Top Glute Exercises to Grow Those Glutes

The Glutes 

If you didn’t already know, your glutes are the biggest muscles in your body. Your glutes have three specific muscles

The Gluteus Maximus - the biggest muscle in the booty (grab it)

The Gluteus Medius - the second biggest muscle that wraps around the hips (more on the side)

The Gluteus Minimus - the smallest muscle in the butt that sits under the medius

To build your glutes, you must activate your glutes. You can squat and deadlift all you want, but if you’re not activating your muscles, you’ll never add more muscle mass. (Swolverine, 2022)

The Workout 

Deadlifts

Deadlifts have many known full body benefits and are extremely crucial in the development of total-body strength, proper hip function, core strength, and spine stabilization (which can reduce the risk of lower back injuries). Since deadlifts recruit multiple muscle groups, joints, and stabilizing muscles, they also burn more calories and more body fat as compared to other exercise movements. With the proper form, the deadlift can add a ton of performance and health benefits, your training program, in addition to growing your glutes. (Swolverine, 2022)

How to:

  • Stand with feet hip- to shoulder-width apart. Rest your shins against the bar.
  • Hinge at the hips and sink back into your glutes while keeping your spine extended and chest lifted up toward the ceiling.
  • Grip the bar with one hand facing palm-up and the other hand facing palm-down. This over-under grip is for safety and can keep the bar from rolling out of your hands.
  • Squeeze the bar with your hands as you sink back into your hips. As you sink into your hips, think about pulling your back and down to engage the lats. This will help keep your low-back stable. 
  • For the pull:
  • Push your feet into the floor to straighten your legs and lift your chest as you lift the weight off the floor. As you stand up, think about pulling back on your knees and pushing your hips forward.
  • Finally, for the lockout:
  • At the top of the movement, hold your shoulders back as you keep your spine straight and tall. Pause for a moment before descending into the lowering phase.
  • Slowly push your hips back while keeping your spine long and chest lifted into the air.
  • Use your thigh muscles to resist the downward pull of gravity as the weight lowers back to the floor.
  • At the bottom, pause, reset your hips and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
  • Push your feet into the floor to straighten your legs and lift your chest as you lift the weight off the floor. As you stand up, think about pulling back on your knees and pushing your hips forward.
  • At the top of the movement, hold your shoulders back as you keep your spine straight and tall. Pause for a moment before descending into the lowering phase.
  • Slowly push your hips back while keeping your spine long and chest lifted into the air.
  • Use your thigh muscles to resist the downward pull of gravity as the weight lowers back to the floor.
  • At the bottom, pause, reset your hips and repeat for the desired number of repetitions. (Swolverine, 2022)

Front Squats

Both forms of squats, back and front, recruit the primary muscles involved in lower body strength; quadriceps, hamstrings, gastrocnemius, and the gluteus maximus. Squats are one of the few compound movements that recruit multiple muscle groups and joints in one single movement and are considered one of the most effective and efficient functional movements. But back squats get all the glory when it comes to squats. While both front and back squats are similar, there are slight variations in technique and muscular movement. The load (amount of weight) you can lift will also dramatically differ between front and back squats and can help grow those glutes.(Swolverine, 2022)

How to:

  1. To start, set up a barbell on the uprights of a squat rack. You’ll want this right around mid-chest.
  2. Grab the barbell with an overhand grip just beyond shoulder width.
  3. As you lift the barbell off of the rack, lift your elbows in front of your torso to form a 90-degree angle at your shoulders, with your upper arms perpendicular to your torso. This is called the front rack position, and the barbell should sit nicely in the groove of your deltoid muscles.
  4. Loosen your grip and allow the bar to roll from your palms to your fingers. If this is difficult, you want might want to read how to improve your wrist mobility. It may seem awkward initially, but you’ll get used to it.
  5. Step back from the rack as you would for a conventional back squat, with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointed forward. Could you make sure your elbows are high?
  6. Your hips will descend back and down until your upper thighs are parallel to the floor.
  7. Keep your torso as upright as possible, with your lumbar curve maintained.
  8. Keep your heels down and the weight balanced, with your knees in line with your toes.
  9. Push back up to the starting position
  10. Push your weight into your heels, and keep your back straight (Swolverine, 2022)

