New to the gym? Want to build a booty? Not sure where to get started? Does using a barbell intimidate you?  

Well, quite frankly, it should. The barbell is the most unforgiving and rigid tool in the gym and should be given the proper respect. If you’re new, there is plenty of other equipment to use to build strong, shapely glutes.

When you’re ready, do some research or approach a fitness professional and inquire about getting some training sessions with barbell work. As intimidating as it is, it can also be the most fun.

Building a Booty – 4 Foundational Exercises

In the meantime, start building foundational strength using other tools. Here are some of my favorite exercises to do just that:

1) 45-Degree Hyperextensions (aka “back extensions”): When doing this exercise for glutes specifically, it is recommended to round your mid back, which helps put your hips in a posterior tilt and minimize movement of the lower back. Begin with bodyweight only, and once you are able to do 3 sets of 20-30 reps you can start adding weight by holding a plate, dumbbell, or even banded resistance.

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2) Kettlebell Squats: This is not a glute isolation exercise, however the glutes are responsible for both hip flexion and extension, which is a big part of any squat. Start with a light weight and increase the workload by either adding more weight or doing more reps each week.

Video here:

building a booty Forma Gym


3) Hip Thrusts with Band: “Booty bands” are what they are often referred to, and some gyms have them and some don’t. You can purchase your own online for anywhere from $10-25 for a set. This exercise can be done with or without any weight, on the floor or with your back elevated, single leg or double. There are plenty of variations to increase difficulty and keep your booty growing!

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4) Quadruped Kickbacks (aka “donkey kicks”): For this exercise, grab an ankle weight, get on all fours, engage the glute, and kick! Ok, it’s not quite that simple. A few points to get the most out of this exercise: engage your core and don’t hyperextend your lower back when you kick back. We aren’t looking for momentum, but glute engagement. Keep the knee bent, the heel flexed and drive it towards the ceiling. Keep the glute isolated and prevent the quad from getting involved. Keeping the knee in a bent position will do just that, focusing on hip flexion and extension as that is what the glutes dominate.   

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These 4 exercises are a great start to building your booty! Throw them into your full body routine to see some improvement in your glutes. Always remember PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD. Stay consistent with a few of your favorite exercises for 3-4 weeks, then increase the workload by increasing weight or reps before changing it up again.

Stay tuned, the second part of this booty building series will include exercises in different planes of motion, how to create shape, and most importantly, how to eat right when trying to GROW the glutes!

Darlene L

Darlene L

Darlene began her fitness career as a Health Coach specializing in weight loss and soon discovered a passion for powerlifting. To date, she has competed in 8 bodybuilding competitions and continues to compete in strength competitions. She loves empowering people, and is equally passionate about working with beginners and coaching bodybuilding competitors. She works with beginners on foundational movement patterns, building confidence and getting rid of the intimidation they may feel as they get comfortable in the weight room. Some of her clients came to her being new to exercise and are now being coached to compete in Bikini and Figure Division bodybuilding competitions!

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