A lot of us work nine to five, sitting on our butt all day. And as a result, our behinds slowly wither and die!
Luckily, your butt can be saved – but it takes work!
To start with, I’ve put together six excellent exercises that will both strengthen and lift your glute muscles.
I call them the saggy buttock exercises – the essential counterweights to the office chair syndrome:
Saggy Buttock Exercises: The Essential Counterweights to the Office Chair Syndrome
1. Deep Squats
Squats are one of the best exercises to develop your lower body. The range of motion is excellent, you can overload yourself with extra weight, and you’re forced to remain balanced as you move up and down.
But to target your buttocks with squats, you need to reach good depth – ideally, until your thighs are parallel to the floor or lower (1). In doing so, you force your glutes to produce much more force to get you moving up, which strengthens and firms up your buttocks.
You can also pick from many variations:
- Barbell squats
- Front squats
- Safety bar squats
- Goblet squats
- Bodyweight jump squats
- Split squats
- Or you can use the Allstar Innovations Squat Magic
2. Hip Thrusts
Hip thrusts are one of the most effective compound exercises you can do to train your gluteus maximus and build a firm and round butt (2). But beyond the visual benefits, hip thrusts are also fantastic for building raw strength, power, and athleticism. By training your glutes with a lot of weight, you improve your abilities to jump, run, and stay balanced.
Hip thrusts are a fantastic exercise because they are easy to learn. The range of motion is long but mastering the movement comes naturally to most people. All you have to do is extend your hips against the barbell’s weight, and your glutes will be on fire.
Hip thrusts are unique because you can target your glutes with much more weight, creating significant mechanical tension that aids muscle growth (3).
Lunges are similar to squats because the movement revolves around knee extension. You descend and use your quadriceps to get back into the starting position. But lunges are unique because the activity also heavily involves your glutes (4). As you go down into a lunge, your glutes have to produce a lot of force to get you off the bottom and back to the top position.
As a rule of thumb, you should lunge far enough forward, so your front shin remains vertical. Meaning, your knee should be directly over your ankle as you go down.
Lunges are also great because you can pick from many variations. For instance, you can do the alternating lunge, but you can also do stationary lunges, reverse lunges (which could activate your glutes a bit more), walking lunges, and more.
Many people consider the deadlift a back exercise, but the exercise heavily trains the lower body, too. Deadlifts are a hip hinge movement – meaning, the activity revolves around hip flexion and extension. As you lift the barbell off the floor, you drive your hips forward. Then, as you have to lower the weight, you bring your butt back, producing hip flexion.
Aside from being the largest muscle group in the body, our glutes are also the primary hip extensor. Meaning, driving them forward primarily comes from the glutes.
Similar to hip thrusts, deadlifts are great because you can overload your glutes with a lot of weight and induce a lot of mechanical tension (3). But unlike hip thrusts, deadlifts also heavily involve other muscles, including the back, shoulders, and arms.
If you’re looking for an exercise to prevent saggy buttocks, I strongly recommend adding some deadlift variation to your arsenal (5). You can go with conventional, sumo, trap bar, deficit, or another of the many variations.
5. Glute Kicks
Unlike the previous movements on our list, glute kicks are more of an isolation exercise for the glutes. The premise here is simple: get down on all fours, raise one knee off the floor, and extend that leg back, engaging your glute as you do.
Glute kicks offer distinct advantages, such as:
- Not having to train other muscles alongside your glutes
- Not getting as tired
- Not needing external equipment
- Not needing as much time to learn the movement
Glute kicks are also more suitable for high-repetition training, which is good for metabolic stress, which also builds muscle mass (3). Plus, high-rep training is nice for giving your joints a break from the heavy compound training.
For added resistance, try doing them using a resistance band:
6. Glute Bridge
Like glute kicks, glute bridges are more of an isolation exercise that works great for beginners and isn’t as intimidating as compound movements are.
Glute bridges are similar to hip thrusts. In both cases, you start with your glutes on the floor and extend your hips so your shoulders, hips, and knees are in a straight line. Both exercises also have similar ranges of motion, which means they train our glutes in a similar way (6).
The primary difference is, glute bridges are more of a beginner movement you can do at home to learn how to engage your buttock muscles and extend your hips. Still, glute bridges aren’t only for beginners. You can include the exercise into your training and make it more challenging by:
- Doing the single-leg version
- Placing a weight on your hips
- Wrapping a resistance band over yourself for extra resistance
Preventing saggy buttocks is a great goal to have. Training your glutes is fantastic for your overall appearance, longevity, and athletic abilities.
The good news is, you can pick from many great exercises to target your glutes. Some of these movements work well with light weights, where other exercises challenge you to lift heavier weights. Both types have their unique advantages, and you should use them in your training.
Before you leave, be sure to visit my at-home strength-building archive, LOADED with highly effective workout routines, equipment reviews, and actionable fitness hacks.
See you there!
Other Helpful Resources
- What are The Best Glute Machines For Home? Reviews and Top Picks
- Why Are My Hips Getting Bigger With Exercise? A Complete ABC
- The 5 Best Exercises for Growing Glutes: The ABC to Strong Glute Muscles
- Allstar Innovations Squat Magic Reviews
- How to Build A Bigger Booty: The Beginners ABC
- How to Get a Bigger Buttocks Fast With Exercise: The Beginners ABC
- How To Get a Nice Buttocks For Guys: The Man’s ABC to a Tight and Firm Butt
- Caterisano A, Moss RF, Pellinger TK, Woodruff K, Lewis VC, Booth W, Khadra T. The effect of back squat depth on the EMG activity of 4 superficial hip and thigh muscles. J Strength Cond Res. 2002 Aug;16(3):428-32. PMID: 12173958.
- Contreras B, Vigotsky AD, Schoenfeld BJ, Beardsley C, Cronin J. A Comparison of Gluteus Maximus, Biceps Femoris, and Vastus Lateralis Electromyographic Activity in the Back Squat and Barbell Hip Thrust Exercises. J Appl Biomech. 2015 Dec;31(6):452-8. doi: 10.1123/jab.2014-0301. Epub 2015 Jul 24. PMID: 26214739.
- Schoenfeld BJ. The mechanisms of muscle hypertrophy and their application to resistance training. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Oct;24(10):2857-72. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181e840f3. PMID: 20847704.
- Muyor, José M et al. “Electromyographic activity in the gluteus medius, gluteus maximus, biceps femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis and rectus femoris during the Monopodal Squat, Forward Lunge and Lateral Step-Up exercises.” PloS one vol. 15,4 e0230841. 1 Apr. 2020, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0230841
- Martín-Fuentes, Isabel et al. “Electromyographic activity in deadlift exercise and its variants. A systematic review.” PloS one vol. 15,2 e0229507. 27 Feb. 2020, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0229507
- Lehecka, B J et al. “BUILDING A BETTER GLUTEAL BRIDGE: ELECTROMYOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS OF HIP MUSCLE ACTIVITY DURING MODIFIED SINGLE-LEG BRIDGES.” International journal of sports physical therapy vol. 12,4 (2017): 543-549.