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Recommended Glute Exercises by The Glute Lab @bretcontreras

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My Favourite Top 10 Glute And 10 Single Leg Glute Exercises

Trainers rarely agree on which are the “best” glute exercises, reasons for this include differences in hip anatomy and glute architecture from one person to the next and between men and women. What works best for you may not necessarily work for your training partner. Finding the best (most effective) exercise requires some experimentation and work with a variety of approaches.

There is little scholarly research (and fewer published articles) comparing the effectiveness of one glute exercise versus another on actual glute hypertrophy. There are however a few EMG, or electromyography studies that suggest that these are the most effective glute exercises from which to choose:

  1. Hip Thrust
  2. Glute Bridge
  3. Back Extension
  4. Goblet Squat
  5. Squat
  6. Deadlift
  7. Lunge
  8. Rear Kickback
  9. Leg Press
  10. Seated Hip Abduction Machine

When considering these individual exercises, concentrate on the required movement patterns involved regardless of your equipment preference or equipment availability. As an example, you may prefer using the Smith machine for hip thrusts over barbell hip thrusts, or the more advanced knee band dumbbell glute bridges over barbell glute bridges. You may prefer goblet squats over shoulder supported squats, or sumo deadlifts over conventional deadlifts. Regardless of your approach, by maintaining the required movement patterns you will get the desired results. These ten glute exercises and their patterns will help you reach your goals, so ensure that you are including them in your weekly training routine. ⁣

Similarly, when considering single leg glute exercises here are the top ten single leg exercises for building glutes. Again, trainers and “experts” may disagree, but these ten movements are proven effective:

  1. EZ Bar B-Stance Hip Thrust
  2. Single-Leg Reverse Hyperextensions
  3. Bodyweight Ring-Supported Pistol Squat
  4. DB Braced Single-Leg RDL
  5. Bodyweight Single-Leg Round Back 45 Degree Hyper
  6. DB Deficit Reverse Lunge
  7. Bodyweight High Step-Up
  8. Single-Leg side Press
  9. Cable Kickback
  10. DB Bulgarian Split Squat

Stability – You may notice a similarity among these exercises: stability. Many trainers fail to realize that despite popular belief, the glutes require a stable environment to induce the muscle fibers to fire maximally. The more stable the exercise or variation of that exercise, the greater the glute activation (and result). When single leg training, steady yourself (stabilize) against a sturdy bench or piece of equipment or use machines, the Smith machine, and take advantage of EZ bars, kettlebells and Bulgarian bags. Your comprehensive glute program should include two to three single leg variations each week.

written and published by Riccardo Alessandro Migliorini


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