8 Dumbbell Glute Exercises for a Rounder Butt

12 min read
a man and a woman are doing lunges with dumbbells_dumbbell glute exercises
Jonathan Valdez post Reviewer
The article is verified by Jonathan Valdez
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Dietitian/Nutritionist in NYC, Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist

Looking for dumbbell glute exercises for a rounder and more lifted butt? Read on to start working on your backside right away 👉

Table of Contents

Having nice, firm buttocks is a dream for many people. But with society leading us to become more and more sedentary and sit for longer periods, it is getting harder to achieve that look. 

But there is no reason to despair: in this article, we will take you through 8 simple dumbbell glute exercises to get a rounder butt, along with some tips to maximize your results.

Dumbbell Glute Exercises to Grow Your Booty

In order to achieve good results, you must perform your glute workouts with some weights, as advised by professional fit plans. In this section, we will describe some of the best free-weight glute exercises to perform with dumbbells.

Dumbbell Sumo Squats

There are many types of squats, and this specific variation targets the glutes particularly well.

Technique

  • Grab a dumbbell, holding the handle with both hands
  • Place your feet wider than hip-width, with your toes pointing slightly outwards
  • Hold the dumbbell between your legs and then move your hips back
  • From this position, squat down slowly while holding the dumbbell
  • Then move back up slowly, still controlling the movement. This is one repetition

Reps

Perform 3-6 sets of 6-12 repetitions each. Rest for 30-90 seconds between each set. Weights should be 65-85% of 1 RM.

Pro Tips

  • To maximize your range of motion, perform some ankle mobility exercises as a warm-up. 
  • You can place steppers under your feet to increase the range of motion and intensity. 

Alternate Walking Lunges

a woman is doing Alternate Walking Lunges_dumbbell glute exercises

Technique

  • Grab a dumbbell in each hand, then start from a standing position
  • Lunge forward, making sure your front knee doesn’t go over your toes
  • Then move the back leg in line with the front leg so that you get into a standing position 
  • Now repeat with the other leg. This is one repetition

Reps

Perform 3-6 sets of 6-12 repetitions each. Rest for 30-90 seconds between each set. Weights should be 65-85% of 1 RM. 

Pro Tips

  • Ensure you have enough space to perform this exercise. If not, you can replace it with front lunges
  • Keep your torso upright and your chest open while performing the lunges
  • If the dumbbells hurt your wrists, try using wrist wraps to support those joints and prevent pain
  • Make sure your knees are bent at 90 degrees but not over, to prevent injuries

Reverse Lunges

a woman is performing Reverse Lunges with dumbbells_dumbbell glute exercises

Technique

  • Start by holding a dumbbell in each hand
  • Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart
  • Lunge back with one leg while holding onto the dumbbells and creating a 90-degree angle with the front leg
  • Move the posterior leg back into the starting position by pushing through the front leg
  • Repeat on the other side. This is one repetition

Reps

Perform 3-6 sets of 6-12 repetitions on each leg. Rest for 30-90 seconds between each set. Weights should be 65-85% of 1 RM.

Pro Tips

  • Keep your chest open and maintain a good upright posture to perform the exercise correctly and avoid straining your back
  • If your wrists hurt while holding the dumbbells, use wrist wraps to add support 
  • Perform this exercise in front of a mirror to aid in balance

Dumbbell Hip Thrust

a man is doing Dumbbell Hip Thrust with a dumbbell_dumbbell glute exercises

Technique

  • Find a bench or a knee-high foam plyo box
  • Grab a dumbbell and sit in front of the bench/box with your back against the longer side
  • Extend your legs out, then position the dumbbell gently on your pelvic region
  • Bend your knees to move your feet hip-width apart flat on the ground
  • Keeping your upper back against the bench/box, use your glutes to push the dumbbell and your pelvis up to create a line with your torso and legs
  • Gently move back down to the starting position. This is one repetition

Reps

Perform 3-6 sets of 6-12 repetitions each. Rest for 30-90 seconds between each set. Weights should be 65-85% of 1 RM.

