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GLUTES: The Only TWO Exercises You Need For Growth!

Buns Of Steel!

Posted by Scott_Herman - April 18th, 2019

We are back with the ONLY TWO exercises you need for growth series and this time, we’re hitting those buns! But first, if you’ve missed any of the previous videos in this series, especially the one on CHEST, click the link HERE to see the entire playlist.

Now, when most people think about legs, they don’t really think about their glutes and for most people the only glute work in their workouts is from heavy back squats.  

But are squats ENOUGH to properly train your glutes for muscle growth and explosive power? The short answer is no. You see, your glutes are very big and powerful muscles, but they’re only assisting your hamstrings and quads during your squats. And that’s the key word here, ASSISTING! Sure, they’ll help you come out of a deep squat by extending your hips, but that’s not enough when it comes to MAXIMIZING strength and size.

Why Is Glute Strength Important?

Believe it or not strong glutes will help you with most, if not all, of your big lifts such as squats, deadlifts, overhead press, and bench press and they will also help with your posture as well. In fact, if you haven’t watched my video on addressing Anterior Pelvic Tilt, check out the article on my app and you’ll immediately understand how important glute strength is when it comes to preventing lower back pain and posture imbalances. But enough talk, let’s get to those two exercises!

Exercise #1: Barbell Glute Bridge (3 Sets: 5 Reps)

You're only resting 60 – 90 seconds between sets with this movement. This exercise is much more than just thrusting your hips into the air so make sure you pay attention to these three key components while performing the movement!

  1. Master The Movement First – You need to start with your bodyweight to get the form down! This includes pushing through your ankles while keeping your spine neutral and hyper extending your hips at the top of the movement while simultaneously flexing your glutes as hard as you can. So many people waste their time with this exercise because they don’t know how to hyperextend and that’s because they didn’t master BODYWEIGHT first. In fact, it might be a better idea for you to perform a warm-up set of 15 slow reps to activate your glutes so your focus is where it needs to be when you start repping heavy weight!

  2. Stop If You Feel Pain – If your lower back hurts at ANY point, you’re doing the movement wrong which usually means you’re hyperextending at the top by using your spinal erectors instead of your glutes. If that happens, you need to reset your form. At the starting position, you should not be able to fit your hand behind your lower back. Then from THAT point, press through your glutes and hold the top position for a second or two.

    One more thing to keep in mind is your foot position. The further AWAY your heels are from your butt, the less focus you are going to have on your glutes. So don’t be afraid to re-adjust your feet every few reps.

  3. Progress With The Movement – Start adding weight as soon as you feel comfortable with the exercise. Who cares if it looks “weird” or that people are “staring” at you. What the hell are you so self-conscious about? The people starring at you with their stupid droopy butts? Screw them! You need to re-think your goals and why you’re going to the gym. Your training time is YOUR TIME. So get in the zone and focus on YOURSELF!

Exercise #2: Hip-Thrust (3 Sets: 10 – 12 Reps)

You're again only resting 60 – 90 seconds between sets with this movement. And once again there are three key components you need to keep in mind to safely execute this exercise!

  1. Understand The Main Difference Between This & The Barbell Glute Bridge – I’ve noticed that because the hip-thrust looks VERY similar to the glute bridge that most people make a choice between them and usually the hip-thrust wins because it looks easier to execute. However, believe it or not due to the positioning of the body, the two exercises deal with the exact same movement pattern, but the resistance during a barbell glute bridge is most intense at the top. Comparatively, the most intense part of a hip-thrust is the bottom position where you have to explode out of the hole. This is why the two exercises compliment each other so well!  

  2. Protect Your Groin – This tip also applies to the glute bridge. If you find that the barbell is hurting your hips or your groin, just grab a towel or a barbell pad to cushion that force and make the movement pain-free.

    But for me, the pain is an indicator that the barbell is in the WRONG place and I’m not putting enough force into pushing the barbell into my legs because the pain usually comes from the barbell sitting too loosely on your thighs.

    So try a few reps with no pad first and really push the barbell into your legs the entire time. This goes for the glute bridge as well! If you still have a bit of pain, either push through it as you will get used to it, or grab a pad.

  3. Prioritize Your Glutes – If you’re stuck squatting or deadlifting the same weight for weeks or months, you need to switch it up. Clearly a plateau has been hit and you need to find a way to increase your explosive power through your hips and that means focusing on your GLUTES. So with that in mind let’s combine these two exercises with the ONLY TWO leg exercises you need for growth and we get the following routine.


Then you can finish the workout with 4 – 5 sets of 6 – 8 reps of deficit deadlifts to further increase your mind-muscle connection and ability to REALLY fire your glutes and hamstrings together for the most explosive power.

Related Videos:

LEGS: The Only TWO Exercises You Need For Growth! | GUARANTEED GAINS!

CHEST: The ONLY TWO Exercises You Need For GROWTH! | UPPER & LOWER!

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Hey Scott, a few questions about the hip-thrusts:

1. Is it normal that hip-thrust weight is lot lower than that used for glute bridges?

2. I feel my hip flexors a lot more with hip-thrusts than with glute briges. Does this mean I'm doing something wrong? (still getting the form down for hip-thrusts).

Thanks! I love this video :)

Scott_Herman  Edit  Delete  Close

@porscham yeah I can show you some tricks this week to help with that!

porscham  Edit  Delete  Close

@scott_herman Thanks, this helps!  Will practice squeezing w/the hip raises. Right now I fidget too much trying to get the bench in the right part of my back, etc.  

Scott_Herman  Edit  Delete  Close

@porscham 1. Yes totally normal - the ROM is bigger with hip thrusts so you don't have the luxury of overloading as much.

2. It might just be a mind-muscle connection issue you need to address - maybe lower the weight a little and focus on SQUEEZING your glutes - this might seem weird but try to imagine you are literally trying to bring your cheeks together haha

hi 2 years ago my wife dislocated her knee and now she suffers from arthritis in it. I would like to know what exercises she can do to work her buttocks without worsening or hurting the knee
Scott_Herman  Edit  Delete  Close

@adamswolft both the glute bridge and hip thrust should be exercises your wife can do to build her glutes with little to no stress on her knee 😊

Ready to build huge glutes!?
Scott_Herman  Edit  Delete  Close

@porscham if it's a real work-on for you, I'd suggest 2 times minimum, maybe even 3 times per week! Though it could be two days where you hit 3 sets of 5 and then you can go a bit higher volume on the third day with maybe a hip thrust!

porscham  Edit  Delete  Close

@scott_herman yes! I've added glute bridges to some existing routines - what's a reasonable weekly volume?  (I see 3 sets of 5 above, but how many times per week minimum?)