While the term “underbutt” isn’t an official part of human anatomy, it’s a commonly-used phrase in the fitness world.

Developing strong glutes should be a top priority for anyone. Even so, the underbutt often goes ignored in workout regimens. But it shouldn’t!

Strong lower glutes not only help with balance and agility, but they also create an appealing rounder appearance to the butt crease.

If you want to target the lower glutes, you can start by following these 13 underbutt exercises at home!

Before effectively targeting the lower glute muscles, you first need to know where exactly they’re located.

The underbutt specifically is the area where the glutes and hamstrings meet, just under the curvature of the buttocks.

Many women find it especially hard to build muscle in this particular area because females tend to store excess fat in the hips and butt region. However, with the right exercises and a bit of mind-muscle connection, it's more than possible to shape the underbutt.

To better understand your lower body anatomy, here’s a breakdown of the 3 gluteus muscle groups:

Gluteus Maximus

The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the body.

It’s located at the back of the hips and is responsible for any movement that requires hip extension, like climbing stairs or even just standing upright.

Gluteus Medius

The second largest of the gluteus muscles is the medius, which plays a large role in hip rotation. Keeping this muscle healthy is especially important for preventing knee and hip pain.[1]

Gluteus Minimus

Located just below the medius, the minimus is the smallest muscle of the glutes, but it’s still responsible for a lot.

Specifically, the gluteus minimus acts as a hip stabilizer and abductor of the hip, and it keeps the pelvis stable as well.

13 Best Lower Glute Exercises To Get The Perfect Butt

You may think that getting the perfect under butt is no easy feat.

Maybe you’ve even tried countless isolation exercises or teamed up with a personal trainer to find that creating an effective underbutt workout just isn’t possible. The underbutt is exactly as it sounds; it describes the underside of the buttocks, also known as the lower gluteus muscles.

Luckily, that’s not the case, and there are plenty of proven underbutt exercises to target lower glutes.

Better yet, most of the exercises are considered low impact, they can be performed from the comfort of home, and they require no equipment whatsoever.[2]

So let’s jump into it with the complete list of the best exercises for muscular development of the lower glutes:

1. Single Leg Banded “Cha-Cha”

Woman Doing Leg Banded “Cha-Cha” Exercise In The Gym

Anyone who likes to dance will love this first lower glute exercise.

The single-leg banded cha-cha incorporates the classic cha-cha dance move with a single-leg loop resistance band to fire up the underbutt.

If you're new to working the upper hamstrings, you can start with a low-resistance band, or even no band. Once you've built some strength, ramp things up with a higher resistance.

I've used this movement countless times with my clients and it's always fun to perform, even if it does burn. 

benefits:

  • It's great for beginners. 
  • Uses your body weight. 
  • It's fun to perform.

How to do it:

  1. Loop the resistance band around your knees. You can create tension by taking a starting position with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. With a slight bend in your knees and a slight hinge at the hips, slowly kick back with your left foot and tap the floor behind you. Then, tap the foot outwards at a 45-degree angle.
  3. Focus on squeezing your glutes while keeping your back straight and core engaged. After the side tap, bring your leg back to the starting position. That’s one rep.
  4. Perform 8-12 reps before you switch legs.

Tips From A Trainer!

If you'd like an additional challenge, add an ankle weight to your ankle. The added resistance will make your lower glutes burn even more. 

2. Clamshell

Woman Doing Clams Exercise

At first glance, the clamshell workout may not seem that difficult, but you'll realize it's deceivingly tough after just a few reps.

With the clam motion, you can work the hips, glutes, inner thighs, and outer thighs simultaneously.

It requires no equipment other than a yoga or workout mat, although you can incorporate a single-leg resistance band for more of a challenge.

While it might feel difficult at times, it's the perfect movement for beginners. I've had clients from 18 to 80 perform this movement and they all benefit from its glute building ability.

