How To Build Bigger Glutes
In this article I will explain how to build bigger glutes. I will go through the best exercises from my experience for building up thick and tight glutes. Traditionally getting bigger glutes has been something that women have devoted a lot of time to through exercise. Men generally don’t put the same amount of time in to dedicated glute training, however this has been changing in recent years. Bigger and stronger glutes are important not just in full body movements in the gym, but also in daily life. Stronger glutes can help to improve your overall mobility and make exercises easier as well.
Low Bar Squat
One of the best exercises for building up bigger and stronger glutes is the low bar squat. As the name suggests this is a barbell squat with the bar positioned lower on the back, it is a version of the squat that is highly recommended by Mark Rippetoe. Mark Rippetoe is well known for his book “Starting Strength” in which he explains how to properly execute the low bar squat for new trainees.
The low bar squat works the posterior chain a lot harder than a high bar squat. With the low bar version you are leaning over more to keep the bar over the middle of your foot, as such you can engage the glutes a lot more by sitting back more. This exercise when done over a long period in a progressive manner will work wonders for putting on size and strength in your glutes. If you see any low bar squatter squatting monstrous weights you will notice one thing – they all have a massive ass!
Using The 45 Degree Back Extension Bench
I talked about the 45 degree back extension bench in a previous post about lower back training. You can also use the same piece of equipment to train your glutes really hard. In order to hit the glutes hard, position your feet into a very wide stance on the foot pads and point them out. The starting position is to put your upper back into flexion whilst ensuring that your lower back is neutral. You would then grab a dumbbell and hold it close to you, go down keeping your lower back in extension and come back up using just your hip drive. A crass cue but one that works well is to think about when you are having sex and driving with your hips. This is the same motion you want to use on this exercise when coming back up from the bottom position.
In doing so you will really activate the glutes hard. High rep sets will have your glutes on fire, if you really want to fry your glutes more then you can pause and hold the contraction on every rep for a few seconds. Consistent use of this exercise in a progressive overload manner will result in bigger and stronger glutes. Period.
Bulgarian Split Squat
The Bulgarian split squat is another great exercise that really hits the glutes hard. It is very simple to execute, you stand in front of a flat bench and take a couple short strides forward. Then position one foot behind you onto the bench, squat down until you feel the full stretch and come back up. It’s a great exercise for building up glute strength and size. I like to perform this exercise using resistance bands but it can also be performed by holding a pair of dumbbells. The reason I prefer to use resistance bands is that it makes it easier to balance as you can just stand on the bands with one leg, pull them up and hold onto them with both hands. Pictured below is how you would perform them with resistance bands. This is the late great boybuilder John Meadows. I call these Meadow’s Bulgarians as his way of doing these is very unique. In this example he is using a chair instead of a workout bench. One of the benefits of this exercise is it can be done at home, there have been many instances where I have done bulgarian split squats at home using bands.
One Legged RDL’s
Another good exercise for hitting the glutes hard is the one legged RDL. As this is a single leg exercise you don’t need to use crazy heavy weights and so there is less risk of injury. In addition this movement recruits the glutes and hamstrings heavily. You have two options when performing this, you can do it in a split stance fashion where your back foot is on the tips of your toes. Or you can do it with your back foot above the ground, this way is a lot harder as you have to work to stabilise your body a lot more to prevent yourself from losing balance. I personally prefer the split stance RDL as you have the best of both worlds – benefits of a single leg movement as well as not having too much instability.
The next exercise I want to mention are hip thrusts. They can be performed with a barbell, if you want to use minimal equipment you can do them with bodyweight or just using one leg. In my view this exercise is good from an aesthetic point of view and will build bigger and tighter glutes. But it is not an exercise which has great carryover to the deadlift, as an example. I would recommend throwing this exercise in purely for aesthetic purposes. Pictured below is how you would perform the exercise, it is simple and is essentially self explanatory.
In this article I have outlined the best exercises from my experience for building bigger glutes. Have bigger and stronger glutes will not only serve you well aesthetically but also improve your overall mobility in daily everyday movements.
If you have any questions about the exercises I have mentioned in this article please leave me a comment below. Likewise if you perform different glute exercises in your training please let me know. As always, enjoy your training!