I have tried almost every glute exercise there is— and I have found that the one the leaves me the most sore is the single-leg press. Based on the way I am designed and the way I am able to position myself on the leg press, it does an EXCELLENT job of targeting my glutes and reminding me about it the next day with the soreness.
If you are looking to grow your glutes, I highly recommend you try single-leg presses. I like these because I only feel it in my glutes and not my quads by changing my foot positioning. Also, you can go heavy and lower rep or lighter and higher rep, and I find I still get the same burn and soreness.
Here is what you will want to do:
1. Find a leg press machine.
2. Test it out with out any weight. I find based on the machine some can be really heavy without any weight at all and others can be really light. So before you just start putting weight on, try it out without any first to get an idea of where you stand.
3. If needed, add weight. I start my first set of these around 15-20 reps, so I add weight according to this workload.
4. Check the seat— some of them can be adjusted up or down. I like to have it all the way down, so I can get a better range of motion.
5. Once in the seat, place one foot high on the platform. You’ll want to push through your heels on this, so it’s even OK to let your toes hang over if this is comfortable for you. Some leg press machines have bigger or smaller platforms, so you’ll have to adjust accordingly.
6. Release the weight and slowly let the weight come down and then squeeze it back up a little quicker!
7. I center my foot to my body a little bit when performing these, and really push through my heel. Feel the movement out, and adjust your foot to where you feel it the most in your glutes.
8. If you are feeling it more in your quads, try switching leg press machines. Some of them are not designed the best for this movement. I have been in gyms where I can’t get a burn at all in my glutes, just my quads.
9. Once you have completed the desired set of reps, re-rack the weight. Set up your other foot and complete that side as well.
10. Aim for three to four sets.
11. Pay attention to IF you get sore and WHERE you get sore the next couple days, then adjust accordingly!