6 exercises to revolutionise your glute training

This article is dedicated to glute development and how you can build a set of strong, well-defined glutes.

For those who are unfamiliar with what your glutes are, it's your butt, AKA 'Peach'.

You will learn how to strengthen that area without any #Fitspo garbage form and putting unnecessary strain on your back.

This is science-based and have been refined after years of training people, not just looking for likes and followers on social media - I'll leave that for others.

The 6 exercises which I will take you through are in no particular order, but will help you to work all 3 parts of your glutes. 

The big (Glute Max.), the small (Glute Min.) and the outer part (Glute Med.), so you don't leave any area lagging or under-developed.

1. Glute Bridging

This exercise is probably where most people will begin their glute training. It is fairly easy to learn, but oftentimes people will skim over it and claim that it is "too easy".

A common error that I find people making with glute bridging is that they aim to lift their hips as high as possible. This is not the aim.

The goal of this exercise is to contract the glutes, which will in turn extend (lift up) your hips.

It's about feeling your butt-cheeks squeeze tightly, not about the height of the lift!

  • Clench your glutes

  • Bridge your hips until they 'lock'

  • Keep your abs braced throughout
  • Push through your heels

Sets and Reps Guide

2-4 sets of 10-20+ reps.

Again, it's not about how high or how many you do, it's about the quality of those reps. 

2. Hip Thrust

Next on the list is a step up from the glute bridging exercise and will allow you to start loading your hips and also increases the range of motion (ROM) of the exercise.

It's called the hip thrust and I first learned this from Bret Contreras, who is known as 'The glute guy', for his extensive work and information pertaining to glute training.

The hip thrust can be a difficult exercise to set-up, especially if you are new to it, but once you find the set-up which is best for you - you'll love it!

Sets and Reps Guide

3-5 sets of 10-20+ reps if loaded, or 3-5 sets of 30-60 seconds if performed with bodyweight.

3. Lateral Band Walk

This exercise is a variation of the X-Band Walk which I used to utilise, but I tend to favour this variation now, as it means you can focus solely on your hips and glute med. (outer part of your hip) rather than holding onto the band itself.

This exercise is training 'hip abduction' - which takes your leg away from your body.

It will leave your hips and outer part of your glutes feeling sore and achy after you complete a decent amount of reps.

There are a few key points to dial in so that you get the most out of this exercise;

  • Place the band on, or just above your ankle bone

  • Keep your foot facing forwards, or slightly turned in at all times
  • Ensure you move from your hip and let your upper body 'come along for the ride' - No upper body swaying
  • Land with your foot flat each step

Sets and Reps Guide

2-4 sets of 10-20+ reps each side.

If you have a weaker side, work it first. Don't let it become fatigued before you want to isolate and strengthen it.

4. Monster Walks

This exercise is a modification of the lateral band walk and is still working the glute med. as you are actively resisting 'hip adduction' - leg coming towards the mid-line (knees coming together).

When completing the lateral band walk, you are creating a movement to work your hips, but this one is about resisting the opposite action from happening, while you move forwards and backwards.

It looks easy enough, but after 10 reps or so each side going forwards and backwards, you'll be wanting to sit down and let your hips rest for a bit.

Sets and Reps Guide

2-3 sets of 10-20+ reps each leg forwards and backwards.

Personally, I find going backwards much harder, so I do it after the forwards steps to get a good burnout effect and push the glutes a bit harder.

5. Seated Band Abduction

This has to be one of my favourite exercises to use for glute training!

It can be done using two main formats;

  1. For a number of repetitions
  2. For a specific time-period

Which one is better? Well, it depends.

Fulla Strength and Conditioning
  • If you struggle keeping your knees away from each other when you squat, doing a HOLD (for time) will serve you better.
  • If you have a good squat and no real issues with hip stability, you'll benefit from hitting a certain number of reps.

This exercise is very simple, but not easy.

You really want to try and 'find your hips' during this drill. Use the muscles around your hips to move the band, not your feet/ankles - develop your mind-muscle connection.

Sets and Reps Guide

  • For reps: 2-4 sets of 10-30 reps
  • For time: 2-4 sets of 20-60 seconds

6. Prone Scissors

This is a fairly new exercise that I have used in my own training and with FullaSC clients. I learned this one from Christian Woodford, owner of Woodford Sports Science Consulting in Melbourne.

A few things piqued my interest with this exercise and I knew it would be a great addition after trying it out for myself.

It's unique, as there are 3 main things which happen during this exercise;

  1. You are training the glute max. as you raise the legs (hip extension)
  2. You target the glute med. when you take the legs away from each other (abduction)
  3. You must brace your abs incredibly hard as you are in a prone position (face down)

The best cue and reminder that I give my clients is to do this exercise slowly. It should be a controlled motion - as you are aiming for more muscular endurance - not performed explosively, or for speed.

Sets and Reps Guide

2-3 sets of 10-20+ reps should leave you wanting to unhook off the bench and let your muscles recover before the next set.

If doing the bodyweight version becomes easy, try adding a mini-band above your ankles, as Sarah is demonstrating in the video.

While this article didn't cover any squats, lunges and deadlifts, I understand their importance in developing the glutes.

Those exercises mentioned should already be in your training program.

The 6 exercises listed should be in addition to those big ones - not a replacement.

Do your big compound exercises first and then overload/supplement that good work with some isolation exercises - to bring your glutes up, or progress them to the next level of strength and shape.

Glutes are your powerhouse.

Your foundation. Don't neglect them.

Give the some direct attention and you'll probably get some direct attention in return.

Until next time,

Work your glutes.



Jesse FullerComment