio – E.g. running, HIIT, Tabata, cycling, etc.
- Strength training – E.g. deadlifts, lunges and their variations, all squat variations, etc.
Cardio burns a large number of calories during the workout thus helps with weight and fat loss. Strength training helps build muscle and also burn fat. It also helps you build muscle in the butt, ensuring that while your butt gets smaller through fat loss, it won’t end up flat thanks to muscle growth.
How Do You Fix A Flat Butt?
If you have a naturally flat butt, then glute and leg workouts should be your best friends. Increased muscle growth in this area helps you achieve the bubble butt of your dreams.
Do I Have Lazy Glutes?
Also known as ‘dead butt syndrome’ or gluteal amnesia, is a condition caused by not using your glutes enough. People who spend a lot of time seated or lying down are more likely to have this condition.
Signs of lazy glues include (2)
- Knee, lower back, pelvic, or hip pain
- Balance and gait problems
- Poor posture
- Sharp pain and inflammation of the heels
- Blisters in the feet
Why Is My Bum Getting Smaller With Squats?
It could be due to fat and weight loss. As previously stated, all exercises, including butt and leg workouts, burn calories. Burning calories means that you will eventually start losing weight and fat – which could make your butt smaller.
This, however, shouldn’t worry you too much. The lost fat will be replaced by muscle giving you a firmer, perkier butt. The new butt size and shape might even suit your new weight-loss body much better.
The Bottom Line
Workouts for the lower butt are essential for anyone who wishes to have a nice round butt. All the above-listed workouts will help you work and tone this area giving you a nicer, well-rounded rounder butt that looks absolutely incredible in anything you choose to wear.
Remember to also eat enough protein to facilitate more muscle growth and have a calorie deficit to get rid of excess fat that may make the butt look saggy.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 10 Benefits of Exercising Your Hips and Glutes (n.d., americansportandfitness.com)
- 5 Signs That Your Glutes Are Weak as Hell (2017, menshealth.com)
- Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Gluteus Maximus Muscle (2023, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Gluteus Medius Muscle (2023, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Gluteus Minimus Muscle (2023, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Comparison of Electromyographic Activity of the Superior and Inferior Portions of the Gluteus Maximus Muscle During Common Therapeutic Exercises (2016, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- gluteal sulcus (2011, medicine.en-academic.com)
- Low Self-Esteem and Its Association With Anxiety, Depression, and Suicidal Ideation in Vietnamese Secondary School Students: A Cross-Sectional Study (2019, frontiersin.org)
- Resistance training increases basal limb blood flow and vascular conductance in aging humans (2006, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Self-esteem in a broad-spectrum approach for mental health promotion (2004, academic.oup.com)
- The Anatomy of the Gluteus Maximus (2022, verywellhealth.com)
- The deficit reverse lunge (2019, sciencedirect.com)
- The role of self-esteem in the development of psychiatric problems: a three-year prospective study in a clinical sample of adolescents (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Timing and Relative Intensity of Hip Extensor and Abductor Muscle Action During Level and Stair Ambulation: An EMG Study (1983, academic.oup.com)