Creating a strong, powerful physique is one of the primary goals in many people’s lives. In particular, the glutes are one of the biggest muscles in the whole body, responsible for a variety of different tasks and functions.
Although, the glutes often seem to be neglected as they are not one of the muscles that come to one’s mind when they picture a strong physique.
Sure, big arms and visible abs certainly make it look like someone is strong, but it’s not always necessarily the case.
In this article, we will be telling you the top 5 bodyweight exercises you can employ in order to grow and develop your glutes, all from the safety of your own home.
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Why Training Glutes is so Important
Like we mentioned previously, the glutes are one of the largest muscles in your whole body. This means that by neglecting your glutes, you are drastically limiting your overall strength and power.
Even if you aren’t concerned with having super strength, then there is still a plethora of different reasons as to why you should train your glutes.
For one, due to the fact that the glutes have such an enormous potential for growth, training glutes will allow you to eat more calories because of the extra nutritional requirements of the newly built muscle.
This can make losing weight much easier, as reducing your calories will no longer be such a chore.
Not only that but training your glutes can actually lead to increases in testosterone. This means that by training your glutes you will also have an easier time putting on muscle and gaining strength in other areas of your body too.
Overall, if you are planning to skip training any part of your body, the glutes should be the last on the list.
The Disadvantages That Come with Not Training Glutes
If you don’t train glutes, you are not only reducing the strength of your legs but of your body as a whole.
Strong glutes give a good base for strength to be built on. If you have a strong upper body but never train your glutes, you’ll have real issues with the lack of functional strength.
Furthermore, deciding not to train glutes will make you much less athletically capable, and you’ll never gain that sense of strength and fitness that you would otherwise have had.
As well as all of the points we mentioned above, not training glutes is also one of the quickest ways to ruin the look of your physique. If you are trying to build an aesthetic and capable body, neglecting your glutes will bring your look down as a whole and work against you.
Our Top 5 Bodyweight Exercises That Target Glutes
There are a wide variety of exercises that target the glutes, with some being better than others.
There’s a common misconception that you can’t get impressive glutes just by doing calisthenics or bodyweight exercises alone, but this is far from the truth.
Bodyweight exercises can provide more than enough stimulus for growth, given the right program and good nutrition.
In this section, we will give you our top 5 exercises for glutes that will both build muscle and strength.
You can’t have a list of the best bodyweight exercises for glutes without having squats take the number one squats.
Squats are the king of all exercises, and they have been shown to provide sufficient strain to build muscle in the whole legs, and even some of your upper body too.
A common mistake people make with squats is not increasing the volume or weight of squats as they gain strength. Because of this, it leads people to think they are remaining stagnant when in reality they just need to change some variables.
Once you can easily do 12 reps of bodyweight squats without breaking a sweat, it’s time to increase the volume.
Try and perform more squats every time you work out, and your glutes will begin to explode.
Although, eventually you’ll get to a point where you have to do up to 50 squats every set which can quickly become troublesome and time-consuming. Luckily there is a solution; increase the weight load.
Anything from putting a backpack on and filling it with a plethora of heavy books to adding resistance bands to make squats harder will do the trick.
Squats are all you need to get strong glutes, and they are the best exercise you can do for your legs as a whole.
#2. Hip Thrusts
Hip thrusts are an amazing exercise for glutes. In some ways, hip thrusts can target the glutes better because they are able to isolate them, taking away any additional help coming from other muscles.
This does not mean that hip thrusts are better than squats, it just makes them the perfect isolation exercises to combine with squats to further grow your glutes.
Although, if for whatever reason you are not interested in getting stronger legs as a whole and want to only focus on the glutes, then hip thrusts are the perfect exercise.
Lunges aren’t as good as building up the glutes as either of the previous entries, but they are a great exercise for when you want to switch things up, as well as being the perfect warm-up/down exercise.
Lunges tend to not put too much strain on your glutes, meaning you would have to do them for a while in order for them to provide enough stimulus or growth.
Although, they are perfect for when you have finished a tough leg workout and want to go just that extra mile to fully destroy your legs and glutes.
#4. Bulgarian Split Squats
Bulgarian split squats are one of the best muscle building exercises for the glutes, and could even replace squats as the main compound movement.
Although, Bulgarian spilt squats can be quite challenging to perform, and many beginners will struggle to do a few of these with good form.
This means that for intermediate and advanced lifters, Bulgarian split squats can give you an alternative option to regular squats, which may be a welcomed addition after doing squats for what seems like decades.
#5. Pistol Squats
If you are looking for a challenge or you are already an advanced athlete, then pistol squats might just be the exercise for you.
This one is not for beginners, in fact, even people who have being training calisthenics or working out for years may not even be able to perform one pistol squat.
However, once you build up the being able to perform a pistol squat, they will truly take your glutes to the next level, and you have stronger glutes than 90% of the population.
How To Create a Bodyweight Routine for Your Glutes
Now that we have been through some of the best exercises for glutes, it’s time to take a look at a few examples of programs that you could use.
It’s incredibly important to stick to an exercise program or routine if you are hoping to gain strength or build muscle. If you only decide to do a few workouts sporadically and without a schedule then you’ll end up wasting your time and making no progress.
In this section, we will give you some examples of workout routines you can try, separated into 3 groups based upon your current strength; beginner, intermediate, and advanced.
For all the following workouts, to get the optimum results you will want to have a 3-minute rest between every set and have at least 48 hours of rest between every workout.
- Squats; 12 reps x 5 sets
- Hip thrusts; 12 reps x 5 sets
- Squats; AMRAP (as many reps as possible) x 5 sets
- Lunges; AMRAP (as many reps as possible) x 5 sets
- Squats; 12 reps x 5 sets with a weighted vest or resistance bands
- Hip thrusts; 12 reps x 5 sets with a resistance band
- Pistol squats 12 reps (repeat for each leg) x 5 sets
- Hip thrusts; 12 reps x 5 sets working against a resistance band
What are you waiting for!
You’ve now got all the information you need to get started on building your glutes, now it’s up to you.
Consistency is key when trying to build muscle or gain strength, and without constant work, you will struggle to see any significant changes.
The workout examples we gave you were extremely simple, but they work.
Don’t feel like you have to stick with the example workouts we gave you. Feel free to make your own glute workout using all the exercises we mentioned throughout the article.
If you do decide to go with our routine and manage to make it past the advanced level, congratulations! We would give some more ways to progress after that, but if you have made it that far you more than likely know what you should be doing.
Founder of www.calisthenics-101.co.uk. Training calisthenics since 2012.
Currently working on: 30 second one-arm handstand, muscle-up 360, straddle planche.