11 Glute and Hamstring Exercises for a Well-Rounded Workout - Trainerize.me (2024)

11 Glute and Hamstring Exercises for a Well-Rounded Workout - Trainerize.me (1)

11 of the best glute and hamstring exercises you can do at home

Exercises that Multitask

Have you ever wondered if you’re sculpting all of your glutes and not just certain portions?

We’re going to take the guesswork out of it and show you eleven of the best glute and hamstring exercises you can do at home to make sure you’ve got your butt covered.

Being the muscular powerhouse of the body, the glutes contain nine different muscles to provide movement in all directions. For our purposes, we’re going to focus on the three that affect your shape the most – the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus, as well as the hamstrings just below the booty.

The Gluteus Maximus

Glute and hamstring exercises that work the glute max should be done 3-4 times per week, and should include anywhere between 6-20 reps. Luckily, recovery time is low, so the amount of time you have to wait in-between workouts is 1-2 days.

In order to make sure that the gluteus maximus is engaged, it’s important that we do exercises that are horizontal-loading, such as Reverse Hypers, Kickbacks, Back Extensions, Glute Bridges, and Hip Thrusts. Luckily, many of these exercises also work the hamstrings and the other two main glute muscles as well, so you’ll get a 2, 3, or even 4 for 1 deal.

Here, we’re going to focus on two exercises that work all four muscles – Glute Briges and Step-Ups.

Glute Bridges

In order to do this exercise, you’re going to lay flat on the floor, preferably with a yoga mat.

Here are the steps:
  1. Start by laying down on the floor. Raise your knees and pull your heels back, until your shins are at a 90-degree angle with the floor.
  2. Spread your feet shoulder-width apart and lift your butt up into the air until your body is completely straight from your knees to your neck.
  3. Hold for a second, keeping your glutes and core tight. Make sure you don’t overarch your back or lift your head off the ground, as this could create unnecessary strain.
  4. Lower your butt back to the ground until your lower back grazes the yoga mat. Then lift your hips back up and repeat.

For more resistance, you can add weights to your hips to maximize this glute and hamstring exercise’s effect on your body. Simply hold a weighted bag, dumbbells, or a barbell on your hips while you do this exercise.


This is another multipurpose exercise, and it not only covers your glutes and hamstrings, but your quadriceps and abductors, too.

  1. Start by standing in front of a box or a stair with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Step up with first one foot and then the other, squeezing your glutes and maintaining a straight posture.
  3. Once both feet are on the box, use your second foot to step down, and follow with the other foot.

Variations include:

Starting with different feet, turning to the side and side-stepping up, and holding weights to add more resistance for your muscles.

The Gluteus Minimus

Many exercises that work this muscle can work other muscles, too. But if you just want to focus on the glute minimus, you’re going to want to find exercises that are vertical and axial in nature, targeting the lower and side portions of the booty.

Workouts for the gluteus minimus can be done 1-3 times per week, working anywhere between 1-15 reps. This muscle needs a little bit more time to recover, so make sure to rest 2-4 days between workouts.

Exercises that stimulate this muscle include lunges, deadlifts, squats, and fire hydrants. Workouts should feel like a good stretch at first, and then will begin to sear a bit as you continue your reps.

Pause Squats

As far as glute and hamstring exercises go, squats are extremely efficient. We’re going to go through two helpful variations of the squat – the Pause Squat and the Bulgarian Split Squat.

  1. For the pause squat, stand with your feet turned slightly outward and make sure that they’re a little more than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Hold your arms straight out in front of you, keep a straight back, and bend your knees, gradually lowering yourself toward the floor.
  3. The bottom of the squat will be when your hip dips just below your knees. Pause for two seconds, and then drive yourself back up to a standing position.


Add dumbbells for weight, holding your arms straight down as you squat.

Bulgarian Split Squats

For added resistance and balance training, the Bulgarian Split Squat uses one leg at a time.

  1. Find a bench, couch, or ottoman that is roughly at the height of your knees.
  2. Stand with your back facing it, placing one foot/ankle on the bench, and one on the floor. If the thigh on your bench leg is at a 90-degree angle with the floor, you’re going to want to take two little hops forward, so that your thigh is slightly tilted, at around 115 degrees.
  3. Lower yourself down until your front thigh is horizontal.
  4. Use your heel to drive yourself back up, and repeat.
Fire Hydrants

This one is inspired and approved by dogs everywhere. And yes, this exercise is exactly as it sounds.

  1. Get down on all fours, with your arms and thighs in a vertical position, keeping your spine straight.
  2. Raise one leg to the side without using momentum, and try to get it as high as you can.
  3. Lower your leg back down and repeat.

