The 3 key Exercises To Growing Your Glutes

When it comes to shaping and toning the lower body, one of the most coveted features is a well-defined and toned set of glutes. Achieving that perfectly shaped butt takes more than just luck, however. It requires a combination of proper nutrition, consistent training, and strategic exercise selection.

But which exercises are the best for growing your glutes? With so many conflicting opinions and advice available, it can be difficult to know which exercises to prioritize. That’s why we turned to the experts to compile a list of the 10 best exercises to grow your glutes.

These exercises have been carefully selected based on their ability to target the glute muscles, their effectiveness in building strength and size, and the expert recommendations of certified fitness professionals. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced gym-goer, these exercises can help take your glute training to the next level and help you achieve the round, perky, and toned butt you’ve been working towards.

So let’s dive into the top 10 exercises to grow your glutes, as recommended by the experts.

What are the top 10 exercises to grow your glutes?

1. Sentadillas

Sentadillas are a classic exercise that targets multiple muscle groups, including the glutes, quads, and hamstrings. They are an excellent exercise for building strength and size in the glutes.

Para realizar una sentadilla, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing slightly outward. Lower your hips down and back as if you were sitting in a chair, keeping your knees in line with your toes. As you lower your hips, keep your chest up and your core tight. Lower down until your thighs are parallel to the ground or as low as you can comfortably go. Then, push through your heels to stand back up to the starting position. Aim to do 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps with a weight that challenges you but allows you to maintain good form.

2. Single Leg-Deadlift

The deadlift is a classic lower body exercise that also hits your quads and hamstrings, but making the movement a single-leg exercise challenges your glutes in new and interesting ways. 

Your glutes will be activated much like in a traditional deadlift: at the top of each rep on the side that has your foot on the ground. However, the glutes on both sides also have to stabilize your frontal plane, which keeps you from falling over. 

Holding your preferred load (either kettlebell or dumbbell) in your right hand, keep your right foot on the ground while raising your left leg behind you. As you lean forward, make sure that your spine is kept in a straight position—this means also keeping your leg in line with your spine. Slowly lower the weight to the ground, shoulder blade pulled back and then return upright to the starting position. Switch sides after the desired amount of reps. 

3. Donkey Kicks

Squats are a classic exercise that targets multiple muscle groups, including the glutes, quads, and hamstrings. They are an excellent exercise for building strength and size in the glutes.

To perform a squat, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing slightly outward. Lower your hips down and back as if you were sitting in a chair, keeping your knees in line with your toes. As you lower your hips, keep your chest up and your core tight. Lower down until your thighs are parallel to the ground or as low as you can comfortably go. Then, push through your heels to stand back up to the starting position. Aim to do 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps with a weight that challenges you but allows you to maintain good form.

4. Hip Thrusts

When it comes to training the gluteus maximus, hip thrusts are an essential movement to incorporate into your training routine. In fact, they’re more effective than classic lifts such as the squat and the deadlift when it comes to activating the glutes.

While this can be done as a bodyweight movement, feel free to add some weight (such as a barbell) on top so you don’t leave any gains on the table.

Begin by sitting on the floor with your back resting against a bench. Having the barbell in your lap, directly over your hip joints. Engage your core muscles and drive your heels into the ground while squeezing your glutes. Continue the movement by lifting your hips until they’re even with your knees. Slowly lower your body back down and repeat.

5. Step-Ups

The step-up is another fantastic addition to your glute workout. In terms of movement and muscles activated, they work much the same way as the single-legged squat. Another plus is that your back won’t experience the wear and tear of heavy squatting, while your body will experience many of the same benefits.

While it can be done with just bodyweight, a barbell over your shoulders or dumbbells in your hands will add that extra edge to the exercise.

Standing with a straight back in front of a raised platform, keep your shoulders down and back if you’re holding dumbbells. As the name implies, step up onto the platform with your right foot, and then drive down with your right heel to bring both feet up onto the platform. Step back down and repeat, switching sides.