Benefits:

  • It's suitable for most abilities. 
  • You get to lie down (yep, even on leg day). 
  • It isolates the glutes.

How to do it:

  1. Lie on your side with one leg positioned on top of the other. Bend your knees slightly and rest your head on your bottom arm.
  2. Keep your feet glued together as you lift your top knee until it's parallel to your hip. Be sure to keep your hips stacked in a straight line and your pelvis immobile.
  3. Slowly lower your knee back to the starting position. That’s one rep. Repeat the motion for 10-12 reps before switching sides.

Tips From A Trainer!

Add a resistance band around your legs for an added challenge.  

3. Donkey Kick

Woman Doing Donkey Kicks

Commonly used in yoga and pilates, donkey kicks are an amazing exercise for the upper glutes and hamstrings.

The movement mimics that of a donkey kicking its leg back, which is especially helpful for isolating the gluteus maximus as well as other muscles in the lower body.

There’s a lot to gain from donkey kicks, but only if they’re done correctly.

I've used this movement while I've been travelling, it's the perfect exercise to perform in your hotel room. You don't need any equipment and you only need a small amount of space. 

benefits:

  • Uses your body weight. 
  • Doesn't need a lot of room. 
  • Suitable for all abilities.

How to do it:

  1. Get in a tabletop starting position on all fours with your shoulders stacked over your wrists and knees directly below the hips. Keep a neutral spine from start to finish.
  2. Without rounding or dropping the spine, kick back slowly with your right leg keeping the right foot flexed. Keep a 90-degree bend in the right knee as you kick the foot upwards towards the ceiling.
  3. Throughout this underbutt workout, be sure to keep the core engaged, especially in the lower abdominals.
  4. Once you’ve hit the full extension of the right leg, slowly lower back down to the starting position. Perform 15-20 reps on this die before you alternate legs.

Tips From A Trainer!

Use a resistance band or ankle weight for an addition challenge. 

4. Deficit Reverse Lunge

Man Doing Deficit Reverse Lunges

There are a lot of benefits to adding the deficit reverse lunge to your under butt workout routine. First off, this great exercise is gentle on the joints, but tough on the lower gluteus muscles, making it ideal for anybody with joint issues.

While it's suitable for most abilities, if you’re new to exercising, it’s best to start out with the standard reverse lunge to get the hang of things.

Once you’re ready and comfortable with the movement, you can add in the deficit motion.

I've often used this exercise with my clients as a progression of the standard reverse lunge. Another reason I like this movement is that you don't need to use weight, often your body weight will be more than enough of a challenge. 

benefits:

  • You don't need a lot of weight (if any). 
  • It's easy on your joints. 
  • Suitable for most abilities. 

How to do it:

  1. Begin in a standing position with the feet hip-width apart on a raised platform. If you’re interested in incorporating an upper-body workout, feel free to hold a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells.
  2. While shifting your weight onto the left leg, lift your right foot off the platform and place it gently behind you in a downward lunge.
  3. It’s very important that you keep your left foot flat on the platform throughout the entire movement. For better balance, you can lean forward slightly as you place the right foot behind you.
  4. With your weight directed in your left leg, return your right foot to the starting position. That’s one rep.
  5. Perform all reps on this side before switching to the other leg.

Tips From A Trainer!

A favorite super set of mine is the deficit reverse lunge into body weight squats. I've often used it as part of my client's workouts as a glute building finisher.

5. Weighted Forward Lunge

Woman Doing Weighted Forward Lunges At The Gym

Many people find the deficit reverse lunge to be too complicated. If that’s the case, you can still build muscle in the under butt with a standard forward lunge.

It’s perfectly fine to lunge with just your body weight. However, holding weights while performing the motion is a great way to burn fat and strengthen the upper body.

However, the front lunge places a little more stress on your knee joints, so they might be challenging if you've had any knee issues in the past. If you experience this, try the standard reverse lunge. 

benefits:

  • Suitable for most people. 
  • You can do them using your body weight. 

