Top Glute Exercises

Strength, Activation, and Size

Discover the top glute exercises for increasing muscle size and strength.

The biggest job of the glutes is keeping our bodies upright and pushing us forward. You need strong glutes for proper pelvic alignment and propulsion during running and walking.

Strong glutes will help keep you healthy by supporting the lower back during a lift and help prevent knee injuries.

The glutes are gluteal muscles that form a group of three muscles which make up the  buttocks.

  • gluteus maximus
  • gluteus medius
  • gluteus minimus

The main functions of the gluteus maximus muscle is extension and external rotation of the thigh at the hip joint.

To develop an effective training workout program for a muscle group, you need to know the primary function the muscle performs.

The gluteus maximus can perform three functions at the hip:

  • extension
  • abduction
  • external rotation

Hip extension means you open or lengthen the front of your hip. To picture this, stand up straight and move your right thigh backward. This movement is lengthening your hip extensors. 

The gluteus maximus and the hamstrings are the primary hip extensors used to extend the hip.

When you move the leg away from the midline of the body, this is called hip abduction.

We use this action every day when we get out of bed, get out of a car, or take a step to the sideways.

The hip abductors are important muscles that help us stand, walk, and rotate our legs.

When the thigh and knee rotate outward away from the body, this is called external rotation of the hip. 

Actions that use external hip rotation include movements that require a person to rotate the pelvis while placing most of the body’s weight on one leg.

Every day actions of externally rotating the hips include running, squatting, and throwing a ball. You can also move with ease and reduce the risk of discomfort.

When you improve strength of the hip external rotators, you could go a long way to preventing knee valgus along with improving performance.

Try the following movements to work the big and small muscles that rotate your hip externally.

Exercise 1: Lying External Hip Rotation

If you feel that your hip external rotator muscles are generally weak, use this movement to make them stronger.

Lie down on a flat table. Start by lying on your side and be close enough to the edge so one leg hangs off.

Start by bending the knee of the leg on top and put it over the edge of the table so that you can release your foot toward the ground.

As your knee stays bent at 90 degrees, lift your foot up as high as you can. You are rotating at the hip.

Don’t lift your thigh off the table as you rotate.

Role of the Gluteus Maximus

The glute muscles help move the hip joint and stabilize the pelvis to maintain posture and balance.

14 Top Glute Exercises For Size, Strength, And Activation

Conventional Deadlift

Back Squat

Glute Bridge

Belt Squats

Cable Glute Kickback

Step Downs

Smith Machine Reverse Lunge

Banded Romanian Deadlift

Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat

Sumo Deadlift

Modified Curtsy Lunge

Walking Lunge

Lateral Lunge

Goblet Squat 

Here are the 14 Best Glute Exercises For Size, Strength, And Activation.

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