Why to grow the glutes?

Not only does a larger, more toned bum contribute to a healthy body image – it’s also an important part of our core strength. The glutes stabilise our hips and pelvis, resulting in a sturdy foundation for us to work from. They’re also capable of a variety of movements including hip extension, external hip rotation, transverse abduction and posterior pelvic tilt. Knowing the glutes are not just capable, but responsible, for such a variety of movements, it makes sense to train them using a wide range of exercises.

In this video, Jeff Nippard takes a look at the most effective ways to train glutes and grow a stronger, healthier butt, according to science. Take a look at the video, or scroll down for some key points.

Jeff glute program

Jeff notes that, as an experienced bodybuilder, he believes a pre-activation exercise or two is a useful way to engage the glutes and increase mind-muscle connection before beginning your main working sets. This can be achieved by doing light weight high reps on an abduction machine or doing some bodyweight squats with a resistance band around the knees.

Another important thing to note is that squats target the quads more than the glutes, so if it’s specifically the glutes you want to work, you’re better off with an exercise like the hip thrust which prioritises the glutes much more.

Best way to grow glutes

Jeff busts another common gym myth, which is the belief that the deeper you go when you squat, the more your glutes are engaged, which we now know not to be true. However, there are a number of things you can do to increase glute activation in the squat:

  1. Point your toes out more.
  2. Take a wider stance.
  3. Focus more on sitting back more (keep the shins more vertical), instead of dropping down.

A great exercise for the glutes is the single leg hip thrust. To further increase activation of the glutes, try to maintain a posterior (forwards and upwards) pelvic tilt throughout the movement.

Next is lunges, which again can be slightly altered to increase the activation of the glutes by:

  1. Doing forward walking lunges instead of stationary lunges.
  2. Taking larger strides.
  3. Minimising contribution from your back leg by driving your front heel into the floor as you step forward.

Back extensions are another exercise which can be used to train glutes, despite being primarily used as a back exercise. Jeff points out that you can increase glute activation by sightly bending the legs, instead of locking out the knees.

It’s also a good idea to finish, or at least include, an exercise for your glute medius. This could be hip abductions with a cable, lay on your side or holding a weight against your upper leg, like in the video.

So next time you’re training for a better butt, incorporate these exercises:

  1. Squats
  2. Lunges
  3. Hip thrusts
  4. Back extensions
  5. Hip abductions