11 Glute Exercises That Use Weights For An Added Burn

Grab some dumbbells.

Trainers share their favorite glute exercises with weights.


If you want to take your usual booty workouts to the next level, add a dumbbell or two and you’ll really feel the burn. Once you’ve picked up the appropriate equipment, get started with these trainer-approved glute exercises with weights.



Trainer Alex Weissner loves this exercise to strengthen glutes.

- Feet hip-width apart, dumbbell in each hand.

- Hinge hips, bring dumbbells to toes. Keep flat back, knees slightly bent.

- Feel pull in hamstrings, engage glutes, stand up slowly.

Do 3 sets of 12 reps.


Hip Bridges

Weissner also recommends this glute exercise that also hits your hamstrings.

- Lie on back, knees bent, heels in line with butt.

- Place dumbbbell across hips.

- Raise hips up, hold at top, squeeze glutes.

- Lower butt to just above ground.

Do 3 sets, 12 to 15 reps.


Leg Curls

Next up, try this burner from Weissner:

- Hold a dumbbell between your feet.

- Lay on stomach, rest head on hands. (Or use a bench.)

- Bend knees, pinch weight with feet, curl it in toward butt.

- Lower legs back down.

Do 3 sets, 12 to 15 reps.

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Bulgarian Split Squat

Trainer Kat Novoa calls this “a great glute stabilizing move.”

- Elevate one foot on a surface (like a couch).

- Lunge other leg forward.

- Hold dumbbells at sides or on shoulders.

- Drive up from lunge position using glute.

Do 3 sets of 10 reps per leg.


Donkey Kicks

Trainer Alayna Curry says kicks isolate each glute muscle.

- On all fours, put on a dumbbell in the crease behind left knee.

- Lift that leg into the air, keep knee bent.

- Bring leg back down, hover knee over floor.

Repeat 12 reps per leg 3 times.


Hip Thrusts

Curry says you can do this move on a couch or bench.

- Lean upper body against a surface with feet on ground.

- Place dumbbell on waist, hold with both hands.

- With control, lower butt to ground.

- Squeeze glutes and raise hips back to tabletop.

Do 3 rounds, 12 reps.


Reverse Lunge Kick

Curry likes this for glute work and a cardio boost.

- With dumbbell in each hand, step back into reverse lunge. Back knee hovers over ground.

- Raise back up, kick back leg up behind you in a straight line.

- Lower to starting position.

Do 3 sets, 10 per leg.

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Deficit Reverse Lunge

Trainer Emily Skye says adding a platform increases range of motion (and the glute burn).

- Stand on box, dumbbells in hands at sides.

- Step left foot back to floor, lower knee.

- Engage glutes to bring left foot back to box.

Do 3 sets of 10 reps per leg.


Lateral Lunges

Coach Brittany Ann says this move targets the muscles on the sides of the hips.

- Hold dumbbell at chest.

- Stand feet hip-width apart.

- Step one leg to side, bend knee to 90 degrees, push hips back.

- Push back to start.

Alternate sides. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.


Goblet Squat

Trainer Melissa Boyd says this move strengthens your glutes and quads.

- Stand with feet hip-width apart, hips back.

- Squat to grab dumbbell.

- Push through feet to stand up.

Do 3 sets, 10 reps. For a challenge, add a 3-second hold at the bottom.


Curtsy Lunge

Brett Larkin’s go-to glute-strengthening exercise:

- Stand straight, dumbbell in each hand.

- Bring left foot behind right, bend both knees.

- Keep left knee raised and left leg parallel to ground.

- Push through feet to return to start.

Do 10 reps per leg.

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