The health and fitness industry is taking the world by storm. Thanks to its boom, a lot of people have developed an obsession with working out. No wonder the gyms are packed even though a world pandemic is at play! Despite the common interest of working out, people have different workout goals. Some may want to lose belly fat, arm fat, or postpartum fat. On the other hand, others may want to build muscles and glutes. Glutes are among the core focus of most men today. It might explain an increase in searches like ‘the best glute exercises for men’. While it may seem easy to access such information, it can actually get quite tricky. Which is why we did all the legwork for you and squeezed the essential information about ‘can’t go wrong’ glute exercises into this great read.
What Are The Best Glute Exercises For Men?
You might have heard or even participated in various debates about the best glute exercises for men. Many think the best glute workouts are those that lead to muscle soreness. However, the truth is that the best exercises are those that are safe, practical, and effective.
So, before selecting glute exercises, visit your doctor. They will advise you on the best possible move, especially if you have pre-existing conditions like osteoporosis and knee injuries.
Additionally, schedule a meeting with your preferred gym or fitness instructor. Let them demonstrate how each glute exercise should be done. With that said, let us evaluate the best glute exercises.
Most men often want to work out using weights. The idea of cranking out several sets using some weights can be a huge morale booster and motivator. Here are incredibly efficient hamstring and glute exercises for men using equipment or weights:
There are various types of weightlifting males can perform. Among them, the most popular one is the deadlift. It is one of the best workouts for building the glutes, quads, and hamstrings. So try the deadlift if you want a workout that works the greater part of your lower body. However, you have to get the doctor’s okay first.
A deadlift is a lift made by an individual from a standing position, in the absence of any other equipment. It means that no other object, for instance, a bench, can be used for further support.
Like any other exercise, it is quite common for men to perform this glute workout incorrectly. So, it is pivotal you learn how to do deadlifts before trying them. It may save you from sustaining multiple injuries.
Here are the correct steps indicating how to correctly perform a deadlift:
- Assume a standing position, with your feet hip-width apart.
- Hold the bar directly in front of you. If you have sweaty hands, wear gloves to avoid the bar slipping off.
- Slowly move your hips back as you lower the bar slightly below your knees. Engage your core and tighten it while doing this. Your back should also be straight to avoid back pains or spine damages.
- Slowly lift the bar as you return to your initial stance.
- You can do at least one set of 10 reps.
Hip thrusts are other glute exercises men can try as they call for the squeezing of glutes. They also engage the hamstrings, lower back, and core. If you have the okay card from your gym instructor to use weights, then try the barbell hip thrusts.
The extra weight from the barbells will engage your gluteus maximus more. Nonetheless, avoid using heavier weights that make it difficult or impossible to do a hip thrust. Always consult with your gym instructor to determine what weight you can handle (2).
The consultation will minimize injury risks from excessive weight. You can start with the 5-pound dumbbell and then walk your way up the ladder.
How To Correctly Do Hip Thrusts?
Weighted hip thrusts are acknowledged as quite effective in increasing glute strength. However, they have to be done correctly for them to yield results. Here is the process of doing a weighted hip thrust correctly:
- Sit on the floor and have your back against the bench’s edge. Your feet must be pressed on the ground. Place your barbell, weighted plate, or dumbbell across your waist. Again, pick a comfortable weight to avoid biting off more than you can chew.
- Push yourself up from the heels to lift your hips as high as possible, and towards the ceiling. Engage your core as you do this and tuck your chin to prevent backaches.
- When lifting your hips, squeeze your glutes. Slowly lower your behind to the initial position. You should not touch the floor, instead, rest a few inches from the ground.
- Repeat this and perform at least three sets each with eight or ten reps. Rest between each set for at least one minute.
The third exercise ranking among the best glute exercises for men, dumbbells involved, is the dumbbell offset reverse lunge. It targets muscles in the glutes, calves, hamstrings, and quads. The exercise also helps in building strength in the shoulders.
