can the elliptical grow your glutes

Can the Elliptical Grow Your Glutes?

Training glutes is key to achieving a perkier, bigger bum—one of the most popular body goals among gym-goers and workout enthusiasts. The gluteus muscles, particularly the gluteus maximus, gives a “lifted” look to the bum when exercised for muscle growth. But can the elliptical machine grow glutes? Let’s answer that burning question right away.

Yes, ellipticals can help you grow your glutes! These low-impact cardio machines are used at the gym and at home, and they’re especially popular among females of all ages.

Is there a secret to using the elliptical or other equipment to get the best results in your behind? That’s what this simple guide is all about.

I will take you through the muscles worked on elliptical machines, the main benefits of using an elliptical, how effective ellipticals are for growing glutes, and what other ways are there to get faster, more visible results. Let’s get to it!

Muscles Worked on Elliptical Machines

Woman using elliptical in gym

  1. Lower body – Elliptical machines mainly provide a lower-body workout, engaging the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus, calves, and abdominals (core muscles) during the exercise.
  2. Upper body – Elliptical machines also involve arm movements, targeting the arms (biceps and triceps), front deltoid, and upper back muscles, including the rear deltoid, latissimus dorsi, and trapezius muscles.

While ellipticals work all the three glute muscles (maximus, medius, and minimus), it does so with greater focus on the gluteus maximus—the muscle that you’ll want trained for a bigger, perkier bum.

Benefits of Using an Elliptical

Besides sprightlier butts that demand attention, you’ll enjoy plenty of benefits from using an elliptical machine, including:

  • It’s one of the best low-impact resistance cardio for weight loss and muscle training.
  • Ellipticals help strengthen joints (tendons, ligaments, and cartilage) in the knees and hips.
  • It can assist in injury rehabilitation.

Unlike exercises and sports involving heavy footfalls, such as running/jogging and various sports (like basketball and tennis), ellipticals eliminate all stressful impact on the joints. This makes ellipticals especially beneficial for those with joint problems or lower-body injuries.

Can the Elliptical Grow Your Glutes?

Another benefit of using an elliptical trainer is that ellipticals offer a relatively low-intensity cardiovascular workout. The reduced challenge is the reason why ellipticals are often the go-to workout machines for beginners and seniors.

Other Exercises for Growing Glutes

Ellipticals put aside for a moment, what are other exercises that are effective for growing glutes?


Squats are another exercise that’s popular among female gym-goers—and for the same reason that squats are highly effective for working the glute muscles, quads, and hamstrings.

Lunges, Deadlifts & Hip Thrusts

The same applies to lunges, deadlifts, and hip thrusts, which, like squats, are typically performed with weights to increase the load placed on the target muscles for effective muscle growth and toned lower body.

So you see, it’s not necessary to go to the gym so you can work out your glutes. Popular bodyweight exercises—squats and lunges included—are glute bridges, donkey kicks, rainbow kicks, fire hydrants, clams, and other forms of glute raises, all of which can be performed at home with no equipment.

Related Post:  Joining a Gym Vs. Buying an Elliptical

Elliptical Vs Treadmill for Growing Glutes

Elliptical Vs Treadmill for Growing Glutes

You wouldn’t be the first to notice that movements performed on ellipticals and treadmills are close to the same.

Using an elliptical or treadmill is similar to running (check out the best treadmill for sprinting ) or walking outdoors, except that you have a moving foot platform.

Treadmills have an even surface that is either flat or inclined, while ellipticals have foot plates that allow you to simulate walking or running without the footfalls. So, between the two, it is the elliptical that is easier on your joints.

Do Treadmills Help You Grow Glutes? 

Walking or running on a treadmill, particularly at an incline, may involve some glute activation, but the resistance or stress placed on the glute muscles will not be enough to result in visible muscle growth.

Treadmills, and running in general, are used for cardio-based weight loss and improving overall health and fitness, with the main muscles worked being the quads, hamstrings, calves, and abdominal core muscles.

Are Ellipticals Effective for Growing Glutes?

Yes, elliptical trainers can help you grow glutes. These fitness machines offer an effective workout through resistance. Much like pedaling a bike, using an elliptical involves concentric strides led through the feet, activating all lower-body muscles in the process.


However, elliptical machines are only as effective as the amount of resistance placed on the glutes during the exercise. In other words, every time you work out on an elliptical, make sure that there’s enough challenge. It’s only when you do that regularly will you see visible glute muscle growth over time.

Best Elliptical Alternatives for Growing Glutes

As in any exercise, consistently making each workout on an elliptical machine challenging is key in growing your glutes. Still, it’s not the most effective workout for both hitting the glutes and building glute muscle.

In fact, the squat is widely considered the best exercise for growing glutes, quads, and hamstrings, and attaining a toned, muscular lower body in general.

By squats, we mean all types of bodyweight squatting exercises, including weighted squats (back squats and front squats) performed with a barbell or in a smith machine.

Aside from squats, the best glute exercises include lunges, hip thrusts, and all types of bodyweight glute raise exercises, such as donkey kicks, fire hydrants, rainbow kicks, and clams.

Is Buying an Elliptical Worth It?

Woman exercising at the gym on elliptical trainer
Last but not least, is it worth using or buying an elliptical trainer?

Ellipticals are ideal for beginners, seniors looking to improve their general health, those considered unfit/overweight, and athletes recovering from injuries.

The exercise itself can help you with weight loss, improve general strength, and tone lower-body muscles. For beginners especially, ellipticals can be a great incentive to start working out for these reasons.

Still, elliptical training is not the best method for fast and efficient weight loss or muscle growth. For people with these goals in mind, ellipticals are not considered effective for achieving “dream” physiques that require more demanding workouts.


In short, elliptical machines can help in growing glutes, especially when used by beginners at a level that is challenging, coupled with a high-protein diet for maximum results.

Despite that, ellipticals are not considered the most effective exercise for building glute muscle. For those seeking faster, more efficient results, better exercises would be squats, lunges, hip thrusts, deadlifts, and bodyweight glute raises, all of which put more stress and resistance on the glute muscles.