There are three muscles that make up your butt: the Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus. It is important to train these muscles on a regular basis for many reasons. Having weak glutes can be the cause of hip pain, back pain and even knee pain. It is very important to train your glutes PROPERLY so you will have less risk of injury.

The Gluteus Maximus is the largest and most dense muscle in your body.

Its primary function is hip extension, which is to move your leg backwards. The best gluteus maximus moves require as little knee movement as possible.


Having bent knee while performing an exercise takes out involvement of the hamstrings. Some of these moves include donkey kicks, bridging and hip thrusters. Hip thrusters involve twice as much muscle activity in the gluteus maximus over the barbell squat.

It is common to have glute amnesia when performing squats and lunges. Basically what this means is that it is hard to activate your glutes so your quads or hamstrings will do most of the work.

I myself am quad dominant and my quads have the tendancy to do all the work during squats and lunges. I started adding and learning to master the moves mentioned above and it has helped me improve my glute activation during squats and lunges.

We always hear that the heavier the weight the better the results.

Keep in mind that the muscles move the weight and not the other way around. If you’re not performing the exercise properly then the heavier weight will not benefit you, in fact, it can lead to injury.

So focus on making that mind to muscle connection to make sure you are using the correct muscles to execute each and every repletion. For example, it is important to drive the weight up through your heel when performing squats and lunges. I like to tell my glutes to do the work as I tell myself to push off the heel.

The primary function of the gluteus minimus and medius is hip abduction, which is to lift your leg away from your body. Depending on the position of the femur bone, they are also responsible for internal rotation and flexion. These muscles are smaller than the gluteus maximus and are very important muscles to strengthen as they support your hip joint.

Simple exercise such as fire hydrants and lying or standing hip abduction go a long way.  It is definitely best to start these types of moves using body weight only.

Once you progress it’s great to incorporate resistance bands or light ankle weights. I like to incorporate some abs and low back when training glutes because it is all part of your core. Follow the workout below for a glutes workout to kick your butt into gear!

glutes workout_2

Perform all exercises in a circuit with as little rest as possible.

1. Bridging (10 – 15 reps)

2. Swing sit ups (10 – 15 reps)

3. Bicycles (20 – 30 reps)

4. Birdogs (20 reps)

5. Fire hydrants (15 reps/side)

6. Donkey kicks (20 reps/side)

7. Supermans (12 – 15 reps)

8. Forearm plank hold (30 seconds)

9. Body weight squats (15 – 20 reps)

10. Alternating forward lunge (20 reps)

Rest and repeat circuit 2 more times.

Additional notes:

We are all built differently, so genetics will definitely play a part in how your glutes are shaped. There is no such thing as spot reduction, so remember diet plays a huge role as well. Consistency is the key if you want to feel and see the results.

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