Glutes

7 Best Lower Butt Exercises For Glute Development

lower butt exercises

Nowadays sculpted and well-developed glutes have become the holy grail for many women in the gym.

Fuelled by the influence of A-list celebrities and a growing popularity in women’s bodybuilding, their determination for a strong, firm, and perky butt has never been more prevalent. 

Fortunately, a wealth of information and effective butt exercises are readily available to help you achieve this coveted goal.  

However, amidst the focus on building rounder and more defined glutes, one crucial area often gets overlooked: the underbutt. 


Recommended Reading – 7 Effective Gluteus Medius Exercises To Strengthen Glutes


Also known as the lower part of the gluteus maximus – the largest muscle in the glute muscles group – the underbutt plays a pivotal role in achieving a well-rounded and balanced posterior.  

Despite its significance, it’s a region that frequently goes unnoticed in many butt workouts.

So, if you’d like to learn more about this often-neglected part of the glutes, stick around while we delve further into this topic and suggest some fantastic lower butt exercises for your next glute workout.  

Why Focus On The Lower Butt

From an aesthetic perspective, the main reason for focusing on the underbutt is to achieve a smooth and defined appearance at the point where the hamstrings meet the glutes.  

In bodybuilding circles, this is often known as the glute-ham tie-in and is a sure sign of well-developed muscles, good conditioning, and low body fat.  

This is a key point here, to achieve that sculpted look, you’ll also need to consider your diet and not just exclusively rely on lower butt exercises.  

This is because fat, often called banana roll fat, tends to accumulate in this area making it a tough spot to tone up.  

Tone-Your-Glutes

But with the right exercises (and diet) you can help to create a good shape where these two muscles meet.  

Other reasons for focusing on increasing strength and size to your glute max 

Reasons Why Your Lower Butt Is Underdeveloped

You’ve been hitting the gym consistently, focusing on what you believe are the best glute exercises.

However, despite your efforts, you may find that your underbutt lacks development and definition.

Let’s explore some possible reasons why your lower glutes aren’t achieving the desired results.

Sitting too much is one of the most likely causes of why your underbutt isn’t as defined and developed as you’d like it to be.  

When you sit, whether you’re watching TV or working at a desk, your hip flexors are in a shortened position, while the glutes are in a lengthened position.  

This is bad news as over time, it can lead to muscle imbalances and decreased muscle activation of your glutes which includes your underbutt, this is sometimes called dead butt syndrome.  

This lack of activation can result in the glutes “switching off” and not firing up properly during movements that require their engagement, such as walking or lifting.

Cardio is super important for helping you to manage your weight and keep your heart strong and healthy.  

But if you do too much this can have a detrimental effect on the development of your lower butt muscles.  

Firstly, most forms of cardio don’t necessarily engage your glutes that much and instead recruit more of your hamstrings and quads.  

Secondly, cardio is more about improving cardiovascular health and endurance, not muscle building.  

woman-on-cardio-bike

Excessive cardio, particularly when combined with inadequate rest and recovery, can lead to overtraining.

Overtraining can increase levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that can promote muscle breakdown and inhibit muscle growth.

Chronic elevation of cortisol levels can contribute to muscle atrophy in the underbutt muscles and other muscle groups.

When you consume enough protein, your body can effectively repair your muscles after strength training, leading to muscle growth and improved definition, including in the lower glutes and glute-ham tie-in area.

Eating enough protein is not only important for building muscle but also for preventing muscle loss, especially during weight loss or cutting phases.

A higher protein intake can help ensure that your body retains as much muscle as possible while also burning fat, contributing to a more defined appearance of the underbutt area.  

How Do Muscles In The Lower Butt Function

As we’ve mentioned, your lower glutes make up the bottom portion of the glute max and this powerful muscle works closely with your hamstrings to help with hip extension.  

Imagine getting up from a chair, this involves extending your hip joint forward as you rise to a standing position.  

This movement is primarily powered by your gluteus maximus along with assistance from the other glute muscles; the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus.  

A second primary action of the glute max, which includes the lower butt portion, is external rotation of the hip joint.  

