Glute training is not just for the ladies. Whether you want to improve your back and knee health, lift more weight in the gym, improve sport performance or look good in a nice pair of jeans, you need to give your glutes some special attention.
If you want to take your glute strength and development to the next level, here are some glute workouts for men that will get you there.
Part 1: Fix the problem
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Unless you spend most of your day standing, there is a good chance your glutes don’t work right. If you spend the day in an office chair your hip flexors get short and your glutes get weak and lazy.
To fix this, do you 2 things: 1) Minimize sitting. Look for every opportunity to stand up. If you have a desk job, get a standing desk. 2) Relax the hip flexors and active your glutes as part of your warm-up by adding the following sequence:
1) Hip flexor roll with lacrosse ball: 30 sec each side
2) Rectus Femoris (front quad) roll: 30 sec each leg
3) Glute bridges: practice flexing the glutes: 2×5-8 (2 sets of 5-8 reps). Note: if you feel glute bridges in your low back or your feel your hamstrings cramp, your glutes are not firing properly.
Part 2: What you do
Effective training starts with picking the right exercises. Traditional leg exercises such as squats, deadlifts and lunges can all be great glute builders. You can also target them with less conventional exercises.
The barbell hip thrust made famous by glute expert Bret Contreras is the best and most direct glute exercise. Also, single leg deadlifts force you glutes to pull double-duty as they must extend the hip and stabilize the leg at the same time.
Part 3: How you do it
Getting great results is not just about what you do, but how you do it. If you cut your reps high on squats or fail to get to full lockout on the dead-lift (see this video for details: ) you will not properly target your glutes. You can also alter how you do these exercises.
For example if you move the weight on a squat from on your back to held in front of you, you can get a strong, hip lockout at the top of each rep.
If you take a longer, deeper stride on your lunges you will get more hip involvement. For exercises such as hip thrusts, try turning the toes out and spreading the knees as this will help to further active the glutes. It is also important to keep a strong mind-muscle connection.
Sample glute program:
Note: sets and reps do not include warm-up sets. Do 2-5 low-rep, progressively heavier warm-up sets before you main lifts.
Day 1: Heavy Lower Body
1) Deadlift: 2×5, rest 2-3 min between sets
2) Zercher Squat: 5×5, rest 2min between sets
3a) Hip Flexor Stretch: 4×30 sec each leg
3b) Barbell Hip Thrust: 4×6-8 (use stretching time as your rest time)
2-3 days later…
Day 2: Rep Lower Body
1) Single Leg Kettlebell Deadlift: 3×8-10, rest 30-45 seconds between legs and sets
2) Long-Stride Walking Lunges: 3×6-8, 90sec to 2min rest
3) Kettlebell Swings: 3-4×15-20, 2min rest
4) Double Kettlebell Front Squat: 3×15-20, 2 min rest