After sitting at your desk all day, it can feel like a chore to get moving again. But once you do, trust us, your glutes–and your back–will thank us later!
That’s because your glute muscles help support and stabilize your upper body. Not only that, but when you have strong glute and leg muscles, it can enhance your overall fitness and your ability to easily perform everyday activities. Plus, it gets you feeling good and ready to tackle challenges head-on.
With a targeted workout guided by expert Peloton instructors, you can achieve your glute health and fitness goals.
What’s covered in this article:
Benefits of Glutes Workouts
Tips for Your Glutes Workout
8 Home Workout Exercises for Strong Glutes
Why Strong Glutes are Important
When it comes to glute training, it’s beneficial to get a clear understanding of what and where the gluteal muscles are. Knowing what you’re targeting can help you find the right exercises for your goals. Here are the three muscle groups that make up your glutes:
Gluteus maximus – the largest portion of your glutes, with a quadrangular shape (similar to a rectangle, but in 3D). It plays a prominent role in maintaining your upper body in an upright posture.
Gluteus medius - the muscle lying between the gluteus maximus and gluteus minimus. It is one of the main pelvic stabilizer muscles used while standing or walking. It works in tandem with the hip to move the thigh in two directions: internally, so the knee and foot twist inward, and its opposite motion, abduction, where the thighs open away from the body, with the knees outward.
Gluteus minimus – the smallest muscle, which predominantly acts as a hip stabilizer and abductor of your hip.
Once you know what you’re working with, you can start building strong glutes with specific exercises recommended by certified trainers like our team of experts at Peloton.
Benefits of Glutes Workouts
The great thing about glutes exercises is that they offer key benefits in your everyday life. For example, a glutes workout tailored to your current condition and goals can:
Improve Your Posture – Strengthening your glute muscles helps to stabilize your pelvis and improve hip area movement, which, in turn, encourages proper alignment of your spine. Strong glutes also provide greater support for your lower back.
Increase Your Back Strength – Back pain, especially chronic lower back pain, is a common problem. However, back pain can be helped with exercise that stretches and boosts the supportive tissue around your lower back. This is precisely what a glute workout does.
Prevent Injury During Your Workouts – Not only does your gluteus maximus provide pelvic and hip stability, but it also attaches to your iliotibial (IT) band–the strong, thick band of tissue that runs down the outside of your thigh, extending all the way from your hip bones to the top of your shinbone. Strengthening your glutes means extra support when extending, abducting, and rotating your hip.
Enhance Your Core Strength – Your core muscles are those that surround and protect your spine, hips, and stomach. They include your abdominal and lower back muscles. By engaging your glute muscles during a workout, you naturally help build core strength to help assist you throughout your day.
Tips for Your Glutes Workout
According to Peloton trainer Selena Samuela, “Your lower body houses some of the largest muscle groups in your body. So, the stronger you make your glutes and legs, the stronger you are overall.”
Motivation is key to achieving your glute training goals. Or, as Peloton instructor Tunde Oyeneyin sums up, “Your mind is your strongest muscle. When you are about to do a squat, it’s your quads and glutes that initiate the movement–but first, your mind has to tell you that you’re capable of doing it.”
With that in mind, here are several tips to get the most out of your glute exercises:
Add a warm-up to your routine. Prepare your glutes for higher intensity movements, with one or two warm-up exercises.
If you are new to exercising, start with a smaller number of repetitions. You can always increase your reps as your strength improves. An appropriate amount of reps will depend on your fitness goals. The key, however, is to target each of the glute muscles and progressively add more weight and intensity.
Maintain proper posture and squat form. For squats, maintain a tall posture with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and a slight bend in your knees. Your shoulders should be directly over your hips creating a stacked position. Then, evenly distribute your weight on your feet from heel to toe, to create a stable position.
Be sure to engage your core muscles when performing your glute exercises.
Stop if you experience pain. If you experience any pain while performing a glutes exercise, discontinue the movement immediately.
Be compassionate about your physical limitations. Avoid or limit glute exercises if you are healing from surgery, suffering from back, abdomen, knee, or ankle injury, or if you are in the final stage of pregnancy or have just given birth.
8 Home Workout Exercises For Strong Glutes
Squats are not only one of the best exercises to target the glutes, but they also work your hips, thighs, calves, and core muscles.
To start, stand with your feet hip-distance apart. For added intensity, hold weights at torso level or at your sides. Next, bend your knees and lower into the squat keeping your knees behind your toes and your torso upright and contracted. To stand, press into your heels. Repeat for two to three sets of eight to 15 reps.
