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  • Writer's pictureErin White

Best Glute Exercises

The glutes are one of the main muscle groups we use every single day. From helping us to walk, run, and jump to giving us support to stand upright. If they’re weak (which sadly they are for most people), this can lead to low back pain etc. The glute max and glute med are needed to help stabilize our pelvis when standing and walking so it is important that they are strong. When our pelvis isn’t stabilized it can lead to a mirage of pain and lower extremity ailments. All of the exercises covered today have been thoroughly researched and have all been given a high EMG rating. What this means is that these specific exercises were shown to give off high glute activation when performed correctly.

1. Front plank with hip extension— get into a high plank and lift your foot one at a time about 1’ off the ground.

2. Glute squeezes – you’re literally just tightening up the gluteal muscles and relaxing with this one. This is so easy to do in the car, in the office, etc.

3. Sidelying hip abduction in a side plank – in a side plank with hips stacked on top of each other lift the top leg up and down. Make sure you don’t roll forwards or backwards in order to keep your trunk and lower extremities in alignment.

4. Sidelying clamshell – while laying on your side stack your legs and bend your knees to a 90 degree angle. Gently lift your top leg while keeping your hips neutral (again don’t roll forwards or backwards).

5. Single leg squat – Standing with your feet hip width apart, lift your right leg out in front of you so that you’re balanced on your left leg. Slowly lower yourself into a squat using your left leg only and return to standing. Use a chair or stable surface for balance if needed. Make sure you’re left knee stays straight in line with your foot (not diving in or flaring out). Repeat on the right side.

6. Curtsy Lunge – Standing with your feet hip width apart, step your left foot back at an angle behind your right foot and squat down. Return to stand and repeat on the left side.

7. Single leg deadlift – Stand with both feet under hips. Shift your weight to the right leg, which should be nice and straight with a soft bend in the knee. Begin to drive your left foot back like you're stamping the bottom of your foot on the wall behind you, keeping your leg straight. Simultaneously, slowly start hinging at the waist, tipping your torso forward until it’s almost parallel to the floor. Then, begin pulling your left leg forward while keeping it straight, and lift your torso up until you’re standing again. That’s one rep. Repeat all reps on one side, then switch legs.

8. Side lunge – Start standing tall, feet hip-width distance apart. Take a large step out to the side while bending your left knee as you push your hips back. Keep both feet flat on the floor throughout the lunge. Push off with your left leg to return to standing. Repeat on other side.

9. Forward step up – Start with feet hip width apart. Step your right foot onto a 6-10” step and put all of your body weight onto your right foot as you come to a full stand. Return to the ground and repeat on the other side.

10. Transverse lunge -- Stand with the feet hip-width apart holding. Keep the left foot pointed straight ahead (the 12 o’clock direction) while stepping back and out to the right side with the right foot and place it facing in the 4 o’clock direction. As the right foot hits the ground push back into the right hip while reaching for the right foot with both hands. To return to standing, push off the ground with the right foot and press the left foot into the ground to pull the body back to the center and the feet back together.

All of these are great for activating and working all of the muscles in our glutes and lower extremities. If you want to make it a full workout do all of these exercises for 10 reps and repeat for 3 sets. If you want to mix and match find 3-4 to do every other day for 10 reps x 3 sets or 15 reps x 2 sets. If anything elicits pain please stop!



Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I am a wife to my amazing husband Zach and a momma to an angel baby and now a beautiful baby boy. I am an anxiety warrior, a follower of Christ, and a devoted wife, mother, daughter, friend, and sister.

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