Pro Tips

  • If the weight hurts your hips, you can put a folded mat or any other soft material between the dumbbell and the pelvis
  • Make sure to keep a neutral neck, so avoid looking around or up when performing the exercise
  • You can put plates under your feet to increase the range of motion and intensity 

Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift

a man is performing Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift_dumbbell glute exercises

Technique

  • Grab a dumbbell in each hand and stand upright with your hands in front of your thighs and your feet hip-width apart
  • Keeping your core engaged and your back neutral, push your hips back to lower the dumbbells down your legs until you feel the tension in the back of your legs and glutes
  • Push through your glutes and hamstrings to move the weights back up and get back to your original standing position. This is one repetition

Reps

Perform 3-6 sets of 6-12 repetitions each. Rest for 30-90 seconds between each set. Weights should be 65-85% of 1 RM.

Pro Tips

  • Leave some flexibility in your knees by keeping them slightly bent, so as to prevent strains
  • Aim to lower the weights to knee height to target the glutes more, or go lower to target the hamstrings more
  • Keep your back neutral (prevent it from arching at the thoracic and lumbar region) to avoid back injury

Dumbbell Front Squat

a woman is performing Dumbbell Front Squat_dumbbell glute exercises

Technique

  • Grab a dumbbell in each hand
  • Stand in an upright position with your feet hip-width apart
  • Lift the dumbbells up and rest them on your shoulders, but keep holding them with your hands
  • Squat down by pushing your hips back and bending your knees
  • Once you’ve achieved good depth, move your body back up by pushing through your legs and glutes. This is one repetition

Reps

Perform 3-6 sets of 6-12 repetitions each. Rest for 30-90 seconds between each set. Weights should be 65-85% of 1 RM.

Pro Tips

  • Make sure to keep your core tight throughout to prevent lower back pain
  • Perform some ankle and hip mobility exercises to warm up if you want to increase your range of motion
  • Make sure that you can control the movements throughout the exercises. If you are unable to control your movements well, you may need to lower the weight you are lifting

Step-Ups

a woman is doing Step-Ups_dumbbell glute exercises

Technique

  • Find a knee-height box or stool
  • Grab a dumbbell in each hand and put yourself in front of the box, facing it
  • Place one foot on the box and push through that leg to move yourself up in an upright position on top of the box
  • Slowly lower yourself back down through the same leg
  • Repeat on the other side. This is one repetition

Reps

Perform 3-6 sets of 6-12 repetitions each. Rest for 30-90 seconds between each set.

Pro Tips

  • Maintain an upright posture throughout the exercise
  • Avoid using boxes that are above knee height to prevent strains and injuries
  • Control the movements throughout to maintain constant tension in your muscles and improve efficacy
  • Start with low weights and focus more on posture and balance before moving on to heavier dumbbells

Dumbbell Glute Kickbacks

a woman is performing Dumbbell Glute Kickbacks_dumbbell glute exercises

Technique

  • Choose a weight, then kneel down with your hands underneath your shoulders 
  • Lift one leg back while keeping it bent at the knee and place the dumbbell in that fold, ensuring it is stabilized well by squeezing your leg to hold it tight
  • Kick your leg up until you feel your glute contracting. Hold it there for 2 seconds
  • Gently lower the leg back to the original position while keeping it bent and holding the weight. This is one repetition

Reps

Perform 3-6 sets of 6-12 repetitions each. Rest for 30-90 seconds between each set.

Pro Tips

  • Maintain a neutral spine by preventing excessive arching of the top and bottom of your back
  • Make sure the dumbbell is stable before moving your leg up and down as you may incur injuries if you drop it on your other leg. 

Glute Workouts With Dumbbells

As you may have gathered from the previous section, it is possible to get some good glute workouts with dumbbells. Below we’ve included 2 butt workouts with dumbbells as examples to help you build your glutes:

Routine #1

  • Warm-up
  • Hip Thrusts: 6-12 repetitions
  • Dumbell Front Squats: 6-12 repetitions
  • Reverse Lunges: 6-12 repetitions for each leg
  • Dumbbells Kickbacks: 6-12 repetitions for each leg

Sets: 3-6 for each exercise (perform each exercise back to back before resting to increase intensity)

Rest:  30 to 90 seconds between sets

Cool down: dynamic stretching or light cardio

Routine #2

  • Warm-up
  • Dumbbell Sumo Squats: 6-12 repetitions
  • Walking Lunges: 6-12 repetitions for each leg
  • Step-Ups: 6-12 repetitions for each leg
  • Romanian Deadlifts: 6-12 repetitions

Sets: 3-6 (perform each exercise back to back before resting to increase intensity)

Rest: 30 to 90 seconds between each set

Cool down: dynamic stretching or light cardio

If you want to expand or intensify your glute training plan, you can implement an 8-minute bikini butt workout in your routine. 

