28 by Sam Wood: Best glute exercises, ranked
Fitness expert Sam Wood reveals the most effective exercises you can do to strengthen and tone your glutes.
Training your glutes does more than just give you a perky peach; it helps prevent injuries, muscle imbalances and pain in areas like your knees and lower back.
Strong glutes encourage a strong body, they keep your body stable, they give you power, they keep you balanced and they encourage good posture.
So whether your goal is aesthetics or performance related, these are six of the best exercises to grow your glutes.
Best glute exercises, ranked
1. Lateral walk band activation
This is my go-to activation exercise before training my lower body and when I really want to target my glutes. Use a tight resistance band and walk sideways in one direction, never letting your feet get closer than shoulder width apart, then walk back the other way. Feel the burn!
2. Bulgarian split squat
Bulgarian split squats are one of those unilateral moves that you love to hate.
Planting your front foot a little further forward and elevating your back foot (on the couch if you don’t have a bench) will allow you to go deeper into the movement, shifting the emphasis away from quads and into glutes.
3. Hip thrusts
Hip thrusts are all about building power in your glutes. You can make them more difficult with the addition of resistance like a barbell or bands, or simply manipulate the tempo or rep count.
4. Curtsey lunge
They might sound harmless but curtsey lunges get into your gluteus medius – the muscle that runs along the side of your glute. You can make these more challenging by holding a weight in your hand (kettlebell, dumbbell or two dumbbells).
5. Single leg deadlift
I love this exercise because it works your posterior chain and is effective with or without weight. It’s great for mobility, balance and you guessed it, working your glutes.
6. Banded clam shells
Clams are another epic exercise for the gluteus medius and boy do they burn. I also love this exercise for activation. This was one of Snez’s favourites during pregnancy as it allowed her to be in a side lying position that was comfortable while still getting a great glute workout.