The struggle for a sculpted physique has led many fitness enthusiasts, especially women, to focus on one area of the body more than the rest: the glutes. While the glutes comprise three different muscles, the lower glutes can prove the most difficult to target.
In this article, I’ll break down the best lower butt exercises that I recommend to my clients to help you achieve that killer underbust, expand on the anatomy of the glute muscles, and provide additional insights on how to build a defined underbutt.
I’ll also address some of the common questions asked and offer guidance on fixing that saggy underbutt and toning the area up.
Table of Contents:
- Lower Glute Exercises
- Romanian Deadlift
- Bulgarian Split Squats
- Cable Pull-Throughs
- Hip Thrusts
- Reverse Dumbbell Lunge
- Underbutt Workouts
- Anatomy of the Glute Muscles
- How To Build The Underbutt
Lower Glute Exercises
1. Glute Ham Developer (GHD) Machine Hip Extensions:
The GHD machine is one of my favorite ways to target the lower glutes and hamstrings because it offers a dynamic range of motion and is an incredible stretch. This exercise helped me to create an excellent muscle connection with my glutes, which resulted in better overall glute development. You might have also heard these called Glute Ham Raises.
- Position yourself face down on the GHD machine with your feet flat and firmly secured.
- The pad should be positioned roughly in line with your hips
- Once you’re hanging, make sure to keep your back straight, core engaged, and extend your hips upward.
- Focus on squeezing your glutes at the top.
- Slowly lower back down and repeat for several repetitions.
If you’re looking for your own GHD machine, read our articles on the Best GHD Machines For Home Gyms.
2. Romanian Deadlifts:
Romanian Deadlift, commonly called RDL, is an exceptional way to isolate and activate the gluteus maximus muscle, especially the lower fibers. The hip-hinging movement also puts your lower back and hamstrings under load, significantly adding to strength development and toning in the underbutt region.
Your tempo is important while performing RDLs; slowing down this lift keeps your muscles under tension. This time under tension is one of my best tips for better muscle activation and pumps.
- Hold a barbell or set of dumbbells in front of your thighs with a shoulder-width grip.
- Keep your back straight while hinging at your hips, and lower the weight towards the floor.
- Squeeze your glutes as you return to the starting position.
- Focus on the hip extension to activate the lower glutes effectively.
- Try single-leg Romanian deadlifts if you’re looking for a fun challenge!
3. Bulgarian Split Squats:
The Bulgarian Split Squat can be a difficult exercise to get right, and it requires a lot of balance. If you can master where to place your feet, Bulgarian split squats place a unique stress on both the gluteus maximus and gluteus minimus.
To avoid getting hurt while doing Bulgarian split squats, check that the surface you put your foot on is stable and about knee height.
- Start by standing away from a bench or elevated surface, roughly two feet away, with one foot behind you on the bench.
- Remember to keep your core tight, shoulders back, and eye pointing ahead.
- Lower your body into a lunge until your quad is roughly parallel to the floor, keeping the front knee directly above your ankle.
- Push through the front foot in a straight line to return to the starting position.
4. Cable Pull-Throughs:
Cable Pull-Throughs are an effective hip-hinging movement that trains the glutes and hamstrings without putting the rest of your body under unnecessary stress. You can complete this exercise with a resistance band or a cable tower.
While it can feel good to use a lot of weight on cable pull-throughs, I’d recommend using a moderate weight and focusing more on the mind-muscle connection to get better results.
- Set a cable machine to a low position and attach rope handles.
Face away from the machine, grab the rope attachment between your legs, and take a few steps forward until you know you can have the full range of motion without having slack on the stack.
- Widen your stance if your thighs feel too close together.
I’m a big fan of step-ups because they are an amazing exercise that can be easily modified with weights or other forms of resistance. Driving through your heels activates the muscles in your backside and quadriceps, sculpting your buttocks, improving stability, and building strength.
You can also adjust the height of the surface you’re using depending on what muscles you are trying to work. I recommend to most people a higher box for the posterior chain and a lower box to target the quads more.
- Stand in front of a sturdy bench or stable elevated surface.
- Put one foot onto the surface, pushing through your heel to lift the rest of your body. Make sure to exhale as you go up.
- Lower back down under control and return to a standing position.
6. Hip Thrusts:
Hip Thrust is a glute bridge variation that should never be left out of any leg workout. They are a staple for underbutt gains as they provide a full range of motion and target the lower/upper glutes and hamstrings.
Trying to balance your body on a weight bench can be difficult in the beginning. I recommend that if it is your first time trying this exercise, practice the movement without any weight.
- Start by sitting on the ground with your knees bent and feet shoulder-width apart.
- The upper back should be against the edge in the center of the bench.
- Place a barbell, dumbbell, or resistance band across your hips.
- Drive through your heels, squeeze your glutes, and lift your hips towards the ceiling.
Keep your core tight and lower yourself slowly until your body is almost touching the floor.
- If you want to increase the difficulty, try doing a single-leg hip thrust.
7. Reverse Dumbbell Lunges:
Why change up a traditional lunge? Reverse lunges challenge you to work on your balance and coordination and can take some pressure off your knees. Also, pushing the weight through your heel instead of the ball of your feet engages the glutes far more than a traditional lunge.
