Best Upper Glute Exercises to Elevate Booty Game

Best Upper Glute Exercises: Achieve Glute Perfection With These Workouts

Best Upper Glute Exercises: Achieve Glute Perfection With These Workouts

A well-rounded and shapely backside is a goal that many fitness enthusiasts aspire to achieve. So, are you interested in learning about the best upper glute exercises?

Although the entire gluteal region is essential for giving our motions stability and power, our workouts frequently neglect to focus on the upper glutes. However, neglecting this area can lead to an imbalanced and incomplete physique. Therefore, some of the best upper glute exercises are necessary.

This comprehensive guide discusses best upper glute exercises, unveiling the best techniques to effectively engage and sculpt this often-overlooked region.

Best Upper Glute Exercises

Would you like to know “How to build upper glutes of dreams”? If so, we have got you covered with these detailed exercises:

1.     Standing Hip Abduction

The Standing Hip Abduction exercise is a targeted movement that primarily engages the upper glutes, with a particular focus on the gluteus medius muscle.

This exercise helps improve hip stability and balance, crucial for overall functional movement and injury prevention. Strengthening the glute medius contributes to better alignment of the pelvis and helps alleviate strain on the hips and knees.

Performing the Standing Hip Abduction exercise can aid in developing a well-rounded gluteal structure and promoting symmetry in the lower body.

How To Perform?

  • Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart. You can place your hands on your hips or hold onto a sturdy surface for balance.
  • Shift your weight onto your left leg while keeping a slight bend in your left knee.
  • Engage your core for stability and lift your right leg out to the side. Keep your right knee straight and your toes pointed forward.
  • Lift your right leg as high as you comfortably can while maintaining control and balance.
  • Slowly lower your right leg back down to the starting position.
  • Complete the desired number of repetitions on your right side before switching to your left leg.

Mistakes To Avoid

  • Avoid using momentum to lift your leg; focus on controlled movements.
  • Do not lean excessively to the side while lifting the leg; keep your torso upright.
  • Ensure that your knee and toes are pointed forward during the movement to maintain proper alignment.

2.     Sumo Squat


upper glute workout

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The Sumo Squat is a compound glute exercise that targets the entire lower body, including the upper glutes. The wide stance and deep squatting motion engage the upper glutes as you power through your heels to stand up.

In addition to enhancing the size and strength of your glutes, the Sumo Squat also targets the hamstrings and inner thighs. This exercise promotes better muscle balance and development while building lower body strength.

It’s an effective way to work on glute activation, leading to improved posture and overall lower body aesthetics.

How To Perform?

  • Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart, and turn your toes out at a comfortable angle.
  • Keep your chest lifted, shoulders back, and core engaged throughout the exercise.
  • Begin to lower your body by bending your knees and pushing your hips back, as if you’re sitting into an imaginary chair.
  • Keep your weight on your heels as you descend, allowing your knees to track over your toes.
  • Aim to lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the ground or as low as your flexibility allows.
  • Press through your heels and engage your glutes to return to the starting position.

Mistakes To Avoid

  • Avoid letting your knees extend beyond your toes to prevent excessive strain.
  • Do not round your back; maintain a neutral spine throughout the movement.
  • Ensure your knees track in line with your toes to prevent unnecessary stress on the joints.

3.     Weighted Hip Thrust


best exercises for upper glutes

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The Weighted Hip Thrust is a cornerstone exercise for glute development, particularly in the upper glutes.

This exercise is highly effective for maximizing glute activation and growth. The Weighted Hip Thrust also aids in improving hip extension mechanics, which can positively impact other compound movements.

Additionally, this upper glute workout can contribute to better lower back health as it strengthens the muscles that support the lumbar region.

How To Perform?

  • Sit on the floor with your upper back against a bench or platform. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor.
  • Position a barbell or weight across your hips and secure it in place.
  • Roll the barbell toward your hips and lean against it for stability.
  • Plant your feet firmly on the floor, hip-width apart. The barbell should be directly above your hips.
  • Brace your core and drive through your heels to lift your hips off the ground. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
  • Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement and hold for a brief pause.
  • Lower your hips back down to the floor with control.

Mistakes To Avoid

  • Do not use your lower back to lift the weight; focus on engaging your glutes.
  • Avoid excessive hyperextension of your lower back at the top of the movement.
  • Ensure the barbell is positioned correctly and does not cause discomfort or pain.

