Any trainer worth his or her salt will tell you that to build a strong behind, you should definitely incorporate glute bridges into your lower-body workouts.

That said, for some, glute bridges can be difficult and tricky, and if done incorrectly, they can irritate the lower back and neck.

But that’s no excuse to train your rear. It’s time to get your booty in gear with these glute-building moves that aren’t glute bridges and that you can do anytime, anywhere—all you need is a pair of dumbbells.

Reverse Lunge and Curl

This two-for-one move from the founders of Tone It Up sculpts your lower body and upper body at the same time.

Works your legs, booty and biceps

  • Begin standing with your feet together, holding a dumbbell in each hand at your sides.
  • Engaging your core, step your right foot back and lower until your legs are bent at 90 degrees and your back knee is hovering just above the ground.
  • At the same time, curl the dumbbells up to your chest.
  • Come back up to standing by stepping your right foot forward and lowering the dumbbells back down.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Single-Legged Squat

This no-equipment, unilateral move from Cassey Ho not only will work your legs and booty but also will challenge your balance and stability.

Works your legs, booty, core

  • Stand tall and clasp your hands in front of your chest.
  • Hinge forward from your hips and raise your left leg directly behind you until your torso and left leg are parallel to the floor. Keep your right knee soft to help you balance.
  • Bend your right knee to come down into a single-legged squat, then press through your right foot to return to stand.
  • Complete 12 reps, then switch sides.

Hip Hinge (Romanian Deadlift)

Sure, squats are great, but did you know there are so many other movements you can do to work your behind? Don’t believe us? Grab a dumbbell or kettlebell and try this move from Pete McCall.

Works your glutes, hamstrings and adductors

  • Keep your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent and spine straight, and hold a weight with both hands in front of your thighs.
  • Push your hips back and keep your spine long as you lower the weight toward the floor. Pause at the bottom before pushing your feet into the ground and hips forward to return to a full, upright position.
  • During this movement, your lumbar spine (lower back) should remain stable and stiff and the movement should come directly from your hips.
  • When learning this movement, place your hand on your lower back as a reminder to NOT let it bend.
  • It is recommended to learn to do this movement with your body weight first before adding resistance.
  • Do two to three sets of 12 to 15 reps. Rest 45 seconds in between sets.

Photo credit: Tom Casey,