Lately the glutes have been one of my favorite bodyparts. They are the biggest muscle in the body and when really developed they stick out and give you that gorilla look. Its a 3D look that makes you look bigger from the sides and the back as well. Most women are really trying to bring their glutes up and it makes sense because it contributes to the hourglass look and in my opinion if a woman has some nice hips and glutes then she will automatically be more physically attractive in my eyes. Females with huge glutes and hamstrings look very powerful in a similar way how men with big shoulders and traps look powerful. Big, strong and sexy glutes are a must have for the ultimate physique.
Men shouldn’t be scared to hammer their glutes hard either because if you have big quads and hamstrings but you lack glutes then your lower body will never have that thick look.
If you are an athlete then its a must that you hammer your glutes hard too because that is where your powerhouse is. If you want to jump high, run fast, prevent lower body injuries and stuff of that nature then training those glutes hard isn’t optional, its mandatory.
On your journey to getting bigger glutes it is very important that you do not make the mistakes that I am about to mention below or else it could really compromise your results and you won’t have optimal progress.
1) NOT LIFTING HEAVY ENOUGH & FOCUSING ON GETTING STRONGER IN A VARIETY OF REP RANGES
One of the biggest mistakes that people who are trying to get big glutes make is that they do countless amounts of fluff exercises like cable donkey kicks. Now I am not an ignorant trainer who is going to say that any exercise is bad because any wise trainer knows that every exercise is simply a tool and you use the right tool for the right job, but if you aren’t doing the essential exercises then you are wasting your time. The person busting their ass on heavy squats and Deadlift variations will always have bigger glutes than the person doing light abduction machine work and cable donkey kicks with 40lb.
Not only is it important to do the big compound movements for the lower body, but it is also very important to get strong on these movements overtime. If you are squatting 225×10 this year and by next year you are using the same weight for the same amount of reps then don’t expect to look much different.
All of this talk on squatting brings me to my next point.
2) NOT SQUATTING DEEP ENOUGH
If you want to get big glutes then it is absolutely essential that you squat as low as you can while maintaining a neutral spine. If you could go below parallel in depth while keeping a neutral spine then that is fine. The reason why you want to squat deep is because the glutes get stretched a lot in the bottom position of the whole and this doesn’t happen when you do quarter squats. As far as touch-and-go reps vs pause reps go, I am honestly a big advocate of doing pause reps which basically means that you pause at the bottom position for at least 1 second so that the glutes and lower body will be doing more of the work as opposed to momentum.
3) NOT INCORPORATING ANY SUMO STANCE WORK IN YOUR PROGRAM
So you do your heavy squats and conventional Deadlifts, you are pretty much covered right? Wrong! If bigger glutes is the goal then you should do some sumo Deadlifts or sumo squats from time to time because they increase the glute activation even more. I say from time to time because if you only do sumo stance work then you will most likely develop some sort of groin pain overtime which is no good so we don’t want to abuse it either.
Aside from the squat and Deadlift variations, one sumo stance exercise that I like a lot is the cable sumo pull-through because the glute activation is absolutely ridiculous!
4) NOT HITTING THE GLUTES WITH DIRECT WORK
So you do your heavy squats, Deadlifts and you also incorporate sumo stance work as well, but you still aren’t covered. They say that the back squat is the king of quad exercises and Romanian Deadlifts are the king of hamstring exercises, but I think that Hip Thrusts are the king of glute exercises because you could overload the glutes with more weight. If you are not doing Hip Thrusts on a regular basis then you are leaving a lot of glute potential on the table and you may be missing out on one of the best glute exercises out there. Glute Bridges are also a great exercise, but I personally like the Hip Thrust better because the range of motion is bigger and I feel a better glute contraction as well, but the Glute Bridge is still a solid choice as well.
As far as when you should do the Hip Thrust, you can do it at the beginning of your lower body workout if you want, but I personally like to squat or Deadlift heavy beforehand and then I will most likely move on to Hip Thrusts. There are a million ways to program them, the important thing is that you incorporate some direct glute work.
The heavy band Hip Thrust is also a great option for if you want to finish off your glutes with some high rep sets of 50-100 reps to finish them off completely. Remember that the glutes respond well to a variety of rep ranges so don’t be scared to do heavy Hip Thrusts for sets of 5 and don’t be scared to do band hip thrusts for sets of 50-100 to finish off either.
5) YOU’RE NEGLECTING UNILATERAL WORK
I have written several articles on unilateral work so I won’t go over all of the benefits because that’s a whole other article altogether but the important thing is that you do unilateral work for your quads, hamstrings and glutes because this will help prevent injuries, add extra volume without hurting the spine and help maximize glute development due to the nature of the movements.
My favorite unilateral glute building exercises are:
• Bulgarian Split Squats (with or without a deficit for the front foot)
• Reverse DB Lunges
• Single leg Hip Thrusts
• Single Leg Back Extensions (45 degree or horizontal bench)
Another benefit of the unilateral work is that you will be frying one glute at a time which is good because this means that each one will get your attention and be overloaded as well. The important thing is that you incorporate atleast 2 unilateral exercises in each of your program if you want to take your glutes to the next level.
6) NOT SQUEEZING YOUR GLUTES HARD ENOUGH AT THE TOP OF EVERY REPETITION
Last but not least, it is important that you make sure that you squeeze your glutes as hard as you possible can at the top of all of your Squat, Deadlift, Hip Thrust and Lunge variations because this will bring more blood-flow to that area and will result in more muscle activation, better pumps and more results down the line. You can’t grow a muscle if you don’t feel it working so if you squeeze your glutes at the top of every rep then it is like a constant reminder that you are trying to train those glutes optimally.
I hope that you’ve learned something from these tips and if you are interested in maximizing glute and hamstring development then be on the lookout for my book called “Glutes of a Goddess & Heaven Sent Hamstrings” being released before the summertime where I talk about everything that you need to know in order to really develop these muscle groups optimally.