3 Unconventional Glute Exercises

Effective Moves You Aren’t Doing

I have three unconventional glute exercises that I would like for you to start implementing into your weekly regimen. I’ve been performing these exercises and prescribing them to my clients with great success. The first of the exercises puts a twist on a common squat variation, the second is a unique variation of the popular glute bridge exercise and the third requires a mini band to be placed around the knees.

3 Unconventional Glute Exercises - Effective Moves You Aren’t Doing

 

Dumbbell Pause Sumo Squat With Eccentric Accentuation

Chances are, you’ve already performed the dumbbell sumo squat. You likely found it to be fairly effective but eventually dismissed the exercise when you graduated to barbell squat variations. However, if you alter the tempo of the movement, you can receive an incredible glute workout while using a surprisingly light load.

Here’s what I want you to do:

1. Select a dumbbell that is approximately a third of the weight that you typically use for barbell squatting.

2. While holding the dumbbell in front of the body with both hands, get into a wide-base sumo squat stance.

3. Sit back and squat down while keeping your shins vertical, taking four seconds to descend in a controlled fashion; don’t allow the knees to move forward.

4. At the parallel squat position (or slightly lower), hold the bottom position for two seconds.

5. Keeping the knees out and the center of pressure on the lateral edges of the feet, rise upwards, taking one second to return back to starting position.

6. Perform three sets of eight repetitions; each set will last almost one-minute long.

Frog Pump

Just as in the case of the dumbbell sumo squat, it is likely that you’ve performed the glute bridge exercise on numerous occasions. The frog jump puts an interesting twist on the glute bridge but is markedly more effective.

Here’s what I want you to do:

1. Lie down on your back in a supine position.

2. Flare the knees out to the sides and position the bottom of your feet together near the buttocks.

3. Raise your head off the ground and tuck your chin into your chest.

4. Place your upper arms on the ground with the elbows bent at 90 degrees; make fists with the hands.

5. Bridge the hips upward until full hip extension is reached, then lower back down to starting position.

6. Perform three sets of 30 repetitions; each set will last approximately 30 seconds.

Band Hip Hinge Abduction

Lateral band walks have become increasingly popular over the past several years, with band placement options around the feet, the ankles, below the knees and above the knees. In the band hip hinge abduction, however, you won’t be walking— you’ll be staying in place.

Here’s what I want you to do:

1. Place a mini band just below the knees and assume a slightly wider than hip-width stance.

2. Keeping the spine arched, bend over at the hips by sitting back while keeping the shins vertical— don’t allow the knees to move forward (think of the bottom of a Romanian deadlift position, but with a slightly wider-stance width).

3. Remaining in this hip-hinged position, allow the mini band to pull the knees inward into a valgus position (medial knee displacement).

4. Now externally rotate the hips and flare the knees outward while moving onto the lateral edges of the feet.

5. Hold for a three-second count, then return to starting position.

6. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions; each set will last approximately 40 seconds.

How to Program

There are several ways in which you can incorporate these three exercises into your program right away. If you perform a body part split training regimen, you could add the dumbbell pause sumo squat with eccentric accentuation onto the end of your quad workout, and you could add the frog pumps and band hip hinge abductions onto the end of your hamstring/glute workouts. If you perform a total-body training regimen, you could add dumbbell pause sumo squat with eccentric accentuation on to the end of your first weekly workout, frog pumps on to the end of your second weekly workout, and band hip hinge abductions on to the end of your third weekly workout. Alternatively, you could perform these three exercises as an extra weekly workout.

If you’re struggling to figure out exercise form on exercises in this column, I’ve featured each of them on my Instagram page: @bretcontreras1. I hope you enjoy these unique and effective glute exercises as much as my clients and I do.

Bret Contreras, PhD, CSCS

Bret Contreras has a PhD in sports science from AUT University and a CSCS certification from the NSCA. He is the coauthor of Strong Curves, the author of Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy, the inventor of the Hip Thruster, the founder of Strong by Bret, and the cofounder of Strength & Conditioning Research.

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