Regardless of your fitness goals, compound glute exercises should be an essential part of your fitness routine, as a good glute workout doesn’t just make you look good, but has practical health benefits too.
This is because your glutes are one of your biggest and strongest muscle groups so when you build them, you’re actually strengthening your lower body considerably.
Glute exercises will make you stronger overall and improve your performance when doing other exercises too!
However, compound glute exercises aren’t the be all and end all, and a variety of different glute exercises goes a long way to building strength in your glutes quickly.
We recommend a combination of compound glute exercise and isolation glute exercises, particularly the latter types of exercises if you find building your glutes a challenge.
Assisted glute exercises wouldn’t go amiss either, though we recommend saving those for the end of your workout.
Below you’ll find the best isolated glute exercises, compound glute exercises, and assisted glute exercises, as well as some more tips on how to build your glutes faster. Let’s get into it!
Glute Isolation Exercises
While some women can build their glutes with just squats and therefore don’t really need glute isolation exercises, if that’s not you then don’t panic.
We’ve got you covered! Still, if building glutes comes easy for you, we hope that you can still get a lot of these exercises, because focusing on your glutes is never a bad thing!
If you’re not too sure what ‘isolation’ means, it is basically an exercise that focuses on a particular muscle or muscle group, normally using a single joint movement.
Let’s take a look at some glute isolation exercises that should be loaded with as much weight as you can handle safely.
- Cable kickbacks
- Glute bridges
- Hip thrusts
- Kneeling squats
- Single leg Romanian deadlift
Compound Glute Exercises
Compound exercises focus on a variety of muscle groups and take the most overall energy and strength to perform. This is why compound glute exercises should be your first port of call.
Still, compound exercises are not for everyone, as some may struggle to achieve adequate glute engagement. If you’re one of those people, don’t worry.
Supplementing compound exercises with assisted and isolation exercises should do wonders, but this doesn’t mean you should forget about compound exercises all together.
Compound exercises are still a chance for you to train your mind-muscle connection. Let’s take a look at some of the best compound glute exercises.
- Kneeling squats
- Romanian deadlift/single-leg Romanian deadlift
- Split squats
- Sumo squats
- Weighted step-ups.
Assisted Glute Exercises
Assisted glute exercises should be performed when your workout is coming to an end, and are a combination of compound and isolation exercises.
What differentiates them from the above exercises is the fact that they are carried out on a machine that helps the load become more manageable.
The only exception to this is the stepper, as this is essentially a cardio workout but is just as beneficial as a glute finisher.
The examples below should still be loaded with a weight that is challenging but safe. It’s a common saying in the gym that growth happens in the last few reps, so resist the urge to slow things down as you reach the finish line!
- Abductor machine
- Cable kick-backs
- Hack squat machine
- Hip extension machine
- Leg press
- Lying leg curl machine
- Smith machine squat/kneeling squat
Some Tips For Building Bigger Glutes Quickly
While this may sound like the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve, the truth is there is no set timeframe in which you need to build your glutes… or your other muscles, for that matter!
Give yourself about 8-12 weeks of consistent exercises to notice any huge changes in the appearance of your glutes.
Building bigger glutes takes time, and even after you’ve built your glutes to the level you want, you’ll need to keep training consistently if you want to maintain your hard work.
Increase The Weights With Every Workout
One of the easiest and most effective methods of building muscles is known as double progression. Use a weight until you reach the top of your rep range for one set, then upgrade to a larger weight.
For example, if you squat 95 pounds for 6 reps on your first 4-6 rep set, you should then add an extra 5 pounds to each side of the bar for the following set.
On the next set if you can achieve at least 4 reps with 105 pounds, that should be the new weight you work with until you can upgrade it to 6 reps, move up, etc.
If you get less than 3 reps though, lower the weight added by 5 pounds (100 pounds) and give the next set a try. If you still get below 3 reps, lower the weight to the original 6-rep load and stick with that until you can achieve two 6-rep sets, and then boost the weight on the boost.
Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard
Try not to fall into the trap of ‘blasting’ your glutes with an excessive amount of sets every workout and pushing every set to muscle failure, i.e. the point where you’re unable to move the weight no matter how much you push against.
Less is sometimes more, as it may actually impede your progress in building strength in your glutes.
Rather, you should end most of your sets around 1-2 reps before you reach the point of muscle failure.
It’s important to keep in mind that your glute workout shouldn’t be harder than it needs to be. What’s important is to make sure your workouts are loaded strategically.
Plus, the easier your workouts are, the better. Concentrate on a few essential moves and then build up the weight, as long as you can feel your glutes working with every rep, you’re doing something right!
Lastly, remember that with practice you can (and should) add extra exercises and weight.