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12 Glute Exercises To Strengthen Your Glutes

12 Glute Exercises To Strengthen Your Glutes
Glute Exercises

Ladies, while glute exercises might seem like a trend at the moment, I want to point out that your glutes are an important muscle group. Strong glutes help to support your hamstrings, lower back, hips, core and pelvis. 

To help you maximise your training, I’ve put together some of the best glute exercises for home and for the gym.

Find Out: 

Make sure you are doing someglute activation exercises to get the most out of these targeted exercises, too. 

Glute Exercises At Home

By focusing on mainly bodyweight glute exercises, you can train this muscle group at home!

Here are a few exercises you can do to target your glutes at home.

Try picking three or four of these glute exercises and creating a mini circuit to work through. 

Crab Walk

They look simple but crab walks are a great glute strengthening exercise! Bending your hips and knees places your glutes into a weight-bearing position, so you are likely to feel these the next day.

  1. Holding a medicine ball in front of your chest, plant both feet together on the floor. 
  2. Inhale. Exhale. Keeping your right foot on the floor, release your left leg and take one large step sideways. Your feet should be further than shoulder width apart.
  3. Inhale. Looking straight ahead, bend at both the hips and knees, ensuring that your knees remain in line with your toes. Continue bending your knees until your upper legs are parallel with the floor. Ensure that your back remains between 45 and 90 degrees of your hips.
  4. Exhale. Push through your heels and extend your legs to return to a neutral standing position and bring your feet together. 
  5. Repeat, ensuring that you complete an equal number of reps on both sides.

Knee-Up

Don’t underestimate this exercise! Stepping up onto a chair places a large emphasis on the glutes, making them work hard. 

Drawing your knee towards your chest helps to engage your core as well. 

  1. Place a chair in front of you and plant both feet on the floor shoulder-width apart. Firmly plant your entire left foot on the chair, ensuring that your knee is in line with your toes. This is your starting position.
  2. Inhale. Exhale. Push through the heel of your left foot to extend your leg. Avoid pushing through your toes to prevent placing additional pressure on your shin and knee. As you extend your left leg, bend your right knee and draw it in towards your chest.
  3. Inhale. Extend and lower your right leg to return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat, ensuring that you complete an equal number of repetitions on both sides.

Donkey Kick

Not only will you be working your glutes, but your core and shoulders too! In this glute exercise, your glutes are doing the majority of the lifting. 

  1. Starting on all fours on a yoga mat, ensure that your knees are below your hips and your hands are below your shoulders. Set your spine in a neutral position and draw your shoulder blades down and back.

  2. Inhale. 
Exhale. Keeping your knee bent, release and elevate your right leg until your thigh is in line with your spine, ensuring that your foot remains flexed.

  3. Inhale. Lower your right leg to return to the starting position, but without resting your knee on the mat.

  4. Repeat, ensuring that you complete an equal number of repetitions on both sides.


Glute Bridge

When it comes to a simple bodyweight glute exercise you can do at home, the glute bridge is hard to beat. With this exercise, you are not just strengthening your glutes but opening up the hips as well. 

  1. Start by lying flat on your back on a yoga mat. Bend your knees and position your feet firmly on the mat, ensuring that they are hip-width apart and your spine is in a neutral position. Allow your arms to rest by your sides on the mat. This is your starting position.
  2. Inhale. Exhale. Press your heels into the mat, activate your glutes and raise your pelvis off the floor until your body forms one straight line from chin to knee, resting on your shoulders.
  3. Inhale. Lower your pelvis to return to the starting position. 
  4. Repeat.

Reverse Lunge

With a reverse lunge, there is the additional challenge of instability. This makes your glutes and lower body work even harder to keep you steady. 

  1. Plant both feet on the floor shoulder-width apart. This is your starting position.
  2. Inhale. Carefully take a big step backwards with your right foot. As you plant your right foot on the floor, bend both knees to approximately 90-degrees, ensuring that your weight is evenly distributed between both legs. When done correctly, your front knee will be aligned with your ankle and your back knee will be hovering just off the floor.
  3. Exhale. Extend both knees and transfer your weight completely onto your left foot. Step your right foot forward to return to the starting position.
  4. Inhale. Carefully take a big step backwards with your left foot. As you plant your left foot on the floor, bend both knees to approximately 90-degrees, ensuring that your weight is evenly distributed between both legs. When done correctly, your front knee will be aligned with your ankle and your back knee will be hovering just off the floor.
  5. Exhale. Extend both knees and transfer your weight completely onto your right foot. Step your left foot forward to return to the starting position.
  6. Repeat, alternating between left and right sides.

Goblet Sumo Squat

Squats are a compound exercise, so they target multiple muscle groups. With the wider stance, you’ll really notice more activation in your glutes, as well as targeting your quads, hamstrings and abs!

  1. Holding a dumbbell with both hands directly in front of your chest, plant both feet on the floor further than shoulder-width apart. Point both feet slightly outward. This is your starting position.
  2. Inhale. Looking straight ahead, bend at both the hips and knees, ensuring that your knees point toward your toes. Continue bending your knees until your upper legs are parallel with the floor, ensuring that your back remains between a 45- to 90-degree angle to your hips.
  3. Exhale. Push through your heels and extend your knees to return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat.

Glute Exercises At The Gym

If you spend a lot of time sitting, incorporating some glute strengthening exercises into your routine can minimise the associated risks, such as weakened muscles and reduced range of motion. 

Here are some glute strengthening exercises you can do at the gym. Just like the at-home exercises, pick a few and make your own mini circuit if you want to focus on your glutes.