Before you try a reverse lunge, make sure that you have mastered forward lunges.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand, and start with your feet together.
- Take a step backward with the right or left leg, keeping your hips square, core tight, and body upright.
- Lower your body into a lunge until both legs are bent at least a 90-degree angle.
- Push off the back foot and return to the starting position.
Since most of the best lower glute exercises used on this list also engage the quads or hamstrings, it would be a good idea to supplement one of these sample workouts into your leg routine. I recommend working your legs/glutes at least twice weekly to get the most out of your training.
- Hip Thrusts: 5 sets of 8-10 reps
- Bulgarian Split Squats: 4 sets of 10-12 per leg
- GHD Extensions: 4 sets of 15-20 reps
- Step-Ups: 3 sets of 8-10 per leg
- Cable Pull-throughs: 3 sets of 15-20 reps
- Romanian Deadlifts: 5 sets of 8-10 reps
- Reverse Dumbbell Lunges: 4 sets of 12-15 reps
- Hip Thrusts: 4 sets of 12-15 reps
- Glute Kickbacks:3 sets of 15-20 reps
Anatomy of the Glute Muscles
Thegluteus maximus is the largest and most powerful muscle that makes up the anatomy of the glutes. It makes up most of the booty, and developing it offers several benefits.
Its primary function is to produce hip extension with the help of the hamstrings, and strengthening it decreases your chances of injuries and muscle imbalances and improves athletic performance. The gluteus medius is a smaller muscle situated just above the gluteus maximus.
It is located on the outside of the butt, and growing it will make the area seem rounder, especially when seen from the backside. Your gluteus medius is mostly responsible for hip abduction; an example is raising your leg laterally.
Finally, the gluteus minimus is the smallest of the three glute muscles. It is underneath the gluteus medius and helps with hip abduction and stability.
By developing all three muscles, you are increasing your chances of building well-rounded and strong buttocks. For the sake of this article, we will continue to focus on the underbutt.
How to Build the Underbutt
Building a well-defined underbutt is like any other muscle group and requires a combination of targeted exercises, good nutrition, adequate rest, and consistency. Here are some of my key tips that can help you sculpt your underbutt:
1. Incorporate Lower Glute Exercises:
As I recommended earlier, exercises like glute bridges, Romanian deadlifts, curtsy lunges, cable pull-throughs, and step-ups in your routine can target the underbutt muscles to be fuller and more developed.
Make sure to focus on proper form and developing your mind-muscle connection to maximize the muscle activation of the lower glutes.
Gradually increasing the resistance or intensity of your workouts by adding weight, increasing the number of repetitions, or adjusting the difficulty of the exercises challenges your muscles and stimulates growth in all of the right areas.
3. Balanced Nutrition:
70% of every fitness journey comes from how well you do in building a well-rounded diet that supports muscle growth. I’d highly recommend that you have a sufficient intake of protein, which is necessary for muscle repair and development.
Also, include a mixture of carbohydrates and healthy fats to provide the energy needed for your workouts.
4. Consistency is Key:
Like all great journeys, building a well-sculpted underbutt takes time and consistency. One of my biggest recommendations is to stick to your workout routine and be patient with the process.
Results won’t happen overnight, but you’ll see progress with dedication.
5. Rest and Recovery:
It may seem counterintuitive, but allowing your muscles to recover by incorporating rest days reduces the risk of injury and overtraining. Make sure to listen to your body and give it the time it needs to heal and grow.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you target the bottom of your glutes?
Effectively targeting the bottom of your glutes requires a great workout plan and specific exercises focusing on hip extension and activation of the lower glutes. I recommend incorporating movements like glute bridges, Romanian deadlifts, and step-ups into your leg routine.
While doing each rep, focus on the contraction of your glutes during these exercises to work the lower glutes effectively.
How do you fix a saggy underbutt?
The best way to address a saggy underbutt is through the combination of glute isolation exercises and compound movements. I’d recommend squats and lunges to engage the entire glute complex while also working other leg muscles.
Consistency in your workout routine, along with a balanced diet and hydration, can also greatly increase your chances of tightening and toning that saggy underbutt over time.
How do you tone an underbutt area?
Toning the underbutt is slightly different from building muscle because it requires a combination of high-volume resistance training, cardiovascular exercise, and a high-protein diet. In addition to lower glute exercises, I have my clients include cardiovascular activities like running, rowing, or cycling to burn that excess fat and reveal the toned muscles underneath.
Most of my clients enjoy High-intensity interval training (HIIT) since it combines strength training and cardio, which can be effective for overall fat loss.
What is the underbutt called?
While there isn’t a specific anatomical term for the underbutt, it usually refers to the lower portion of the glutes, just below the gluteal fold. Fitness enthusiasts sometimes use the term underbust to describe this area.
Wrapping Things Up
Building your underbutt IS possible. You just need to be able to implement the ideas and exercises we have discussed in this article into your training.
Now that you’re armed with this comprehensive guide, I wish you the best of luck on your fitness journey to a more sculpted and defined underbutt. Are you looking for more glute inspiration and awesome exercises that you can do at home?
Check out the Best Glutes Workout at Home With & Without Weights.
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