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The Best Exercises to Build Your Glutes!

With the building popularity of the fitness industry and its aesthetic appeal, it's seemingly more common for clients wanting to build their glutes. So, here's the best way to build them!

Firstly, understanding their actions are key.

You have 3 different gluteal muscles (see pic (a) below). Between them, their actions create hip extension, hip abduction, hip adduction (inferior portion of gluteus maximus), hip external rotation, hip internal rotation (the anterior portion of the gluteus medius), and furthermore, help to stabilise your pelvis.

Needless to say... that's a lot of movements!

So, to make it easier and cover all movements... break your glute training up into 3 different planes: vertical, horizontal, and rotational/lateral.

This ensures you train all fibres of each of your gluteal muscles.

The planes of movement

1) Vertical glute training exercises: Squats, step ups, Bulgarian split squats, walking lunges.

2) Horizontal glute training exercises: Deadlifts, hip thrusts, glute bridges, frog bridges, cable pull through, standing cable kickbacks.

3) Rotational/lateral plane exercises: Banded lateral walks, clams, side lying leg abductions, standing cable side kicks, seated hip external rotation machine.

How many exercises from each plane

Combine an even number of exercises from each to build symmetry in your glutes, e.g. 1 or 2 from each plane, making a total of 3 or 6 glute exercises for your workout.

How much to do of each exercise

Vary your intensity of load and reps - perform an even split of high load with low reps (1-5 reps), moderate load with moderate reps (8-15 reps), and low load with high reps (20 reps +).

A glute workout example (based around 3x per week):

Workout #1

A) Weighted Bulgarian Split Squats - 4x5 reps each side, high load

B) Cable Pull Through - 3x12 reps, moderate load

C) Side Lying Clams - 3x20 reps each side, body weight

Workout #2

A) Cable Pull Through - 4x5 reps, high load

B) Side Lying Banded Clams - 3x12 reps each side, moderate band resistance

C) Bulgarian Split Squats - 3x20 reps each side, body weight

Workout #3

A) Side Lying Banded Clams - 4x5 reps each side, heavy band resistance

B) Weighted Bulgarian Split Squats - 3x12 reps each side, moderate load

C) Cable Pull Through - 3x20 reps, light load

Hope this helps you to build bigger glutes or design your own workout!

If you're looking to further your training, whether that be building muscle or improving performance through science, click the button below to see how our Exercise Physiologist can help! We also offer Online Coaching for those of you not based in Sydney.

Written by Pat Hughes

Accredited Exercise Physiologist


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