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How to grow the top of your glutes

If you feel as though you’re unable to grow the top of your glutes (also known as your upper glutes or your ‘top shelf’) it might simply be because you’re not targeting all three muscles. In particular, you might be ignoring your gluteus medius, which is the glute muscle closest to your lower back. 

how many inches can you add to the glutes?

If you didn’t know already, your glutes aren’t just one large muscle. Your glutes are actually made up of three different muscles: the gluteus maximus, the gluteus medius, and the gluteus minimus.

In this article, we’re going to go over everything you need to know about growing your upper glutes: what exercises to try, and how to alternate your exercise regimen to ensure you’re working all three of your glute muscles. Let’s take a look!

Where are my upper glutes?

Your upper glutes are situated just below your lower back, circling around to the sides of your hips. This area of your glutes is known as your gluteus medius, and it’s important to engage this muscle if you’re looking to achieve a rounder, fuller booty at every angle.

Why are my upper glutes not growing?

If your upper glutes don’t seem to be packing on the muscle, it could be due to one of the following reasons:

You’re not eating enough

When you’re on a muscle building journey, it’s not enough to simply work out regularly with weights or resistance. Your muscles need to be fed in order to grow, especially when you’re working them hard in the gym and aiming for maximum gains.

While it might seem counterproductive to eat more when you’re on a fitness journey, you’re not going to see tangible results otherwise. You should use an online calorie calculator tool to see how much you should be eating for your height and weight, and add around 100-200 calories on top of that to ensure maximal muscle building.

You’re repeating the same exercises over and over

Another reason you may not be seeing results in your upper glutes is that you’re not actually targeting them – instead, you’re instead repeating the same lower body exercises over and over again. Not only do lots of traditional lower body exercises only target the gluteus maximus (aka the largest glute muscle in the centre of your glutes) but your muscles are also likely to habituate to these movements if repeated in perpetuity.

In order to keep your workouts fresh and keep your muscles challenged, it’s important to diversify your workout routine and add new movements where possible. It’s also a good idea to constantly change how much weight you’re lifting as your body gains in strength and increases its cardiovascular capacities. If you notice that you’re no longer sore the morning after each workout, it’s a sign you need to up the weight or increase your number of repetitions.

You’re not targeting the gluteus medius

And finally, the third reason you may be experiencing little to no growth in your upper glutes is that you’re not performing dynamic movements that work the upper glute muscle, also known as the gluteus medius. Overworking your larger glute muscle will always yield unbalanced results, overpowering one muscle to the detriment of others. Overworking your large glute muscle is also often the cause of ‘square glutes’ – you can remedy this by performing a more varied, dynamic workout routine.

Your glutes muscles aren’t activated

Glute amnesia – also known as weak or sleepy glutes – occurs when your glute muscle remains inactive for prolonged periods of time. This can be caused by a number of different factors, including having a sedentary lifestyle, or even by doing exercise that doesn’t engage the glute muscles (such as running, jogging, and any other types of cardiovascular exercise.) When your glutes are inactive, they’re literally unable to build muscle. Doing glute activation exercises can help fire up your glutes and get them working again.

How to grow the top of your glutes: 3 tips

So, what’s the best method for growing your upper glutes? Here are our top tips for working that gluteus medius and enjoying a full, round bum from every angle:

Pack on the protein

As we alluded to above, it’s incredibly important to eat enough calories when you’re actively trying to put on muscle weight. But it’s also incredibly important to eat the right kind of food – in particular, healthy proteins. Proteins such as eggs, fatty fish, nuts, leafy greens, and yoghurt are all healthy proteins that will nourish your upper glute muscles post-workout and make it easier for you to see tangible results.

And don’t worry about overeating or putting on fat – if you’re performing regular strength-training workouts, the food included in your diet is there to feed your muscles as they break down, repair, and rebuild.

Focus on the gluteus medius

Lateral lunges, Romanian deadlifts, hip thrusts, hip raises, fire hydrants, single leg glute bridges, and single leg squats all have one thing in common – they work your upper glutes, aka your gluteus medius. Working your gluteus medius is the quickest and easiest way to begin firing up all your glute muscles, which will help you achieve a more balanced, rounder, and stronger booty.

And the best part is, you don’t need to have an elevated fitness level to target your gluteus medius – you can simply switch out your dumbbells for resistance bands and still effectively target the upper glute muscles.

Get enough rest

While it’s important to get your sweat on at the gym if you want stronger glutes, it’s also important to give yourself adequate rest. Resting gives your muscles the time they need to heal and repair, and you might find your results plateau if you keep wearing out your glute muscles every day. This could even explain why your upper glutes appear less developed than the rest of your glutes.

We’d recommend taking at least one rest day a week, and try to space your intense strength training workouts at least one day apart where possible.

With plenty of rest, a workout routine that targets your gluteus medius, and enough protein in your diet, it won’t take long for you to see growth and development in your upper glutes.


I’m Chloe – a body confidence writer here at House of Peach! I help women to feel fabulous in the body they’re in and feel amazing in gym wear – regardless of their body shape and type. Unleash Your Peach.

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