Let’s Talk … Glutes!

If you’re serious about butt-building, then having an understanding about the muscles that power it is essential. 

There are four main aspects that form the appearance of your butt:

  • Bone Structure
  • Muscles
  • Subcutaneous Fat
  • Skin

    Bone Structure – your pelvis forms the shape of your hips & shape of your butt, it’s something you cannot change! Females have wider hips, (for childbirth) therefore wider butts.

    Muscles – a group of 3 muscles make up the buttocks, they start at the ilium & sacrum, & insert on the femur.  Understanding where and how to activate these muscles is important if you want to influence the shape of your buttocks, you must train these muscles to grow. Although the glutes are the largest and strongest in your body they are also the MOST lazy, often forgetting how to function at all and sitting dormant, leading to flat, squishy, cheeks & postural issues. Aside from attracting a mate, the glutes take care of extension, abduction, external rotation, & internal rotation of the hip joint.

Gluteus maximus – largest & most outer of the three, responsible for most of the shape & look of the hips. Its main job is upper leg extension, & extending the thigh backward in any hip extension exercise. Training this muscle is KEY to changing the way your butt looks, making the muscle group larger with proper training, while simultaneously cutting/stripping away body fat is the only way to recomposition the shape of your butt.  My favorite exercises for activation would be squats, deadlifts, and hip thrusts.

Gluteus medius – (upper glutes) is a deep layer beneath the maximus. It’s a broad, thick, radiating muscle; responsible for rotation, abduction & adduction of the hip. My favorite exercise would be side lying clams, side leg lifts, & lateral band walks. Training the upper glutes is crucial for balancing out butt shape & rounding out the booty! 

Gluteus minimus – smallest of the three, situated immediately beneath the gluteus medius. Its main job is to abduct the thigh, stabilize the leg, & internally/externally rotate the thigh. It works with the medius to move the hip! 


Subcutaneous Fat – “below the skin” fat, makes a layer of fat above gluteal muscles. Some fat is needed for comfort & an appropriate amount of fat around the glutes can make a booty look awesome. This layer of fat is thicker for women, b/c of hormones that cause fat storage around the hips. The way you carry/store fat, genetics, hormones, & lifestyle are all factors affecting how much fat you have around your butt. 

Skin – sits above the fat layer & holds it all in place. With aging fighting against us, a proper diet & building muscle is the only way to fight stretch marks, pimples, & cellulite.

Check out my workout videos featuring exercises for your glutes here!