Unfortunately, most of the best glute exercises for building strength and mass involve barbells, weight machines, or at least dumbbells and resistance bands.
The good news is that while bodyweight glute exercises are not necessarily going to be the most effective way to increase the size of your glutes, you can still get a pretty decent bodyweight glutes workout if you choose the right bodyweight glutes exercises and perform enough reps and sets.
So, what are the best bodyweight glute exercises? How can you use bodyweight exercises for glutes in a bodyweight glute workout to increase strength and power in your glutes?
In this article, we will provide step-by-step instructions for some of the best bodyweight glute exercises to help you get strong buns of steel without exercise equipment:
- Glute Bridges
- Hip Thrusts
- Frog Bridges
- Side Planks With Side Leg Lifts
- Single-Leg Romanian Deadlifts
- Jump Squats
- Plank With Leg Extensions
Let’s dive in!
How to Structure The Ultimate Bodyweight Glute Workouts for Strength and Power
It can be hard to figure out how to put together a glutes workout without weights.
However, you can maintain your gains in the gym with no equipment glute exercises if you complete each exercise to failure.
Beginners can start with two sets of every exercise but work up to three sets of every exercise to failure.
The Ultimate Bodyweight Glute Workout
Here are some of the best bodyweight glute exercises:
#1: Glute Bridges
The classic bodyweight glute exercise is the glute bridge, which involves squeezing your glutes to lift your hips up.
Here are the steps to perform a glute bridge:
- Lie on your back. Bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor, hip-width apart, as if preparing to do abdominal crunches.
- Cross your arms over your chest. If you need extra stability, you can place your arms at your sides on the floor next to your hips.
- Press through your heels and contract your glutes to lift your hips up until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulder blades.
- Pause at the top position for a full breath.
- Slowly lower back down.
#2: Hip Thrusts
One of the best posterior chain exercises to target the glutes is the hip thrust.
Hip thrusts are usually performed with a barbell or at least a dumbbell, but you can still do this glute exercise without equipment.
If you are doing a home glute workout, you can add weight in the form of a heavy backpack filled with books or bags of rice on your hips.
Here are the steps to perform a bodyweight hip thrust:
- Rest your shoulder blades and upper back on the long side of a weight bench. If you are working out at home, you can use a chair or couch.
- Bend your knees 90 degrees and place your feet flat on the floor hip-width apart.
- If you have a weighted object that you want to use, place it across the crease of your hips.
- Squeeze your glutes and press through your heels to raise your hips up to the tabletop position so that your body is in a bridge. Your thighs should be parallel to the ground, and your shins should be vertical at the top of the rep.
- Pause at the top of the movement and squeeze your glutes into a full lockout.
- Slowly lower your hips back down, allowing your knees to travel naturally back inward towards your body.
#3: Frog Bridges
The go-to bodyweight glute exercise in any bodyweight glute workout is typically either the basic glute bridge or single-leg glute bridge.
The glute bridge is indeed an effective exercise for the gluteus maximus, but it does little to specifically activate the gluteus medius and minimus.
Moreover, beginners who are still trying to develop the mind-body connection with the glutes often find that it is difficult to properly activate the glutes with the glute bridge.
As such, some beginners find that the movement is primarily initiated by the hamstrings or even lifting upwards from the hip flexors and quads rather than powering the glute bridge with the glutes.
This bodyweight glutes exercise targets all three major muscles of the glutes, and the position (albeit somewhat awkward at first) makes it easier to help activate your glutes.
Here are the steps for performing this one of our bodyweight exercises for glutes:
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor as if you were going to do a standard glute bridge or abdominal crunch.
- Then, drop your knees out to the sides and rotate your lower legs, ankles, and feet so that you place the soles of your feet together. Essentially, your legs should be in the butterfly stretch position as if you are going to stretch your groin.
- Beginners should start with their feet further away from the groin. If you have better hip mobility, you can bring your heels in closer to your groin.
- Place just your upper arm on the ground, with your elbows bent and forearms straight up into the air.
- Keeping your knees opened wide apart, squeeze your glutes to lift your hips off of the floor, using your elbows for support (and a little lift assistance if you have weak glutes).
- Squeeze your glutes as hard as you can in the top position for 3-5 seconds.
- Slowly lower back down before beginning the next rep.
If you are feeling the exercise more in your hips than in your glutes, try bringing your feet further away from your crotch.
#4: Side Planks With Side Leg Lifts
Side planks work your obliques, and this compound exercise is a fantastic bodyweight glute exercise, too.
You will add side-lying leg raises, which work your gluteus medius and makes it all the more difficult to balance and stabilize your body.
Here are the steps:
- Once you are in a side plank position, lift your top leg up towards the ceiling, keeping your hips in line with your body and keeping both legs straight.
- Think about squeezing your obliques and engaging your entire core to prevent sinking into the supporting shoulder or arm. Your entire body, from your head to the foot on the supporting leg, should be in a straight line.
- Lift and lower your top leg 20-25 times, holding the top position for each rep for 5-10 seconds.
#5: Single-Leg Romanian Deadlifts
A weight is typically used for this exercise, but you can perform as many reps as possible to build glute strength and endurance with bodyweight glute exercises.
Otherwise, look for a weighted object at home if you are doing an at-home glutes workout.
A milk gallon or jug of water works well.
Here are the steps to perform this bodyweight glute exercise:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, chest up, arms at your side, and if you have a weighted object, hold it in your right hand.
- Bring your left arm out to the side for balance and engage your core.
- Bend your left knee about 20 degrees to activate your glutes while you lift your right leg off the floor.
- Squeeze your glutes and hinge from your hips to bring your torso towards the floor, keeping your gaze on the floor to prevent hyperextending your neck. Your right leg should extend behind you as a counterbalance.
- Reach your right hand down towards your left foot (with or without a weighted object).
- Engage your core and glutes to stand back up, extending your hips until they are fully locked out.
- Complete all of your desired reps and then switch sides.
#6: Jump Squats
Jump squats involve performing a powerful, explosive vertical jump between each rep of a regular squat. This plyometric exercise works your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves.
Here are the steps to perform a jump squat:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, core engaged, chest up, and back straight.
- Perform a regular squat by bending your knees and sitting your butt back.
- Push through your heels and then your midfoot and toes to explode upward as high as you can jump, simultaneously straightening your knees, ankles, and hips and using your arms to power your body upwards into the air.
- As soon as you land from the jump, bend your knees to cushion the impact, transitioning immediately into a full squat to begin the cycle again.
- Move quickly and powerfully from rep to rep.
#7: Plank With Leg Extensions
Planks are one of the best exercises to strengthen your core.
Extending your leg makes the plank even more challenging on your core while also strengthening your glutes without using any weight.
- Get in a forearm plank position.
- While bracing your core and maintaining proper form, lift your right leg as high as possible without bending your knee.
- Hold for 5-10 seconds.
- Return to the starting position with control.
- Complete 15 slow reps, and then switch sides.
To learn how to maximize your muscle gains, check out our muscle-building guide here.