Related Article - Benefits Of Doing Lunges

How to do it:

  1. Ensure that you have enough space to take a fully extended lunge forward. If you’re using weights, start out with a light set of dumbbells - you can always add more weight later on.
  2. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, let your arms hang comfortably by your sides with the palms facing the thighs. Keep your feet flat on the floor with a shoulder-width stance.
  3. As you inhale, take one large step forward with your right leg. Land on the heel and allow the right knee to bend so that the thigh is parallel to the floor. The left foot should be directly behind, bent at the knee, and weight on the toes.
  4. Slowly bring the right foot back to the starting position. That’s one rep.
  5. Continue for 10-12 reps on this side before switching to the other leg.

Tips From A Trainer!

Maintain a hip width stance throughout the entire front lunge movement. By doing so, you'll find it easier to balance.  

6. Jump Lunge

Man Doing Jump Lunges Exercise

Another variation of the lunge, the jump lunge incorporates a quick jumping motion for an intense cardio workout.

Here’s what Healthline has to say about jump lunges[3]:

“The addition of a plyometric jump not only challenges the quads, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, and calves, but it also recruits your cardiovascular system. This gives your heart rate a boost and helps you burn more calories.”

However, as you'll be jumping and landing on your legs in the lunge position, there will be a large amount of force going through your joints. This isn't the best exercise if you've had knee or hip issues in the past. 

benefits:

  • Develops explosive power. 
  • Improves cardiovascular health. 
  • Best suited for more advanced lifters.

How to do it:

  1. Start with your feet hip-width apart, your core engaged, and your hips forward.
  2. Take a big step forward with your right leg while keeping your arms down by your side.
  3. Shifting your weight forward with the right leg, lower your body until the forward leg is parallel to the floor.
  4. Rapidly switch the position of your feet by jumping up. While mid-air, bring your right leg back behind you and your left leg forward. To power things up, propel your arms into the air while you jump.
  5. Gently land back on the floor in a basic lunge position with the opposite leg forward. Repeat this pattern for 30-60 seconds, take a break, then jump (literally!) back into it again.

Tips From A Trainer!

Perform this movement in the middle of your workout. You don't want to be completely exhausted when doing this exercise as you'll be more likely to injure yourself. 

7. Single Leg Hip Thrust

Woman Doing Single Leg Hip Thrust Exercise

Regular hip thrusts are great for weight loss as well as strength training. The single-leg hip thrust variation is even better for isolating each leg individually.

By isolating each leg you can solve muscle imbalances. I've used it several times with clients who've had imbalance issues, and this works. 

You can also check out hip thrust alternatives for more exercises that you can add to your workout.

benefits:

  • Isolates the glutes.
  • Trains each side separately.
  • Doesn't require weight.

How to do it:

  1. Begin by placing your upper back against a bench. Make a 90-degree bend in one knee while keeping the foot of the same leg firmly planted on the floor.
  2. Lift your other leg as you bend your knee until both your hip and knee form a 90-degree angle.
  3. Squeeze the glute of the working leg (the one on the floor) and keep your hips lifted in line with the torso (this is where the “hip thrust” comes into play).
  4. After a few seconds of holding, bring the lifted leg down as slowly as possible. Repeat these steps for 10-12 reps before switching to the other leg.

Tips From A Trainer!

To feel the burn as much as possible, this exercise is best done with a weight bench or sturdy chair to keep the back elevated off the floor. 

8. Bulgarian Split Squat

Woman Doing Bulgarian Split Squats

Bulgarian split squats allow you to take things up a notch with your glute workout routine. This glute-hamstring exercise tests balance, coordination, and strength.

Some people even say that the Bulgarian split squat is the only squat variation necessary for your fitness routine - it’s that good at shaping the lower body!

In the past, I've used this as part of my knee rehab. It helped build stabilization while improving my glute strength and size. 