Split Squats

The Bulgarian-split squat is a single-leg squat variation. Compared to a traditional barbell squat, it removes all the pressure and load from your lower back and places it directly into your legs. The stabilizing leg of the Bulgarian split squat is elevated behind you, which allows a greater range of motion and depth to achieve more significant muscle hypertrophy and strength gains in your glutes and quadriceps. Bulgarian split squats are essential for building a giant barbell back squat and building quadriceps and glutes, and midline stability, and it offer a fantastic range of motion movement for the hip flexors.  Hold two dumbbells by their handles, so the back of the weight rests above the back of your shoulder. (Swolverine, 2022)

How to:

  • Start with your feet hip-width apart. with the right foot forward and the left foot placed back behind the body on a bench or box about knee-height or just below knee height.
  • Keeping your shoulders stacked directly above your forward-facing hips, begin to descend into a lunging position. Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in both hands in a vertical position hanging on each side of your body.
  • Keep your back straight while lowering your left knee towards the floor
  • Go as low as you can while ensuring your chest stays open and the front knee is not protruding out in front of your toes.
  • When your left knee lowers, press your right foot into the ground, pull back on the right knee, and push the top of the left foot into the box to return to standing. (Swolverine, 2022)

Sumo Squats

The Sumo squat is a functional strength training movement and a variation of the traditional squat. Sumo squat differs from the front or back squat in positioning, muscles worked, and load. The critical difference in the sumo squat is that you take a wider stance with your feet turned out. While the sumo squat still works the quadshamstrings, glutes, and calves, the positioning also stimulates the inner thighs. From a standing position, squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor and place your palms on the floor.
From there, kick your feet back as far as you can while keeping your arms extended.
As soon as your feet land, jump them back towards your hands, then jump up into the air.
Land and immediately squat down to go into the next rep (Swolverine, 2022)

How to:

  • The conventional way to perform a sumo squat is with a single dumbbell or kettlebell.
  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width with your feet pointed at a 45-degree angle.
  • Holding a dumbbell from the top on one end, push your hips back and squat down slowly, keeping your upper back straight and chest open and up.
  • Pushing through your heels, engage your core and come down until the dumbbell slightly touches the ground or until your legs are parallel to the floor.
  • Pause, push back through your heels, chest up, and core braced.
  • Repeat for as many reps as needed. (Swolverine, 2022)

Lunges

Lunges are a fundamental quad and glute exercise which can add more size and strength to your legs. With an emphasized range of motion, lunges effectively stimulate your quads, hamstrings, and glutes to help build lean muscle mass. If you want to build a bigger butt, lunges are one of the best exercises to help you get there.

Lunges can emphasize a deeper and pronounced range of motion, which is fundamental in contracting your quads and focusing on your balance, coordination, and core stability. (Swolverine, 2022)

How to:

  • Bend the knees and lower your body until the back knee is a few inches from the floor. At the bottom of the movement, the front thigh is parallel to the ground, the back knee points toward the floor, and your weight is evenly distributed between both legs.
  • Push back up to the starting position, keeping your weight on the front foot's heel.
  • Take a step forward, keeping that thigh parallel with the ground, lower the opposing leg until your back knee is near the floor, and push back up to starting position. 
  • Alternate legs and keep walking. (Swolverine, 2022)

Hip Thrusts

Whether you associate giant strong glutes with attractive aesthetics in a pair of jeans or if you see the association between a big butt and athleticism, just about everyone can benefit from the glute bridge exercise. A glute bridge is just what it sounds like, a bridge (with your body) using the power from your glutes. While there are a lot of glute bridge variations, the most straightforward and easiest to perform is by lying on the floor. With the feet at a 90-degree angle, you simply drive your hips to the ceiling and right back down. (Swolverine, 2022)

  1. Start by laying flat on your back on the ground
  2. Making sure that there is no gap between your back and the floor, press your core into the ground, feeling the hips get in line with the spine (no arching)
  3. From here, begin to walk the feet towards the booty until you reach a 90-degree angle
  4. Pressing your feet firmly into the ground, with your arms flat out to the side and your chin tucked so that your spine is straight, all you have to do is extend your hips towards the ceiling
  5. You’ll want to arch your back still not, keeping good posture, and squeeze the booty to power the hip drive
  6. Once you pause for a second at the top, gently come down with the same form, not arching, pressing the feet and the arms into the ground
  7. Repeat for as many reps as desired and add weight, a band, or another piece of equipment to make the movement more challenging (Swolverine, 2022)

 

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