A in glute exercises Very Meditation recently. that’s good news because your glutes are one of them, if not The most important muscles in your body to keep strong.
Ab exercises, a form of weight training with resistance band exercises, dumbbell exercises and kettlebell exercises, are one of the easiest ways to build strength and tone your body.
how so? well, according to International Journal of Sports Physical TherapyThe glute max (aka the central muscle in your glutes) is the largest and most powerful in the human body. Think of it as your powerhouse, helping to stabilize your pelvis and spine, propelling you forward when you walk or run, and supporting you in virtually all types of movement, whether you’re running for a movie marathon Bending or squatting to sit on the floor with a barbell.
did you know Researchers in 2015 wrote that many of us have weak glutes study in glute function. They say that our lifestyle – especially sitting for long periods of time – reduces the activation of the glutes, making them weak. In turn, we become dependent on muscles like our hamstrings, quads and back, which our glutes should be responsible for.
This Is Why Weak Glutes Are Linked To Injury: A 2016 Study (opens in new tab) published in European Spine Journal found that glute weakness was more common in people with chronic low back pain than in pain-free individuals, indicating the importance of strong glutes for reducing aches and pains.
That’s why we turned to the experts to round up the best glute exercises to try to strengthen your glute muscles. I am chloe gray, a health and fitness writer who regularly interviews the best in the industry, is a qualified personal trainer and has been strength training (specifically my glutes) for almost 10 years. I also asked the following amazing PTs to share their favorite glute workouts:
Wondering How Much Weight You Should Start Lifting (opens in new tab), We’ve got a guide to that too, as well as explainers on strength training for beginners (opens in new tab) and how to avoid gym anxiety (opens in new tab),
Glute Exercises: Your Guide to the Best
What are the different muscles in your glutes?
As we mentioned earlier, the glute max is the largest muscle in the body. but not glute max In college The muscle that makes up the glutes as we know them. In fact, there are three muscles that make up our glutes:
- Glute Max: the largest, most central muscle in the glutes
- Glute Made: found on the outside of the buttock and hip area
- glute min: Smallest muscle that lies deep in the glute, below the glute med
It’s really important to strengthen all three muscles, but different exercises to target each individual area will be most effective.
For glute max, big lifts like hip thrusts will engage the area. But the glute med and glute min are best worked with hip abduction movements — meaning exercises that move the leg away from the body. More on that to come.
What’s the best way to strengthen your glutes?
The best way to strengthen your glutes is simply to strength train. We go over everything you need to know about weight training for women in our guide, but the basics are that you can lift a weight for anywhere from five to 15 reps and that you find it truly challenging.
Yes, no matter what you see on Instagram, the best way to strengthen your glutes is not to do 100 pushups with your own body weight, but to lift. Lift more heavy.
6 glute exercises to try tonight
The best glute exercises ultimately come down to preference. Ideally, your glutes will be active during most of the exercise, but as we mentioned earlier, sometimes this is not the case with our modern way of living. So, the following recommendations are all glute-specific exercises that will help you build your glute muscles.
Interested in trying out the full session? Try this glute workout from an expert PT instead.
1. Hip Thrust
Every PT on our list recommended this exercise as a one-stop shop for stronger glutes. “Simply, it’s the king of glute exercises,” says Heaton-Armstrong. “It stimulates the glutes from top to bottom and is safe for any knee or ankle instability. There’s no better way to build a stronger butt.”
The research is also on the hip thrust side: in a 2019 reviewThe researchers found that barbell hip thrusts activated the glutes better than squats and deadlifts. In fact, no matter what type of hip thrust was used (for example, how high the bench was that the participant’s back was resting or where the feet were placed), the glutes were always the most commonly used. Was a muscle. In short, the hip thrust is an exercise that works your glutes, regardless of how they’re performed.
How to do: Sit on the floor with your back against a bench or box (if you’re at home, you can use a sturdy chair or couch). Position yourself so that the edge of your surface is just below your shoulder blades and your feet are flat on the floor, approximately shoulder-width apart.
