The 3 Best Glute Building Exercises

These are the 3 best glute building exercises that will be all you need to build a strong and defined set of buns.

Your gluteal muscles are often referred to as your glutes, or your butt, or that peach emoji.

They are in my opinion the second most important group of muscles in your body behind your core muscles.

Trust me when I say they are much more than girls wanting to grow them and guys wanting to look at them.

Let’s dive into what makes them so important, why you should care about them no matter your gender, and the 3 best exercises you can do to ensure a strong, sexy pair of buns.


The Best Glute Building Exercises

best glute building exercises

There are 3 muscles to talk about when looking at your glutes.

The gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus.

Though when you think about the gluteal muscles you probably only think of the glute maximus (because for some reason in elementary school “gluteus maximus” was super funny).

All 3 play a pivotal part in strength, physique building, and long term health.

We know that you can workout your gluteal muscles to improve the shape of your butt yet that is arguably the least important factor to properly training your glutes.

I would like to go over a few reasons to give you out there more incentive to improve your glute strength as opposed to just improving the shape.

Guys, I am especially talking to you here. Ladies will want to train glutes regardless (which sets them up for a serious long term health advantage ).

If you are a male out there reading this and have been neglecting your glute training, time to rethink your training program.

Powerhouse Of Your Body

the best glute building exercises

The picture above is NFL hall of fame James Harrison just casually hip thrusting damn near 700 lbs.

It is no wonder he was one of the most explosive, disruptive, powerful football players to ever live. As much as it pains me to say this being a Cincinnati Bengals fan.

Very simply put your gluteal muscles are the powerhouse of your body.

They make you incredibly stronger.

They make you incredibly faster.

They make you incredibly more explosive.

If you want a strong squat you need strong glutes.

If you want a strong deadlift you need strong glutes.

Heck if you want a strong overhead press or bench press you need strong glutes.

Athletes benefit from strong glutes by being able to sprint faster, jump farther, or cut more explosively.

Any quality training program, for an athlete or not, must include proper and progressive glute training.

This does not look like some glute kick backs with a cable machine.

Or some fire hydrants aka looking like a dog peeing on a fire hydrant.

This means programming in specific exercises to ensure you are getting the maximum output from your powerhouse.

More on this to come later.

For now let’s cover the next important function of your gluteal muscles which is protecting your lower back.

Protecting Your Lower Back

the best glute building Exercises

Ever heard of something called “sleepy butt”?

And no that is not just what your mom or spouse calls you when you sleep in.

If we look at the picture above, what is directly below your lower back?

Your gluteal muscles.

When your gluteal muscles become either extremely tight or weak it can make your lower back very angry.

Your gluteal muscles will either be too tight to work or too weak to handle the workload. This means the next thing in line is your lower back.

In this instance all of the work your glutes are supposed to be doing (Which is a lot!), your lower back now has to pick up the slack.

Your lower back is not built to handle this much work resulting in pain for you.

Weak or tight glute muscles can also cause imbalances in the lower back muscles / pelvis.

For example if you are constantly over arching your lower back this could be due to you having weak glute muscles.

Basically if you are walking around looking like Kim Kardashian that is not going to be good for your back.

This is especially true if you sit at a desk all day long. If you want some tips on how to stay healthy and lose weight while working a desk, head HERE to listen to my podcast outlining that.

Having a strong and sturdy set of gluteal muscles can save you from lower back pain now and as you age as well.


Protecting Your Knees

best glute building exercises

Too often when people have knee pain they throw a brace or sleeve on.

As if that is going to fix your body. That is putting a 2” band aid on a 12” flesh wound.

People think “well, if my knee hurts, it must be my knee causing the pain!”.

Even saying that you are probably like “well.. if your knee hurts yes wouldn’t that be the issue?”.


Refer to the picture above.

If you have weak or tight glutes that can be the underlying cause of your knee pain.

Your hips control the lower half of your body and your glutes control your hips.

If your glutes are weak that is going to throw off the alignment of your knee causing serious pain.

The next time you go to buy a knee brace or get looked at by a surgeon, look at your glute strength / muscle quality.

** No I am not a doctor and do not claim to be nor prescribe anything for any type of pain. This is simply based off the mechanics of the body I have learned and working with thousands of individuals. **

In short, strengthening your gluteal muscles can improve your total body strength, protect your lower back, and help aid in knee pain.

Now that we are on the same page about the utmost importance of your butt muscles let’s talk about some exercises we can do to get those nice buns.


3 Best Glute Building Exercises

Below are going to be 3 staple exercises I include with my online coaching clients training programs that can massively increase your glute strength and muscle definition.

If you want learn more about my coaching program head HERE.

Hip Thrust

I don’t have 700lbs on my hips here like our friend James Harrison above but none the less the hip thruster is my go to glute builder.

Hip Thruster Technique Points

  1. Position your mid / upper back on a bench. Be sure your back does not slide back and forth but rather acts as a pivot point. Be sure to keep your shoulders down and away from your ears.
  2. Place the bar in the crease of your hips with your hands holding the bar in position throughout the movement. Feel free to use a pad or soft cushioning under the bar to protect your hips.
  3. Set your feet up by walking them up close to your but and creating a vertical shin position.
  4. Take a deep breath into your stomach, brace your core, tuck your chin, push your hips up by driving through your heels.

I strongly urge you to watch the video for this to ensure proper execution.

Hip Thrust Programming Recommendations

Frequency: 1-2x per week

Sets & Reps: 2-4 sets of 4-10 reps

Workout Placement: Best done in the first 1-3 exercises of the session


Single Leg RDL

The single leg RDL is going to light your glutes up. This can build strength and muscle definition like no other.

Single Leg RDL Technique Points

  1. Take a big breath into your stomach and brace your core like I am about to punch you. Keep your shoulders away from your ears.
  2. Hinge back by pushing your hips back and your back leg back / up. Keep the weight close to your body as you go down do not reach your arms out. Your hands should stay close to your shins.
  3. Head down to about your mid shin level, keeping your back in a flat position.
  4. Head back up by pulling through your hamstring / glute and locking your hips / legs out as you stand up.

I strongly urge you to watch the video for this to ensure proper execution.

Single Leg RDL Programming Recommendations

Frequency: 1-2x per week

Sets & Reps: 2-4 sets of 6-12 reps

Workout Placement: Best done in the first 1-3 exercises of the session


Curtsy Lunge

This is not just for practicing your curtsy to show off your dress. These can build an incredible powerful and functional pair of gluteal muscles.

Curtsy Lunge Technique Points

  1. Set up feet shoulder width apart. Take a big breath into your core to brace your abs.
  2. Without twisting or rotating your hips, take one leg and put behind and diagonal to your other.
  3. Maintain a slight forward lean in your torso, keep your shin vertical, bend both knees and push back up through the side of your glute.

I strongly urge you to watch the video for this to ensure proper execution.

Curtsy Lunge Programming Recommendations

Frequency: 1-2x per week

Sets & Reps: 34 sets of 8-12 reps

Workout Placement: 3rd-5th exercise in the session


Go Implement The 3 Best Glute Building Exercises!

You are now equipped to have impressive buns of steel.

This article has given you what you need to build stronger and more defined gluteal muscles.

Your glutes, lower back, strength, and life partner will thank me.

If you have any questions on anything listed here feel free to shoot me an email at

If you are interested in working with me in one of my coaching programs head HERE to fill out the application form.

Hope this helped and happy glute working.