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5 effective exercises with dumbbells to build super-toned glutes

Add these dumbbell exercises to your glutes workout

A man uses two dumbbells to perform a split squat.
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As you increase your physical activity and boost your wellness, you’ll want to include dumbbell exercises into your regimen. Doing so can help you get super fit and develop lean muscle mass. This will give you the strength you want while also sculpting the fit body you aim for.

In this article, we’ll look at five great dumbbell exercises that will help you develop your glutes. Each movement is straightforward and effective, making it easy for you to apply these workouts without any stress or fuss. With this, you’ll be fit and toned in no time!

Glute muscles.
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What are the 3 glute muscles?

The gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and the gluteus minimus make up the three gluteal muscles. This muscle group constitutes the area of the buttocks. It’s common to see that glute exercises often target the gluteus maximus, as this muscle is the largest and has a connection to the function of the hips.

Person standing on asphalt holding a dumbbell in each hand.
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Can you grow glutes with dumbbells?

You can utilize dumbbell exercises to grow your glutes. Dumbbell workouts allow you to engage in muscle development and contribute to an impressive physique.

The glutes need a decent amount of resistance in order to grow, so consider employing the progressive overload method. This involves gradually using heavier dumbbells over time. You can also try things like increasing the number of reps or sets and decreasing rest time.

Man doing barbell back squat.
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What is the most effective exercise for glute growth?

Squats may be the most effective exercise for glutes. Doing squats will strengthen your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and more.

Regularly practicing squats will contribute to strong glute muscles that are required for power and a stable core. Additionally, it would help if you had strong glute muscles to carry yourself forward as you walk and run.

Maintaining glute function is vital for everyday tasks, like climbing stairs or standing up from a seat. Nerve dysfunction and the inability to extend the hip is often associated with dysfunction of the gluteus maximus. If you suspect you are experiencing something like this, consult with your doctor.

A shirtless man doing split squats using a dumbbell.
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5 dumbbell exercises to build your glutes

Goblet squats

A great dumbbell exercise for glutes is goblet squats. Not only does this workout strengthen your lower body, but it can also help with the stabilization of your core and upper body.


  • To begin, stand upright with your back straight and your feet at a shoulder-width distance from each other. Slightly turn your toes outward and engage your core.
  • Holding your dumbbell at chest height, push your hips backward and down as if you’re taking a seat. Continue to bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Pause here for a moment, and then push through your heels and engage your glutes to rise back up to your starting position. Your core should be engaged throughout this movement.
  • Aim for two to three sets of eight to 12 reps.

Weighted glute bridges

Warming up and working out with weights can prime your muscles to carry out efficient functions. Doing weighted glute bridges can get your glutes and hamstrings ready for more intense activities, like deadlifts.


  • Begin this effective glute exercise by lying flat on your back with a heavy dumbbell placed evenly on your hips.
  • Bend your knees so that your heels come close to your glutes and your feet are flat on the ground. To maximize the impact on your core, you can press your lower back into the mat.
  • Steadying the dumbbell with your hands, contract your glutes, and push your hips up toward the ceiling. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
  • Hold this position for a few seconds and then release, letting your glutes return to the floor. Repeat for three sets of 12 to 15 reps.

Bulgarian split squats

Another effective glute workout is Bulgarian split squats. As previously mentioned, squats are a top-tier way to exercise the glutes, as well as the other muscles that make up your lower body. This workout can be done as a unilateral movement, helping ensure one glute isn’t stronger than the other. It can also help you improve your balance and coordination.


  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand, and take a few steps away from a bench. As you stand looking away from the bench, place the top of your rear foot on the bench. Keep the front leg at a distance that prevents your front knee from extending beyond your toes once you drop into a lunge.
  • With your shoulders back and chest up, bend your front knee to drop into a squat.
  • Once your front thigh is parallel to the floor, press down with your heel to return to your initial position.
  • Repeat three sets of eight to 10 repetitions per leg.

Dumbbell RDLs

To optimize your dumbbell glute workout, try some Romanian deadlifts. Just like the weighted glute bridges, this exercise will also work your hamstrings, contributing to overall lower body strength.


  • Start by standing upright with your feet shoulder-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand. Your palms should be facing toward you, with the dumbbells resting on your thighs.
  • Keep your back straight as you hinge at the hips, and push your buttocks backward. Maintain a slight bend in the knees, and let the dumbbells naturally lower as you bend over. Pause when the dumbbells are mid-shin.
  • Tense your core and hamstrings to slowly come back up to standing.
  • Repeat for three to four sets of eight to 12 reps.

Dumbbell curtsy lunges

Dumbbell curtsy lunges make for a versatile glutes exercise with weights that benefit your glutes and quads. Lunges can also be effective for building up muscular endurance.


  • Start with your feet in a hip-wide standing position and a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Brace your core as you step one leg back, and both your knees bend to 90 degrees. Rather than stepping straight back, step so that your back foot is directly behind your front foot, similar to a curtsy.
  • Maintain your balance for a few seconds before pushing through the balls of your back foot to come up to standing.
  • Perform two to three sets of six to eight reps per side.

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Christine VanDoren
Christine is a certified personal trainer and nutritionist with an undergraduate degree from Missouri State University. Her…
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