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So you’ve been searching Pinterest and Instagram for the best glute exercises out there. You get overwhelmed with all of the fitness models who somehow get this big gorgeous butt from doing leg lifts and clam shells. Time and time you try these exercises but you see no results in the mirror. What the hell, right? Don’t worry. It’s not because you are doing the exercises wrong. It’s because those exercises straight up suck.
So what are the real best glute exercises?
First off, they are exercises that involve some type of weight or resistance. In order for muscle to grow, you have to take your muscle through what we fitness nerds call the overload principle. The overload principle basically states that in order for your muscle (the butt in this case) to grow, you have to force it to adapt to a strain that is above and beyond what it has previously experienced. Makes sense, right?
So we need a combination of the overload principle and some kick ass exercises.
Look no further, because I am about to give you the top five best glute exercises that I use with my clients to give them a strong, solid and, yes— big butt. If you want to stop looking in the mirror and seeing a small butt and start seeing a nice tight and firm rear, then plug these five exercises into your weekly routine.
1. RFE Squat to Hinge
Place one foot on a bench directly behind you. You will have to adjust based on your leg length. You want to space yourself out so that when you bend your knees, you bend at 90-degree angles with both legs. Go all the way down and lightly touch your knee. After you come all the way up, keep your chest up and perform a hip hinge movement. Basically act like you are bending over to check your reflection in water.
2. Single-Leg Hip Thrust
Grab a bench and sit with your butt on the ground and your shoulders resting on the bench. I tell my clients to “act like you are chilling in a hot tub”— that is where your shoulders should be placed on with regards to the bench. Straighten one leg out completely but keep your thighs lined up. Driving from the heel of your opposite leg, drive your hips to the sky and squeeze your glute and abs. Repeat on other side.
3. Elevated Lunge to Step-Up
4. Band Donkey Kicks
Place a resistance band on a rig, pole or anything that is cemented into the ground. Take the band and place it directly on the arch of your shoe. Standing tall with your hands under your shoulders, extend your leg out and kick up toward the ceiling. Hold the top of the kick for two seconds and then slowly come back down. Repeat on both legs.
5. 1.5 Rep Squats
Take a dumbbell, kettlebell, or even a barbell and perform a regular squat. Go all the way down in your squat and then come halfway up. Go back down all the way and then come all the way up. The amount of tension and time placed on your glutes will have them firing on all cylinders!
Plug in these five best glute exercises into your weekly routine and end the days of looking in the mirror with a small rear.