4.     Fire Hydrant Kicks


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Fire Hydrant Kicks are a valuable isolation exercise targeting the upper glutes and engaging the hip abductors.

However, incorporating this upper flute exercise into your routine enhances hip mobility and flexibility. Furthermore, the movement helps in strengthening the glute medius, a muscle often overlooked but essential for hip stability.

Moreover, engaging the glute medius and gluteus minimus can contribute to improved performance in activities like running and lateral movements and can even help in reducing the risk of injuries related to hip and knee alignment.

How To Perform?

  • Begin on your hands and knees in a tabletop position. Your wrists should be directly under your shoulders, and your knees under your hips.
  • In fact, keep your core engaged and your spine in a neutral position.
  • Moreover, lift your right knee out to the side while keeping your knee bent at a 90-degree angle. Your thigh should be parallel to the floor.
  • From this position, extend your right leg straight out behind you while maintaining the 90-degree bend in your knee.
  • Return to the starting position by reversing the movement.

Mistakes To Avoid

  • Avoid overarching your lower back or letting your hips tilt excessively; maintain a stable core.
  • Do not lift your leg too high or too quickly, as it can reduce glute activation.
  • Ensure you keep the knee bent at a 90-degree angle during both the abduction and kick phases.

5.     Barbell Glute Bridge


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The Barbell Glute Bridge is a fundamental exercise that provides intense upper glute activation.

Additionally, by lifting the hips and squeezing the glutes at the top, you effectively engage and challenge the upper glute muscles. So, this exercise is exceptional for building glute strength and power, which are essential for activities involving explosive movements, such as jumping and sprinting.

Furthermore, the Barbell Glute Bridge improves hip thrusting mechanics, potentially leading to enhanced performance in exercises like deadlifts and squats.

How To Perform?

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and heels close to your glutes.
  • Position a barbell across your hips, or use a pad to protect your hips from the barbell.
  • Hold the barbell with an overhand grip and ensure it’s securely positioned.
  • Moreover, press through your heels and engage your glutes as you lift your hips off the ground.
  • Furthermore, continue lifting until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
  • Squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement and hold for a moment.
  • Lower your hips back down to the floor in a controlled manner.

Mistakes to Avoid

  • Avoid overarching your lower back; aim for a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
  • However, do not use excessive momentum to lift the weight; prioritize glute activation.
  • Ensure proper barbell placement to prevent discomfort or pressure on your hips.

6.        Split Squat

The split squat is a unilateral lower body move that challenges your balance, stability, and hip mobility in addition to blasting your glutes. However, splitting your stance and isolating each leg is one of the most effective upper glute exercises.

How to Perform?

To do a proper split squat:

  • Stand tall with your feet together. Engage your core muscles.
  • Step forward with one leg, taking an exaggerated stride length.
  • Your front foot should be flat on the floor while your back knee hovers above the ground.
  • Keeping your torso upright, bend both knees to sink until your back knee nearly touches the floor.
  • Your front thigh should be parallel to the floor at the bottom of your range of motion.
  • Drive through your front heel to push yourself to the starting position.
  • Complete all reps on one side before switching to the other leg.

Mistakes to Avoid

  • Let your back knee touch the floor – keep it hovering above the ground.
  • Leaning your torso too far forward or letting your front knee collapse inward.
  • Not descending low enough for your front thigh to reach parallel with the floor.
  • Lifting your back toes off the ground rather than keeping them planted.
  • Failing to brace your core causes your hips to dip to one side.

7.        Bulgarian Split Squat

The Bulgarian split squat is a variation of the traditional split squat and an excellent upper glute isolating exercise. Moreover, the increased range of motion maximally activates your gluteus maximus.

How to Perform?
  • Rest the top of your back foot on a bench or box behind you, laces facing down.
  • Keeping your torso upright, bend your front knee and hips to lower down until your back knee hovers above the floor.
  • Additionally, descend as far as possible while keeping your front heel grounded and back foot anchored.
  • Drive through your front heel to return to start. Complete reps, then switch sides.

Mistakes to Avoid

  • Allowing the back knee to touch down – keep it hovering.
  • Moreover, lifting the back foot off the bench or letting it roll to the outside.
  • Overarching your lower back as you descend.
  • It’s not going low enough for maximum glute activation.
  • Shifting your body weight too far forward onto the front leg.

