When it comes to glute gains, glute bridges and hip thrusts seem to get all the attention.
But they aren't the only booty-building moves worth their (sweaty) salt. And including multiple types of glute exercises in your lower-body workouts can pay off in a big way.
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"Varying your glute workout challenges your muscle in different ways," Jereme Schumacher, DPT, a California-based physical therapist, tells LIVESTRONG.com. "This can help create resilience in the muscle." That's code for more size, strength and a lower risk of injury.
Try these four underrated glute exercises to max out your next butt and leg day.
Move 1: Toes-Elevated Good Morning
- Stand with your feet about hip-width apart with a barbell on your back against your shoulders.
- Elevate your toes on either a step or two weight plates on the ground.
- Hinge your hips back toward the wall behind you and bend your knees slightly.
- Lean your torso forward, keeping your back flat until your upper body is about parallel to the ground.
- On an exhale, reverse the motion and press the hips forward to return to standing.
If you don't have a barbell, you can go the good morning exercise with a dumbbell or kettlebell against your chest.
Move 2: Resistance-Band External Rotation With Pause
- Sit on the edge of a bench or chair with a resistance band looped around both legs just above your knees.
- On an exhale press your knees outward and away from one another.
- Hold for 5 seconds.
- Slowly bring the knees back together and repeat.
People often forget the benefits of keeping muscles under tension — the longer your muscles work, the more strength you build. Here, you keep your side glutes under tension for 5 full seconds.
Move 3: No-Pause Dumbbell Walking Lunge
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
- Take a wide step forward (about three feet) with the right leg.
- Bend the right knee to 90 degrees and lower the left knee to lightly tap the ground (or hover right above it).
- With most of your weight in the right leg, straighten your legs and step forward with your left leg, several feet in front of the right.
- Repeat the motion, stepping forward one leg after the other, adding a lunge in between.
The bigger your step, the harder you work your glutes, says certified personal trainer Carolina Araujo, CPT.
Move 4: Sumo Goblet Squat
- Hold a heavy dumbbell or kettlebell at your chest, elbows tucked close to your sides.
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointed out.
- Keeping your back flat, sit back and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the ground or as low as comfortable.
- Brace your core to keep the weight stable.
- Press into your heels to return to standing.
Although goblet squats are generally used as a quad-building exercise, adding a wider stance and rotating your toes out helps target your glute muscles as well as inner thighs, Araujo says.
The sumo squat also scores you some core activation as you engage your abs to hold the weight and keep your chest upright.