The Only 5 Kettlebell Exercises You Need for a Stronger Butt

The kettlebell's unique shape makes it an ideal tool for sculpting your backside.
Image Credit: Youngoldman/iStock/GettyImages

A strong backside is necessary for so much more than filling out your favorite jeans. The gluteus maximus — the largest muscle in the human body — helps you maintain an upright posture and perform essential lower-body movements like climbing stairs, according to the Library of Congress.

And since they're so large, you can derive a lot of power from them. Indeed, a strong butt can help improve your speed and strength whether your goal is to set a PR for a half-marathon or a deadlift.

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What's more, strengthening your glutes may also decrease lower back pain and increase lumbar muscle strength and balance, per a December 2015 study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science.

How Kettlebell Exercises Benefit Your Glutes

One of the best ways to build your butt and reap these benefits is through kettlebell training. The key is in it's shape.

"The kettlebell is a unique tool because the mass is centered underneath the handle, unlike a dumbbell, barbell or resistance machine where the weight is evenly distributed on your right and left sides," says Ben Lauder-Dykes, trainer for Fhitting Room and certified kettlebell instructor.

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Why is this an advantage for growing your glutes? "The kettlebell allows the trainee to keep the load closer and more aligned with their center of mass, which makes it easier to find better positions when performing movements, like loading the core, hips and glutes," Lauder-Dykes sats. "The better you can load a muscle, the more strength and adaptation you can achieve with each rep, set and workout."

Plus, since kettlebells are easily maneuvered, they allow for greater ranges of motion and provide the necessary stimuli required to increase muscle mass in the glutes, Lauder-Dykes says. He recommends that following five kettlebell exercises to ramp up your glute gains.

1. Kettlebell Swing

1. Kettlebell Swing
Image Credit: Ben Lauder-Dykes/LIVESTRONG.com
Activity Kettlebell Workout
Body Part Abs and Butt
  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with a kettlebell a few inches in front of you, so you form a triangle with the kettlebell and your feet on the ground.
  2. Hinge your hips back and hold the kettlebell with both hands using a loose grip.
  3. Pushing your butt back and keeping your back flat, hike the kettlebell between your legs.
  4. As you straighten your legs to stand, use power from your hips to swing the kettlebell up to chest height.
  5. Using the bell's momentum, swing the weight back between your legs and under your hips as you simultaneously sink into your hips and bend your knees.

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“The kettlebell swing is one of the best exercises for targeting the posterior chain and the glutes, taking them through a full range of motion and a powerful hip extension at the top of the movement,” Lauder-Dykes says.

2. Kettlebell Deadlift

2. Kettlebell Deadlift
Image Credit: Ben Lauder-Dykes/LIVESTRONG.com
Activity Kettlebell Workout
Body Part Butt and Legs
  1. Hold a kettlebell in front of your thighs with both hands, palms facing in. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  2. Hinge at your hips and push your butt back as you lower your torso and the kettlebell toward the ground.
  3. Keep your back flat, shoulders back, head above your hips and weight in the middle of your feet and heels.
  4. At the bottom of the movement (your torso should be almost parallel to the floor), brace your core and push through your heels to stand up straight, squeezing your glutes at the top.

3. Kettlebell Goblet Squat

3. Kettlebell Goblet Squat
Image Credit: Ben Lauder-Dykes/LIVESTRONG.com
Activity Kettlebell Workout
Body Part Butt and Legs
  1. Hold the handle of the kettlebell with both hands at your chest.
  2. With your feet about shoulder-width apart, shoot your hips back and bend your knees into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  3. As you descend, your weight should stay evenly distributed between the big toes and heels, keeping the knees aligned with the toes.
  4. Holding the kettlebell in the same position, press into the heels and return to standing.

Tip

Holding the kettlebell in front of the body makes it easier for you to keep your torso more upright and creates a greater range of motion for the squat, which we know has a positive effect on increasing strength and muscle mass in the glutes, Lauder-Dykes says.

4. Kettlebell Reverse Lunge

4. Kettlebell Reverse Lunge
Image Credit: Ben Lauder-Dykes/LIVESTRONG.com
Activity Kettlebell Workout
Body Part Butt and Legs
  1. Start holding a kettlebell in your right hand, grabbing onto the handle and letting the bell rest on the outside of your wrist and forearm.
  2. Step your left foot back, keeping the right foot planted.
  3. Lower into a lunge until both knees are bent to 90 degrees. Your back knee should hover just above the ground and your front knee should be stacked over your ankle.
  4. Hold for a beat before pushing through your front foot to return to standing.
  5. Once you complete all your reps on one side, switch sides, holding the weight in your left hand and step back with the right leg.

5. Kettlebell Forward Lunge

5. Kettlebell Forward Lunge
Image Credit: Ben Lauder-Dykes/LIVESTRONG.com
Activity Kettlebell Workout
Body Part Butt and Legs
  1. Start holding a kettlebell in your right hand, grabbing onto the handle and letting the bell rest on the outside of your wrist and forearm.
  2. Step forward with your right foot.
  3. Lower into a lunge until both knees are bent to 90 degrees. Your back knee should hover just above the ground and your front knee should be stacked over your ankle.
  4. Hold for a beat before pushing through your front foot to return to standing.
  5. Once you complete all your reps on one side, switch sides, holding the weight in your left hand and step forward with the left leg.

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