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The 17 Best Glute Exercises for Size, Strength, and Activation


The gluteus maximus — that’s your butt for the uninitiated — is the largest muscle in your body. Even if filling out a pair of jeans isn’t at the top of your priority list, bigger, stronger glutes will help you build better squats, deadlifts, and everything in between (yes, even overhead lifts). If you can’t figure out the most efficient way to activate your glutes, you’re just not going to be able to maximize your gains.

Here, you’ll learn why direct glute training is more effective than the old “well, glutes are involved in squats and deads, so that should be enough.” If you really want to boost your performance in and out of the gym, you need the right glute exercises. 

Credit: BigBlueStudio / Shutterstock

But how do you know which glute exercises are best? You read this list and put the movements into action. Here are 17 of the best strength-and-muscle-building glute movements you can try on your next leg day

Best Glutes Exercises

Conventional Deadlift
Back Squat
Hip Thrust
Belt Squat
Banded Romanian Deadlift
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat
Sumo Deadlift
Modified Curtsy Lunge
Walking Lunge
Cable Glute Kickback
Smith Machine Reverse Lunge
Lateral Lunge
Goblet Squat
Single-Leg Glute Bridge
Good Morning
Kettlebell Swing

Editor’s Note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. When starting a new training regimen and/or diet, it is always a good idea to consult with a trusted medical professional. We are not a medical resource. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. They are not substitutes for consulting a qualified medical professional.

Conventional Deadlift

The conventional deadlift — the king of all deadlift variations — is one of the most popular exercises around, and rightfully so. It challenges the muscles around the hip, knee, and ankle. It also taxes the muscles surrounding your wrist, elbow, and shoulder to hold the barbell, but those joints do not contribute directly to the range of motion. 

As it has a primary focus on hip extension, it can be used while training back, legs, or anywhere else it fits nicely in your programming.

How to Do the Conventional Deadlift

Set up for the deadlift by taking a hip-width stance, hinging at the hips, shooting your butt back, and reaching down to the barbell.
Grab the bar with a close grip, just outside your shins.
Flatten your back, pull your chest up, and take a breath in.
Push into the floor with your legs to break the bar off the ground.
As the bar passes your knees, thrust your hips forward and squeeze your glutes to come to a standing position.

Coach’s Tip: Take some time to experiment with your starting position to find something that really engages your glutes.

Sets and Reps: For glute growth specifically, try 3-4 sets of 5-8 reps. 

Benefits of the Conventional Deadlift

Builds serious full-body strength.
Increases leg, back, and grip strength with one exercise.
Challenge muscles around the hip more than other deadlift variations.

Back Squat

The back squat is a compound exercise that challenges every muscle in the legs, especially the glutes. Its primary use in training is to challenge hip extension, driving the lower body up from the bottom position and placing a high amount of tension on the glutes. 

The back squat leads to strength and muscle gain and reinforces other exercises like the deadlift, split squat, and lunge.

How to Do the Back Squat

Unrack a bar from a squat rack by placing it on your upper back with a close grip and taking one or two steps back.
Take a comfortable stance; place your feet between hip and shoulder-width apart and turn your feet outward to whatever angle feels natural.
From here, inhale into your belly and feel your weight distribute evenly across your feet.
Squat by breaking at your knees and hips simultaneously and sitting down as low as you’re able.
Once you reach the bottom, reverse the motion and stand back up by contracting your quads. 

Coach’s Tip: Squat depth is the most important factor when it comes to engaging your glutes. Try to squat as low as you can with good form.

Sets and Reps: Go for 3-4 sets of 6-8 reps with a challenging weight. 

Benefits of the Back Squat

The back squat allows for more loading compared to many other glute-focused movements.
The back squat recruits the core and strengthens your postural muscles.
This exercise challenges the glutes in their fully stretched position, making it a no-brainer for growing your backside.