Aim for 10-15 reps each exercise. Take the time to build up your confidence and get into the correct movement patterns before you start to increase the weight.

Sumo Squat (Smith Machine)

This is one of the best glute exercises for women who want to start lifting heavier weights, as the machine holds the bar steady for you so you can concentrate on the movement. 

Be mindful that your heels don’t lift off the floor as the bar moves up and down. Really focus on holding a strong core and contracting your glutes.

  1. Set the height of the Smith machine bar to approximately chin height. Position yourself underneath the bar so that it rests on your shoulders. Place both hands on the bar in an overhand grip (palms facing away from your body) slightly wider than your shoulders.
  2. Standing underneath the bar with it resting on your shoulders, plant both feet on the floor further than shoulder-width apart. Point both feet slightly outward. Stand up tall and release the bar from its locked position. This is your starting position.
  3. Inhale. Looking straight ahead, bend at both the hips and knees, ensuring that your knees point toward your toes. Continue bending your knees until your upper legs are parallel with the floor. Ensure that your back remains between a 45- to 90-degree angle to your hips.
  4. Exhale. Push through your heels and extend your legs to return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat.

Sumo Leg Press

The leg press machine isn’t just to focus on your quads! Moving your feet to a wider, ‘sumo’ stance can help utilise this as a glute building exercise. It also places more emphasis on the hamstrings.

  1. Sit in the leg press and plant your feet on the foot plate further than shoulder-width apart, toes pointed slightly outward. Press the foot plate away from your torso and release the leg press from its locked position. This is your starting position.
  2. Inhale. Bend your knees and lower the foot plate towards your torso until your knees almost touch your chest.
  3. Exhale. Extend your knees and press the foot plate away to return to the starting position, ensuring that your knees remain in line with your toes at all times.
  4. Repeat, ensuring that you return the leg press to its locked position.

Bulgarian Split Squat

Elevating your back foot helps to really place an emphasis on the glute of your grounded leg. Focus on keeping your front knee behind your toe to maximise glute activation.

  1. With a bench placed horizontally behind you, safely place a barbell on your shoulders. Plant both feet on the floor shoulder-width apart and carefully step your right foot backwards, allowing the ball of your foot to rest on top of the bench. Carefully shuffle your left foot forward, if needed. This is your starting position.
  2. Inhale. Bend both knees to approximately 90 degrees, ensuring that your weight is evenly distributed between both legs. When done correctly, your front knee will be aligned with your ankle.
  3. Exhale. Push through the heel of your left foot and toe of your right foot to extend both legs and return to the starting position.
  4. Complete half of the specified number of repetitions on the same side, before completing the remaining repetitions on the other side.

Glute Kickback

Using a cable machine allows you to get a good range of motion, so you’ll really be challenging those glutes!

  1. Connect the ankle wrap attachment and set the cable pulley at the bottom of the pole. Wrap the attachment around your left ankle. Turn to face the cable pulley. Standing a half-step away, plant both feet on the floor slightly further than shoulder-width apart. Rest both hands on the pole at approximately chest height. This is your starting position.
  2. Inhale. Exhale. Keeping your right leg firmly planted, extend your left leg backwards directly behind your body, ensuring that your foot remains flexed and you maintain an upright position.
  3. Inhale. Slowly lower your left leg to return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat, ensuring that you complete an equal number of reps on both sides.

Hip Thrust

This is one of the best glute exercises for the gym because you can add weight with a barbell! A hip thrust exercise helps to build posterior strength, helping to increase the power of your lower body. 

  1. Begin seated on the ground, with a bench placed horizontally behind you, and your knees bent. Lay a barbell across your hips, holding it with both hands on either side of your hips. You may wish to place a pad or towel around the bar to increase comfort. With knees bent and feet firmly planted on the floor, lean back onto the bench so that it is gently pressing into your upper back. This is your starting position.
  2. Inhale. Exhale. Holding onto the barbell, press your heels into the mat and raise your hips off the floor until your body forms one straight line from chin to knee, resting your shoulders on the bench and ensuring that your head is an extension of your spine.
  3. Inhale. Lower your hips to return to the starting position, but without resting your glutes on the mat.
  4. Repeat.

Hip Extension

Using the cable pulley to perform a hip extension is a great way to target the glutes and hamstrings. This glute exercise is particularly helpful for people who sit behind a desk or do a lot of driving — it can help to keep both your glutes and hips strong.

  1. Connect the rope attachment and set the cable pulley at the bottom of the pole. Turn to face away from the cable pulley. Standing one step away, plant both feet on the floor slightly further than shoulder-width apart, ensuring that you have one foot on either side of the cable pulley. Place both hands on the rope with a neutral grip (palms facing inwards) and find a neutral standing position, holding the rope directly in front of your body with arms extended. This is your starting position.
  2. Inhale. While maintaining a slight bend in your knees, hinge forward from your hips until your torso is parallel to the floor.
  3. Once your torso is parallel with the floor, exhale. Push through your heels and, using your glutes and hamstrings, extend your hips to return to the starting position, ensuring that your arms remain extended and relaxed.
  4. Repeat.

Add some of these glute exercises to your routine!

Your glutes are an important muscle group that can impact a whole range of movements, so adding glute building exercises to your routine can make a difference to the results of your training. My BBG programs incorporate all of these exercises in some way, so you can rest assured I have that side of things covered for you!

If you are noticing a bit of stiffness after doing these glute exercises, try to incorporate some glute stretches into your recovery. 

Comment below to let me know which glute exercise is your favourite!

* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.

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