Ankle weight exercises for the butt

ankle weightsHere is a small routine using ankle weights that I enjoy doing after a series of weighted squats and lunges to “finish off my glutes”. I like how it targets the glutes from different angles, using not only the gluteus maximus but activating the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus which I don’t feel or activate enough when I squat and lunge.

I usually use 2kg ankle weights (4.4 lbs) on each side and do 15-20 repetitions per exercise. This doesn’t seem like a lot of weight but I try to use slow and deliberate moves as much as possible.

The workout

Lunge and knee up with ankle weights Backward lunge with knee lift
I like the way the knee lift works the abs as a bonus in this move.
Hip extension to step up Hip flexor stretch to step up
I try to keep the left leg straight and locked, pushing on my right heel, squeezing my right glute to lift me up, and trying to put my left leg come up in a straight line.
Side lying hip raise Side lying hip raise
I lift my hips up so my body is in a straight line while opening my right leg up (feet stay together).
Open, up and close Clamshell exercise with both feet up, straightening one leg up and “closing it back”
This is a move I borrow from a pilates class.
Fire hydrant exercise Fire hydrant
A classic butt isolating exercise for the gluteus medius, but still very challenging to perform with good form without arching or twisting my back. Keeping my knee bent at 90 degrees, trying to lift my knee out to the side at hip level, slowly lowering back to the starting position.
Donkey kick lying on the floor Donkey kick lying on the floor
A variation of the traditional donkey kick exercise lying on the floor instead of on hands and knees to make sure I’m not arching my back or twisting my torso when performing the move.

I like doing all the exercises back-to-back on the right leg first, and then repeat the 6 same exercises using the left leg. Ideally I do the whole routine 2 to 3 times on both sides. Do you have any other suggestions for moves using ankle weights?



  1. Christina says

    I really enjoy these ankle weight glute exercises! So far I do them once a week for the past 2 weeks, but I plan to move that to at least twice a week. I find the video examples to be VERY beneficial, rather than some websites that simply describe the move.

    • says

      Hi Christina, thank you for your feedback! It’s very nice to hear somebody actually gave it a try!! For best results, try incorporating some kind of cardio right after you’re done! (power walking, jogging, jumping rope etc.)

    • says

      Hi Ale, you will start seeing results if you stick to it at least 3 times a week during 4 weeks while eating healthy and incorporating some kind of cardio in your daily life (going to school or work on foot or by bike instead of by car or bus).

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