4 Alternatives to Traditional Glute Workouts

The glutes are among the strongest muscles in the human body. The glutes are critical to daily activities from walking, standing, sitting, and bending. At a physiological level, the backside is the foundation for good posture, maintaining a neutral pelvis, and ensuring correct lumbar curvature. Aside from providing necessary stability, many people consider toned hindquarters attractive.

There are several exercises for toning and strengthening the glutes. Some of the more common bun exercises include:

  • Squats 
  • Glute bridges 
  • Glute kickbacks 
  • Abductor raises (fire hydrants)

Unfortunately, most people do not perform these workouts correctly, rendering them useless. To strengthen and tone your rear, you need to focus on form and follow-through. People may want to exchange traditional glute workouts for easier and more targeted alternatives.

1. Exchange Quarter Squats for Deep Goblet Squats

Squats are one of the foremost exercises for building glute muscles, but too many people ignore proper form. Most people perform quarter or mini squats, exaggerating a hip thrust to engage the buttocks. Shallow squats do little to build or tone the glutes, regardless of the number of reps.

A better exercise is a goblet squat. You will need a kettlebell or dumbbell to perform this variation of a squat. Hold the weight to your chest, move into a squat position by hinging at your hips, but don't stop. You want to sink to a full depth. To return to a standing position, push up using your glutes and hamstrings, ensuring your knees track outwards.

2. Alter the Speed and Posture of Glute Bridges

Glute bridges are an effective exercise, but form and movement matter. Too many people rush the activity, acting like they are in a bad 80s workout infomercial.

A glute bridge requires slow, deliberate movement to activate the proper muscle groups. You start the exercise on your back, pulling your heels in until they almost touch your butt. Tighten your core muscles, and then, putting the force into your heels, lift your butt off the floor. Keeping your core tight and back supported, continue the lift to your full range of motion. Squeeze your glutes at the peak and hold before slowly lowering to the starting position. This exercise is about engaging the right muscles and moving slowly and steadily.

3. Change Kickbacks to Romanian Deadlifts

Despite the popularity of glute kickbacks, the exercise is challenging for most beginners. Many people think they are doing the exercise correctly, but in reality, they often fail to engage the glutes. The movement also creates risks of injury.

A safer and more effective exercise is the Romanian deadlift. You will need a set of dumbbells. Hold a dumbbell of equal weight in each hand. With a straight back and arms at your sides, hinge at the hips, slowly lowering the weights. Lower to your full range of motion before slowly lifting yourself back to the starting position.

4. Cut Fire Hydrants for the Curtsy Lunge

Like kickbacks, abductor raises, or fire hydrants are potentially problematic and ineffective glute workouts. Many people hinder the strengthening of their glutes by compensating for imbalances; transferring tension to other areas of the body.

The curtsy lunge is a more effective glute workout. Put your weight on the right leg. Move your left leg back, crossing it behind your body in a curtsy-like position. You will dip into the lunge, putting the weight of your body on the outside of the right foot. Perform several reps before switching to the left leg.

Strong, defined glutes require exercise. The correct exercises should reduce injury risks and ensure proper form.

Try This Easy Way To Work Your Glutes Just While Walking

Do you get tired of living with shapeless buns that can barely hold your pants up? The good news is that you don’t have to do endless squats or walking lunges to get some shape to your derriere. Though it may sound too good to be true, you can tone and challenge your glutes just while walking! You just have to focus on how you walk to make sure you get maximum butt-toning benefits. Here’s how I keep my backside in shape during my daily walks.

Step 1: Take Time to Warm Up

I get it, warming up seems like a waste of time when you’re already busy and struggle to fit a workout into your day. But don’t skip it! Warming up primes your muscles for movement and helps you avoid injuring yourself. Though walking isn’t exactly a high-risk exercise, it is still possible to twist an ankle or pull a tendon if your body isn’t sufficiently warmed up before you hit the trails.

Step 2: Find a Slight Incline

It’s pretty easy to walk on flat ground without breaking a sweat. But if you want to tone those glutes, you need to look for an area with a slight incline (or a steep incline, depending on your fitness level). Once you find the ideal destination, it’s time to get your form right so every step helps firm up that booty.

Step 3: Roll Through Your Steps

To recruit your glutes into your walking motions, you need to roll your feet from the heel to the toe with every step. Take this movement slow in the beginning to make sure you get the motion down. Each time you step forward, let your heel be the first part of your foot that makes contact with the ground, then sweep the motion through to the ball of your foot and push off the ball of your foot as you continue forward with the next step.

When your heel contacts the ground, squeeze your glutes together. Imagine someone just gave you a pencil and you have to hold it between your cheeks so you don’t drop it. That’s a strange place to put a pencil, I know, but the visualization really helps keep those glutes firm and strong. Only release the squeeze when you push forward off the ball of your foot into the next step.

When you’re first getting started with your “glute walk,” try to hit a goal of 100 “squeeze” steps during your walk. After that, take a break and see how you feel. If you think you can do more, go for it! Just don’t overdo it or you may not be able to sit down the next day due to soreness.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Small Movements

Right now you’re probably thinking, “This sounds too easy. I doubt it will make much of a difference for my glutes.” But don’t underestimate the power of small, concentrated movements when building muscle and definition. Think about pulse squats, for example. You’re only moving your body an inch or so up and down, but the burning in your muscles is evidence that you’re doing some serious work and can expect great results.

I have no doubt you’ll feel the burn in your muscles when you do regular “glute walks.” In fact, you’ll probably be surprised to discover just how tired your glutes are at the end of each walk. Once your glutes get stronger, you may want to move on to more intense workouts to shape and build your behind. But glute walks are a great way to begin your journey to a more shapely behind. What are you waiting for? Get out there and start walking!