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10 Side Glute Exercises [At-Home Workout]

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woman's buttocks with side glutes highlighted, side glute exercises
Natasha Caleel post Reviewer Natasha Caleel post Reviewer
Verified by Natasha Caleel
MS in Occupational Therapy, BS in Kinesiology, Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist, CrossFit Level 1 Coach

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If you want well-rounded glutes, it’s important to work all your gluteal muscles, although some areas are harder to target than others. The side glute is one of them; however, there are plenty of exercises that can target this area and make your butt look fuller and rounder. 

This article will show you how to grow your side glutes with some of the best exercises and workout examples. 

Side Glutes and Glute Anatomy

The glutes are one big muscle group made up of three main muscles: the gluteus maximus, the gluteus medius, and the gluteus minimus. All three work in synergy to allow us to perform hip joint movements with greater stability and efficiency. 

glutes anatomy, gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus muscles, side glute exercises

When we talk about the side butt muscles specifically, what we are really referring to is, to a greater extent, the gluteus medius and then the gluteus minimus, the smallest of the three main gluteal muscles.

The gluteus medius lies on the outer surface of the pelvis between the gluteus minimus and gluteus maximus. It’s a primary hip abductor that stabilizes the pelvis and maintains the trunk upright when performing any activity with one leg off the ground. [1]

The gluteus minimus is situated underneath the gluteus medius, and its main role is to stabilize and abduct the hip joint, although it also acts as a flexor, internal rotator, and external rotator of the femur. [2] 

Can You Isolate the Side Glutes?

You can target your outer glute muscles with some exercises. However, you cannot fully isolate them as gluteal muscles work in synergy and will still be activated. [3]

If you want to target your side glutes more, you should perform hip abduction exercises, such as side cable kicks, and single-legged exercises, such as curtsy lunges. [3]

Will Working Out the Side Glutes Minimize Hip Dips?

The sides of your butt can get more toned and rounder if you exercise regularly. However, that does not mean that working out can change your figure drastically. In fact, exercise allows the muscle to work and develop, but our skeletal anatomy remains unvaried. 

In this regard, hip dips, which can give the side of your glutes, between the top of your femur and hip bone, a violin-shaped appearance. This can be more or less evident based on your skeletal structure. Increasing the muscle mass of your side glutes can help you “fill” this gap and make your butt look fuller, and ultimately make this indentation less emphasized. Still, the dip will always be present underneath the developed muscle. 

This means that while glute exercises can help you minimize your hip dips, losing the muscle mass in your glutes or changes in your body fat levels could make them more visible. 

10 Side Glute Exercises

You can perform a series of squat variations, lunges, and hip abduction movements to target your side glutes. 

Below you can find some of the best side booty exercises to target the side of your hips and get well-rounded glutes.

#1 Side Plank Leg Lift

a woman is performing Side Plank Leg Circles_side glute exercises

From a modified side plank position, extend your outer leg and keep your core tight to aid stability. Contract your glutes and lift the outer leg gently, then move it back down slowly, keeping your side glutes engaged. Repeat on the other side.

#2 Side Plank Clamshell

a woman is performing Side Plank Clamshell_side glute exercises

Place yourself in a modified side plank position, keeping both your legs slightly bent backward to create an angle with your knees. Gently lift and rotate back your top leg to contract the side of your glutes. Then move the outer leg back to the starting position. Repeat on both sides.  

#3 Side Plank Leg Circles

a woman is performing Side Plank Leg Circles_side glute exercises

Start by placing yourself in a modified side plank position, with your bottom leg bent back and the top leg straight. Use the top leg to draw wide circles in the air with a forward movement. Then repeat on the same leg, but using a backward motion. Repeat with the other leg. 

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#4 Quadruped Hip Abduction

a woman is performing Quadruped Hip Abduction_side glute exercises

Start by positioning an elastic band around your thighs, then place yourself in an all-four tabletop position. Engage your side glutes to lift one leg to the side while keeping the knee bent, then slowly move it back down. Repeat on both sides. 

#5 Banded Squat

a woman is performing bended squat_side glute exercises

Wrap an elastic band around your thighs, then place your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Hinge back at the hips and bend your knees to squat down. Stand back up by pushing through your glutes.

#6 Squat With Side Leg Raise

a woman is performing Squat With Side Leg Raise_side glute exercises

Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hinge back at the hips and bend your knees to squat down. Push through your glutes to stand back up. As you reach the top, engage your glutes to lift your right leg to the side. Move the leg back to the starting position. Repeat on the other side. 

#7 Curtsy Lunge

a woman is performing curtsy lunge_side-glute exercises

Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart. Draw your left leg back diagonally behind your right leg, while bending the right knee to place yourself in a slant back lunge position. Push through your right leg and glutes to stand up and move back to the starting position. Repeat on both sides. 

#8 Side Lunge

a woman is performing Side Lunge_side glute exercises

Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart, holding a kettlebell or a dumbbell against your chest. You can also perform this exercise using only your body weight.

Step to the side with your left leg, while keeping the right foot well grounded. As you touch the floor with your left foot, bend the knee to lunge down. Push through your left leg to stand back up and return to the starting position. Repeat on both sides. 

#9 Glute Bridge

a woman is performing dumbbell glute bridge_side glute exercises

Lie down on your back, with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent. Use your hands to hold a dumbbell on your pelvic area, then push through your glutes to lift your hips off the floor. Squeeze your glutes as you get to the top, then gently move back to the starting position.

To target your side glutes even more, swap dumbbells for a band around your knees.

#10 Banded Lateral Walks

a woman is performing lateral walks_side glute exercises

Wrap an elastic band around your thighs, then stand upright with your feet hip-width apart. Hinge back at the hips and bend the knees to squat down. Engage your glutes and walk sideways while maintaining a squat position. Stand back up and repeat on the other side. 

Side Glute Workout Examples

In this section, you can find two side butt workout examples, including the glute exercises and variations described above. 

Workout 1

ExerciseSetsRepsRest (Seconds)
Side Plank Leg Lift31530
Side Plank Clamshell31530
Banded Squat41260
Curtsy Lunge41260
Glute Bridge41260
Squat With Side Leg Raise12
Banded Lateral Walks12
Quadruped Hip Abduction31530

Workout 2

ExerciseSetsRepsRest (Seconds)
Banded Lateral Walk22030
Side Plank Leg Lift12
Side Plank Clamshell12
Side Plank Leg Circles12
Side Lunge12
Curtsy Lunge12
Banded Squats41230
Glute Bridges15
Quadruped Hip Abduction12

Final Words

You can achieve your goal of having a well-rounded butt if you also target the smaller gluteal muscles like the gluteus medius and minimus with the right exercises. Here are the key points about side glutes and side glute workouts:

  • The gluteus medius is the main side butt muscle which mainly abducts the hip joint.
  • The glute muscles work in synergy, which is why you cannot isolate your side glutes, although you can target them more with abduction movements and single-leg exercises.
  • Side glute workouts can help you get a rounder butt, but they cannot change your skeletal anatomy to get rid of hip dips completely.
  • Losing muscle mass in your glutes, in addition to changes in your weight and body composition, can make your hip dips more visible.
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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