If you’re using a dumbbell or barbell, hold it at your hips. Push your ribs down and pubic bone up to engage your core, then press through your feet to lift your hips off the floor. When you’re at the top of the exercise, your legs should be at a 90-degree ankle angle. Slowly lower back down, then repeat.
how long: Aim for 12 reps.
2. Romanian Deadlifts
Romanian deadlifts (sometimes referred to as RDLs) are known for being a hamstring move, but fun fact: They also target the glutes. in research, including a study from 2020EMG data shows that the glutes are the second most commonly used muscle in the RDL, so they get loaded heavily during exercise.
“For me, this is my favorite posterior chain exercise because it effectively targets my glutes as well as my hamstrings, my back muscles, and works my grip strength,” says Stafford.
Remember: We’re all different, so play with your positioning, such as a slight bend in the knee or where your feet are placed, to find the position that feels most glute-focused for you.
How to do: Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding dumbbells or a barbell in your hands. Tuck your chin, as if you’re holding a tennis ball at your collarbone, squeeze your core and take a small bend in your knees.
Begin to hinge at the hips by pushing your buttocks back, as if trying to close a door behind you. Keep the weights close to your feet as they lower to the floor. At the bottom of the move, squeeze your glutes to return to standing position.
how long: Aim for 12 reps.
3. Glute Bridge
Glute bridges are similar to hip thrusts, except you rest on a bench lying on the floor. This means you have a smaller range of motion (hips can’t move as much) but it makes them easier for beginners or as glute activation. “Adding thicker resistance bands can cause additional irritation,” says Breeden. “I love this exercise because it’s simple, effective and you can feel the glutes working immediately.”
How to do: Lie on the floor with your feet, shoulder-width apart, and knees pointing toward the ceiling. Tuck your tailbone by pulling your ribs down and pushing your pubic bone up. Slowly peel your back off the floor until your hips are as high as they can go, maintaining the ‘tucked’ position, then lower back down.
how long: Aim for 12 reps.
4. Single Leg Hip Thrust
Make your hip thrust even more complicated by lifting one leg. “These are simple yet effective driving all the weight through one glute at a time,” says Laura. “Using one leg to drive up to full hip extension and control to lower back down—even at body weight, this will help propel you forward.”
How to do: Begin in the same manner as a hip thrust, with your back resting on a low bench or box. Tuck your tailbone and engage your core before lifting one leg off the floor, bending the knee. Push off the foot on the ground to lift your hips into a bridge position, then lower without the support of the raised leg.
“This exercise for lower-body strength and balance—it takes a real art of patience and confidence,” says Huggins. “Challenge yourself to use the supporting back leg as little as possible and really drive with the foot on the box and feel it hit your glute. If you’re ready to increase the level, weight use.”
Although step ups aren’t as popular as exercises like squats or deadlifts, the research supports them. one in 2020 Journal of Sports Science Medicine report goodThe researchers found that step ups had the highest levels of glute max activation compared to moves such as deadlifts, lunges and squats.
How to do: Place a bench or box in front of you (not too high – ideally it’s no longer than knee-high). Place one foot on the box and straighten the leg that is down. Make sure your hips are hinged slightly forward, then press through the raised leg to tap your lower leg to the top of the box. Before driving up again, slowly lower down, tapping the bottom foot to the floor.
how long: Aim to do 12 reps on each side.
6. Side Lying Hip Raises
When it comes to abduction exercises that target the glute meds, try the side lying hip raise. You’ll notice that throughout the movement you’re opening your legs, moving them off center, which is the best way to target the glute meds.
How to do: Lie down on the floor with your arms down and legs bent at the right ankles. Your feet should be in line with your glutes. Press into the calf of your lower leg to push glutes off floor, opening top leg as you do so, keeping hips flat so you don’t roll forward or backward. Back down.
how long: Aim to do 12 reps on each side.
What is the best glute workout?
As mentioned above, any workout you enjoy and really look forward to doing – each person is different.
That said, the above six exercises are tipped by PT’s as the best glute exercises you can try. Try them one after the other – try 3 sets of each – for a safe glute workout you can do from home or at the gym.