5 Glute Exercises To Add To Your Workout

My glute strengthening workout post is one of my most popular posts on my blog and Pinterest, so I figured I would do a follow up and talk more about my favorite glute exercises.

While squats DO target your glute muscles, there are many other exercises that work them as much, if not more. Also, doing a proper barbell squat is challenging, and if you do not have correct form you are risking injury. I’ve seen many people load up the bar with a ton of weight, yet do not have the right form for it. Here are some of my tips for working on your squat form.

Anyway, let’s go through 5 exercises where you will definitely feel the burn!

Add these glute exercises into your workout routine to work that booty!

Hip Raises

There are so many ways to do these, that I guess this list actually won’t be 5 exercises ;)

If you’re just starting out, I suggest doing bodyweight hip raises. Lay on your back, lift your butt and hips up, squeeze your glutes and pause for a second, then lower. To make it more challenging, put your feeet on a bosu ball. To make it even MORE challenging, place your feet on a Swiss ball. I’ll show you that variation here:


When doing the exercise, really focus on squeezing your glutes and raising your hips as high as you can. You should feel this in your hamstrings and glutes.

Once you feel like you’re ready to add weight, you can do weighted hip raises with a barbell across your lap. I do these laying on the floor, but you can also do them with your shoulders on a bench (shown below):


I’m telling you, you will feel this in your hammies and glutes!

TRX Single Leg Squat

I am not yet able to do a single leg squat/pistol squat on my own, so I use a TRX. Trust me, you will still feel it the next day. The TRX stabilizes you until you’re able to do a single leg squat on your own. By using it, you’ll also get the added bonus of a little arm workout ;) Here’s how to do it:


As always, make sure to keep your chest up and shoulders back throughout the exericse. If you need one cue that is good for any exercise, it’s that one. Chest up, shoulders back.

Banded Walks

I talked about this in my previous glute strength post, but banded walks are a great way to target your sometimes neglected Glute Medius. It looks easy but it is not. I remember my personal training clients hating this exercise. I should actually do it more often because it is really important for runners to have a strong, stable Glute Medius, which helps with hip strength.

Front Foot Elevated Split Squat

This exercise will target more of your quad than glute, but you’ll still activate glutes as well. It’s a great way to make the normal split squat more challenging, and works on your stabilizer muscles as well.

Keeping your chest up and shoulders back, you’ll lower yourself down as low as you can, then come up. Your front foot wil be up on a step or small box.


Bulgarian Split Squats

These are my nemesis. I have a love/hate relationship with them. They are so challenging and I get so sore the next day…yet you know that means you’re getting stronger.

This exercise is the opposite of the front foot elevated. In this one, your back foot is elevated on a bench. If you don’t think you’re ready for this yet, you can do a rear foot elevated split squat first, where your rear foot is elevated on a small step or box (like the image above).

With Bulgarians, you have to make sure your knees are tracking in the right direction, and that your knee doesn’t go over your toes. You should be lowering yourself straigth down. It might take a few tries and adjustments to figure out the right position for you. Once you do figure it out, place a towel or water bottle where your foot was so you can easily get back into position after your rest.

I recommend starting off with just bodyweight, and working up to adding weights. This one really targets those glutes and is also another great exericse for runners!


The photo source for the image above is actually a link for “7 benefits of the Bulgarian split squat,” so you should check it out! Here’s one of their 7 reasons:

If you want to end up having a booty like the famous J.Lo, you better stop neglecting the Bulgarian split squat right away. It’s the best exercise to lift your butt.

Want to make these into a workout? I recommend splitting it up into separate days. Also, make sure you pair glute/hamstring dominant exericses with quad dominant exercises. For example, here’s a workout with some of the above exercises:

  • A1: Hip raises on Swiss Ball
  • A2: Front foot elevated split squat
  • B1: Banded walks
  • B2: TRX singl leg squat
  • Continue with other exercises (arms, abs, etc.)

Which of these do you regularly include into your routine?


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  1. These are great exercises for the glutes! I know well the hip raises as my trainer has me do them and what a workout! All good exercises for runners if you are looking for that.
    Tricia@MissSippipiddlin recently posted…From my Perspective on the Running CommunityMy Profile

  2. It has been a long time since I’ve done Bulgarian split squats, but they are super-effective. And smart to put something down where your foot is planted! Pinning this!
    Kate @KateMovingForward recently posted…What Will Your Holidays Look Like?My Profile

  3. I have never considered adding a barbell to hip raises. That’s a great idea!

  4. I have always had trouble with those hip raises on the ball. And I do love/hate lunges! I find that regular squats tend to work my quads as well as my butt! Great post!
    Elle recently posted…So Long, October… It’s Been Fun!My Profile

  5. Yes to all of the! I need to do banded side lunges more though.

  6. Love working my glutes and split squats are one of my faves too also walking lunges. I might need to throw those in tomorrow. :)
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Monster Dash-Just Run & Have FunMy Profile

  7. I’ve been doing the hip raises as part of physio to get my butt working and those are KILLER.
    Carmy recently posted…Running Etiquette – Passing At The Finish Line: Fair Game?My Profile

  8. All great exercises! I don’t think there’s such a thing as doing too many glutes exercises. Gotta keep the bum tight!

  9. Wow, this is awesome! I didn’t realize there were so many workouts for your glutes. I’ve done hip raises, but that’s about it. Time to mix it up!
    Janelle @ Run With No Regrets recently posted…Annapolis Half Marathon Training Week 2 RecapMy Profile

  10. Great string of gluten exercises!
    Mar @ Mar on the Run recently posted…Race Recap: MCM10K!My Profile

  11. Love all of these but I have totally slacked. Now that marathon training is over my strength training is back on! So excited to get back into it!!
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…So you want to BOSU?My Profile

  12. I love gluten raises – especially with weights! I actually do mine with my back on a stability ball rather than a bench.
    Janelle @ Wholly Healthy recently posted…Chewy Caramel Nut Cups {Refined Sugar Free}My Profile

  13. Those banded side walks are the glute exercises I love to hate!! Lol
    Lea recently posted…Life Lessons Learned from FitBit + KrowdFit & Jawbone UP GiveawayMy Profile


  1. […] 5 Glute Exercises to Add to Your Workout–I kind of love working my glutes! The bulgarian split squats are killer! […]

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