Question: "What are your favorite exercises for working the glutes?"
Christian Agudelo, ACSM - CPT
There are many exercises that effectively work the glute area. However there are some that stand out as the best for overall glute activation. My favorite exercises are the Back Squat, the Romanian Deadlift and the Hip Thrust. When done properly the back squat is one of the best exercises for the glutes. If you are able to drop your hips at least to parallel or even beyond you will see an increase in glute activation to complete the movement. This will increase glute strength and overall development. The Romanian deadlift is another great exercise. If properly executed the hinge movement on the deadlift will activate the glutes and hamstrings and even though the deadlift feels more like a stretch on these muscles, the strength gains and development of the muscle is noticeable. The Hip thrust is the true glute exercise. When performed properly this exercise will target only the glute area because the resistance will rest on your hips and as you drop your hips to perform the movement, the glutes are the only muscle that can lift the weight back to the starting position. Therefore giving you maximum glute activation.
Earvin Bahena, NSCA - CSCS
The glutes are one of the most important and biggest muscles in your body. They assist and stabilize your hips when walking or running and help you maintain proper form when strength training. It should be a muscle that is focused on when strength training and there are various ways to do so. Here are some of my favorite glutes exercises to do to strengthen the buns.
- Barbell Back Squat: Doing this exercises as oppose to front squats will put load on your posterior chain especially your glutes and hamstrings and you will feel your glutes activate during the exercise and the next day.
- Glute/Hip Thrusts: Whether you are doing a loaded barbell thrust, bodyweight thrust or single leg thrust, these exercises will have you feeling the burn in the glutes. Not only can you get a growth in glutes but also improved strength.
- Kettlebell Swings: Proper form is always important when working out especially with heavy load. Swinging a heavier load and working for strength you will definitely feel the burn in the hamstrings and glutes as your swing away.