Hip Thrust

This exercise is very effective at loading the glutes in their shortened position, without the need to load the spine. What separates the glute bridge from the hip thrust is the range of motion. 

Folks typically perform glute bridges on the floor, which limits how much you can flex your hips and makes using heavy weights somewhat awkward. Hip thrusts require you to sit up against a bench and offer more range of motion to blast your glutes with.

How to Do the Hip Thrust

Sit with your upper back against a weight bench and a loaded barbell in front of you. Roll the bar back until it brushes up your hips.
Bend your knees and plant your feet on the floor to seal the bar into your hip crease. Grab the bar with a wide grip.
Initiate the thrust by pushing your hips upward until your body forms a straight line from your kneecaps to your shoulders.

Coach’s Tip: You should absolutely place a protective pad on the barbell here to avoid crushing your hips and groin. 

Sets and Reps: Do 4-5 sets of 8-12 reps here to grow your glutes. 

Benefits of the Hip Thrust

You can directly target your glutes, more so than any other exercise, which will carry over to other exercises that require glute strength.
You’re able to place high amounts of focus on the glutes without loading the spine.

Belt Squat

This unique squat variation uses a machine to help load the lower body, without the need to place more load on the low back and spine. It’s popular across all levels of fitness, including among bodybuilderspowerlifters, and weightlifters for building muscle and strength in the quads and glutes. 

The positioning of this squat movement allows for a more vertical spine, taking some of the load off the low back, and increased training volume without more wear and tear.

How to Do the Belt Squat

Stand on the platform and fasten the belt around your hips.
Place your feet to the left and right of the pulley in the platform and place your hands on the handles in front of you.
Engage the pulley system and find your balance. Take a breath into your belly.
Sit straight down, allowing the pulley to guide your movement.
Squat as low as you comfortably can and then push back up to a standing position.

Coach’s Tip: Think about allowing the pulley system to pull your hips straight down into the bottom of the squat.

Sets and Reps: Try 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps here with a moderate weight. 

Benefits of the Belt Squat

The belt squat allows for a more upright torso position, taking the strain off the low back.
This exercise prioritizes hip extension, helping build muscle and strength in the glutes.
It doesn’t require as much core stability, which means it can be used as a part of a bigger superset combination without a high risk of injury.

Banded Barbell Romanian Deadlift

This variation helps add tension to the glutes in the standing position — a position where there is usually no resistance. The resistance band helps give a counterbalance to your torso and allows you to lean forward into the movement. It also gives you an external cue to help you bend your hips rather than rounding at the low back, improving your hip-hinging abilities

Lastly, the horizontal band position can help increase the load placed on the muscles across the range of motion.

How to Do the Banded Barbell Romanian Deadlift

Fasten a resistance band to a support structure at waist height behind you, wrap it around your hips, and step forward until there is moderate tension in the band.
Bend over to pick up a lightly-loaded barbell and assume a close hip-width stance.
Hinge at the hips, allowing the band to pull your pelvis backward until you feel a strong stretch in your posterior chain. Let the barbell glide down your thighs. 
Fight the band and thrust your hips forward to return to a standing position.

Coach’s Tip: The band should not be tense enough that you lose your balance. Use it to cue forceful hip extension.

Sets and Reps: Try 2 sets of 12-15 reps here with a moderate weight.

Benefits of the Banded Barbell Romanian Deadlift

The band helps give counterbalance to the torso, allowing you to lean forward and place more resistance on the glutes throughout the range of motion.
This exercise prioritizes hip extension, helping build muscle and strength in the glutes, hamstrings, and adductors.
It adds resistance to the glutes in the top position where there usually isn’t any at all.

Rear-Foot-Elevated Split Squat

A close relative to the Bulgarian split squat, this variation isolates one leg at a time, which also allows a weaker leg the ability to catch up in terms of size and strength. 

The rear foot elevation allows you to sink down into hip flexion more, placing more muscular tension on the glute of the front leg. 

