Glute Isolation Exercises to Strengthen Your Glutes

Glute isolation exercises specifically target the glute muscles and strengthen them. These exercises serve to strengthen the glutes without targeting other lower body muscles, like quads and hamstrings.

Few muscle groups serve as important a role as the glutes. Glute muscles are essential for any kind of movement, providing strength and balance. They are such a key muscle group for body movement that there are almost no exercises that isolate them completely.

Squats are an extremely functional exercise that require good glute strength (Image via Pexels @Rodnae Productions)

Here’s how you can perform a basic glute bridge.

  • Lie down on your mat with your knees bent, your back neutral and your hands by your side.
  • Squeeze your abdominal and buttock muscles by pushing your low back into the ground.
  • Raise your hips to create a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.
  • Engage your core, and pull your belly button back towards your spine.
  • Hold the pose for 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Lower your hips, and return to the starting position to complete one rep.

2) Glute Kickbacks

Glute kickbacks are a great glute isolation exercise that work on one leg at a time. They can be performed either with a pulley machine or with a resistance band that’s securely fastened to an anchor.

This exercise can activate all three glute muscles at the same time. Here’s how you can perform a glute kickback:

  • If you’re using a pulley machine, place the pin where you want it in the weight plates, and secure the velcro strap around your right ankle.
  • Lean forward, and grasp a vertical bar of the machine for stability.
  • While leaning forward, make sure to hinge at the hips rather than rounding your back.
  • Don’t make a 90-degree angle with your body, but your torso should be fairly close to being parallel with the ground. Your feet should be hip-width apart.
  • Once you’re in the starting position, raise your right leg behind you in a straight line. Aim to raise your leg till it’s parallel with your torso.
  • Hold the right leg at its highest point for a brief moment, and bring it back down to the starting position.
  • Perform the same number of reps on each side of your body.

3) Leg Extended Hip Thrusts

This is an excellent glute isolation exercise that can be performed with or without a workout bench. Here’s how you can perform it using a workout bench:

  • Place your upper back against a workout bench with both your legs on the floor bent at about 90 degrees.
  • Lift one leg in the air, keeping the knee bent at a 90-degree angle with your hip.
  • Your arms should be flat on the bench or can be used to rest your head in your hands.
  • Your upper back will act as a pivot point as opposed to using your elbows to create force and drive the movement.
  • Squeeze the glute of the leg that is on the ground, and lift your hips till they’re in line with your torso.
  • Hold this position while continuing to squeeze your glute before returning to the starting position.
  • Perform the same number of repetitions in either leg.

Here’s how you can perform the glute isolation exercise on the floor:

  • Assume the glute bridge position on the floor.
  • Raise one leg off the floor, and keeping it straight, point it skywards such that it makes a 90 degree angle with your torso.
  • Keeping one leg in the air, raise your leg and your lower body the same way you do in a glute bridge.
  • Hold the position for a while at the highest point, and return to the starting position.
  • Perform the same number of reps with either leg.

4) Fire Hydrant

Fire hydrants give a good workout to your gluteus medius, thus being another great glute isolation exercise.

Here’s how you can perform a fire hydrant;

  • Get down on all fours, making sure your hands are directly beneath your shoulders and your knees are at a 90-degree angle with your hips.
  • Raise your right leg out to the side while maintaining a 90-degree angle in your right knee. Don’t try to raise your leg higher if you feel pain; gradually you will achieve the correct form.
  • Lower your leg to the starting position, and without keeping it on the floor, complete the number of reps you want to do. Switch to the other side.

5) Back Elevated Hip Thrusts

Back elevated hip thrusts are a variation of the hip thrust exercise and are a good glute isolation exercise.

Here’s how you can do a back elevated hip thrust:

  • Assume a hip thrust position on the workout bench (place your upper body on the bench with your knees at a 90-degree angle with your hips).
  • Squeeze your abs and glutes, and thrust upwards, with your lower body in a straight line with your torso.
  • Squeeze your glutes hard at the top before returning to the starting position.
  • This completes one rep.

Include the above glute isolation exercises in your routine to get bigger, stronger glutes.

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Edited by Bhargav