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6 Kettlebell Booty Building Moves: Targeting Glutes for Growth

How can you tone your glutes with kettlebells? Luckily, there are a few really good kettlebell exercises that target the glutes really well and are great for growth, toning and strength gains. 

The best kettlebell glute exercises are:

  1. KB Swing
  2. KB Deadlift
  3. KB Squat
  4. KB Good Morning
  5. KB Walking Lunges
  6. KB Glute Bridge

Let’s look at those exercises in detail, how to perform them and how often you have to do them below.

6 Best Glute Exercises With Kettlebells

Here are the six best exercises that target the glutes and can help you get the physique you want. Most of the exercises target the glutes the hardest but also involve many other muscles. The glutes almost always work together with the hamstrings so you’ll usually train them at the same time with the same exercise. However, the rest of the legs, back and core is often also involved. 

You can find some tips to focus the exercises especially on the glutes in the descriptions. However, training all the other surrounding muscles is important as well for athletic performance, injury prevention and all round strength and health. 

1. Kettlebell Swing

The undisputed best kettlebell exercise for a full body workout is the kettlebell swing. It is a great combination of a lower body and back exercise. Because so many different bigger and smaller muscles are used for the movement, it’s also a great cardiovascular movement since using so many muscles will get the heart pumping for sure. 

It’s called the swing because you basically swing the kettlebell from under you body between your legs to about shoulder height. 

It’s a pretty easy movement but you do have to know how to hip hinge properly. This is a movement you should learn anyways because it’s very important to many other movements and lifting things safely in daily life. Once you know how to do it (if you can squat or deadlift properly, you know how to do it), you won’t forget anytime soon. If you don’t know how to do the hip hinge, starting with the squat or deadlift will be a bit easier. 

That hip hinge is going to be a recurring theme since that is what targets the glutes hard. The glutes are some of the hardest hit muscles on the kettlebell swing and if you go for high repetition sets (15+) you’ll start to feel the burn


  • Place a kettlebell of appropriate weight (should be quite heavy for you)
  • Stand up straight with feet a bit wider than shoulder width apart.
  • Brace your core and pull your shoulders back. 
  • Bend at the knees and hips until you can grab the top of the kettlebell handle with both hands, palms facing towards you. 
  • Stand up straight by pushing your heels into the floor. (You can move straight into the upswing from here or pause if you feel the need to)
  • Make sure to not round your back while lifting. Keep your core and shoulders tight now but also throughout the swing. 
  • Keep your arms straight through the movement. 


  • While standing up, use the upward momentum to swing the kettlebell up. The goal is to have the kettlebell at shoulder height with straight arms at the same time the knees and hips are extended
  • The kettlebell will be coming back down pretty quickly. Just let it come down but try to control it. 
  • While the bell is swinging down, start hinging at the hip (point your butt back) and slightly bend the knees. 
  • Let the kettle swing between your legs. Don’t let the kettlebell hit the floor. Slightly pull it up and back. 
  • In the lowest position your back should almost be parallel to the floor and the weighted end of kettlebell is slightly behind your butt. 
  • Now explode up by driving your feet into the floor and driving through your hips. Drive through your hips by tightening the core and squeezing your glutes hard. 

The vast majority of the power for the swing comes from your hips. The arms stay straight throughout the movement. The shoulders will do a little bit but it’s not an arm exercise. 

2. Kettlebell Deadlift

One of the most well-known exercises is the deadlift. It’s relatively simple although it can be a bit difficult to get the technique exactly right. The deadlift is a great exercise for the lower body, especially the glutes and hamstrings but also the whole back (lower and upper).


  • Put a relatively heavy kettlebell on the floor between your feet. The handle of the kettlebell should be between the middle part of your feet.
  • Stand up straight, feet shoulder width apart. 
  • Brace your core and keep your shoulders back.
  • Hinge at the hip and bring your hands (perpendicular to the floor), towards the handle. 
  • Bend at the knees a little but as little as possible. 
  • Grab the kettlebell with both hands. 


  • Tighten all your muscles against the kettlebell without lifting it. That means bracing the core and back, keeping the neck in a neutral position. Also slightly contract your glutes and hamstrings.
  • Now explode up by pushing your heels into the floor, and driving the hips forward. 
  • Make sure not to swing the kettlebell, keep it close to your body. You might have to have to pull your arms towards your body a little, especially on heavy weights.
  • At the top, drive through the hips by squeezing the glutes and core hard. 
  • Slowly return to the starting position. Just bend at the hips until your hands are just below the knees and then bend the knees. 

Good form is especially important on the deadlift. Getting the hip hinge right while keeping the back and neck in a neutral position is a must. Don’t worry about starting with a lighter weight first until you feel comfortable. The deadlift is on the the exercises that people are able to lift the heaviest weights, kettlebells or not so once you get it right, it’s a great strength builder. 

Driving through the hips on top of the rep and squeezing the glutes hard to do this is what really activates the glutes. 

3. Kettlebell Squat

The classic leg exercise is the squat. And for good reason, it’s just an amazing exercise for the whole lower body. The hamstrings, quads and glutes all get a really hard workout. At the same time the core, and back is also hit pretty hard. 

The squat can be done a few different ways. With one or two kettlebell, one or two hands and the kettlebell(s) in different positions. 


  • Grab one or two kettlebell. If using one kettlebell, hold it close to your chest with both hands. If using two, hold them on the outside of the wrists close to your shoulders. 
  • Stand up straight, feet shoulder width apart.
  • Brace your core and keep the shoulders back. 


