The glutes, also known as “butt”, is an interesting pair of muscles. For most bodyparts, its pretty clear what exercises are required to make it stronger/bigger. You do pushups for chest, pullups for lats, etc. Glutes are kinda weird because there seems to be a lot of variability in what works for people and what doesnt. For most people, if they have squats and deadlifts as part of their normal workout routine then they have huge glutes and they do not need or want any additional glute exercises. On the other hand, I have seen people who are very strong at squats or leg press who have “paddle butts”. I can only guess that these people have weird glute insertions such that they are not used much in these exercises.
What to do? Its good to read what the various experts say but dont trust them blindly! If Arnold says that “exercise X” is the best for glutes but you have been doing it for 5 years and only have a paddle-butt to show for it then its time to experiment and see what gives you DOMS! If you dont feel anything in the glutes while working out and dont get Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness the next day then move on to the next exercise in the below list – simple as that! Here is my top 6 list for glute development with the most effective at the top:
- become a skater
- deadlifts or stiff legged deadlifts
- barbell hip thrust (shoulders on bench, barbell on hips, thrust hips upward)
- bulgarian split squat
I married someone who proved that #1 and #2 are the best combination ever for leg and glute development. Because of my knee issues, I cant really push hard enough on quad exercises to work the glutes so the exercise that works best for me is the stiff legged deadlift. I love my stiff legged deadlifts! Whats your favorite glutes exercise?
Scooby’s Favorite – Stiff Legged Deadlifts