4 Tips to Maximize Results

In this paragraph, we will outline some fitness basics to apply in your next training session to ensure you get the most out of your butt workout.  

Glute Activation

As most of us spend a lot of time sitting down, that may inhibit full glute activation. 

The problem is that if your muscles are not appropriately activated, it will take you longer to achieve results. It is therefore important to activate this muscle during your warm-up before starting your glute training. 

A great activation exercise is to perform glute kickbacks, sidekicks, or glute bridges using an elastic band. [1] 

Volume and Intensity Are Important

As a general rule, you should be hitting your glute muscles a certain number of times at the right intensity in order to produce a stimulus in your muscle fibers. If that stimulus is not given to the muscles, they will be unlikely to develop well and give you the desired results. 

Volume can be indicated either as the amount of weight lifted during a session (for example, if you do 4 sets of 12 repetitions of squats with 40 kilos, your volume would equal 1920 kg), or the number of sets performed per week on a given muscle. 

Ideally, you should perform 3-6 sets of hypertrophy training (6 to 12 repetitions per set) each week on the designated muscle, which can be divided into two or more weekly training sessions.

It is important to note that the volume can only be beneficial if coupled with appropriate intensity, which means you should always exercise using a working load, that is to say, a weight that is somewhat challenging. The weights you choose should be between 65 to 85% of 1 RM. 

As you keep exercising, the weight you originally started with becomes easier to lift, which is an indication you should move on to something slightly heavier in order to maintain the intensity. This is called progressive overload and it is essential in order to consistently maintain a good working volume and intensity. [2] [3]

Pick the Right Weight

As mentioned above, it is crucial that the weight used be somewhat challenging in order to generate stress on the muscle and stimulate its growth. 

In order to do so, you need to be starting with the right weight, so that you can progressively get stronger. It is hard to tell you the exact weight you should start with, as this depends on many factors. 

However, there is a tip you can follow to find the perfect load to start with for all your lifts. 

Always start with low weights. Your first sessions can be used to try out different ones and assess the number of repetitions and sets you can do.

Your posture is a great indicator of whether a dumbbell is too heavy for you, while finding the execution too easy may be indicating that the weight selected is too light. Once you find one that you are able to move well but still feels challenging, while maintaining correct posture throughout the whole exercise, then you’ve found your benchmark. That will be your starting weight to assess progress. 

Remember that every exercise requires different mechanics, so you should aim to go through this process of finding the correct starting weight for each one of them. 

Hit All the Muscles

The glutes are a big muscle group formed by different muscles, some of which are bigger and some of which are smaller, and in order to work this group properly, you should aim to target them all. [4]

Final Words

The glutes are one of the main muscles in our body as they enable us to stand, walk, and run, so it is important to work on them to get them stronger. Here are the key messages from this article:

  • In order to tone up your glutes you need to build muscle in that area. This is achieved through weightlifting.
  • Aim to work your glutes in hypertrophy ranges, which means performing between 6 to 12 repetitions for each set.
  • Aim to perform at least 3-6 sets of hypertrophy training on your glutes weekly to maximize results. These can be split into two or more training days.
  • To see progress, aim to increase your working volume as you get stronger.
  • For faster results, always do your glute workouts with weights that you can move and control while maintaining good posture.
  • To find the right weight to start with, you can use your first sessions to try out a few different ones. Always start with low weights and work your way up until you find a weight that you find challenging across the whole exercise but that enables you to still maintain a neutral, upright posture 
  • For a rounder butt, aim to perform exercises that work all the muscles in the glutes. You can use a fitness coach app to help you design a glute workout that targets all those muscles.

The information provided on the site is for educational & informational purposes only. If you seek diagnosis, treatment, or medical advice or want to make significant changes in your diet and health-related routine, please, consult a medical professional or healthcare provider.

Disclaimer 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!



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