How to Do the Rear-Foot-Elevated Split Squat

Place your non-working leg onto a knee-height bench or box about two feet behind you.
Balance yourself on your working leg with a weight in each hand.
From here, sink your hips down and back, allowing your working leg knee to bend and travel forward as needed.
Reverse the motion by pushing into the floor until your leg is straight. 

Coach’s Tip: To emphasize your glutes even more, limit how far forward your knee travels over your toes. 

Sets and Reps: Try 2 or 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps with as much weight as you can maintain good form with. 

Benefits of the Rear-Foot-Elevated Split Squat

The split squat can work for every fitness level, goal, and need.
The rear foot elevation increases hip flexion and allows you to place more load on the front leg.
The unilateral (single-sided) setup helps build coordination and improves balance.

Sumo Deadlift

The sumo deadlift is a widely-used exercise with many benefits, especially when it comes to adding strength and size to the lower body. This deadlift variation has the lifter take a wider stance compared to the conventional setup, with the feet turned out roughly 30 degrees. 

This change in stance places the hips into external rotation, placing tension on the adductor and glute muscles — most notably the smaller glute medius and minimus. 

How to Do the Sumo Deadlift

Address a loaded barbell by taking a very wide, toes-turned-out stance. Point your feet towards the plates and open your hips.
From here, break at the hips and sink down until you can grab the bar with both hands.
Brace for the pull by inhaling air into your stomach, pushing your knees out to the sides, and pulling your chest up.
Initiate the movement by pushing into the floor with your legs and standing up until you can lock your hips out.

Coach’s Tip: The sumo deadlift has no eccentric phase. Drop the weight to the floor between reps.

Sets and Reps: Try 3-4 sets of 4-6 reps with a heavy weight. 

Benefits of the Sumo Deadlift

Builds muscle and strength in the quads, adductors, and glutes.
Allows for the lifter to have a more upright torso position, taking the strain off the low back.

Modified Curtsy Lunge

The modified curtsy lunge is a lunge variation that reinforces glute medius and minimus engagement. In this exercise, the lifter sets up in a modified split squat stance with an elevated back foot and the lead foot rotated internally around 10-20 degrees. 

The glute medius is worked through a greater range of motion while better aligning the body with the desired movement pattern.

How to Do the Modified Curtsy Lunge

Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, and place one foot, toes down, on an elevated surface behind you.
The lead foot rotated internally around 10-20 degrees, aligning with the toes of the lead foot with the knee of the back leg. 
With a slight lean forward in your torso, squat down until both of your legs bend to around 90 degrees.
Stand back up by driving your front foot through the floor.

Coach’s Tip: Balance should be your priority here. If you can’t balance yourself, you can’t focus on engaging your glutes. 

Sets and Reps: Try 1 or 2 sets of 10-15 reps depending on how well you can balance yourself. 

Benefits of the Modified Curtsy Lunge

The rear foot elevation increases hip flexion and allows you to place more load on the front leg.
The internal rotation of the front leg allows for more involvement and bias of the glute medius.

Walking Lunge

The walking lunge is a great variation to employ because the step adds a level of focus on balance and coordination, so athletes will often use this exercise as a dynamic lower body training option to train the muscles of the posterior chain

Alongside its myriad of benefits for balance and coordination, it challenges the glutes through a large and dynamic range of motion, making it a go-to glute builder.

How to Do the Walking Lunge

Stand with your feet together, and then take a step forward roughly 18 to 24 inches and plant your foot firmly to the ground.
From there, you will allow your front knee to track forward — aiming between the first and second toe — while your back knee drops straight down to the ground. 
While driving through the floor with your front foot, move your body forward to a standing position, where your back foot will meet the position of the front one.

Coach’s Tip: Pace yourself here and don’t rush your steps, walking lunges challenge your cardio as much as anything else.