However, if you can't perform this exercise, try doing Bularian split squat alternatives.

benefits:

  • Targets your lower glutes.
  • Improves balance and coordination. 
  • Stabilizes your joints. 

How to Do it:

  1. With one leg resting on a bench behind you, begin by bending your straight leg in front of you.
  2. Before you start lowering, ensure that your front foot is about 3 steps out from the bench. This will give you enough room to achieve full extension.
  3. Bend so far that the rear knee almost touches the floor.
  4. Hold this position for several seconds, then push through your front leg to straighten the leg and return to the starting position.

Tips From A Trainer!

If you want to maximize the amount of work the glutes need to perform, lean forward slight during each rep. By leaning into your lead leg, you'll place a lot more emphasis on your glutes.  

9. Romanian Deadlift

Man Doing Romanian Deadlift Exercise

The Romanian deadlift is an exercise that works to target both the butt and the core. It promotes fat loss and muscle building, so it's a great all-around addition to leg day.

I think it's one of the best compound movements you can do to grow (and strengthen) your lower glutes. 

Anyone can benefit from the standard deadlift and variations like the single-leg Romanian deadlift, but just know that it's not considered a beginner glute exercise.

I'd recommend that you only try this complex exercise once you've developed a solid base strength, if you can't perform it, you can do RDL alternatives.

benefits:

  • Uses a huge range of motion. 
  • Allows you to overload the glutes. 
  • It's a compound movement.

How to do it:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees bent slightly. If you’re doing a weighted deadlift, place a barbell directly in front of you.
  2. As you hinge forward at the hips bringing your torso towards the floor, keep your spine long and straight.
  3. Grab onto the barbell with your hands positioned shoulder distance apart. Draw your shoulders back and down while bracing your core.
  4. While tightening the glutes, hammies, and core, drive your feet firmly into the floor to come into a standing position. Lift the barbell as you go, bringing it to meet your upper thighs.
  5. Repeat this same movement by lowering the weight, then continue to the next rep.

Tips From A Trainer!

If you've got super flexible hamstrings and you find that the barbell is touching the floor before you feel a stretch, stand on an elevated platform during the RDL. I recommend standing on a 45lb Olympic plate.

10. Frog Squat

Woman Doing Frog Squats

Frog squats work the entire lower body, including the hamstrings, quads, and glutes. This is one of those exercises that are ideal for opening up tight hips, so don’t be surprised if you feel it in the hip flexors after a few reps.

I like this movement because of its simplicity. You don't need any weight and minimal space, making it ideal for anywhere. Whether you're in a park, office, hotel room, gym, or home gym, you can do it.

benefits:

  • Opens up your hips. 
  • You can do it anywhere. 
  • Doesn't require equipment.

How to do it:

  1. Stand in an upright position with your feet flat and wider than shoulder distance apart. Hold your hands at arm's length in front of your body.
  2. Begin lowering down by pushing your hips back and bending dramatically at the knees. Your knees should be perpendicular to your feet at all times.
  3. Continue squatting down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Exhale as you push yourself back up to standing. Repeat until you’ve completed the desired number of reps.

Tips From A Trainer!

This exercise requires a lot of flexibility. If you aren't able to achieve a deep squat without rounding your lower back, I recommend skipping this exercise. 

11. Step Up

Woman Doing Step Ups At The Gym

A Mayo Clinic doctor states that “step-ups are a simple body resistance exercise that works muscles in the legs and buttocks…This is a good general lower body conditioning exercise.”[4]

Step-ups mimic the same motion used to climb a set of stairs, so it's a great option if you're hoping to lose fat. You'll need a small step stool or workout box or simply stand in front of the stairs in your home.

After doing many sets on the step, not only will your legs and glutes be on fire, but your calfs will be too. I always remember waking up after my first ever step class and I could barely walk... oops.