This is rotating your thigh outwards and away from the center of your body.  

The glute max also works with other muscles to help with hip abduction which is lifting the thigh away from the body and posterior tilting of your pelvis.  

The gluteus maximus also works closely with your hamstrings.

Both muscle groups are involved in everyday movements that extend the hip, such as climbing the stairs.

While the glute max is the primary mover in hip extension, the hamstrings provide support and additional power for these movements.

Together, they play a crucial role in lower body strength and stability.

It’s important to understand how these muscles function and work together so you can focus on the best exercises for developing the lower butt area.  

The Best Lower Butt Exercises To Lift & Enhance Your Underbutt

Understanding that the underbutt, or lower glutes, plays a key role in hip extension and outward rotation, it’s clear that the best lower glute exercises will target these specific movements.  

Remember, the key to increasing definition to the underbutt area is to also add in some hamstring-specific exercises to highlight and develop where the lower glutes connect with the top of the hamstrings.  

Before we jump into the strength-based exercises, it’s important to warm up.  

This will get blood pumping into your glutes so that the exercises are more effective.  

Using a foam roller or similar on your lower glutes and down your hamstrings will help to break up any knots and adhesions to your muscles and the fascia, which is a thin casing of connective tissue that surrounds the muscle.  

It’s also going to ‘wake up’ the muscles and get some extra blood pumping there.  

Glute-Foam-Masage-Roll

By releasing this tightness within the muscles, myofascial release allows for smoother movement patterns and improved muscle function during your lower butt exercises.  

What’s more, it can help to increase your range of motion so that you can perform all the exercises with proper form.  

If you’re new to these techniques start with a foam roller, but if you’re a regular gym-goer you can probably progress with something harder like a tennis ball or baseball. 

  1. Start by sitting on the foam roller with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind you for support, keeping your palms flat on the ground.
  2. Shift your weight slightly to one side and cross the ankle of that side over the knee of the opposite leg. This will expose the glute muscles on the side to be worked.
  3. Slowly roll back and forth over the targeted glute area, from the top of your pelvis to just above the back of your knee. Use your hands to support your body and control the pressure applied to the foam roller.
  4. As you roll, you may notice areas of tightness or discomfort. Pause on these spots and apply gentle pressure for 20-30 seconds, allowing the muscle to release and relax.
  5. After working one side, switch to the other side and repeat the same rolling technique. Be sure to cross the opposite ankle over the knee to target the other glute muscles.
  6. Remember to breathe deeply and relax into the foam roller as you perform the glute release. Avoid tensing up or holding your breath, as this can hinder the effectiveness of the technique.
  7. Aim to spend 1-2 minutes rolling down each glute and hamstring, paying particular attention to areas of tightness. 
  8. If it feels a little too painful, you can modify by shifting more weight onto your hands or using a softer foam roller. On the other hand, if you don’t feel much pressure, you can increase the intensity by lifting one foot off the ground slightly.
  1. Begin by positioning yourself in a plank position with your forearms resting on the ground and the foam roller or ball placed horizontally under your hips.
  2. Brace your core muscles to stabilize your body and maintain a neutral spine position throughout.
  3. Focus on one side at a time. Shift your weight slightly to the side you want to target, allowing the hip to sink down and open up.  
  4. Carefully roll forward and backward, from just below your hip bone to just above your knee. It only requires a small range of motion.  
  5. Continue doing this for around 60 seconds and then switch to work the opposite side.  

Lateral Band Walk

The lateral band walk is a great exercise for targeting the glutes helping to shape the underbutt and enhancing that glute-ham tie-in area.

By focusing on a side-to-side movement, it activates the often-underutilized muscle group, promoting muscle balance and stability around the hip joint. 

This exercise contributes to firmer and stronger glutes and helps improve lateral stability, which is great for athletic performance and daily activities.  When starting out, position the band just above the knees.  

When you want an extra challenge, then move it to around your ankles to increase the intensity.

