Glute Exercises That Build Muscle Fast
Dec 9th, 2018 - 5 min read
Whatever your goals, glute exercises should be high up on your list of things to do. Because a good glute workout will serve you well both aesthetically and practically.
While glute building gets a lot of attention from an aesthetic perspective, it should be noted that your glutes are one of your largest and most powerful muscle groups. That means building them, will go a long way towards powering your lower body in general. This will in turn, make you stronger and of course it will improve your overall performance on other exercises.
When it comes to building glutes, you should focus on a combination of different glute exercises, all of which will have their time and place in your overall glute workout.
For best results, you should combine both compound and isolation exercises, with an additional emphasis placed on isolation exercises. Though your workouts should include compound exercises nonetheless. And they should also include assisted exercises to be squeezed out on those last few growth reps.
before we get started, keep in mind that abs may be built in the kitchen, but glutes are without a doubt, built in the gym. So first, let's talk about how you can build with isolation exercises...
It's worth pointing out that glute isolation exercises aren't always necessary to get the physical results. Some women are able to build the glutes they want through squats alone. If you're not that woman then don't worry, this article has you covered. And if you are that woman, imagine how much stronger your glutes could be if you isolate them?
If you're unfamiliar with the term ‘isolation’: An isolation exercise is one that works a concentrated muscle or group, usually using only one joint movement.
Below are some examples of glute isolation exercises. All of these exercises can and should be loaded with a weight that challenges you.
Glute exercises for isolation
Now, hold that thought. Because before you isolate your glutes, you should perform your compound glute exercises.
A compound exercises recruits a number of muscle groups and requires the most energy to perform at best. This is why you should do them first.
Not everyone is able to achieve sufficient glute engagement on their compound exercises. Don't worry if that sounds like you, your isolation and assisted exercises will have you covered.
With that said, it is still worth adding some compound exercises to your glute workouts. You can use this as an opportunity to work on your mind muscle connection. See a selection of compound glute exercises below...
Compound glute exercises
- Split squats
- Weighted step ups
- Romanian deadlift and/or single leg Romanian deadlift
- Sumo squat
- Kneeling squats
Finally, let's look at assisted glute exercises.
Assisted exercises should be used as finishers (performed at the end of your workout). These are a combination of isolation and compound exercises. What separates them from the above is the fact that they are performed on a machine that helps you manage the load. The only exception here is the stepper, which is technically cardio, but is equally an excellent glute finisher.
All of these exercises should still be loaded with a weight that challenges you. It is commonly said that growth happens in the last few reps, so no slacking off at this stage!
Assisted glute exercises
- Leg press
- Cable kick backs
- Abductor machine
- Smith machine squat or kneeling squat
- Hip extension machine
- Hack squat machine
- Lying leg curl machine
Your glute exercises in one place
The secret to building muscle fast
It's pretty simple actually: High volume/low rep sets will lead you to the fastest gains. However for balanced results you should combine this with higher reps at 60-70% of your max weight. If you're unsure about your max, see our One Rep Max Calculator.
Also remember that muscle growth happens faster when you are in a calorie surplus. See our Macro Calculator for your daily macro breakdowns.
Some of your glute exercises in action
Barbell hip thrusts
The barbell hip thrusts is undoubtedly one of the best glute builders. If you haven't already, you should definitely add these to your glute workout.
Barbell glute bridge
Next we have the barbell glute bridge. This isn’t too dissimilar to the hip thrust and in most cases can be loaded for equal outcomes.
Thirdly we have cable kickbacks; it is highly likely that you have seen these, or a variation of before. However, in this instance, with the addition of the cables, you are able to add weight, which in turn, makes it a whole lot more effective!
Dumbbell sumo squat
It is no secret that squats are an excellent compound exercise that target your lower body. By the same token, adopting a sumo stance and adding a front loaded weight, you ultimately turn this squat into an ideal glute workout. If glute engagement on squats is an issue for you, use this variation.
To sum up
The most important thing to remember is that your glute workout need not be complicated. What it actually needs above all else, is to be loaded.
Furthermore; the less complex your workouts, the better. Focus on a few key moves and progress them with weight.
Finally; don't forget that you can and should add more exercises and weight with experience.