When you’re doing your favorite booty workouts, how often are you actually working your upper glutes? “This area is often ignored,” says Holly Roser, a personal trainer and owner of Holly Roser Fitness. And that’s a shame. “Your gluteus medius—aka the upper glutes area—is responsible for internal and external rotation of the hip joint, abduction, and stabilizing the hip while working out.”
When you do upper glutes exercises to strengthen the area, Roser says you’ll experience numerous benefits—not just in the way you feel, but also when it comes to your athletic abilities. “You’ll reduce lower back pain, knee pain, and the risk of ankle sprains, as this important muscle is a strong stabilizer,” she says. “You’ll also notice you’ll have a faster running speed and be able to increase the resistance used in your workouts.”
While all these benefits are great, there’s one more: You’ll also notice a more lifted and pronounced booty, says Roser. Below, Roser’s top four upper glutes exercises to ensure they get all the attention they deserve.
The best exercises to target your upper glutes
1. Clam shell
- Start on your right side with your knees bent, leaning your head on your right arm to support your neck.
- Keep your heels together—they should be touching each other the entire time. Place your left hand on your pelvis throughout the exercise.
- Without allowing your back to arch, lift your left knee apart from your right knee and lower.
- Do 2 sets of 25 reps.
2. Banded walk
- Start with a resistance band around your shins with a tension that’s comfortably challenging.
- Set your feet hip-width apart and drop your body down into a squat position as if you were sitting in a chair.
- Step your right foot to the side in line with your other foot. Step together and repeat.
- Do 3 sets of 15 reps in each direction.
3. Curtsy squat
- Start with your shoulders back and core engaged.
- Drop your right foot diagonally behind your left foot, keeping your front foot pointed straight ahead. Make sure your knee is dropping down far enough so your front thigh is parallel to the floor and your knees are forming 90-degree angles.
- Return to standing and repeat for 3 sets of 15 reps on each side.
4. Side leg lifts
- Lie on your right side with your feet stacked on top of each other. Lean your head to your right arm.
- Keeping your legs straight, lift your left leg off the ground without letting your pelvis tilt. Bring it back down.
- If you’re having a hard time keeping your legs from coming forward, you can lean against a wall and have your top leg slide to correct any slanting of your body that might occur.
- Do 2 sets of 25 reps on each leg.
Now, work the rest of your booty with this workout:
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