Glute muscle anatomy | Best dumbbell glute exercises | Glute workout plan | Final word

Whether you’re at home with a pair of dumbbells or in the gym, you can effectively train the glute muscles to strengthen and increase the size of your butt.

In this article, I’m going to share with you the 10 best dumbbell glute exercises, along with a proper workout plan that you can follow to make your booty stronger and more appealing.

Glute Muscles and Their Functions

Gluteus muscles
Image: Philamassages.com

Glute (gluteus) muscle is consists of three muscle groups — gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus.

The gluteus maximus, the largest muscle in the hip, helps keep the upper body in an erect posture. Its main functions are the extension and external rotation of the thigh at the hip joint. [1]

Gluteus medius, present in the upper part of the glute, mainly assists in the abduction and stabilization of the hip joint. [2] Training this muscle will help you build a shelf on your upper glute.

The gluteus minimus is the smallest muscle in the glutei, located just beneath the medius muscle. It mainly works as a hip stabilizer and abductor of the hip. [3]

Bottom Line

We need to train all three muscle groups (the maximus, medius, and minimus) of the glutei in order to build a stronger and amazing-looking butt.

What are the Best Dumbbell Glute Exercises?

Best Dumbbell Glute Exercises for Strength and Size

Here’re the 10 of the best glute exercises with dumbbells:

  • Bulgarian Split Squat
  • Forward Lunge
  • Romanian Deadlift
  • Sumo Squat
  • Lateral Lunge
  • Suitcase Squat
  • Hip Thrust
  • Staggered-Stance Deadlift
  • Goblet Squat
  • Reverse Lunge

1. Bulgarian Split Squat (Dumbbell)

How to do it:

  • Begin with a split stance with a pair of dumbbells at your sides on a neutral grip. Instead of two, you can use one heavy dumbbell and hold it in front of your chest.
  • Place one leg on the bench behind you (about 2-3 feet distance) and keep your core tight, chest up, and back flat.
  • Decent by bending your front knee until your back knee kisses or come closer to the ground. The majority of your weight should be shifted to your front leg.
  • Then pushing through your front heel, drive all the way back up to the starting position. Repeat and switch legs.

Target Muscles: Quads, glutes, hamstrings, and to a lessent extent, calves and lower back.

Tip

When lunging, keep your chest up, and your front knee doesn’t pass your toes. With a broader foot stance, you’ll activate more of your glutes, while closer stance targets quads.

2. Forward Dumbbell Lunge

How to do it:

  • To begin, hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides and stand with your foot shoulder-width apart. Keep your chest up and back flat.
  • Take one step forward slightly wider and go down until your back knee touches the ground.
  • Then pushing through the toe of your front leg, come back to the starting position.
  • You can do one leg at a time or alternate as desired reps.

Target Muscles: Glutes, quads, and hamstrings.

Tip

Make sure your front knee isn’t going past your toe, and as you come down, keep your body at a 90-degree angle, don’t lean forward.

3. Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift

How to do it:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a pair of dumbbells in front of your thighs.
  • Keep your chest up, back arch, and core tight.
  • From there, come down until the dumbbell reaches your shins and feel a nice stretch on your hamstrings and glutes.
  • Then come up to the starting position and repeat.

Target Muscles: Hamstrings, glutes, and to a lesser extent, back and calves.

Tip

Make sure you are not rounding your lower back as you go down. Feel the stretch on your hamstring and glute on every rep.

4. Dumbbell Sumo Squat

How to do it:

  • Begin with a wider stance and hold a dumbbell with your hands closer to your chest (or you can hold it in a hanging position in front of your hip.
  • Keep your chest up and back flat, and point your toes slightly outward.
  • From there, bend and lower your hips until your thighs go parallel or slightly lower than your knees. Feel the stretch on your glute.
  • Then drive through your hip, come all the way up to the starting position, and repeat.

Target Muscles: Glutes, quads, hamstrings, inner thighs, and to a lesser extent, calves and lower back.

Tip

Keep your back flat throughout the movement, and squeeze your glute as you come up. Going slightly lower than the knees increases tension in the glutes.

5. Dumbbell Lateral Lunge

How to do it:

  • To begin, hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides with your feet hip-width apart. Keep your chest up, back flat, and core tight.
  • From there, take one step laterally to your side and squat with your lead leg as you lower the dumbbells on both sides of your foot.
  • Pushing through your lead leg, come back up to the starting position. Repeat and switch legs.
  • You can do one leg at a time or alternate them.

Target Muscles: Glutes, inner thighs, quads, hamstrings, and to a lesser extent, calves and lower back.

