The Top 5 Best Glute Exercises

While the trend of having a little junk in the trunk has taken off on social media, the glutes aren’t all about aesthetics and appearances. Strong glutes are key when it comes to pelvic alignment, walking, running, and balance. They can also help prevent common back pain, supporting your low back throughout other lifts and activities.

So, don’t forget to work those glutes! But how can you do that? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we explain the top five glute exercises you should definitely include in your regular weightlifting routine.

Exercise #1: Bulgarian Split Squats

Potentially the most loved and hated exerciseout there, the Bulgarian split squat will make your glutes burn. This is a unilateral move, meaning it targets one side at a time. And it’s not just about the glutes here (even though they are the hero of the show). This exercise also targets your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves.

Your core also gets a boost here as it works hard to maintain your balance throughout the entirety of the movement. So, how do you do it? Here’s the breakdown.

  • Stand about two feet in front of a bench. If you decide to hold weights for even more of a challenge, grab a dumbbell in each hand.

  • Place your right foot up on the bench behind you, keeping your feet about shoulder-width apart.

  • Engage your core, lean slightly forward (This is key for really targeting the glutes!), and squat down. As you squat, your front knee should bend over the top of your feet (If they don’t, adjust), and your back knee should bend under your hips.

  • Pause, then push back up to start.

  • Repeat for 10-15 repetitions on each side for two to three sets.

Exercise #2: Back Squat

The good ol’ squat is always at the top for a killer leg day. The back squat (where the barbell is on your back/shoulders) targets your entire backside, including your glutes, hamstrings, and even your lower back. Like most standing exercises, your core should be engaged. Your quads also do a lot of work here! So, how do you do this one?

  • Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart.

  • Stick your butt out behind you and bend your knees, as if you were going to sit in a chair. Make sure to keep your back neutral and your core tight.

  • As you lower, your knees should not track over your toes. Aim to lower as far as you can or until your thighs are parallel to the floor.

  • Pause, then push through the heels and back up to standing.

  • Perform 10-15 repetitions for two to three sets.

Exercise #3: Hip Thrusts

If you can find a machine for this at your gym, great! If not, you can opt for the barbell or another weight like a dumbbell. As with any lifting exercise, you want to pick a weight that is challenging. Those last few repetitions in each set should be tough!

Hip thrusts target your gluteus maximus (aka the biggest glute muscle). Yet, again, your hamstrings, quadriceps, and adductors also play a role. So, how do you do it?

  • Lying face up, start this move with your back and shoulders on a bench (The bench ridge should be just below your shoulder blades) and your feet flat on the ground and shoulder-width apart with your knees bent.

  • Tuck your chin and push up through your hips, squeezing your glutes.

  • Pause when your thighs are parallel (You don’t want to overextend your back here).

  • Slowly lower, and repeat. Do about 10-15 repetitions for two to three sets.

Exercise #4: The Romanian Deadlift

Like the Bulgarian split squats, there are those who love it and those who hate it. The Romanian deadlift works your glutes, hamstrings, erector spinae, adductors, core, and more. The key to this exercise (as with any) is to do it correctly.

Often, the deadlift is demonized and talked about for causing back injuries. This only happens when you perform it incorrectly, such as by rounding your back. So, how can you ensure you do this one properly? Here are the step-by-step instructions.

  • Start with the barbell or dumbells in front of you, about mid-way up your shins.

  • Hold the bar about shoulder-width apart, and gently squeeze your shoulder blades down and back to maintain a neutral spine. You should have a slight bend in your knees and your back should be straight here. Keep your gaze forward on the ground.

  • Push through your feet and stand up, straightening your knees and squeezing your glutes.

  • Pause, then lower back to start and repeat.

  • Perform about 10-15 repetitions for two to three sets.

Exercise #5: Step Ups

This functional exercise sounds easy. However, when performed correctly, you’ll definitely feel it, especially in your glutes. Here’s how to do it.

  • Set up so that a box or step is in front of you. Grab some weights if you need them or want the extra challenge.

  • Step up, leading with your right leg and squeezing your glutes.

  • Pause at the top with a slight bend in your knee, then step back down.

  • Repeat for 10-15 repetitions and two to three sets per side.

Other Things to Note…

 A few more things you’ll want to keep in mind for growing your glutes include:

  • Eating enough protein. Muscle won’t grow without it!

  • Adding progressive overload. This stimulates your body to lay down new muscle tissue.

  • Focusing on performing each move correctly and getting the technique down pat before adding weight or resistance.

  • Making sure to balance the glutes out with proper core, quad, hamstring, calf, and hip work. Our body works best with balance. If we fail to improve strength all around, we may end up with imbalances and injury.

Start Building Those Glutes!

Add these exercises into the mix, and within a few months, you’ll notice a bit more of a glute pump, and you might even notice other exercises become easier too with strong glutes supporting every move.

Apparel and Accessories in This Post

Hip Bands - 2POOD

White Marble Straight Weightlifting Belt - 2POOD

Hip Bands - 2POOD

White Marble Straight Weightlifting Belt - 2POOD


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