Glutes circuit workout to improve your butt

This targeted glutes circuit workout consists of 8 exercises which will work the whole glute muscle group. Apart from lifting and toning your butt, advantages of glutes training include:

  • Improving your posture
  • Helping to protect your low back from injury
  • Avoiding hamstring and hip flexor tightness

About this workout

Glutes circuit workout PDF

Whether you have weak glutes, or you just want to improve your glute tone, this workout will help you to focus on the right muscles. For best results, do the workout 3 times a week.

What you will need

A timer: you should do each exercise for 30 seconds on each leg. To time yourself you can use a phone app or a stopwatch.

Some form of cushioning for your knees: Ideally an exercise mat,  if you don’t have one, then you can use a folded blanket or quilt.

General information

You don’t need to do a warm up for this workout as the first exercise is a simple movement that will warm your muscles up.

Do each exercise for 30 seconds on each leg, then start again and complete 3 circuits for the full workout. With the leg circles, do 15 seconds in a clockwise direction and then reverse it.

Before you start, though, please read these general exercise guidelines.

What the glutes do

The glutes are a group of 3 muscles, which between them

  • Extend the hip (that is, take the leg behind the body or extending from hip flexion as in squats and glute bridges)
  • Lift the leg to the side
  • Rotate the leg at the hip

Why they get weak

Weak glutes is a problem that is often caused by inactivity and poor posture habits. Once the glutes become weak, they get “lazy” too and other muscles do their work. This means that the problem becomes worse over time and ends up in a cycle of increasingly weak glutes, bad posture, tight hip flexors and tight hamstrings.

Glutes circuit workout – the exercises

#1 straight leg raise

Straight leg lift

  1. Get into an all-fours kneeling position.  Straighten one leg so that your toes are touching the floor behind you.
  2. Keeping your leg and back straight, lift your leg until it is parallel with the floor.
  3. Make sure that you don’t lift your leg too high and that you don’t arch your back.
  4. Lower and repeat.

#2 fire hydrant

Fire hydrant PDG

  1. Start in an all-fours kneeling position.
  2. Keeping your back in place and your knee bent to 90o, lift one leg out to the side.
  3. Lift as high as you can without rotating your spine, then lower and repeat.

#3 straight leg pulse


  1. Lift your leg to parallel with the floor, as for the leg lift above.
  2. From this position, pulse down and up 1-2 inches (2-5cm).

#4 crossover donkey kicks

Crossover donkey kick

  1. Get into an all-4s kneeling position.
  2. Making sure you keep your back held straight and your knee flexed at 90 degrees, lift one leg up towards the ceiling.  Stop when your thigh is parallel to the floor.
  3. As you lower your knee, cross it over the other one.
  4. Lift the leg back up again and repeat.

#5 side leg raise


  1. Lay on your side with your head supported on your arm and your other arm in front to help steady your body.
  2. Bend your underneath leg a little to give you a comfortable base of support.
  3. Making sure you don’t allow your body to lean backwards, lift and lower your leg.  Keep your foot flexed and pointed slightly towards the floor.

#6 clamshells


  1. Lie on the floor with your upper body positioned as for lying leg raises.
  2. Bend both legs and bring them forward of your body.
  3. Keeping your feet together, rotate your top leg from your hip to lift your top knee.
  4. Lower and repeat.

#7 side leg circles


  1. Start off as for side lying leg raises.
  2. Raise your leg and then hold it in the raised position and circle from your hips in a clockwise direction.
  3. Continue for 15 seconds, then reverse the direction

#8 glute bridge

Single leg glute bridge PDG

  1. Lay on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor about hip distance apart.
  2. Extend one leg straight.
  3. Contract your glute muscles to lift your hips up off the floor into the bridge position.  You should finish with your body making a straight line and your thighs parallel as shown.
  4. Release back down and repeat.

Get the glutes circuit workout PDF

Glutes circuit workout printable

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