Lateral-Band-Walk
  1. Start with a resistance band placed just above your knees.
  2. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart to create tension in the band. 
  3. Slightly bend your knees and hinge at the hips, adopting a half-squat position. Keep your back straight and core engaged.
  4. Take a slow, controlled step to the right side with your right foot, making sure that the band stays taut. Be sure not to let your knees cave inwards. 
  5. Follow with the left foot to return to a shoulder-width stance, maintaining the tension in the band.
  6. Continue stepping to one side for a maximum of 10 steps (depending on how much space you have), then switch directions and repeat the movement to the other side.

Frog Pumps

Frog pumps are a great way of targeting your lower butt helping to create some definition.  

By placing the soles of your feet together and keeping your knees wide apart, this body weight exercise specifically activates the lower part of the gluteus maximus, which is key for lifting and defining the underbutt. 

It’s a great move for isolating the glutes without placing much stress on the lower back, making it suitable for all fitness levels and perfect for adding volume to your glute training without overloading your joints.  

For an added challenge perform your reps while holding a dumbbell across your thighs.  

  1. Lie on your back with the soles of your feet pressed together, keep your knees bent and opened wide apart in a butterfly position. Your legs should form a diamond shape.
  2. Flatten your lower back against the floor by bracing your core. Place your arms at your sides for stability.
  3. Squeeze your glutes and raise your hips towards the ceiling. The lift doesn’t have to be high; the focus should be on maximal glute contraction at the top of the movement.
  4. At the top of the lift, pause while squeezing your glutes as hard as you can to maximize engagement.
  5. Lower your hips back down to the starting position in a controlled manner, without letting your butt touch the ground before the next rep.
  6. Aim for higher reps with this exercise, such as 2 to 3 sets of 15-30 reps, to really burn out the glutes and stimulate muscle growth.  

Ball Hamstring Curl

This is a really effective hamstring exercise for targeting the hamstrings and improving the look of the glute-ham tie-in area.

ball curl

By elevating your feet on an exercise ball, it places greater emphasis on your hamstrings, particularly the biceps femoris muscle.  

It also engages your glute maximus, contributing to overall lower body strength and muscle definition of your posterior chain muscle group. 

  1. Lie on your back with your arms by your sides and your heels on top of a stability ball. Start with your legs extended and your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Engage your core muscles and press your palms into the floor to give you some stability
  3. Start by lifting your hips off the floor, creating a straight line from your shoulders to your heels. This is your starting position.
  4. Keeping your core engaged and your hips in this top position, bend your knees to roll the stability ball towards your butt, using your heels to pull the ball towards you.
  5. Squeeze your hamstrings and glutes at the top of the movement, before slowly extending your legs to return to the starting position.
  6. Perform 2 to 3 sets of 15 to 20 reps.

Donkey Kicks

This exercise is particularly effective for contributing to a firmer and more lifted underbutt.  

Donkey-Kick-For-Lower-Glutes

Donkey kicks can help to isolate your glutes helping to improve hip extension 

making them a valuable addition to any glute-focused workout routine.   

By concentrating on slow and controlled reps, you can maximize muscle engagement and achieve better definition to the lower glute area.  

When you want to progress, simply position a glute band above your knees to increase tension on the muscles.  

  1. Begin on all fours in a tabletop position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Keep your spine neutral and your core engaged.
  2. Flex one foot, keeping the knee bent at a 90-degree angle throughout the exercise.
  3. From here, engage your glute to lift the flexed leg towards the ceiling, keeping your knee bent. Your foot should push up as though you’re pressing the ceiling away. 
  4. Make sure that your hip, thigh, and knee remain aligned so you hold that 90-degree angle at the knee.
  5. Lift your leg until your thigh is in line with your body and the sole of your foot is facing the ceiling. 
  6. Squeeze your glute at the top of the movement for a moment to maximize engagement.
  7. Slowly return your knee to the starting position, maintaining the tension in your glute muscles.
  8. Perform 12-15 repetitions on one side before switching to the other leg.

Dumbbell Deficit Squat

The dumbbell deficit squat is one of the best squat variations for increasing range of motion thereby allowing for greater muscle activation, perfect for increasing muscle mass to your glute max and helping to lift your butt muscles.  

