Bodybuilding Gain Muscle Lose Fat Muscle and Aesthetics Training

The BEST exercise machines for your bum

By Alex Williams

The 2010’s has been the decade of the booty. With the success of Gymshark leggings, the Kardashian’s, and every other insta model curving the hell out of their lower back for extra likes, the derrière has never been more in style. Multiple studies have shown that both men and women love a good butt on their partner(ranked as one of the highest body parts in terms of attraction for both). So if you’re working out to look better, which most of us are in some capacity, then building and shaping your glutes is essential. 
The science shows that the best bang for buck in terms of hitting the glutes is the Barbell hip thrust.

This is an effective move that can be progressed and altered enough to last you a lifetime of training. However, many people find the movement uncomfortable on the hips, dull, or workout somewhere severely lacking in barbells.  If this is you then there is no need to worry. Propane has got you covered; there are many ways to make a cake. These are our favourite machine exercises for the glutes that you can do at almost any gym:

High stance leg-press. 

The leg press has been around since the dawn of exercise machines, this is a testament to its effectiveness. It’s a compound movement that works the quads, glutes, and hamstrings. To make it more glute focused:

  • take your foot positioning high and wide
  • control the lower portion of the movement
  • concentrate on the mind to muscle connection (really try and visualize your glutes contracting)

The depth of this movement should be guided by your mobility. If your back begins to round then you are bringing the plate too close to your chest. Do not lock your knees out at the top, always keep them slightly soft.

Cable Hip Extension

This exercise works the booty through a full range of motion and is an all star when it comes to isolating the glutes. The starting position is standing feet parallel, bent over toward the multi gym with an ankle strap attached to one leg. Then, you slowly pull that leg back and up, pointing your heel towards the ceiling. The focus here is:  

  • holding the squeeze at the top of the movement (when your back leg reaches its highest point) for a two count
  • controlling your leg on the way back down

If you find you can’t hold it at the top for that long then reduce the weight; form is more important than simply throwing your leg through that range of motion.

Hip Abductions

Whilst most booty focused exercises predominantly target the gluteus maximus, this will hit both your glute medius and glute minimus. Working the glutes in different planes of motion ensures you are training the whole peach, and is an essential part of any bum building program. Focus on:

  • slow, conscious reps in the parallel squat position 
  • holding the contraction at the widest point of the movement for a two count

Hamstring Curl

Although this exercise does not focus on the glutes, having strong, shapely hamstrings will lift the butt and improve the overall aesthetic of your posterior (which is why we’re doing this). To best perform the hamstring curl:

  • focus on controlling the bottom portion of the lift, don’t kick back wildly
  • the bottom pad should be just below your calf
  • brace your core as your perform the exercise

BONUS: Bodyweight Split squat with hip hinge

For this final exercise you need a surface around knee height to rest your back foot on. The split squat is a lethal exercise that we’ll be employing as a ‘finisher’ in our very own No Barbell booty workout.  The conventional split-squat has the person performing the movement with their chest and hips in line, this makes it more quad dominant. To switch it up to the butt, simply lean forward, keeping your chest up moving it in line with the top of your knee. Focus on:

  • forward lean
  • controlled lowering phase (3 seconds)
  • pushing back up explosively to full extension

If you are finding it too easy to do 12 reps of this with the 3 second hold then add dumbbells.


Here is a sample workout that will guarantee a burn in your behind:

  1. High Stance leg press – 4 sets of 8 to 12
  2. Cable Hip Extension  – 3 sets of 12 to 15
  3. Hip Abductor Machine – 3 sets of 15 to 25
  4. Hamstring curl – 3 sets of 8 to 12
  5. Split squat w/ forward lean – 2 sets of max repetitions each leg 

This workout will yield results short term if performed regularly over several weeks, but on its own will not be enough to create and sustain meaningful growth in your ass mass. That will take consistent training and dialed in nutrition. That is what we are here for. No matter your goal (or even if you don’t fully know what that is yet) we are here to help nurture you towards that with science backed methodology that can fit around (almost) any lifestyle.

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