  • Start the squat by pushing your butt back like you’re going to sit down on a stool.
  • After bending the hips, start bending the knees.
  • Keep going down until the hips are slightly below the knees. 
  • Push back up by pushing your heels into the floor and driving the hips forward. 

To make sure you properly activate the glutes, make sure to push through your heels. If you push with the ball of the foot, you’re activating the quadriceps more. 

4. Kettlebell Good Morning

After some full body and general exercises for the legs, here is one that really focusses on the hamstrings and glutes. The good morning is an exercise that is often forgotten but it’s actually a great exercise if done right. It also hits the lower back quite hard so keep that in mind. 


  • Grab a kettlebell with both hands, palms facing each other. 
  • Stand up straight while holding the kettlebell close to your chest. 


  • Brace your core and keep the shoulders back
  • Bend at the hips while keeping the knees and back straight. Just bend the hips.
  • Bend over until your back is parallel to the floor. Many people won’t be flexible enough to get that far down. In that case, bend as far as you can.
  • Squeeze the hamstrings, glutes and lower back to stand up straight again. 
  • Drive through the hips at the top, squeeze the glutes and hamstrings hard while also bracing the core. 

5. Kettlebell Walking Lunges

After squats, lunges are a great exercise. The biggest difference with the squat is that you use one leg at a time for the force production. This means you use different muscles for balancing and can prevent large muscle imbalances. 

Lunges can also be done in different ways to target different muscles slightly differently. The standard lunge is a good place to start but after a while you can switch it up and do reverse or side lunges.

Lunges usually put a larger focus on the quadriceps but the glutes and hamstrings are also used. To put greater stress on the glutes. Walking lunges that put the front leg out on an angle are really going to blast the glutes very hard. 


  • If you have a single kettlebell, hold it close to the chest with both hands.
  • If you have two of the same kettlebells, grab both and let them hang down. 
  • Stand up straight. 
  • Brace your core and back. 


  • Take one step forward. Step out so the front leg is at a roughly 30 degree angle from the body.  
  • Lower the body and bend the forward leg until the knee is at a 90 degree angle.
  • The back knee should just stay off the floor but almost touch at the lowest point. 
  • Push back up by pushing the heel of the front foot into the floor. Drive the heel in to straighten the leg and at the same time pull the rear foot up to the front foot so you stand up with both feet next to each other.
  • Switch legs. 
  • You’ll be moving forward (walking), and in a zig-zag pattern because of the 30 degree angle. 

6. Kettlebell Glute Bridge

All the exercises above are full body exercises. If you want something that doesn’t really target the rest of the body too much since your workout routine already wore you out, a glute bridge is a good exercise that targets the glutes without hitting too much of the rest of the body. 


  • Lay on the floor, knees bent, feet flat on the floor.
  • Pull your heels close to your butt. 
  • Grab a kettlebell with both hands.
  • Place the kettlebell on the hips, holding it in place with both hands. 


  • Push the hips up by driving the heels into the floor.
  • Push the hips as far as you can, squeezing the glutes and core hard. 
  • Slowly lower the hips down. 
  • During the set, don’t let your butt touch the floor. Keep tension on the glutes throughout the set. 

If the kettlebell is uncomfortable to hold on the hips, you can put a towel between the kettlebell and your hips. Especially on heavier weights, that will make it more comfortable. Also, if you need a bigger challenge but don’t have a heavier kettlebell, using one leg to push and keeping the other straight is a good option. 

Is a Kettlebell Enough For Toned/Strong Glutes?

A kettlebell can be plenty to grow bigger, stronger muscles anywhere as long as you use the right exercises. To get muscles to grow, you need to provide enough training volume at a proper resistance level. The training volume is quite easy to do with kettlebells.

Suggested: How to optimize your kettlebell workouts

They are small so you can have one at home and quickly bang out a 15 minute workout that will produce quite a burn in the glutes. For strength a little lower training volume and higher resistance is the way to go. In the beginning however, you’ll attain both goals no matter what you do, as long as it’s challenging. 

Image of a woman doing a kettlebell swing

The resistance level depends on the weight of the kettlebell. It’s a good idea to have a few different weights of kettlebells available. How heavy exactly obviously depends on you. For some movements like squats, swings and deadlifts, a heavy kettlebell is more appropriate. For things like curls and lateral raises, lighter weights are better. Or another way to look at it; for exercises with two hands; use a heavy kettlebell, for exercises with one hand, use a lighter one. 

What heavy and light means really depends on the person. For women 6-8 kg is a good starting point for two handed exercises. For men a starting point of 12-14 kg is good. The lighter kettlebell should be about 60% of the heavier weight. Of course when training, you will get stronger after a while. Be prepared to upgrade to a heavier weight kettlebell after a while. 

However, the glutes are the strongest muscles in the body. They need a good bit of resistance to be trained properly. In the beginning, the weights mentioned above might be enough but pretty soon, you might have to go to heavier weights. 

If you are going for size and toning, doing more repetitions per set is the way to go. Use a weight you can do for 20-25 repetitions. After 15 reps you’ll feel the glutes (and other muscles) to start burning. Push through that burning, while keeping good form for another 10 reps. That is a great way to get good glute growth. It’ll be uncomfortable but it does work well. 

To build bigger, stronger buttocks, pick 2-3 exercises per workout. Then do 3 sets for 20-30 repetitions per set. Keep doing that for at least 4-6 weeks and you will see significant results.