Forget squats – strengthen your glutes with these 3 Pilates exercises instead

It’s also excellent for your core strength too

Woman doing glute bridge
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Looking to switch up your usual glute exercises of squats and lunges? This Pilates workout is exactly what you need. It’s short, low-impact and contains a mixture of isolation and compound exercises, that won't just target your glute muscles, but improve your core strength too. You won’t need any home gym equipment either, just an exercise mat and it takes 10 minutes.

Pilates is an excellent form of strength training that focuses on controlled movements that strengthen your muscles in a lengthened position, as well as your deep core muscles. While Puregym says it won’t increase the size of your muscles like hypertrophy training, it's incredibly effective for building core strength, and strength in the end range of movements, which can help prevent against injuries, improve posture and boost flexibility. 

Three-move Pilates glute workout

This workout comes from Alo-Moves Pilates Instructor, Bianca Wise, from her 21-day Pilates Strong programme. It's a circuit-based workout, where you'll be doing three exercises, back to back for 30 seconds each and you'll complete three rounds. You'll complete these exercises on the right side of your body first, then, you'll swap to the left side. Make sure you have your gym water bottle nearby, as this one may be short, but it's a burner! Here's your workout:

1. Staggered glute bridge

Alo Moves trainer performing glute bridge

(Image credit: Alo Moves)

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Bring your left foot slightly forwards, so it's a little further out in front of your right foot and raise the heel slightly off of the floor. Then, drive through your right foot and squeeze your glutes to lift them up off, so that your hips and shoulders are in line with each other. Return to starting position, this is one rep. When you swap over to the left side, just bring your right foot further forwards.

2. High bridge

Alo Moves trainer doing high bridge exercise

(Image credit: Alo Moves)

Sit on your mat and bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor. Move your left foot slightly forwards. Place your arms behind you with your hands facing forward, squeeze your glutes and raise them off the floor, so that you come into a table top position. Then, lower back down to the starting position. When you swap over to the left side, just bring your right foot further forwards.

3. Donkey kicks

Alo Moves trainer performing donkey kicks

(Image credit: Alo Moves)

Get on all fours, then lower yourself down from your hands to your forearms. Push your right foot towards the ceiling, keeping your foot flexed and flat, and pulse your leg up and down.

If you enjoyed this Pilates workout, why not give this eight minute full-body one a go next? It's great for your core and improving your posture, plus there's only four exercises. If you want to focus your attention on your upper body now (having just worked the glutes), then here's a five-move upper body workout that will only take you 10 minutes.

Bryony Firth-Bernard
Staff Writer, Active

Bryony’s T3’s official ‘gym-bunny’ and Active Staff Writer, covering all things fitness. In her spare time, you will find her in her natural habitat - the gym - where her style of training is a hybrid of bodybuilding and powerlifting. Bryony loves writing about accessible workouts, nutrition and testing innovative fitness products that help you reach your fitness goals and take your training to the next level.