The Best Exercise for Gluteus Medius

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I’m sure we’ve all been in the position of wanting a bigger butt. Some of us want to fill out that bikini in time for summer; others just want a curvier frame.

If you’re reading this, then you should know that you can target different parts of your butt. The Gluteus Medius is what makes up your upper butt shelf. This means that targeting it is a little different from usual. You’re not going to see squats on this list.

So, let’s jump straight into talking about the best exercise for Gluteus Medius.

And if you’re looking at getting stronger glutes. You can try this Unlock Your Glutes program. 

Dumbbell Side Lunges

The key when it comes to working out your Gluteus Medius is hip abduction. This muscle’s primary function is to bring your leg away from the midline, so that’s what you want to do.

Start out with your dumbbells in each hand at shoulder height with your elbows bent. Make sure your feet are firmly planted at shoulder-width apart.

From this starting position, keep your right leg straight and step to the side with your left. Keep the dumbbells between your legs and bend your left knee so that your right leg stays straight.

Step back, keeping your right leg straight, and repeat the same process alternating legs. Remember to control your breathing.

Dumbbell side lunges are great because you can adjust the amount of weight you’re working with at any time. With a lot of Gluteus Medius exercises, it’s resistance training, so you can’t adjust weight amounts.

Skater Lunges

These leg killers aren’t just going to help tone up your butt. With skater lunges, you’re working out your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and your adductor muscles. So if a full leg sculpt exercise is what you’re after, this may be what you’re looking for.

On top of all this, you don’t even need any equipment for this exercise: no weights, no resistance band, nothing.

Start out with your feet shoulder-width apart. Put your right foot behind your left knee and bend yourself into a lunge. Keep your right knee behind your left heel. Using your left heel, bring your right leg back to the starting position. Continue this process alternating each rep.

Hip Abductors

This exercise gets its namesake from the motion that all Gluteus Medius exercises are based off. Simplifying it down, hip abductors have you using a resistance band while moving your leg away from your midline.

This is one of the easier exercises on the list. First, set up your resistance band around both legs, at the bottom of the thigh just under the knee. Keeping your left leg straight, raise your right leg away from your midline as far as you can. Do as many of these reps as you’re comfortable with, and switch legs.

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Fire Hydrant

Fire hydrants are very similar to hip abductors, except for the fact that it requires no equipment. The fact that fire hydrants are also called quadruped hip abductions is a testament to that.

There are a few fire hydrant variations. All of them work the Gluteus Medius, but some of them also work the core. Done correctly, not only are fire hydrants going to sculpt your glutes, but it can also reduce back pain.

Get on all fours, keeping your shoulders above your hands and your hips above your knees. Don’t forget to tighten your core. Keeping your knee at a 90-degree angle, lift your leg away from your body at 45 degrees. Return to your starting position to for one rep.

Shuffle Squats

Okay, I lied. Despite being called a squat, the motion of this exercise is closer to a hip abductor than a traditional squat.

You need a resistance band for this exercise. Set it up above your knees at the bottom of your thighs. Although you can do it without one, but you aren’t going to see the same level of results.

Keeping a little distance between feet, bend your knees and at the waist. Remember to keep your back straight. From this squatting position, step out to the side with one leg. Squat down while moving across. Repeat this as necessary.

Side Plank Leg Lift

This exercise is an absolute killer. That being said, the benefits you’re getting from it reflect that. Side plank leg lifts target your waist, abs, shoulders, outer thighs, back, and your glutes.

You’re going to save time with this exercise as a result of this broad targeting. So, if you need a quick exercise when you’re on a time limit, go with this one.

To start, place your elbow flat out on the ground. Prop yourself up with your bicep leaving only your ankles on the ground. Lengthen out your spine and keep your core engaged. Lift your leg up just above your hip and lower it back down. That’s one rep.

Repeat this as much as you can, then swap legs.

Dumbbell Step Up

Dumbbell step-ups are a great calorie-burning edition to any strength training regimen. For our purposes, it’s a great exercise to tone up your entire leg, not just the glutes.

Get your dumbbells and hold them down at your sides. Place one leg on your bench; alternatively, you can use a box. Press through your raised foot to bring the other leg onto the bench, as if you were stepping up. Then use the same leg to lower yourself back down into the starting position.

Repeat these reps for as long as you like, then swap dominant leg.

You can also do this exercise laterally, keeping the non-dominant leg off of the bench.

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This exercise is a bit of a mash-up between a fire hydrant and a side plank leg lift.

Lie on your side with your knees and hips bent, keeping your legs flat together. Put your bottom arm under your head, and the other palm flat on the ground.

From your starting position, keep your heels touching and your core active, and raise your top knee. Hold yourself in that position for a few seconds and return to your starting position.

Repeat this rep as you can, and then swap sides.

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