6. Kettlebell Swings

When it comes to explosive movements via hip extension, this is probably the ultimate exercise to be doing. It’s a powerful movement that, if done right, will give you that glute power that translates excellently into athletic and functional fitness. To add to that, it also places very minimal stress on your back. 

Your back should remain straight and your core should be activated at the beginning of the movement. Have your feet planted wider than hip-distance as you lean forward and grab the kettlebell. Slightly bend your knees, and then in an explosive (yet fluid) motion, drive the hips forwards and swing the kettlebell up.

The power should not be coming either from the quads or the arms—remember to keep the glutes engaged.

7. Deadlift 

The traditional deadlift is a staple for any serious gym-goer. It boasts a full-body workout, while also taking it up itself to burn your glutes. The secret to a good deadlift (or one of the many), is to squeeze your glutes—hard—at the top of the movement. This will give you the most out of the exercise and prevent you from arching your back at the top of the move.

Begin the exercise by standing close to a barbell that’s centered over your feet. With your feet about hip-width apart, hinge at the hip and grab the bar with your back aligned and core engaged. Drive the movement up through your heels explosively, remembering to keep your back straight. Reverse the movement and repeat.

8. Banded kickbacks

Another terrific addition to the glute exercise compendium, the kickbacks (either done with a cable or a resistance band) offer a high range of motion that ensures your glutes really feel the burn. 

If using a band, place it around your ankles and shift your weight onto your left foot. Then, place the toes of your left foot a few inches behind you (depending on the flexibility of the band), and make sure there’s tension in the band. Keeping your core braced, back straight, and toes pointed forward, kick your right leg back as far as you can. 

You should be feeling the burn in both your core as you engage it and also in your glutes as you contract them during the kick. When you get to the peak of the position with your working leg behind you, slowly bring it back to the starting position. A focus on eccentric movement will turbocharge your gains. Repeat for the desired amount of reps and sets.

If you want to add a twist to this movement and hit a different part of your glutes, rotate your kicking leg outwards and then kick back.

9. Bulgarian split squats

This is a challenging exercise that has benefits for your entire legs, especially in the upper leg such as the quads. However, you can slightly modify the movement to focus more on the glutes than the quads.

This exercise can either be done with a couple of dumbbells or with a barbell over the back. Stand a lunge length in front of a bench, facing away from it. Take your left foot and place the top of it on the bench behind you, and then begin lowering your body. Remember, as always, to keep your core braced and glutes engaged. Your body should go low enough for your knee to be almost touching the floor. Reverse the movement by pushing through the heel of the foot on the ground.

To focus in on the glutes, your front shin should be no further than vertical to the ground, meaning that your knee shouldn’t travel past your foot. Extending the movement too far means that more of your quads will be engaged over your glutes.

10. Clamshell

The c movement is a great exercise for focusing on your gluteus medius and your hip abductors. When you do this movement, think of a clamshell opening and closing. However, the more you allow the glute to take over, the better of an effect this exercise will have on your glutes. 

Begin the movement by lying on your side and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Your heels should remain together while also staying in-line with your backside. With the side, that’s facing up, open your knee as far as you can. Keep in mind however not to rotate either your back or your pelvis, since this will introduce other muscles into the mix. Pause at the top of the movement and return to the beginning position. 

Lo esencial

Building strong and shapely glutes requires a combination of targeted exercises, proper nutrition, and consistency in your training routine. Based on what experts say, the top 10 exercises to grow your glutes include squats, lunges, hip thrusts, deadlifts, step-ups, glute bridges, Bulgarian split squats, and donkey kicks.

It’s important to note that these exercises should be performed with proper form and technique to avoid injury and maximize results. Additionally, incorporating variations and progressive overload into your routine can help keep your muscles challenged and continue to grow.

Remember, growing your glutes takes time and patience, but by incorporating these exercises into your workout routine and staying consistent, you can achieve your desired results. As always, consult with a fitness professional before beginning any new exercise program.

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