Although it resembles the basic reverse lunge, it differs due to the incorporation of a weight. Nonetheless, this is not to mean that it is complicated. It is quite easy. If done correctly, you may reap enormous benefits (1).
How To Do The Dumbbell Offset Reverse Lunge?
You only need to follow these steps to correctly do a dumbbell offset reverse lunge:
- Hold a dumbbell of appropriate weight on your right hand. Your left arm should be resting by your side.
- Take one step back using your right foot and then slowly start lowering your body. You should lower until the point your front knee is bent at least 90 degrees. Most people make one huge mistake at this point. It is bending their knee past their toes. The correct form is bending the knee slightly above your toe.
- Pause in this stance for some seconds and then push back up to the initial position. Repeat this and later alternate your legs.
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The Elevated Glute Bridge
The elevated glute bridge exercise is another tremendous glute and hamstring sculpting exercise. It is also quite easy to do. It only requires an elevated platform or bench and/or dumbbells. The inclusion of dumbbells solely relies on your fitness level, health, and instructor’s go signal. Therefore, never incorporate any weights in this exercise without meeting any of these criteria.
How To Do The Elevated Glute Bridge?
Like any other exercise, you will need to first get the doctor’s okay. Once you get it, follow these steps:
- Lay down on your back while facing your bench or elevated platform. If you are doing this exercise from home, your elevated platform could be either a bench or couch. Lift your legs and place them both on your high surface.
- Place both hands on the floor and use them as support to lift your hips towards the ceiling. As you do this, remember to squeeze your glutes. During the lift, your physique should create a straight line right from your neck to your knees.
- Pause for a few seconds, and then lower your back to the initial position. Repeat this process until you complete your reps. Again, the reps and sets you do of this exercise will be determined by your gym instructor. They might also vary depending on your fitness level.
Variations Of The Elevated Glute Bridge
There are two variations of this exercise that men could try out. They include:
The Intermediate Progression
In this exercise form, an individual transitions to the one-leg glute bridge. So, one foot is placed on the elevated platform while the other is raised towards the ceiling. After doing the given glute bridges on one leg, shift and repeat on the other leg.
The Advanced Progression Variation
In this exercise form, you have the power to incorporate weights such as the barbell or dumbbell. So place these weights across your hips. It is quite challenging, and you might feel the burn almost immediately. Again, try this variation after getting a go signal from both your doctor and gym instructor.
Luckily, you do not have to go to the gym to build your glutes. You can still build perfect glutes from home using these exercises:
One of the most beneficial and less injurious lower body exercises for men is the step-up. It is perfect for building glutes and increasing glute and quad strength. It perfectly fits all strength and fitness levels. It means that beginners should not shy away from this exercise.
Additionally, step-ups also aid in strengthening each leg independently. As a result, you attain muscle mass uniformly on both legs. Doing a circuit of step-ups is also vital as it improves your balance. The increased balance arises from your improved and superior strength (3).
The good news about having better balance is that you are less likely to wobble and injure yourself. Despite all these benefits, experts recommend doing step-ups several times a week.
They also recommend doing three sets of 10 reps of step-ups. Similarly, they advocate for beginners to use no weights when starting this program.
How To Do Step-Ups?
Before kicking off, ensure you have somewhere to step up to. The easiest and most accessible thing at home is the staircase or bench. However, if you have a plyo box, use it. After identifying this, follow these steps to the latter:
- Stand tall, facing either your bench, staircase, or plyo box. Your back must be straight, and your arms should be resting by your sides.
- Extend your whole right foot on the bench. Using this leg as the core, bring both feet on the bench.
- Pause for some seconds, and then use your left leg to step back to the initial position.
- Repeat this several times, then switch to your left leg.
The squat is another perfect exercise for men to do at home. It actively engages and works the glutes, quads, and hamstrings. There are various squat variations men can do. However, it is essential to start with the basic squat.
Squatting The Proper Way
Despite being easy to perform, it is also highly likely to be done incorrectly. Here is a step-by-step guide detailing how to do a proper squat:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing forward, and arms resting on your sides.
