If you have been working hard in the gym without seeing any results, it might be time to reflect on what you are doing. If your main fitness goal at the moment is for your glutes to grow, there is a lot to learn that you might not already know. From an outsider’s perspective, the glutes might seem easy enough to target and make gains on, however, multiple muscles in the glutes contribute towards growing the overall muscle mass and improving its shape and appearance. Some of the most effective glute exercises are often the hardest, so it might be time to step outside of your comfort zone and head to the heavy free weights.
Everyone’s bodies are different and that also means that our muscles respond to workouts in different ways. The exercises that we recommend are simply just suggestions for you to test out and see if you achieve any results. Here are the most effective ones we would recommend:
Hip thrusts are also known as glute bridges. Both variations of this exercise are known to be extremely good for targeting and growing the glutes. This exercise can also be manipulated to your liking. For example, if you are a beginner you might try hip thrusts with a light-resistant band to first master the movement. Here are the most important tips for perfecting a great hip trust:
- Find a bench or exercise box that sits comfortably under your shoulder blades when sat on the ground. If it is any higher up from your shoulders you will not be targeting your glutes.
- Either use your desired resistance band or barbell for added resistance. If you use a barbell, ensure you can roll it over your legs without needing to lift it over. Use large distributed weights on each end to achieve this.
- If you are using a barbell, ensure you have a shoulder pad on the area where your hips will be meeting it. This will prevent bruising.
- Walk your feet towards your body and make sure your heels are placed into the ground at a 90-degree angle
- Push into your heels and thrust your hips as high as possible without overextending your back.
- Pause and hold the lift at the top, and slowly lower your hips back down before repeating the movement.
Deadlifts are another great compound glute exercise for growing your glutes whilst providing full-body benefits. They require multiple different muscle groups, however, there are still many deadlift variations to isolate the glutes whilst pushing the rest of your muscles. Deadlifts can be performed with barbells or free weights, and they are also a dynamic exercise that you can build up your strength and resistance to over time. Here are the important tips for mastering deadlifts:
- Make sure your feet are shoulder width apart and your barbell or free weights are readily placed in front of you.
- As you bend to place your hands on the weight, ensure your back is completely straight with your head facing down in line with your back, which will ensure you get the most out of the exercise whilst also making sure you stay safe whilst working out. A good tip would be to look at your posture in the mirror if you do not have someone to guide you.
- Your hands should be placed alternately with one palm facing up and one facing down.
- When you begin to pull the weight, your weight should be transferred into your heels and your shoulders should be pulled back to straighten your back.
- Pushing your hips forwards and tightening your glutes at the top of the movement.
- Coming down from the peak, your hips should be pushed back slowly whilst you keep your spine tall.
- When you reach the bottom of the repetition, reposition your body for as many desired repetitions whilst maintaining a good posture.
A sumo squat is a functional extension of the well-known squatting exercise. Squatting is, of course, a valuable workout variation for leg and glute strength, however, if you are looking to optimize your glute workouts then a sumo squat is a great way to increase the resistance and isolate your glutes. Sumo squats target many glute muscle groups, whilst also working your hamstrings and inner thighs, other essential muscles for glute growth. Here is the basic premise of a sumo squat:
- Grab your desired weight dumbbell, or use a kettlebell if you find them easier to work with.
- Stand your feet just over shoulder width apart with your feet pointing outwards.
- Hold your dumbbell as you push your hips back and begin to squat downwards.
- Support yourself whilst targeting your glutes by putting the weight into your heels, if you use the balls of your feet then you won’t be working your glute muscles.
- Push back up to a straight stance once you have squatted comfortably as low as you can go.
- Repeat for as many reps as possible, and finish each round with a squat pulse for an extra push.
Lunges are another compound movement that is extremely effective when it comes to glute growth. Often people tend to neglect lunges due to their difficulty with balance. Practice makes perfect and if you manage to perform lunges consistently, you will see a huge improvement. Lunges require a lot of reliance on your knees and hips, and getting the balance right between each leg will be a wonky journey, to begin with. Here are our most important tips for executing lunges:
- If you are used to weights, we would recommend holding dumbbells on either side to help regulate your balance ( they do not have to be heavy, start with easy-to-manage weights).
- Place your feet at hip-width apart and step forwards just over the length of your shin.
- The weight should be focused on the front heel, whilst slowly bending the back knee at 90 degrees and keeping the shin parallel to the ground.
- Do not be tempted to rent your knee on the ground.
- Push from the heel back up to the standing position and repeat with the opposing leg, this should create a walking forward movement.
- Repeat for as many reps and sets as you can.
Overall, there are many exercises that you might find to optimize the growth of your glute muscles. A few important things to keep in mind are that you will be using multiple different muscle groups to perform most exercises, so neglecting your full-body workouts might be affecting the performance of your glute workouts. Of course, it is smart to target certain muscle groups, but overall you should be aware that each person will have different reactions to exercise. It might take you years to see a difference or maybe even weeks, but staying consistent is the key to seeing gains and improving your workouts. Stick on a pair of reliable gym leggings, head to the gym, and try out these beneficial exercises.