Gym equipment comes in handy when you are trying to build specific body parts. When it comes to the butt, you have the option of using machines and free weights. The most important thing is lifting adequate resistance and performing exercises that involve hip extension. That's the motion when you move your thigh backward and it taxes your glutes -- the muscles of the butt.
The leg press is a seated exercise machine that targets your glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings at the same time. The leg press is performed by lowering a steel platform down by bending your knees, then pushing it back up. As you do so, you perform hip extension. This machine allows you to increase resistance one of two ways, depending on the machine. It either has a weight stack with a pin or supports that enable you to slide weight plates on. Weight stacks generally start at 10 pounds and go well over 100. Weight plates begin at 2 1/2 pounds and go up to 45.
Barbells come accompanied with weight plates. These tools allow you to do glute exercises like squats, dead lifts and stiff-legged dead lifts. A standard barbell weighs 45 pounds and it has space on the ends to slide weight plates. The plates get anchored in place with spring-loaded or clamping collars.
Dumbbells range in weight from 1 to more than 100 pounds and they get held at your sides for butt exercises. Any barbell butt exercise, such as squats and dead lifts, can also be done with dumbbells. You also have the option of doing lunges with your legs in a staggered position. If you do not like the feel of stress across your shoulders from barbells, dumbbells are a better option.
A weight bench is commonly used for bench presses and other exercises performed from a lying position. This tool also allows you to do stepups and single-leg split squats for your butt. Single-leg split squats are performed by placing the top of one foot on the bench behind your body, then lowering yourself down by bending your opposite knee. The bench can also be used as a prop to do hip raises from a face-up position on the floor. Place your heels on the bench, press down to lift your hips and slowly lower yourself back down.
Cable machines have weight stacks spaced about 10 feet apart with vertical and horizontal columns that connect them together. The weights slide up and down as you pull on a cable that is slid through a pulley mechanism. A glute kickback exercise is performed by fastening an ankle strap to your lower leg and a low setting on the machine, then kicking your leg back in an arcing motion. This works your glutes and hamstrings simultaneously. The weights generally range from 10 pounds to over 100 so you have plenty of resistance available to tax your muscles.