Sets and Reps: Try 2 or 3 rounds of lunges walking for about 10 steps per leg. 

Benefits of the Walking Lunge

It can be effective using bodyweight only, making it beginner-friendly. 
It’s easy to program and effective by itself, or as a part of a larger superset combination.
Advanced lifters can load up this lunge variation using a variety of free weights: dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, sandbags, or a safety squat bar.

Cable Glute Kickback

Glute kickbacks are devilishly effective at growing your glutes because they isolate the muscle; a quality you can’t often find without turning to machines or cables. Depending on your set up, you can effectively challenge the glute medius or glute maximus. 

In this variation, your setup and technique are crucial to the success of the exercise and placing maximal tension where it needs to be.

How to Do the Cable Glute Kickback

Place a strap attached to the cable around the ankle. Keep your back in a neutral position with your abs engaged.
Tilt your body forward and kick your leg out behind you while maintaining a very slight bend in the knee.
Raise your leg until you fully contract your working glute while keeping your non-working leg relaxed.

Coach’s Tip: Keep your knee straight — but not locked out — for the duration of your set.

Sets and Reps: Try 2 or 3 sets of as many as 15 repetitions to isolate your glutes. 

Benefits of the Cable Glute Kickback

It is performed only with an ankle strap and a cable, making it beginner-friendly. 
It trains the smaller muscles of the glute more in isolation than what is normally possible through free weight exercises.


If you aren’t keen for lunges or split squats but want to train your glutes unilaterally, you can grab a plyometric box or weight bench and smash some step-ups. 

Due to the alignment of this exercise, you can place a lot of muscular tension on the glute max without external load. This is an exercise with many benefits and can be performed with little to no equipment. All you will need is a step-up box or bench.

How to Do the Step-Up

Start with one foot close to the edge of a knee-height step-up box or bench, ensuring the whole foot is in contact with the surface, with the other foot hanging off.
Drop the foot to the ground, controlling your body weight with the opposite leg.
Tap the heel of the foot to the ground and drive through the step with the working leg to return back to the starting position.

Coach’s Tip: The higher the surface you step to, the more you’ll engage your glutes due to the added range of motion.

Sets and Reps: Try 2 or 3 sets of as many as 12 to 15 repetitions. 

Benefits of the Step-Up

It is performed only with a step up box or bench, making it easy to set up and great for those with little equipment. 
It aligns the hip and knee under the torso, creating a strong position to test balance and coordination alongside building muscle and strength.
Can be performed with only body weight, making it great for athletes of all levels.

Smith Machine Reverse Lunge

The smith machine reverse lunge is a stable lunge variation, allowing you to control the technique and better bias the target muscles. 

The stability of this lunge makes it great for both beginners and advanced trainees who want to add weight to the movement — you’ll have an easier time loading this reverse lunge variation.

How to Do the Smith Machine Reverse Lunge

Stand with your feet together on an elevated surface, and position your body under the bar in the Smith machine.
Unrack the weight and take a step back with one leg until it’s behind you and your knee is an inch or so above the floor.
Your front leg should bend at a 90-degree angle as well. Drive through your front foot and stand back up with control.

Coach’s Tip: There’s no need to raise your non-working leg up at the top of each rep; there’s no load on that leg anyway.

Sets and Reps: Try 2 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps with a decently challenging weight.

Benefits of the Smith Machine Reverse Lunge

It’s more stable compared to other lunge variations, making it beginner-friendly. 
You’ll work one side of the body at a time, allowing lagging muscles to catch up.
Works the glutes through a large range of motion safely and effectively.

Lateral Lunge

The lateral lunge is performed by stepping directly out to the side, then standing up to return to the starting position. The lateral lunge is awesome because it challenges the muscles around the hip that are responsible for internal and external rotation of the leg — most notably the glute medius and minimus.

This exercise is also particularly valuable for strength athletes who tend to work in one plane of motion (the sagittal plane) exclusively. The lateral lunge can help diversify your lower-body stimulation and make you a more resilient athlete. 