If you don't have a step or box - try step up alternatives that you can also do at home.

benefits:

  • Works your entire lower body. 
  • Minimal equipment needed (all you need is a step of some type).
  • Suitable for most abilities.

How to do it:

  1. Pushing through your lead foot, lift your body onto the step. Using the same foot you led with, step back into the starting position.
  2. Repeat until you’ve completed the desired number of reps. That’s it!

Tips From A Trainer!

Don't have an exercise step? You can always try to use regular stairs. However, always use the bottom stair so you don't fall down them.  

12. B Stance Hip Thrust

Woman Doing B Stance Hip Thrusts

The B-stance hip thrust is basically the same as standard hip thrust exercises, with one major difference.

Instead of planting both feet firmly on the floor, one foot will touch the floor with the heel, keeping the heel in line with the planted foot. By doing so, you place more emphasis on one side while maintaining some balance by using the other leg for support. 

It's a fun variation which I like to add into my workouts from time to time. By doing them you'll feel your lower glutes on fire. 

benefits:

  • Suitable for most abilities. 
  • You don't need a lot of weight. 
  • Works each side individually.

How to do it:

  1. Start by sitting on the floor with your back against a sturdy exercise bench. Place your feet flat on the floor while bending your legs.
  2. Move one leg slightly forward and position the toes upward to rest on your heel. This is your “kickstand” leg for providing balance, so it shouldn’t be the target of the workout.
  3. Push through your heel as you drive your hips up toward the ceiling. Keep pushing up through the hips until your thighs and core are parallel to the floor.
  4. Slowly lower down to the floor - that’s one rep. Continue with the desired number of reps before switching sides.

Tips From A Trainer!

Focus on slow and controlled reps, ensuring that at the top of each rep you squeeze your glutes as hard as you can.  

13. Glute Bridge

Woman Doing Glute Bridges

Out of all the glute exercises that don't hurt lower back, the glute bridge is the best. It's a simple movement that shows big results, especially when done regularly.

Glute bridge exercises are often used to activate the glutes and increase core stability. It’s even helpful for improving and preventing back pain.

The single-leg glute bridge is another variation that can be added to a glute routine. But for now, let’s focus on the standard glute bridge.

This movement can be performed anywhere and doesn't require weight (which makes it ideal for home workouts).

benefits:

  • Uses your body weight. 
  • Doesn't require a lot of space. 
  • Isolates your glutes.

How to do it:

  1. Lie on your back and set your knees about hip-width apart, keeping your feet flat on the ground and your knees bent. Point your toes straight forward and aim to keep your heels about 6 to 8 inches from the right and left glute. Keep the arms comfortably at your sides with palms facing up.
  2. Begin to raise your hips slowly while engaging the glutes and abs.
  3. Avoid arching your back, but lift your hips as high as possible. The ideal glute bridge has the hips elevated until the torso makes a straight line from shoulder to knee.
  4. Once you reach the top of the bridge, squeeze your glutes as much as possible, holding for a few seconds.
  5. Slowly lower the hips back down to the ground in a controlled motion without releasing the tension in your abs and glutes. Repeat until you’ve completed the desired number of reps.

Tips From A Trainer!

If you're looking for a light weight way to increase the resistance, try adding a resistance band across your hips.  

Benefits Of Glute Training

Keeping your glutes strong and healthy has a lot of benefits, both in terms of body aesthetics and overall mobility. It’s even important for preventing pain in the knees, hips, and back.

Here are a few more key benefits that come along with regular glute training:

  • Improved posture
  • Enhanced athletic performance
  • Lower risk of pain or injury throughout the body
  • Tightened and toned backside
  • Possibility of increased bone density

4 Best Ways To Build The Underbutt

If you’re ready to embark on the underbutt journey, you can start by performing exercises that are specifically geared toward the lower glutes.

Certain exercises are great for glute strength, like the ones listed above. Just know that glute kickbacks, glute bridges, step-ups, and donkey kicks can only get you so far.

