Effective Glute Exercises You [Probably] Aren’t Doing

In my most recent newsletter I tackled the myth: Squats Build A Booty / “Build A Booty in 30 Days” Programs

Ughhhhhhh…. I want to gouge my eyeballs out when I see this ALL OVER PINTEREST!

I explained why in my newsletter, but I wanted to share some valuable information here as to what exercises you SHOULD be doing.

{Rewind for a quick minute}

I was a Beachbody coach doing umpteen squats and lunges in my home to “build a butt” since I had a pancake ass.

I mean flat.as.a.board.

No junk in the trunk.  Nothin. Zilch.


But no matter what program I did and how much I tried to build a booty…

I didn’t.

Why does this matter to you?

You are probably doing the same thing.  Or maybe you are squatting in the gym but feel like your legs are gaining in size and your butt just does nothing.

The problem here is that we are told that we need to squat or lunge to build our glutes.

Squats and deadlifts are great but…  they aren’t the most effective exercises to isolate the glute muscles and prevent the quadriceps (or hamstrings) from taking over.  They are also only working the glutes from one force vector (vertical.)

I am speaking from experience, folks.

When I learned how to engage my glutes through the use of EFFECTIVE glute targeting exercises, I started to see results.

A great example for this would be the fact that you use your  arms and delts when you perform a pushup, but in order to build your arms and shoulders, you would want to work them in isolation during an arm or shoulder day.

{This brings us to the now}


most effective exercises for building glutesI am finally LOVING my glutes and want to share what I have found along the way to be the most effective glute exercises.  Muscle activation is key and these movements and when executed correctly they activate the glutes like woah.

When Executed Correctly = you need to have mind muscle connection and squeeze.  It is more important to squeeze the glutes than it is to move heavy weight.

Before we dive into some of the exercises, I want to make you aware that it is also going to depend on your overall programming.  You need to be working the glutes from various angles, under various tension and in various ranges of fatigue.

You also need to correct an anterior pelvic tilt if you have it.

I know… all of that sounds foreign and it’s pretty in depth stuff.  So don’t worry, I got you covered!

My BOOTY CAMP ebook takes you through 3 phases to correct, engage and build your glutes with workout programming, too!

You can grab a copy here for just $5 with code: peachy.

My Favorite (Super Effective) Glute Exercises

Single Leg Glute Bridge (works glutes from horizontal vector)

(I also like to do this version with my heel elevated on a step and add a band around knees to incorporate lateral)

Hyperextensions (horizontal loading)

(with rounded back)

In this exercise, you are going to keep your back rounded at the top so that you don’t lead the movement with erector spinae (your muscles that run along the spine) and have to initiate movement with your glutes.  Only raise until your body is in a straight line (DO NOT HYPEREXTEND) so that the glutes get a full squeeze and tension stays in them.  I prefer my feet shoulder width and toes forward or pointed out.  Think of squeezing your butt to raise the upper body by pushing your pelvis forward into the pad.  (Tuck the tailbone, kinda feeling.)

You can use as much weight as you feel comfortable with squeezing the glutes and still maintaining a rounded back.

Bench Kickbacks (horizontal loading)

You may want to grab some booty bands, too!  I love using them for added resistance with kickbacks.

Keep your hips flat on the bench because this prevents your hips from opening up and the glutes have to shorten to raise the leg.  The foot is just there for the ride.  Think of your glute muscle shortening raither than raising your leg.  Height is not the goal.  You might even want to place your hand on your glute to get the mind connecting with the muscle.

Double Smith Machine Kickback (horizontal loading)

Don’t focus on raising the feet to a certain height but rather squeezing the glutes instead.  The feet are just along for the ride.  Don’t hyper extend because then the lower back is engaged too much.  I also don’t like to drop too low because then the quads engage more.  I stay higher with my knees and perform a smaller range of motion.

Play with food position and weight.  You may connect better when toes are slightly outward or knees are wider.  Your glutes are powerful, but you should choose a weight that allows you to squeeze vs just forcing reps out.

Seated Abduction (lateral/rotary loading)

Hip thrusts (horizontal loading. Add band to add lateral/rotary loading)   (AKA barbell glute bridge and frog pumps)

So give these a shot! #BootyBootyBooty

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