How to Do the Lateral Lunge

Take a step out to the side roughly 18 to 24 inches and plant your foot firmly to the ground.
From there, allow your front knee to track forward while your body tracks outward to one side.
Then, while driving through the floor with your lead foot, move your body back to the starting position. 

Coach’s Tip: Your best bet is to work with a pair of dumbbells at first for stability.

Sets and Reps: Try to complete 2-3 sets of 6-10 reps. 

Benefits of the Lateral Lunge

It trains muscles around the hip responsible for internal and external rotation.
You’ll work one side of the body at a time, allowing lagging muscles to catch up.
Works the body in the lateral plane of motion.

Goblet Squat

This front-loaded squat variation ensures that the lifter stays upright and is done with either dumbbells or kettlebells, making it manageable and more beginner-friendly. After mastering the bodyweight squat, the goblet version is an excellent transition into weighted squats for newer lifters. 

Goblet squats can be added to a larger group of exercises for more leg muscle and endurance for more advanced trainees.

How to Do the Goblet Squat

Stand with your feet around shoulder width apart with a dumbbell or kettlebell and hold the weight directly under your chin with your elbows tucked in.
Brace your core, tense your back, and ensure that you feel stable.
Keep your chest up and squat down until both of your legs bend to around 90 degrees. Stand back up by driving through the floor.

Coach’s Tip: Don’t rest the weight on your chest. Actively hold it aloft with your arms and upper back.

Sets and Reps: Go for 2 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps here. 

Benefits of the Goblet Squat

It trains muscles around the hip responsible for hip extension.
It’s easy to set up and perform, making it great for new lifters.
Acts as a great introductory movement.

Single-Leg Glute Bridge

Single-leg, or unilateral, training is mighty difficult. Add some weight into the mix and things can get hairy, fast. The benefits of working on one leg can’t be overstated, though, particularly for the glutes.

If split squats or curtsy lunges are more trouble than they’re worth, you might want to take things back to basics and try the single-leg bridge instead. This movement is equal parts glute-builder and technical drill, meant to teach you how to activate one individual glute at a time.

How to Do the Single-Leg Glute Bridge

Lie flat on your back on the floor with one leg bent and one leg straight.
Push your bent-leg foot into the ground hard to raise your hips up into the air.
Pause at the top, ensuring that there’s a straight line from your kneecap to your shoulders. 

Coach’s Tip: You can bend your non-working knee while it is in the air to make the exercise a bit easier.

Sets and Reps: Try 1 to 2 sets of 5 to 10 reps with a slow tempo.

Benefits of the Single-Leg Glute Bridge

Serves as a good introduction to glute activation for beginners.
Is effective as a warm-up or primer, even if you don’t use any weight.
Helps you identify strength discrepancies between your glutes.

Good Morning

Hinge movements like the Romanian deadlift are diabolically effective at building your glutes. However, oftentimes you must use heavy weights to get the most value out of those movements.

This isn’t the case for the good morning. By placing the barbell on your back (instead of in your hands), the resistance ends up much further away from your glutes — making the reps much, much harder.

Benefits of the Good Morning

Applies lots of tension to your glutes without requiring extra-heavy weights.
Teaches you how to perform a proper hip hinge.

How to Do the Good Morning

Unrack a barbell from a squat or power rack as if you were going to perform a standard back squat.
Take a close, hip-width stance, then slowly shoot your hips back behind you and descend into a low bow.
Your torso should end up nearly parallel to the floor before you reverse the motion and squeeze your glutes to return to a standing position.

Coach’s Tip: Avoid training too close to failure on this exercise, as there’s no way to safely dump the weight off your back.

Sets and Reps: Try 2 sets of 8-12 reps with a moderate weight and slow tempo.

