The caseinolytic protease complex ClpXP is an important house-keeping enzyme in prokaryotes charged with the removal and degradation of misfolded and aggregated proteins and performing regulatory proteolysis. Dysregulation of its function, particularly by inhibition or allosteric activation of the proteolytic core ClpP, has proven to be a promising strategy to reduce virulence and eradicate persistent bacterial infections. Here, we report a rational drug-design approach to identify macrocyclic peptides which allosterically increase proteolysis by ClpP. This work expands the understanding of ClpP dynamics and sheds light on the conformational control exerted by its binding partner, the chaperone ClpX, by means of a chemical approach. The identified macrocyclic peptide ligands may, in the future, serve as a starting point for the development of ClpP activators for antibacterial applications.