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Glute Workouts with Ankle Weights

author image Lisa M. Wolfe
A mother of two and passionate fitness presenter, Lisa M. Wolfe had her first fitness article published in 2001. She is the author of six fitness books and holds an Associate of Arts in exercise science from Oakland Community College. When not writing, Wolfe is hula-hooping, kayaking, walking or cycling.
Glute Workouts with Ankle Weights
Add ankle weights to side leg lifts for an added glute challenge. Photo Credit: Oleksiy Maksymenko/imageBROKER/Getty Images

Your glutes can be a source of pride or focus of concern. Keep your glutes firm and lifted, or enhance the appearance of your backside, by adding ankle weight exercises to your workout. Although ankle weights are lightweight, the additional resistance may be the kick in the butt you need to challenge your glutes to respond with strength and tone.

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Side-Lying Abduction

For all glute exercises, secure your ankle weight so it will not shift during the exercise. Place your weight around your right ankle. Lie on your left side with your legs straight and stacked one on top of the other. Vertically align your hips and straighten your spine. Rest your lower arm on the floor and put your head on your arm for support. Exhale and raise your right leg. Lift your leg as high as you are able without shifting your hip alignment. Inhale and lower your right leg to the start position. Complete 15 to 20 lifts, then switch positions to perform the exercise with your left leg.


Secure the ankle weight to your right ankle again. Position yourself on the floor on your hands and knees. Place your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Straighten your arms and your spine. Exhale and lift your bent right leg toward the ceiling. Flex your right foot so your toes point to the wall behind you. Lift until your right thigh is parallel with the floor. Inhale and slowly lower your right leg to start position. Complete 15 to 20 lifts on your right leg, then complete the kickback on your left leg.

Standing Leg Lift

Train your glutes from a standing position to change the angle of the strengthening exercise. Stand tall and place a weight around your right ankle again. Face a wall and place your palms on the wall or stand behind a high-backed chair with your hands on the back for balance. Shift your weight onto your left leg. Exhale and raise your straight right leg out to the right side approximately halfway to the height of your hips. Keep your torso straight and avoid leaning to the left as you raise your leg. Hold your leg lifted as you count to four. Slowly lower your leg and repeat 15 to 20 times. Complete an equal number of leg lifts on your left leg.

Leg Swing

Add a leg swing to your standing leg lift for added glute training. Stand tall with your feet underneath your hips. Place the weight around your right ankle again. Lift your straight right leg across the front of your left leg on a diagonal, then lift it behind you on the opposite diagonal, so the leg is behind and slightly out to your right side while remaining straight. Repeat the lift to the front and rear 15 to 20 times on each leg.

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