Peloton class recommendation: 10-Minute Core Strength with Jess Sims (Intermediate)
The reason lunges are an effective exercise is that, in a staggered stance, you have to use your glutes to stabilize your body. In addition, the stance forces the glutes on the front of your legs to work harder while also working other muscles, such as your hamstrings, quads, and calves.
Start by standing with one foot forward and one foot back, about three feet apart. Now, bend both of your knees and lunge straight down, sending your back knee toward the floor. Avoid lunging forward over your front toes, and keep your front heel on the ground. Then, press into your heel to stand. Repeat for one to three sets of 12 to 15 reps. For added intensity, hold weights.
For this exercise, you’ll need a platform high enough so that your knee is at a 90-degree angle when it is bent. You can also use the second step of a staircase while you hold onto the rail for balance.
Start by standing in front of the step or platform, placing your right foot on the step. Then, step up by pressing into your heel, touching your left toes to the step. Keep your right foot on the step and bring your left foot down to the floor. For increased intensity, bend your knee into a lunge. Repeat for one to three sets of 12 to 15 reps on each side. For increased intensity, hold weights or use a resistance band under your standing foot.
Sidestep Squats With Resistance Bands
The three preceding exercises mostly targeted the gluteus maximus. To address the smaller gluteus medius and minimus as well, try this one.
Start by standing on a resistance band with medium-light tension, holding both handles. Take a wide step to the right into a squat while keeping tension on the band. Next, step your left foot in. Continue stepping out and squatting to the right as far as you can. Then, repeat the other way or for about one to three sets of eight to 15 steps.
Hip Thrust / Glute Squeeze on Ball
Begin the exercise in a bridge position with your head resting on the ball and your bottom lifted. You can place weights on your thighs to increase the intensity. Start by lowering your hips to the ground while trying not to let the ball roll around. Then, squeeze your glutes to lift yourself back to the starting position. Repeat for one to three sets of eight to 15 reps.
While the use of a ball for this exercise adds some instability, forcing your entire lower body to work harder while holding weights on your upper thighs adds more intensity to the exercise.
Not only do hip extensions target your glutes in a more focused way, but they also work your core and shoulder muscles.
Start by getting on your hands and knees with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly beneath your hips. Now, keeping your right knee bent, lift your right leg until your thigh is parallel with your glutes. Then, slowly lower your leg. Repeat for 12 to 15 reps on each side. For added intensity, use ankle weights, or squeeze a weight securely tucked into the back of your knee.
Peloton class recommendation: 20-Minute Strength Roll Call with Callie Gullickson (Intermediate)
Single-leg deadlifts are a simple but effective exercise for strengthening and toning muscles while improving balance. Depending on your training level, you can perform them with or without weights.
Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart and parallel. Holding a kettlebell, a barbell or two dumbbells in your hands down in front of you, lean forward, keeping your back flat and shifting your weight onto one leg while your other leg engages and starts to extend straight behind you. Next, lift your extended leg and pitch your body forward until it forms a T-shape. Your arms should be hanging straight down as you hold the weight, and you should keep a slight bend in your standing leg. Then, slowly bring your extended leg back to return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg. Start with five reps per leg and then gradually increase the number of sets.
Barbell Hip Thrusts
With these movements, you can develop and strengthen your glutes while also improving your squats and deadlift power. Plus, you can use a variety of resistance, including a loaded barbell, a resistance band, or a dumbbell.
Start by sitting on the ground with a bench behind you. Bend your knees so your feet are planted on the ground and hold a barbell resting below your hips. Lean back until your shoulders are on the bench and position the bar above your hips. Then, drive your hips up, lifting the bar. In the top position, your knees should be bent at 90° and your shoulders should be near the top of the bench with your body forming a straight line between them. Do not overextend. Pause at the top of the lift and squeeze your glutes, then lower your hips slowly. For strength, do three to five sets of five to eight reps each, with a heavy load. To increase muscle mass, perform three to five sets of eight to 12 reps with a moderate to heavy weight. For endurance, push through two to three sets of 15 reps with a moderate load.
Peloton class recommendation: 10-Minute Glutes & Legs Strength with Robin Arzon (Intermediate)
As an added workout tip, Peloton instructor Jess King has this recommendation to strengthen your glutes: Stand with your feet at hip-distance apart, with a resistance band around your ankles. Then, take side-to-side steps, to your right, and then to your left. According to Jess, this move allows you to "organically feel the burn, and you'll know exactly where it's working."
Why Strong Glutes Are Important
Well-toned glutes are important for proper pelvic alignment, enhanced walking and running technique, and to provide lower back support during other forms of exercise (and everyday life).
In addition to being a leader in home fitness and exercise equipment, Peloton’s team of world-class trainers offers glute workout classes designed to help you achieve your optimal fitness goals. For more information and to get started, visit https://www.onepeloton.com/ today.