It’s no secret that, “I like big butts and I cannot lie.” I like them so much that I even wrote a blog post about glutes a while back; which I encourage you to check it out if you haven’t already. Especially if you’re a fellow derrière fan. If you’ve read that post and know how to attack common muscle imbalances to effectively engage your glutes, then you’re ready to try out a few more of my favourite glute-building exercises for glute strength and hypertrophy.
Strong glutes are important for a number of factors—
Strengthening your glutes can help improve your athletic performance; since they act as your body’s main powerhouse in most sports
Glute strength plays a significant role in low back and knee injury prevention and rehabilitation
And of course there’s also the obvious aesthetic appeal of having a nicely shaped peach bottom that holds importance to some
Take it from someone with previous back pain—who’s low back used to connect straight to her legs… I’m not kidding when I say this—glute-specific training can work wonders.
It’s All About the Hinge
The hip hinge is an essential movement that should be included in your training arsenal. Most exercises involving hinging patterns provide a significant amount of glute activation. The ability to hinge is also crucial for good functional movement, and ultimately helps you lift heavy loads better so that you can avoid injury.
Here are 5 of My Fave Hinging Exercises:
1. Tall Kneeling Hip Hinge
Before progressing to any of the exercises below, I highly recommend mastering this drill and incorporating it into your warm up regime. The Kneeling Hip Hinge is awesome because it allows individuals who struggle to engage their glutes during exercises like the Glute Bridge to effectively engage their glutes. If that sounds like you, I highly recommend that you give it a try.
PRO TIP: Squeeze your glutes good and hard as you push them forwards. You should be feeling fatigue in the glutes towards the end of your reps.
2 + 3. Barbell Hip Thrusts & Barbell Glute Bridges
I’m OBSESSED with both of these exercises lately, and here’s why. Hip Thrusts and Glute Bridge’s involve horizontal loading of the glutes – which forces your glutes to remain under tension for the whole movement. Versus for example a squat, where glute activation peaks at a specific point. During squats, electromyographic (EMG) activity in the glutes peaks as you begin to rise up, then decreases at the top of your squat.
What’s difference is between these two movements? EMG research has shown that the Barbell Glute Bridge actually produces slightly more glute activation than Hip Thrusts, while the quadriceps are more active during the hip thrust. Whichever variation you choose, your main glute EMG activation will still be incredibly effective during your entire range of motion. Code for: you’ll see results from both of these exercises.
PRO TIP: Ensure that your glutes are still firing as you increase your weight for both exercises. Don’t try to be a hero and end up working through your legs and lower back!
4. Single Leg Romanian Deadlifts (RDL’s)
This exercise has been dubbed the “non-surgical butt lift,” for good reason. When completed in good form, Single Leg RDL’s are extremely effective at strengthening your glutes and posterior chain, (many of the muscles running down the back of your body) while also improving your single leg stability. All things everyone should be working on regularly!
PRO TIP: Due to the balance component, these can be challenging to complete in good form while maximizing glute activation. Focus on hinging your hips back, ensuring your back leg is tracking straight backwards, and coming into full hip extension at the top of the movement.
5. Kettlebell Swings
Last but not least, I give you the Hard-Style Kettlebell Swing. This exercise is not only excellent for strengthening your glutes, but also burns a significant amount of fat and generates some serious power. Give it a try and up your glute strength!
PRO TIP: Once you have mastered your form, completing Kettlebell Swings with heavier loads produces significantly more glute activation.
That brings me to a close for now. Give these exercises a try and reap the benefits of strong, stable glutes. They’re not just aesthetic. 😉
If you have any questions about any of the exercises outlined within this post, please don’t hesitate to come and see me at the studio. Or shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org