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5 Glute Isolation Exercises To Add To Your Next Glute Workout

5 Glute Isolation Exercises To Add To Your Next Glute Workout
If you’ve ever sought out a glute-focused workout in hopes of targeting your peach growth , you’re certainly not alone.

The hashtag #gluteos encompasses more than 968,000 posts on Instagram and has amassed 1.6 billion views on TikTok. If you are interested in “round glutes”, “tone butt” or “firm glutes” workouts, you are just a couple of taps away.

Such workouts may incorporate compound exercises, glute isolation exercises, or a combination of both.

” Compound movements [such as squats or deadlifts] are movements that hinge around more than one joint ,” explains Lexi Moreno, NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist and performance coach on the app. Future . Therefore, compound exercises can also target several muscle groups at once. They are better for building functional strength and power and generally offer the best value for money.

Isolation exercises, on the other hand, require the movement of a single joint and therefore target fewer muscles during the exercise. Technically, ” glute isolation ” is a bit of an oxymoron . ” It’s impossible to isolate the group of muscles we refer to as the glutes ,” says Moreno. « The muscles that make up the quadriceps, the hamstrings and the core are involved in one way or another. But that doesn’t mean that some exercises don’t recruit the glutes more than others. »

While glute -focused exercises may seem like a smart strategy if your primary goal is glute building, stacking your workouts solely with glute isolation exercises is inefficient, to put it simply.

Think of the squat, a classic compound glute exercise that also engages your quads, hamstrings, and core muscles, and the deadlift, which ” trains basically every muscle in the rear of your body ,” as well as quads, lats, and biceps, says certified personal trainer Mike Matthews, author of Muscle for Life .

Now, consider that if you replace these compound exercises with isolation moves that work each of those muscles separately, you quickly realize ” you’re going to be spending a lot [more] time in the gym ,” says Matthews. ” Now you’re looking at literally double the time to train ,” she adds.

In fact, if you’re a beginner, you’re better off skipping glute isolation exercises altogether, says Matthews. “ People who are just starting out really just need to do fundamental lower-body training to give their glutes the maximum training stimulus, ” she says. « It’s not productive for someone new to do, say, 10 to 12 hard sets a week for the lower body, through squats, through deadlifts, through lunges, and then do another 10 sets of buttocks. It just means more time in the gym for really no additional muscle gain .”

Matthews believes that glute isolation exercises can be helpful for intermediate to advanced athletes who have been training steadily for over a year but still want to increase their glute development. Adding ” a little extra glute training volume to get that muscle group to grow a little faster ” can help in these cases, she says. Reminder: training volume = reps x sets x weight. You can get that extra volume by incorporating sets of exercises that aim to reach failure—when you can’t do another rep by the end—into your weekly workouts, Matthews explains.

When in doubt, a trainer can help you determine which glute-focused exercises you should incorporate and how often, based on your goal.

The best glute isolation exercises

How they work: Incorporate these glute isolation exercises into your lower body training days that also include compound movements. Do each exercise up to twice a week.

What you’ll need: A mini resistance band and dumbbells or a barbell. (Although these tools are optional, they can add more resistance or load if you want to bulk up and/or they can help activate sleeping glutes to ensure you’re able to properly engage those muscles throughout the exercise.)

1. Glute Bridge

Glute Bridge

● Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
● Lift your hips off the ground so your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
● Pause when you’re in that position, then slowly lower your body back to the ground.
● Do 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.

2. Donkey kick

Donkey kick

● Start on all fours on a yoga mat. Make sure your knees are below your hips and your hands are below your shoulders. Bring your spine into a neutral position and draw your ● shoulder blades down and back.
● Exhale. Keeping your knee bent, release and raise your right leg until your thigh is in line with your spine, making sure your foot remains flexed.
● Lower your right leg to return to the starting position, but without resting your knee on the mat.
● Do 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps. Switch sides and repeat.

3. Bulgarian split squat

Bulgarian split squat

● Get into a split stance with your right foot forward and your left foot raised on a bench behind you.
● Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your elbows close to your body.
Inhale and lower your left knee (back knee) toward the floor while keeping your torso upright.
● Exhale and push your right foot (front foot) toward the ground to return to the starting position.
● Do 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps. Switch sides and repeat.

4. Hip abduction

Hip abduction

● Begin by sitting on a hip abduction machine or bench with a mini resistance band looped above your knees, legs together.
● Keeping her knees bent at a 90-degree angle, she squeezes her glutes and presses her legs together. She pauses and continues to squeeze her glutes, then bring her legs together with control to return to the starting position.
● Do 2 sets of 20 repetitions.

5. Side walk with mini band

Side walk with mini band

● With a resistance band wrapped around your lower thighs, place both feet on the ground hip-width apart, making sure your knees remain in line with your toes. Looking straight ahead, bend at the hips and knees, making sure the knees are in line with the toes. Continue bending your knees until your upper legs are parallel to the ground. Make sure your back stays at a 45-90 degree angle to your hips. This is the initial position.
● Exhale. Keeping a squat position with your right foot on the floor, step your left foot out so your feet are slightly shoulder-width apart.
● Inhale. Keeping the squat position and with your left foot on the ground, step your right foot inward to return to the starting position.
● Do 2 sets of 20 repetitions.