- Brace your core, keep you back straight and chest up. Begin to slowly bend your knees as if you are sitting. As you do this, you will automatically push your hips back and reach your glute muscles. Pause for some seconds and use your heels to press firmly on the ground.
- Slowly stand to your initial position. Repeat the procedure to perform another squat. Do at least ten reps of this exercise.
Most men would love the idea of building glutes day and night. However, sometimes, you have to sit back. It could be due to medical reasons or having either injured or tight glutes. Exercising with or without weights can lead to extensive pain. The pain is more excruciating if you have injured or tight glutes.
So, you will experience pain in the pelvis, knees, lower back, and hamstrings. To avoid torturing yourself, just pause exercising. Visit the doctor for a checkup to determine the extent of your pain and condition.
The physician can then recommend either some medications or exercises to relieve the pain and symptoms. Likewise, they might recommend stretching exercises. This is in case the problem is having tight non-injured glutes, then the doctor will jot down the best stretching exercises for you to try.
Expert Endorsed Tips On Building The Best Glutes
There is much more to glutes than merely pinpointing the best glute workouts. Here are other tips to apply to benefit enormously from your glute exercises:
Identify What Works For You
Just because your instructor built their glutes with weighted hip thrusts does not mean they will work for you. Remember that an exercise may work for someone else but not you. So, do not just jump into any glute exercise.
Do your research. Determine what exercise would best meet your workout needs. Likewise, identify what glute exercise is less injurious as it may be more practical for you.
Take It Easy With Weights
The aspect that makes weightlifting much more effective is you working yourself up the chain. It means that you start exercising with smaller weights before taking up massive ones.
However, the problem is that nowadays, most people skip the beginners’ fitness level. So, you will find most beginner men using weights intended for the intermediate or advanced level.
It may be a good feeling knowing you can work out with dumbbells of massive weights. However, the aftermath is in the real sense injurious. So, start from the ground up. Also, consult before advancing the weights you use.
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Be Patient With Yourself
It is common to want to give up on an exercise regime. It is especially the case when you hardly see the results. However, before doing so, reflect. Remember that workout results are dependent on several factors, such as your genes.
It means that you cannot speed up your results by overdoing these glute exercises. Instead, you can only be patient with yourself. Trust the process. Consistency and persistence never go unrewarded.
Do Not Overdo It
Overdoing your glute exercises will not have them built overnight. Instead, it leads to more problems. You will become extra tired, irritable, and have very sore muscles. Down the line, these issues might demotivate you from exercising. So, take it easy.
Like any exercise, you need some time off to allow your muscles to recover. So, create a workout plan, and involve the help of your instructor while creating it. In this plan, indicate your free and exercising days. It will help in maintaining balance in your life. Again, the schedule will give you exercise discipline and boost your workout morale.
Take Care Of Your Back
If done wrongly, most glute exercises can lead to backaches. These include workouts such as deadlifts and squats. So, always take note of how to properly position your back when doing any of these exercises.
You also have to learn the positioning of other parts. For example, how to place your feet during a squat. Poor positioning can also contribute to further back pain. So, if an exercise asks you to place your feet shoulder-width apart, do so. It will lessen your vulnerability to backaches.
The glute exercises you do and how you do them matter a lot. You might be doing the right thing but in the wrong form and not realize it. So, take your time to learn how to correctly do these glute exercises.
More importantly, remember to watch the weights you use and your workout intensity. Using heavier weights and over-exercising do not guarantee you faster results. Instead, they increase your susceptibility to injuries.
Lastly, consult with your doctor or physical therapist before starting any glute exercise program. They will verify if your body is fit for exercise and to what extent.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Effective Exercises for Targeting the Gluteus Medius (2012, researchgate.net)
- Gluteus Maximus Activation during Common Strength and Hypertrophy Exercises: A Systematic Review (2020, researchgate.net)
- Strengthening the Gluteus Medius Using Various Bodyweight and Resistance Exercises (2016, researchgate.net)