There’s a lot to love about having strong glutes. They help us with athletic feats like running faster and jumping higher, but also everyday activities like climbing stairs or getting into and out of a car. (Also: They don’t hurt when it comes to rocking a pair of jeans.)
“Because the glutes sit at the center of our body, they are involved in most of our fundamental movements,” explains Daniel Richter, a certified personal trainer and the co-founder of StrengthLog. “As we age, our glutes are one of the most important muscles for keeping our freedom of movement, including the ability to do everyday movements such as simply getting out of a chair.”
Seeing as we spend so much of our days sitting in front of computers or in a car, working the glutes keeps them from lengthening out and starting to feel overly tight, says Heather Carroll, a certified personal trainer and owner of A Balanced Life Training. She adds that glutes help keep our pelvis in line with our spine to maintain optimal posture. “The glute muscles work directly with the core muscles keeping the pelvis pointing straight down to the ground instead of tilting back or tilting forward,” she says.
Fortunately, there are seemingly endless ways to strengthen our backsides. But what’s actually effective? When it comes to the best way to strengthen the glutes—which consist of the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus—many of us aren’t actually sure what exercises to do. We asked three personal trainers to fill us in on their favorite moves for maximal results that you can do on your own at home or in the gym.
The Best Glute Exercises You Can Do at Home
Richter says the classic squat is a great staple in any lower body training program. “The squat works your glutes in a long range of motion, stretching your muscles under load in the bottom of the squat,” he says. “Working a muscle in a long range of motion under load has been proven important for muscle growth and strength.” Science backs him up: A 2019 study demonstrated that performing deep squats resulted in twice the improvements seen with half squats, despite training with lighter loads.
- Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart, shoulders back, chest up, and core engaged.
- Bend your knees and sit your hips all the way back as if reaching your butt back to sit in a chair while driving your arms forward in front of you for counterbalance.
- When your thighs are parallel to the floor, press through your heels to stand back up.
- Complete 20 to 50 reps.
2. Hip thrusts
Hip thrusts, which can be performed with a barbell or a hip thrust machine, use …….