Kettlebell Swing

Kettlebells are renowned for their utility as a conditioning tool, but in the right hands, they can be amazing for building your glutes. The kettlebell swing is a two-for-one — you can break a gnarly sweat and get the glute pump of your life in the process.

Swings pull you into a hinged position and require you to generate heaps of explosive power through your hips to finish the rep. This teaches you to flex your glutes rapidly, forcing blood into the muscle and accumulating tons of metabolic stress.

Benefits of the Kettlebell Swing

Serves as a phenomenal warm-up for a glute-centric workout.
Teaches you how to perform a hip hinge properly.
You can accumulate lots of volume quickly with this movement.
Works well as a conditioning tool or for active recovery.

How to Do the Kettlebell Swing

Set up with a kettlebell between your feet with a shoulder-width stance or slightly wider.
Hinge down to grab the kettlebell and sweep it back between your legs, and then rapidly thrust your hips forward.
The momentum should naturally elevate the kettlebell upward to around belly button height. Allow the bell to fall naturally and kick your hips backward to recycle into the next repetition.
String your reps together smoothly and you’re off to the races.

Coach’s Tip: Keep your arms relaxed and tucked to your sides. The height of the kettlebell is irrelevant to training your glutes.

Sets and Reps: Warm up your glutes with 4 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions. 

Glute Training Tips

Yes, it’s a good idea to integrate glute-specific training into your lifting program — but how much you do so naturally depends on where you are in your lifting cycle and training experience. Here’s what you need to know about glute programming.

Sets and Reps

Performing 12 to 16 sets per week is likely a great starting point for anyone looking to grow their glutes. More advanced trainees could potentially do more each week if their goal is to grow and break past training plateaus.

Choose three to four exercises from this list and divide up your training sets equally among them. Try to have a balance between movements that challenge flexion and extension and internal and external rotation of the hip.

Remember, there is a limit to how much you can do per workout while still being productive. If you notice your performance dropping off, it may help to split up some of the training volume to a day later in the week. A training frequency of two to three sessions a week has been recommended to help maximize muscle growth. (1)

Exercise Selection

The exercises you choose play a significant role in the muscles being worked. Muscles of the leg work in synchronicity to achieve a wide range of movement patterns. Therefore, different muscles will be biased more depending on the actions being performed.

Credit: Enjoysun24 / Shutterstock

When choosing exercises to perform, you want to pick exercises that:

Give sufficient load to the muscle without excessive stress on the surrounding joints.
Line up the resistance with the muscle(s) you want to train. 
Work around injuries or limitations.
Can be performed with the equipment in your gym space.

Exercise Order

It’s not only about what you do and how you do it, it matters when. Placing compound exercises first in your workout is preferred, especially for beginners. This is because the more fatigued you get, the worse your technique will become, potentially increasing the risk of injury later in the workout.

Placing exercises like sumo deadlifts and back squats — that demand more from your body — toward the start of your workout will increase the effectiveness of your training. Here’s an example of how you may order the exercises in your next glute-focused workout:

Back Squat
Glute Bridge
Walking Lunge
Cable Glute Kickback

The heavier, more challenging compound lifts are performed first while you’re nice and fresh, tapering down to targeted isolation work towards the end.

Anatomy of the Glutes

The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the body and is primarily responsible for hip extension. This joint action is key for nearly every strength, power, or fitness exercise. Strong glutes can increase squatting, deadlifting, and overall athletic potential. 

The gluteus medius and minimus — two more muscles that make up your glutes — are key for stabilizing the hip in both closed and open chain movements, such as squatting, running, jumping, and walking. Basically, if you’re doing pretty much anything involving moving your body, your glutes are likely a primary player. 

