Top 4 Glute Exercises

Top Glute Exercises

It’s true, a built posterior is not only aesthetically pleasing and attractive but it is also can be an indicator for athletic performance, lower body power and strength. Unfortunately, many misconceptions about glute training exist within the fitness industry: Isolation exercises, spot reduction, training the” Glute-Ham-tie-ins and more.

The truth is if you want grade-A glutes, you need to train them with the proper frequency, intensity, volume and the proper exercise selection. Glute training can be done anywhere between 1-4 times a week depending on lifting experience and the total volume desired. The primary exercises should be compound hip extension movements that place a high load on the glutes and hamstrings. Here are some top glute exercises for building a better backside.

1. Deadlift

Of all the exercises for the posterior, the deadlift is king. It is a loaded hip extension exercise that activates nearly every muscle in the body, particularly the hamstrings, glutes and erector back muscles. The deadlift is one of the most important exercises for building muscle, increasing strength and athleticism.

The optimal starting position will be with your feet flat and hip width apart, shins at 90 degrees to the ground. Drive your butt back by flexing your hips and drawing your chest towards the bar. Grasp the bar just outside the legs. Your chest and shoulder blades should be directly over the bar with your back flat. This will ensure that you pull the bar in a straight line and generate maximum force. Pull the slack out of your back and engage your lats then drive through the heels and extend the hips forward keeping the bar close to your shins and thighs on the way up until fully upright.

2. Squats

The most obvious of all the exercises that will build your butt is the squat. This is a fundamental glute and quad exercise that should be a staple in all fitness programs. There are several differing variations of squats and all have their place but the back squat and front squat are the most popular and arguably the most effective for the development of the posterior. Contrary to previous belief, squatting below parallel is not “bad on the knees.” In fact, squatting low actually displaces the external load onto the glutes. The key indicator of how low you can squat will be your flexibility in your hamstrings and ankle, you will only want to squat just above the point in which your lumber spine (lower back) begins to flex under your hips. To sum it all up: if you want to maximize your booty development, you will squat low and often.

Stand with feet a slightly wider than shoulder width apart, in a complete upright position from shoulders to ankles. Pull the shoulders back and down. Maintain a straight back throughout the entire movement. Begin the movement by inhaling and flexing the hips, slightly bringing them back. Keep sending hips backward as the knees begin to bend. While the butt starts to stick out, make sure the chest and shoulders stay upright, and the back stays straight. Keep the head facing forward with eyes straight.

3. Forward Lunges

The forward lunge is a great unilateral exercise that will challenge your balance, stability and activate all three major muscles of the glutes. A research study by the American Council on Exercise found the forward lunge to be one of the most effective exercises for eliciting a high level of muscle activity in the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and hamstrings. Unlike the reverse lunge where the center of gravity in your stance stays consistent, the reverse lunge will greatly challenge ankle, knee and hip stability because the center of gravity shifts forward with the movement.

Stand upright with shoulders back and head forward. Step forward into the lunge; focus on a downward movement of your hips toward the floor. Avoid driving your hips forward. Continue lowering your body to a comfortable position or until your front thigh becomes parallel with the floor and your shinbone is in a slight forward lean. Keep the back straight. Firmly push off with the front leg to return to your upright, starting position.

4. Step Ups

The step up is a great exercise for the development of the glutes because it loads a single leg and incorporates balance. The exercise itself starts in a leg flexed position allowing full hip extension and a maximal contraction from the glutes.

Start with the chest upright, head forward, and spine neutral. Place one foot onto the elevated surface of the step or box. Press through the heel of the foot placed on the box and drive through as if you’re pushing the box through the ground below you. Stand up into full extension of the hip and knee. Slowly begin the descent by reversing the movement and focus on controlling the movement down. A slow descent will maximize glute activation through an eccentric stretching of the glutes and hamstrings.


About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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