Gluteus Medius

The gluteus medius is the main muscle on the top and side portions of the butt. For this reason, exercises that work this muscle focus on more lateral movements, and when exercising, it will feel like more of a squeeze and a burn.

For these workouts, you’re going to want to complete them 3-5 times per week, resting 1-2 days in between. The average reps that are worked are usually between 15 and 30; and exercises include cable abductions, side-lying abductions, angled kickbacks, and lateral band walks.

Side-lying Abductions

These exercises work the core as well as the glute muscles.

  1. Start out laying on your side. You can bend the knee on your lower leg if you need more stability.
  2. Point your toes forward and lift the top leg toward the ceiling, as high as it will go.
  3. Hold for two or three seconds and then lower your leg back down.
  4. Repeat.
Lateral Band Walks

These tend to work the glute medius, the minimus, and the tensor fasciae latae muscles, as well as the core.

  1. Place the resistance band around your legs. Some people prefer having it around the ankles, and this is the method that physical therapists often use with their injured patients. However, if you want maximum gains in your booty, we recommend placing the band just above the knees.
  2. Spread your feet apart until the band gets tighter, and squat slightly, keeping your weight directly over your hips instead of leaning to one side or the other.
  3. Take a large step to the right, and follow with your left foot. Make sure to keep some resistance in the band, so that the band isn’t falling down and you’re still working your glutes when standing still.
  4. Keep taking steps to the right, and then switch to your left leg. Lead with your left, and follow with your right.
  5. Repeat.

Glute And Hamstring Exercises That Work Everything At Once

These exercises are the real MVP’s of the booty-building workout routine. They work the core, the hamstrings, AND the three main glute muscles at once! They include kickbacks, deadlifts, lunges, bridges, step-ups, and hip thrusts.

  1. Start out on all fours, keeping both your arms and your thighs at a 90 degree angle from the floor. Slightly engage your core to keep your back straight, as well.
  2. Lift your left leg up toward the ceiling until your thigh is parallel with the floor.
  3. Hold for a second or two, and then lower your leg until it grazes the floor.
  4. Lift your leg back up and repeat.


For extra resistance, you can place a dumbbell in the crease of your knee, squeezing it as you lift your leg into the air.

Angled Kickbacks

There are two variations of this exercise – one with a cable and one without. Whichever one you choose, though, you will be extending your leg up and to the side, so that your leg is more diagonal than straight back.

For our purposes, we will be discussing the version without the cable.

  1. Just like the regular kickback, begin on all fours, with your back straight and your arms and legs at right angles with the ground.
  2. Bring your right leg upward and outward, until your thigh is parallel with the floor and pointing behind you in the “four o’clock” direction.
  3. Hold for a second or two and bring it back down to the floor. Repeat.
Romanian Deadlift
  1. Start out in a standing position, holding dumbbells in each hand.
  2. Bend your knees slightly and lean forward until your torso is parallel with the ground. Your arms should be hanging freely at your sides, just in front of your legs.
  3. Tighten your core and your glutes as you drive with your hips to raise yourself back up to a standing position.
Hip Thrusts

These are very similar to glute bridges. The only difference is that while glute bridges are typically done while laying down, hip thrusts are done from a sitting position. This allows for a greater range of motion and for more resistance to be added, too.

  1. Start by sitting on the ground with your back and arms resting on a bench.
  2. Push with your heels to raise your hips up, until your torso is laying on the bench parallel with the ground.
  3. Hold for a second, and then release and come back down.


If you want to add some weight to this exercise, you can place a barbell in your lap while you engage. Just make sure to keep your hands on it to hold it steady, as you don’t want it leaning to one side or the other.

Community Encouragement for Glute and Hamstring Exercises

If you want to keep consistent with these exercises to see real results, the best way to do that is to find a community of encouraging people. For this, you can check out my Glute Goddess app, which not only will provide you with virtual personal training, but a wonderful community full of like-minded people training to get their body in shape. With the right tools and motivation, anyone can become a Glute Goddess. It’s just a matter of turning good intentions into action.

Glute Goddess
11 Glute and Hamstring Exercises for a Well-Rounded Workout - Trainerize.me (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Annamae Dooley

Last Updated:

Views: 5689

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (65 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Annamae Dooley

Birthday: 2001-07-26

Address: 9687 Tambra Meadow, Bradleyhaven, TN 53219

Phone: +9316045904039

Job: Future Coordinator

Hobby: Archery, Couponing, Poi, Kite flying, Knitting, Rappelling, Baseball

Introduction: My name is Annamae Dooley, I am a witty, quaint, lovely, clever, rich, sparkling, powerful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.