There are a few more things to keep in mind for building the underbutt, like:

1. Practice The Progressive Overload Method

The progressive overload method can be applied to any aspect of fitness.

It’s the practice of gradually upping the challenge with your strength training routine. In other words, you want to start out light with your leg workouts, then work your way up to a more challenging regimen.

Healthline says that “by changing up your workouts and adding additional tension to your muscles, you can avoid plateauing, which is when your body adapts to the type of exercise you’re doing. With progressive overload, you may notice you feel fitter and stronger.”[6]

2. Focus On Diet (Protein)

While a cheat day here and there is completely fine, even recommended, you’ll still have to focus on diet if you want to see results in building muscle.

Eating a high protein diet with healthy fats, fresh produce, and nutrient-rich carbs will actually help to improve your underbutt.

Protein in White Meat and Red Meat

There are even specific foods that have been proven to enhance the booty, including:

  • Salmon
  • Flax seeds
  • Legumes
  • Brown rice
  • Avocados
  • Greek yogurt
  • Tuna
  • Chicken Breast

In addition to improving heart health and boosting metabolism, many of these foods can even give you the energy to exercise harder.[7]

3. Keep A Consistent Workout Routine

Hitting the gym once and never going again does not qualify as a "routine." If you want to see results, you need to be consistent with your workouts.

That doesn’t mean you should overdo it with 3-hour daily gym sessions. You can start out with 2-3 glute workouts per week, then (using the progressive overload method) work your way up to a more challenging routine.

4. Glute Activation Is Essential!

Muscle activation requires more than just basic movement.

In addition to performing the movements involved in the exercise, try squeezing your glutes to target the muscle, which will lead to even more glute activation and lean muscle growth in the long run.

Common Lower Glute Exercises Questions

What is the difference between the buttocks and glutes?

The primary difference between the buttocks and glutes is that one is primarily flesh, and the other refers to the muscle group. The glutes are the muscles that shape the butt, while the buttocks refer to the two fleshy "cheeks."

Why won’t my lower glutes grow?

Your lower glutes may fail to grow due to inactivity or a sedentary lifestyle. This is the main reason for weak glutes, but it can also be caused by diet or a poorly-constructed workout routine.

How do you isolate the lower glutes?

Isolating the lower glutes can be tricky, especially for women with tight hip flexors. Some of the best options are B-stance hip thrusts, Bulgarian split squats, and deficit reverse lunges.

How do you speed up glute growth?

The best way to speed up glute growth is to develop a regular workout routine and hit the gym at least 3x per week. If that’s not possible for you, do whatever you can to get on your feet and stay active.[8] By exercising regularly and eating well, you’re likely to see major results in just a few weeks.

Conclusion

There you have it - the complete guide to muscle growth in the underbutt!

Remember, improving your lower glutes is not just about looks. Sure, getting a toned booty and nicely-rounded underbutt is a perk, but you’ll also start noticing better mobility, improved posture and balance, and even less pain in the knees, hips, and back.

Add a handful of these movements to your workout for a lower glute focused leg day. 

References: 
1. https://medlineplus.gov/anatomy.html
2. https://www.gradyhealth.org/blog/5-benefits-of-low-impact-exercise/
3. https://www.healthline.com/health/jumping-lunges
4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/multimedia/step-up/vid-20084661
5. https://www.healthline.com/health/progressive-overload
6. https://www.unitypoint.org/desmoines/article.aspx?id=d0017e83-8215-450a-95d6-5ba42561750a
7. https://www.self.com/story/11-little-ways-to-exercise-without-actually-working-out

Lee Kirwin

Lee Kirwin

Lee has worked in the fitness industry for over 15 years. He's trained hundreds of clients and knows his way around the gym, including what you need for your garage gym. When he's not testing products, he loves weightlifting, Ju Jitsu, writing, and gaming.