Fitness expert shares two exercises you need to build bigger glutes

Are you doing these?

Man doing bodyweight squats
(Image credit: Getty)

These days everyone wants a bigger, stronger booty and rightly so. After all, the glute maximus is the largest muscle in your body and all three muscles that make up your backside are responsible for a lot of things – moving, balance and supporting our lower backs. But with so many bits of home gym equipment to help us achieve this, it can be hard to decipher what the best exercises are when it comes to building our behind. Luckily for us, elite fitness expert, Jeff Cavaliere, has answered this.

“If you don’t have these two boxes checked in combination with each other, you’re going to struggle to build your best glutes possible,” says Jeff. That’s not to say all other glute exercises don’t provide any benefits, but if there’s two you should be doing it’s these.

1. Low bar squat

Squats are one of the most popular compound exercises for leg and glute strength. But when you’re specifically looking to make glute gains, Jeff says it’s all about the low-bar squat. This is where you have the barbell placed across your rear delts and back, as opposed to your traps in the high bar position. Why though?

Well, Jeff explains when the barbell is placed higher on our backs, our torso remains more upright which means our quads do more of the work. “But when you shift that bar down into the low bar position, instantly it’s going to tilt your torso a little bit more forwards. More importantly, you have to counteract that, for balance sake, and have your glutes shift backwards. In other words, hinging more at the hips and what that will do will light up those glutes.”

Make sure you can squat with good form first using just your bodyweight and then the barbell (our squat guide will walk you through how to). Once you do begin using the bar, imagine you’re trying to hug it around your body to keep it in a stable position, as opposed to it just balancing on your back.

2. Barbell hip thrust

This can be performed at home also with a dumbbell and resting back onto your sofa or something sturdy. But the benefits of using an Olympic barbell is that you can really overload the weight, which is key to building bigger muscles.

“When we get to the top of this lift in our shortest position of the glutes we have peak contraction and the load being felt the greatest,” says Jeff. This is something you don’t experience so much at the top of the squat, which is why he says it’s so important to do both these exercises, not one or the other.

A good pair of workout shoes will also help massively, as you want to push through your heel and you'll have more control. A flatter sole will give you more stability, or you could even wear a pair of squat shoes, like Under Armour's Reign Lifter Trainer which provides a solid, sturdy base.

If you're looking for more glute exercises, then why not add this single resistance band glute exercise alongside these two movements that Jeff's recommended? Otherwise, here's another exercise he recommends that you can also do to build your booty using a single household item.

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.