Dumbbell-Deficit-Squat-For-Lower-Glutes

It involves standing on an elevated surface, like a couple of weight plates which allows you to squat deeper than if you were to simply stand on the floor.  

This variation challenges your balance while strengthening the quads, hamstrings, and core, alongside the glutes.  

By performing the squat on a raised platform, you engage the lower gluteal muscles more effectively, promoting better definition and strength in the underbutt area.

  1. Start off by standing on a couple of plates, with your feet just past shoulder-width apart.  
  2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, palms facing inward.
  3. Keeping your head and chest up, push your hips back and bend your knees to descend into a squat. 
  4. The elevation allows you to go deeper than a regular squat, enhancing the stretch and engagement in your glute muscles.
  5. Aim to lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the ground or lower, depending on your ability. 
  6. Ensure your knees do not go past your toes and that your weight is distributed evenly through your feet.
  7. Drive through your heels to return to the starting position, squeezing your glutes tightly as you ascend. The action of pushing up from a deficit position emphasizes the underbutt’s engagement and development.
  8. Perform 8-12 repetitions, focusing on maintaining a controlled and steady pace. 

Bulgarian Split Squat

The Bulgarian split squat is a unilateral movement that works your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves, making it really effective for strengthening the entire lower body, including the underbutt region. 

By elevating one foot behind you on a bench, you can increase the range of motion putting more emphasis on the stabilizing muscles of the hips and core, promoting better balance and functional strength.

bodyweight bulgarian split squat
  1. Stand a few feet in front of a bench, facing away from it. Place one foot firmly on the bench behind you, toes pointed downward. Your front foot should be planted firmly on the ground, with your knee directly above your ankle.
  2. Keep your chest up, shoulders back, and core engaged throughout the exercise to maintain proper form and stability.
  3. Lower your body towards the ground by bending your front knee, and keeping your torso upright. Your back knee should lower towards the ground, almost touching it, while maintaining a straight line from your head to your back foot.
  4. Try to lower your body until your front thigh is parallel to the ground, ensuring your front knee stays aligned with your toes and does not extend past them.
  5. Push through the heel of your front foot to return to an upright position, driving your hips forward and squeezing your glutes at the top of the movement.
  6. Perform 8-12 repetitions on each leg, focusing on control to maintain balance.

Nordic Hamstring Curl 

The Nordic hamstring curl is a challenging exercise for blowing up the hamstrings.

Nordic-Hamstring-Curl-For-Lower-Glutes

By placing a significant stretch on the hamstrings during the eccentric (lowering) phase, this exercise effectively strengthens your entire posterior chain, including the glutes and lower back.  

It also indirectly contributes to enhancing the firmness and definition of the lower butt area.  

If you find it too difficult to begin with, start out with negatives which involves allowing your upper body to move to the floor and placing your hands down just before your chest reaches the ground.  

Use your hands to push back up to the start and then repeat.  

  1. Kneel on a soft surface, such as a mat, with your feet secured under a stable object or anchored by a spotter. Your thighs and torso should form a straight line.
  2. Keep your core braced and your back straight throughout the movement to maintain proper alignment of your upper body
  3. Slowly lower your torso towards the ground, maintaining control as you hinge at the knees. Allow your body to lean forward while keeping your hips extended.
  4. Continue lowering your body until you feel a significant stretch in your hamstrings. It’s essential to control the descent and avoid dropping to the floor.
  5. Contract your hamstrings to help pull you back up to the starting position.
  6. Aim 2 to 3 sets of 6-10 repetitions

Final Thoughts

By focusing on our recommended lower butt exercises you can effectively strengthen and tone the underbutt area, enhancing both firmness and definition. But remember that exercise alone isn’t always enough to reveal muscle definition. 

A balanced diet plays an important role in burning fat and showcasing the results of your hard work.

By maintaining a calorie deficit and prioritizing protein-rich food, you can support fat loss and reveal the muscles you’ve been working to build.

So, whether you’re aiming to sculpt your lower butt or improve overall muscle definition, consistency in both exercise and diet is key.

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