Best Glute Exercises

by Matt Elphick



Since Kim Kardashian made big butts popular every female strives to achieve a healthy set of glutes – This is by far one of the most the most common requests we receive from our female clients.  But apart from the aesthetics strong glutes are important for every day function and to keep us injury free!  

I want to build my glutes; I want a nice bum; I want a firm bum!

Getting you fit and strong is definitely our specialty so let us give you the science behind glute training.

First, you need to understand the muscles involved. Those that give us that nice, curvy bottom include the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus.

A lot of our daily movements, like walking or running, involve these muscles, and yet, most people never train them specifically.

When you do train your gluteus muscles, it’s possible to achieve hypertrophy, or growth in the size of the muscles. The secret is to target each of the glute muscles and to progressively overload them with high intensity.

This can be achieved within any range of reps, but you get the best muscle hypertrophy results from a rep range of six to twelve and with a heavy resistance.

We ensure that most of our female clients have a glute building session at least once a week.  Saying that, glute training is not just for females, men should work their glutes too.  Having strong glutes improves your lifts such as the squats and deadlifts and decreases the chance of lower back pain.  Here we see our client Zak demonstrating a heavy hip thrust.  We make sure our male client also work their glutes.  This is not just for aesthetics but essential especially for those spending a long time sitting down at their desk.  Weak glutes give a myriad of problems.

Below we have compiled a list of 7 exercises we feel hit the spot when it comes to Glute building.  Give them a try.


1. Sit on the floor with a barbell across your pubic bone and your shoulder blades against a bench if your gym does not have the hip thrust machine

2. Keeping your chin tucked in, push up through your hips to lift your bum off the floor.

3. Clench your bum at the top – your shoulders, hips and knees should be in a straight line.

4. Lower back down in a slow, controlled movement.


This is another fantastic exercise targeting the glutes – our client Anita demonstrating this exercise.  It works both the glutes and hamstrings.

You can do this exercise by going full range of motion, but when we do it specifically for the glutes we like working at the top end adding weight and higher reps.  It is important you round your back and tuck your chin in.  Important – this is not a back extension, so if you start over extending at the top you start feeling your lower back.

Try doing this:

1 set full range 15-20 

1 set just top range 15-20 reps

1 set full range 12 reps – half range top only to failure 



This exercise also works the hamstrings and glutes.  It is important to hip hinge properly and not squat! Feel that stretch in your hamstrings.  Having the dumbbells further out towards your toes, works the glute ham tie in.  important to brace properly and keep a tight core so you don’t start feeling pressure in the lower back 


Similar to the hip thrust but you will be lying on the floor.  Use a thick hip band at the top of the knees

1. Place the barbell just above your pubic bone with a bar pad.

2. Keep your chin tucked and flatten your lower back against the floor to start each rep.

3. Lift your toes off the floor and push through your heels to maximize glute activation.

4. When you are at the top position push your knees against the band for better glute activation. 

Try doing 3 sets of 20 reps.  As you advance you can also include pauses at the top position or even cluster sets…these are our favorites!


This is one of the best moves to building strong glutes.  Lie on the floor, put the soles of your feet together letting your knees drop to the side.  Raise your hips and squeeze your glutes.  You can do these as a burnout at the end of your workout for a high rep range something like 2 sets of 40 reps.


THE HIGH STEPUP is a classic strength and conditioning exercise that should be a staple in anyone’s training program. When it comes to step ups, the higher the box, the greater you work your butt due to the increased flexion at the hip. The key to selecting the right box height is to go as high as you can without rounding your lower back or shifting your hips to the side. For most people, that’s anywhere from 20 to 30 inches based on individual hip mobility and limb length. We recommend doing 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps. Too easy? Then hold on to dumbbells with both hands or wear a weight vest to step up your glute game


You might think that this exercise is easy, not when you incorporate tempo to it!!

Stand in a sumo stance holding a dumbbell goblet hold, start descending to the tempo of 4310 – Lean forward to hit more glutes, lower for 4 seconds, pause for 3 seconds, then rise quickly. You can use it as a finisher on leg day.  Try out 3 x 15 we bet you by rep no 10 your glutes will be on fire!!

If you’re looking to transform your body or just starting out on your fitness journey, contact us to book your free consultation.

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  • Matt and Lorenza

    About Steel extreme

    Offering the best personal trainer and nutrition advice in Malta, Steel Extreme Fitness offers you private gym membership – where you will feel right at home.

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