Tip

Keep your back flat and chest up throughout the movement, and feel the stretch on your glutes and inner thighs as you go down.

6. Suitcase Squat with Dumbbells

How to do it:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart (or slightly wider) and hold two dumbbells at your sides on a neutral grip like a suitcase.
  • Keep your chest up, back flat, and your toes pointing slightly outward.
  • Down your hips slightly lower than your knees and feel a nice stretch on your glute and hamstring.
  • Then drive through your hip, come all the way up to the starting position, and repeat.

Target Muscles: Quads, glutes, hamstrings, traps, and to a lesser extent, calves and lower back.

Tip

Going slightly lower than parallel help activates more of your glute than quads. Be sure to maintain an upright posture throughout the movement and avoid rounding your lower back.

7. Dumbbell Hip Thrust

How to do it:

  • Lie down on your upper back on the edge of the bench, knees bent at 90 degrees, and feet flat on the ground. Hold a dumbbell on your hip.
  • Keep your core tight, back straight, and neck neutral throughout the movement.
  • From there, lift your hip through your heels and squeeze and hold your glutes at the top for 3 seconds.
  • Then slowly lower your hip to the starting position. Repeat.

Target Muscles: Glutes, hamstrings, and to a lesser extent, quads and lower back.

Tip

Make sure you’re using your glute and hamstring to lift the weight, not your lower back. You can do this exercise on the floor as well.

8. Staggered-Stance Dumbbell Deadlift

How to do it:

  • To start, place one leg back about 1-2 inches from the other and hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides on a neutral grip.
  • Keep your chest and back flat. Most of your weight should be on your front foot.
  • Bend your hip and lower yourself over the front leg until you reach your shinbone and feel a nice stretch on your glute and hamstring.
  • Drive through your hips, come all the way up to the starting position and squeeze your hip. Repeat and switch to the other leg.

Target Muscles: Glutes, hamstrings, and to a lesser extent, calves and back.

Tip

Make sure to keep your back flat throughout the movement. You can use your back leg for balance.

9. Dumbbell Goblet Squat

How to do it:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart (or slightly wider) and hold a dumbbell with your hands so that your palms face up against the bottom of the dumbbell’s upper end, closer to your chest.
  • Keep your shoulder blades tight together, chest up, spine neutral, and toes pointing slightly outward.
  • Lower your hips down as much as possible while keeping the spine tall. Feel the tension on your glutes and squeeze as you come up. Repeat.

Target Muscles: Glutes, quads, and hamstrings.

Tip

When lowering your hip, ensure you’re not rounding your lower back.

10. Dumbbell Reverse Lunge

How to do it:

  • To begin, stand with your foot shoulder-width apart and hold a pair of the dumbbell on a neutral grip at your sides. Keep your chest up and back flat.
  • From there, take one step backward for a wider stance and go down until your back knee touches the ground.
  • Then pushing through the toe of your back leg, come all the way up to the starting position and repeat.
  • You can do one leg at a time or alternate between legs.

Target Muscles: Glutes, hamstrings, quads, and to a lesser extent, core and back muscles.

Tip

Make sure you’re lunging in a broader stance to put maximum tension on the glute and keep your upper body at 90 degrees throughout the movement.

A Sample Dumbbell Glute Workout Plan

Here’s a sample glute workout plan that you can follow with dumbbells.

Workout A:

  • DB Bulgarian Split Squat: 3 x 10-12
  • DB Hip Thrust: 4 x 8-12
  • DB Forward Lunge: 3 x 10-12

Workout B:

  • DB Sumo Squat: 4 x 8-12
  • DB Lateral Lunge: 3 x 10-12
  • DB Romanian Deadlift: 3 x 10-12

You can follow the workout ‘A’ and ‘B’ on separate days of the week (e.g., Monday and Thursday). You should aim to hit your glute at least twice a week, excluding leg day.

If you feel the dumbbell is lighter for you, try to perform higher repetitions like 15-20. You can also do slower reps to increase time under tension, which is effective for muscle hypertrophy (growth).

Final Word

Glute is some of the easiest muscle groups to train with little to no equipment. A pair of dumbbells can open up several great exercises to target all three heads of your glute.

Before performing the exercises, make sure to warm up in the beginning and cool down (i.e., static stretching) as you finish your main workout.

Remember, when increasing training frequency, don’t hesitate to take an extra rest day if required.

So… There we have it: The best dumbbell glute exercises.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comment section below. I’d love to help you.

Read Next: 17 Best Gluteus Minimus Exercises to Increase Size