Although "the perfect butt" is subjective, training your glutes until they're in peak condition isn't. We can all strive to be in our best shape so we thrive in the sort of ways we desire the most. However, strategically training to shape your butt requires knowing the different muscles that make up your backside.
There are three muscles to work on for your perfect butt, each person has a unique shape. The shape of your bum depends on not only how you're training, but, "how your gluteal muscles attach to your thigh bone, how much fat you have and its distribution, and where your pelvis and hip bones are located."
In short, genetics.
So while you can't change your genetic makeup without surgery— you can enhance what you've got with training. More specifically, you can use compound and isolation exercises to mold your backside into looking how you want (within your genetic limitations of course.)
Training the Gluteus Maximus
The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle of the three. This muscle has a quadrangular shape.
Exercise Perks: Working this muscle impacts how your hips look and the fullness of your rear end.
As far as discussing its function goes, training this muscle keeps us upright and walking. The size of our gluteus maximus is what makes humans uniquely bipedal while the rest of mammals are quadrupedal.
While most butt exercises are geared toward working the gluteus maximus the other two muscles are equally as important.
What are the Best Exercises that Work the Gluteus Maximus?
- Quadruped Hip Extension with Knee Flexion
- Hip thrusts
- Cook Hip Lift
Training the Gluteus Medius
This section of the glute muscles plays a big part in keeping us on balance while walking. The muscle is responsible for thigh abduction, thigh internal rotation (anterior part), and stabilizing your pelvis.
Exercise Perks: By growing the gluteus medius, you can create fullness at the top of your butt.
Strengthening this muscle with the isolation exercises listed below will improve balance and thus enhance all other athletic performance. If the body can maintain its balance, it can properly utilize the other muscles needed to perform.
Best Exercises to Work the Gluteus Medius
- Single-Leg Wall Sit
- Lateral Band Walks
- Squats with Resistance Band
- Single-leg deadlift
- Bridge with a band
Training the Gluteus Minimus
While this muscle is completely concealed by its bigger counterparts, it does not mean it shouldn't be worked.
Exercise Perks: By growing the gluteus minimus, you can achieve a fuller (bubblier) butt without gaining too much visible muscle tone.
This section of muscle is responsible for Thigh abduction, thigh internal rotation (anterior part); and Pelvis stabilization.
Best Exercises to Work the Gluteus Minimus
- Lateral Squats
- Single-leg Glute Bridge
- Curtsy Lunge
- Fire Hydrants
- Hip Abduction Machine
- Side bridge hold
Working your glutes is a team effort, so don’t get it twisted, while you may be focusing on one muscle, you’re engaging other muscles as well. Always keep in mind that total body training is the best route for functional health and injury prevention. Train each muscle regardless of how you want to look.
Try this total butt workout and let us know how it goes!