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Upper Glute Workout – How To Build Upper Glutes Effectively

Many people who are into fitness dream about improving their upper glutes. This part of the glutes is crucial for achieving the desired shelf appearance. It helps in forming the overall heart-shaped outline of the buttocks.

If you think your upper glutes could use more work, consider putting in additional effort there. Perhaps you’re already doing well-known glute workouts such as squats, deadlifts, and hip thrusts.

Yet, if you’re not focusing on exercises that target the upper glutes specifically, you could be overlooking a vital piece of the puzzle for achieving full glute development.

Upper Glute Anatomy

Understanding the anatomy of the glutes is crucial. As depicted in the diagram, the glutes comprise three muscles: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus.

The upper portion of the gluteus maximus and the gluteus medius are primarily responsible for that ‘shelf’ look in the upper glutes.

Upper Glute Workout Exercises

To shape the upper glutes, concentrate on two kinds of exercises: those that involve horizontally loading the hip extension for the upper part of the gluteus maximus, and movements for hip abduction targeting the gluteus medius.

While the emphasis is on the upper portion of the gluteus maximus, remember, this muscle plays a big role in defining the overall shape of the glutes.

Begin your exercise routine with workouts aimed at the upper glutes when your energy levels are highest. Then, proceed to abduction movements.

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Glute ExerciseSetsRepsHow to do
Barbell Hip Thrust4 sets8 reps
Cable Kickback 3 sets12 reps (each leg)
Hip Abduction Machine3 sets12 repsgif of hip adductor machine for glutes
Banded Glute Bridge 3 Sets15 repship thrust for upper glute shelf

Upper Glutes Workout at Home

(Don’t worry If you don’t have weights at home, you can still build glutes!)

Glute ExerciseSetsRepsHow to do
KAS Glute Bridge4 sets10 repsgif of glite bridge dumbbells exercise
Cable Pull-through 3 sets12 reps
Curtsy Lunge3 sets10 reps
Side Lying Hip Raise 3 sets12 reps (each side)gif showing lying glute exercise

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Female working on upper glutes

Using Stairmasters and climbers at a slower pace with genuine, normal steps activates your glute muscles. Have you noticed individuals at the gym leaning on the machine, arms propped up, tiptoeing through their workout? You’ve either observed this or might find yourself doing it.

Simply spending 30 minutes on a climber and not fully engaging with each step won’t yield results. Engage fully by pressing down through the heel of each foot. Opting for complete steps over quick, shallow ones ensures a thorough workout for your legs and glutes, and even gives your heart a better workout.

Yes, this method is more challenging, but it’s precisely this challenge that will lift your glutes and increase your heart rate, leading to calorie burn and fat loss. If you’re concerned about steppers enlarging your buttocks, it’s worth considering your diet.

For me, steppers and walking on a treadmill with a high incline have been crucial for maintaining firm and round buttocks.

Begin with 20-minute sessions, three times a week. For noticeable changes, gradually increase to 30-45 minute sessions, 5-6 days a week.

Before you head to the gym, remember:

  • You can’t target where you gain weight. Eating more and weightlifting doesn’t guarantee enhancements in your buttocks.
  • Your butt’s shape is largely determined by genetics. Look at your family; you likely share similar traits.
  • Incorporating lower body exercises, upper body training, cardio, and a caloric surplus can aid muscle building. However, genetics ultimately dictate the extent of changes to your buttocks.
  • No single exercise will transform your buttocks. Consistency in your workouts and a nutritious diet rich in protein are key to unlocking your glutes’ potential.

Common Questions

What is the upper glute shelf?

The upper glute shelf refers to the pronounced curvature and muscle development at the top portion of the glutes, just below the lower back, giving a lifted and rounded appearance.

How can I develop my upper glutes?

Developing your upper glutes requires targeted exercises such as hip thrusts, glute bridges, deadlifts, and squats, combined with consistent strength training and proper nutrition.

What exercises target the upper glute shelf?

Exercises like weighted hip thrusts, lunges with a focus on the step-back technique, stiff-legged deadlifts, and glute-focused back extensions specifically target the upper glute shelf.

Can you build an upper glute shelf at hom

Yes, you can build an upper glute shelf at home by performing bodyweight exercises like glute bridges, single-leg hip thrusts, and resistance band workouts that target the gluteal muscles.

How long does it take to build the upper glute shelf?

The time it takes to build the upper glute shelf varies by individual, but with consistent, targeted workouts and proper nutrition, noticeable improvements can often be seen within 3 to 6 months.

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