In theory, life is one big glute workout: Walk whenever possible. Take stairs instead of elevators. Activate the glutes by squeezing them one at a time during meetings, sitting at a desk, or bogged down in traffic.

In reality, though, most of us struggle to take such proactive measures for our glutes. As a result, our glutes become deactivated by our sedentary culture of sitting. Sitting all the time not only tightens the hips, flexes our bodies forward, and contributes to a chain of muscle dysfunction and pain, but also leaves us with flat, unattractive rear ends.

Some world-class butts are the product of genetics, but most are the result of work in the gym. That’s good news, of course, if you suffer from tight hips, a flat butt or—most likely—a combination of both.

How this workout works

In this 30-minute dumbbell workout to build your glutes, we’ll hammer through four sets of these eight exercises circuit-style. Do all reps of each exercise, then move directly to the next one exercise. Rest only briefly between rounds of the circuit to produce maximum results with minimal time and equipment.

Pete Williams is a NASM-certified personal trainer and the author or co-author of a number of books on performance and training.