What’s The Best Cardio Machine for Glutes? (Workouts Included)

Close up of fit woman's glutes

This article exists for the following reason:

I always start my workouts by running on the treadmill but noticed my legs have been getting weaker. I started doing some research and it turns out running too much can lead to losing muscle. So how am I supposed to get my cardio fix without it costing me a cheek?

Below you’ll find a list of some of the best cardio machines (and workouts) that allow you to improve your endurance while simultaneously building your backside!

Machine Rating
Stairmaster (5 / 5)
Stair stepper (4.5 / 5)
Spin bike (4 / 5)
Treadmill (3.5 / 5)


How To Get a Big Butt — Fast!

There are many ways to work your glutes and strengthen your booty but nothing beats consistency. The first step is actually getting to the gym and then from there you can speed up your results by doing a couple of things:

Form and technique: Not only is proper form and technique meant to keep you safe and prevent injuries, it’s also meant to give you better results. How? By allowing you to really target and isolate your muscles. Here are a few workouts where form and technique make all the difference:

Cycle/spin: Next time you’re riding a bike (at the gym or outside) and want to challenge yourself, try standing up while you pedal and notice how much more it burns! Burning = progress.

Treadmill: Crank up the incline next time you’re on the treadmill and notice how the intensity shifts from your quads to your glutes. Even a short jog with serious incline will light you on fire.

Squats: another great exercise that isolates your glutes. But how do you do them properly? There are two important things to consider when you’re squatting: knees and depth. Make sure your knees don’t move past your toes and avoid pointing your knees inward (easy way to hurt yourself). Here’s good and bad squat form:

Good and bad squat form
Source: Precision Nutrition

And make sure you’re squatting low enough. I come down a bit past 90 (degrees) but go as low as you comfortably can (makes a pretty big difference). Generally, the rule of thumb is to pay close attention to form and technique you’ll maximize results and never waste another minute in the gym.

You are what you eat: Protein builds and repairs muscle so without adequate amounts of protein in your diet you’re going to have a tough time sculpting your buns. Same goes for saturated fats and refined sugars. If chips and candy are part of your nightly routine you’re going to have to make a change if you want to see better/faster results.

You’re not doing yourself any favors by taking shortcuts. Does that mean you have to diet like a madman? Not at all. Just means that eating a bowl of ice cream covered in skittles every night isn’t going to cut it.

The truth is there are no perfect diets and ‘diets’ aren’t necessarily the key. The key is to cut bad habits and it starts with being aware. Understand what you’re putting in your body and how it can potentially affect your progress. Then tweak accordingly.


Best Cardio Machines for Glutes

#1 — Stairmasters

 StairMaster Gauntlet

Stairs are one of the best (if not the best) cardio workout you can possibly do for your backside given the motion isolates your glutes very well and the Stairmaster mimics that same motion.

#2 — Stair steppers

BestMassage Adjustable Twister Stepper

This the next closest motion to running stairs and would be my next best recommendation to the Stairmaster.  To really isolate your glutes make sure to take big steps, lean forward, stick your bum out, and more importantly, keep your hands off the railing.

#3 — Spin bikes

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1423

Notice I didn’t say upright bike. Spin bikes are better because they tend to be more solid and more commercial grade bikes that allow you to stand up and pedal. By standing and pedaling you can really isolate your buttocks and give it the burn it deserves. This would be the equivalent of going to a spin class at the gym. 

#4 — Treadmills

Weslo Cadence G 5.9

The higher the incline the better. If the incline is high enough, just walking will do the trick. If you really want to kick your butt then try doing walking lunges on a steep incline.


Cardio Workouts For Your Butt

Running hills/stairs isolates all of your ‘gluteal muscles’ and can be done virtually anywhere. Not sure where to start? Check out this ultimate staircase workout from our friends at Greatist.

Stairmasters (aka step machines) are like running stairs except you don’t get any breaks! But on the bright side, it’s much less strenuous on your knees/joints since you don’t have to walk/run back down the stairs. Here’s a badass Stairmaster workout you can try.

