Developing the glutes is kind of an art. We all have a unique pair. Some of us have high glutes, some have low, some wide, pear-shaped, or compact glutes. We might stumble upon articles all about how to shape the glutes to your desire. But, while I say developing the glutes is kind of an art, it is really a science. That science is completely based in maximum muscle activation. The more muscles you activate, the greater the development. This means you’ll have to work the prime movers (agonists — muscles doing the most work for an exercise), supporting muscles (synergists) and stabilizers (fixators) to get on the path to maximum glute development.
Strength, balance, and stability are the three areas to focus on to target both the large and small muscles in the network of muscles that make up the glutes.
Exercise 1: Single-Leg Glute Bridge w/ Dumbbell
Skill Level: Beginner
This exercise targets the glutes. The potential for muscle development and strength increases by focusing on one side of the body at a time — unilateral, rather than bilateral.
How-to: dig the heel of your working leg into the floor, foot flexed with toes up. At the bottom of the movement, feel a stretch in the working glute, and get low enough to graze the floor. Tighten your glutes as you rise and squeeze at the top of the movement. Repeat.
Exercise 2: Around-the-World Bosu Ball Lunges + Squats
Skill Level: Intermediate
Strength/Balance/Stability — that’s how you get glutes!
How-to: Don’t rush! Complete every lunge and squat by going as low as you can comfortably go. After a pause, tighten your abs and rise. Upon rising, lift the working leg (the leg on the floor) and squeeze at the top of the movement. Pause at the top if you can. If you rush this movement, you’ll miss the point — and proper glute activation.
Exercise 3: Pistol Squat to Rear Jump
Skill Level: Intemediate to Advanced
This is a functional exercise that improves strength, balance, and can develop muscle.
How-to: descend into a pistol squat and rise. Once stable while in the standing position, jump back, restabilize than jump back down to the floor. Repeat.
Exercise 4: Single-Leg Bosu Ball Dumbbell Deadlifts
Skill Level: Advanced
Besides trying the above exercises, there are some excellent simpler movements (but still challenging) that can be done anywhere with the help of the affordable exercise tools below.
Leg Abduction and Adduction w/ Bands
Medicine Ball or Stability Ball Glute Bridges
As an athlete for over 19 years and a broke single mom for most of that time, I created brokesinglemomfitness.com, now LLAFIT.com, to aid anyone who believes the road to fitness requires a lot of cash or time. In reality, the way to fitness is paved with knowledge and firm principles; teaching readers how to master both is the goal of this site. LLAFIT – Lifelong Applied Fitness