8.      Walking Lunge


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This dynamic version of the lunge taxes your upper glutes with each exaggerated step while engaging your core and upper body. Moreover, this is one of the best upper glute exercises.

How to Perform?
  • Stand tall with hands on hips, core braced, looking straight ahead.
  • Step forward with one leg into a deep lunge, bending both knees to 90 degrees.
  • Drive through the front heel to propel yourself forward as you return to standing.
  • Repeat the exaggerated step forward with the opposite leg to complete one rep.

Mistakes to Avoid

  • Allowing the back knee to touch the floor.
  • Taking too narrow of a step that doesn’t fully engage the glutes.
  • Overstriding and letting the front knee drift past the toes.
  • Failing to maintain an upright torso – don’t lean forward.
  • Neglecting to engage your core results in hip dipping.

9.       Squat Jump


exercises for upper glutes

The squat jump is an explosive exercise that will light your upper glutes up! It combines a regular squat with an upward jump, targeting power and athleticism.

How to Perform?
  • Stand tall with feet shoulder-width apart. Bend knees and push hips back to squat down.
  • Moreover, extend knees and hips rapidly to jump straight up, fully extending your body.
  • Land as softly as possible in a quarter squat with knees bent to absorb impact.
  • Immediately squat down and repeat the explosive jump.

Mistakes to Avoid

  • Need to synchronize the squat and jump.
  • Not squatting low enough before jumping.
  • Letting knees cave inward during takeoff or landing.
  • In addition, landing with straight, locked knees – stay in a squat.
  • Jumping forward or backward instead of straight up and down.

10.      Single Leg Glute Bridge


This isolation exercise targets each glute individually and improves stability through your hip joint.

How to Perform?
  • Lie faceup on the floor, one leg bent and foot flat. Extend the opposite leg.
  • Push through your grounded heel to lift your hips, creating a straight line from knees to shoulders.
  • Squeeze your glute at the top, then control the return down without letting your hips dip.
  • Complete reps, then switch legs. Can add a resistance band around the thighs.

Mistakes to Avoid

  • Allowing hips to drop toward the floor rather than stay elevated.
  • Moreover, using momentum rather than controlled motion to raise.
  • Overarching lower back – keep your core engaged.
  • Furthermore, failing to isolate the glute by rotating your hip outward.
  • Simply extending your hip versus driving through your planted heel.

Final Verdict

By incorporating the best upper glute exercises into your workout routine, you’re embracing the challenge of pushing your body to new heights and fostering a deeper connection with your musculature.

As with any fitness endeavor, consistency is key. In addition, progress may not be immediate, but with dedication and patience, you’ll undoubtedly witness the transformative effects of targeted upper glute training.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


How do you target your upper glutes?

Some of the best exercises to target the upper glutes include standing hip abduction, sumo squats, weighted hip thrusts, fire hydrant kicks, barbell glute bridges, and single leg glute bridges. Consequently, these exercises emphasize activating and strengthening the upper fibers of the gluteus maximus and medius.

What is the top of the glute muscle?

The top or upper portion of the glute muscle refers to the upper fibers of the gluteus maximus. Furthermore, this is the area above the mid-line of the butt. Consequently, Best upper glute exercises that target hip extension and abduction best engage the upper glutes.

How do you target your upper and lower glutes?

The upper glutes can be targeted with wider stance exercises like sumo squats, wide stance hip thrusts, and reverse hypers. However, the lower glutes are best worked using narrow stance exercises like narrow squat, traditional hip thrusts, and bridge variations.

What exercise hits glutes the most?

The hip thrust and its variations, such as barbell hip thrusts, are considered one of the most effective exercises for maximally activating the entire glute muscles, including the upper fibers.

How do you get top shelf glutes?

Targeting the upper glutes with exercises like weighted hip thrusts, barbell glute bridges, sumo squats, and single leg glute bridges can help build and lift the upper glutes to create that desired “shelf” effect.

Which glute muscle gives you a shelf?

The upper fibers of the gluteus maximus give the butt a rounded, shelf-like shape when properly strengthened. Consequently, this muscle spans the top portion of the glutes.

How can I make my glutes rounder at the top?

Focus on exercises that target the upper glute muscles like hip thrusts, sumo squats, and standing abductions. Moreover, building strength in the upper glute fibers will give your glutes a fuller, rounder appearance at the top.

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