Sprints are one of the easiest ways to ‘lift’ your butt. Try sprinting outside or on a treadmill (boost the incline to challenge yourself). Start with 10 sets of 10-30 sec. intervals depending on your fitness level. Run for 10-30 secs >> break for 30 secs >> run for 10-30 secs and so on.

Squat jumps are a serious favorite of mine, they’ll leave you sore for days. Start with 3 sets of 10 and work your way up from there. Here’s a video that explains how to do them properly:

Lunge jumps are just like squat jumps only you land in lunge position. These can be tough and may be too difficult if you’re just starting out. Start with baby jumps and work your way up from there. They hurt but they work!

Here’s a video breaking down the movement:

Incline treadmill lunges are another great treadmill workout for your backside. Here’s a video breaking down the movement and sharing a killer workout:

Running hills probably hurts as much as it sounds, doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. There are some really great workouts covered in this article on mastering hill workouts.

Ellipticals are great for toning your buttocks but make sure to keep the majority of your weight on your heels and really squeeze each movement. This might help:

Kickboxing works the entire body and your glutes see a lot of that glory. Here’s a good starting point:


Non-Cardio Workouts For Your Butt

10-10-20s: These can be done on any leg press machine. It’s called ’10-10-20′ because you start with 10 reps on one leg, then 10 reps on the other leg, then 20 reps using both legs. Start light and do 3-5 reps and work your way up. The first few reps sometimes feel too easy but it’ll catch up to you.

Box jumps: Start with 3 sets of 10 reps. Experiment with different box heights to challenge yourself or try doing sets of one-legged box jumps on a smaller box. Here’s a breakdown of the proper box jump mechanics:

Squats: There’s literally 40 types of squats you can do that will all beautifully benefit your booty. Experiment with as many as you can, see which ones you like the most. My personal favorites are front squats, sumo squats, and kettlebell squats.

Cable kickbacks: One of the few workouts that isolate the entire glute. I usually do 3-5 sets of 20 reps but no matter how you’re doing them you’ll feel it. Here’s how to properly perform the movement:

Deadlifts: Great for the entire body and particularly the glutes. There are several types of deadlifts that you can experiment with. I recently started doing higher reps/lower weight and love it (4 sets of 25 reps).  Here’s a breakdown of the movement:

Barbell hip thrusts: Some people call these the holy grail of booty workouts but there’s a bit of a learning curve if you’ve never done them before. They can be done with or without weight and it’s important that you have the technique down before adding weight. As I’m sure you can tell by the pictures/video below, it’s easy to make an incorrect movement and hurt yourself.

To perform a proper hip thrust all you’re doing is positioning yourself perpendicular on a bench with your back/shoulder blades bearing the majority of the weight. From there you’re pushing through your hips and squeezing your buttocks all the way through.

Scott explains it quite well here:


What Else Can I Do? (Outside Of The Gym)

We’ve covered a bunch of things you can do at the gym with and without cardio machines but what can you do at home to make sure your gym efforts aren’t going to waste? Here are 3 things that come highly recommended:

Sleep: It’s no secret that proper sleeping habits are imperative to muscle growth and repair. But don’t stress about getting the perfect amount of sleep every single night, just make sure your overall sleeping habits are healthy.

Foam roll: Foam rolls are my ticket to a good sleep, I do them every night before bed. You’ll feel the pain in your muscles as you’re rolling and then the feeling of euphoria when you’re done (like a really good massage). And your legs will feel amazing in the morning. Here’s how to foam roll.

Stretch: You can find evidence supporting both sides of the stretching argument with a quick Google search: some say it helps build muscle, others say the opposite. But that’s not why it’s on the list, it’s because it makes you feel great.

The glutes/legs are big muscles and require serious effort to sculpt so you can expect to be sore for at least a day or two (or more) after training. Do yourself a favor and stretch immediately following your workout or just before bed and remember: proper stretching feels incredibly uncomfortable!

Leg, Hip & Glute Lower Body Stretching Routine
Source: Spotebi


There You Have It

There are endless workouts and machines you can use to build and strengthen your glutes but the most important thing is consistency. Getting to the gym regularly is more important than picking the perfect machine.

Prioritize your diet to speed up results and don’t get married to any one machine, switching up your workouts every few weeks is important to avoid plateauing. 

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