Gluteus Maximus

The gluteus maximus is the largest of the gluteal muscles. It is also the most superficial, providing the greatest contribution of shape to the buttocks. This large and powerful muscle helps keeps the hip stable during walking or running, and is the primary hip extensor. It can also play a more low-key role in some acute hip stability patterns. (2)

Gluteus Medius

The gluteus medius muscle is fan-shaped and lies between the gluteus maximus and the minimus. It is similar in shape and function to the gluteus minimus. It’s broad and thick and converges from its origins on the pelvis down to its insertion point on the upper leg (femur).

Credit: Debra Anderson / Shutterstock

It abducts and medially and laterally rotates the lower limb. It secures and helps steady the pelvis when the opposite foot is raised off the ground during walking and running as well as stabilizing the same leg when foot is planted. 

Gluteus Minimus

The gluteus minimus is the deepest and smallest of the superficial gluteal muscles. It is similar in shape and function to the gluteus medius. The glute min abducts (moving the thigh away from body) and medially rotates the lower limb. It secures and helps steady the pelvis when the opposite foot is raised off the ground during walking and running

Benefits of Training Your Glutes

A bigger, beefier backside is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to glute training (though there’s no shame in your game if you’re just after more junk in your trunk). Here’s what you can expect from adding some extra glute work into your training plan.

A Bigger Backside

Training a muscle properly will encourage it to adapt and grow. This is as true for your glutes as any other muscle group. Glute-specific training is also the best way to encourage your backside to beef up, particularly if you use the right exercises and appropriate resistance.

Hitting the stair-stepper or doing some weightless movements are great for getting your feet wet, but if you really want to grow your behind, you’ll have to work with weights eventually. 

Better Lifting Performance

Your glutes are the prime movers during the biomechanical of hip extension; straightening your legs and torso. You extend your hips every time you stand up from a chair, pick up a box off the floor, or, specifically to the gym, perform most lower-body exercises.

Therefore, training your glutes directly should bleed over into almost all other types of exercises you perform — even upper-body lifts. After all, to do an overhead press you need a strong foundation, which means having enough glute strength to support your legs while your shoulders do the work

May Reduce Joint Pain

Your glutes play a tremendous role in supporting how your body manages external load. In simple terms, strong glutes can bear some of the weight you place on your lower back when you exercise or perform any type of physical activity.

Consequently, weak or undeveloped glutes may place more strain on surrounding structures like your lumbar spine. This isn’t to say that, if you skip glute training, you’re automatically exposing yourself to the possibility of an injury. Research does demonstrate that glute-specific exercises can help prevent or rehab certain physical ailments, though. (3)

How to Warm Up Your Glutes Before Training

Don’t dive into your glute training without first diving into some proper mobility work. When you’re doing them right (slow, steady, deliberate, and possibly with a band), there’s nothing easy about glute work.

Credit: IvanRiver / Shutterstock

One of the most effective warm-ups for any muscle group is going to be the exercises you are performing in that day’s training session. For example, if you’re performing back squats, you can warm up by performing light reps and increase intensity as you proceed towards your working sets. This ensures that the appropriate muscles and joints are being primed, reducing the risk of injury and improving your overall training performance.

More Glute Training Tips

Now that you’re ready to dive into the best glute exercises out there, make sure you’re also checking out these glute training articles to make the most out of your posterior chain.

Better Glutes, Better Pulls: How Powerlifters Should Approach Posterior Training
Are You Leaving Glute Gains On The Table? Try This Two-Move Finisher
10 Glute Exercises You Can Do At Home


Schoenfeld, B. J., Ogborn, D., & Krieger, J. W. (2016). Effects of Resistance Training Frequency on Measures of Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), 46(11), 1689–1697. 
Elzanie, A., & Borger, J. (2022). Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Gluteus Maximus Muscle. In StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing.
Buckthorpe, M., Stride, M., & Villa, F. D. (2019). ASSESSING AND TREATING GLUTEUS MAXIMUS WEAKNESS – A CLINICAL COMMENTARY. International journal of sports physical therapy, 14(4), 655–669.

Featured Image: Jasminko Ibrakovic / Shutterstock

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