How About Them Glutes? Exercises That Will Strengthen Your Backside

by Justin Zabinski

The backside (a.k.a. the gluteal muscles) is talked about quite often in the fitness world.

The gluteal muscle group is vital for overall stability, mobility, power, and strength. It includes three muscles:

  • Gluteus maximus
  • Gluteus medius
  • Gluteus minimus

Simply walking up stairs instead of using escalators or elevators can contribute to strengthening these muscles. People fixate on what exercises will make their glutes bigger as well as how to loosen up their hip flexors. Fear not! Below you will find simple exercises that will assist you with this.


In preparation, warm up the body by either walking for five minutes on the treadmill at an incline or at a medium pace on stairs/StairMaster. There is no need for weights just yet!

  • Hip Flexion: 2×10 each leg
  • Glute Flexion: 2×10 each leg
  • Hip Bridges (single leg or both legs): 2×15 (if single leg, 15 reps per leg)


  • Dumbbell or kettle bell lunges: 4×10 each leg
  • Lateral walks: 15 steps to your right, then back to where you started (You want to utilize a hallway for this exercise. Get in a low stance with your chest up and maintain your low stance as you laterally walk, holding for a second each time you take a step.)
  • Box step-ups (sagittal and frontal): 4×20 both sagittal (front to back) and frontal plane (side to side). To add a challenge, utilize dumbbells or kettle bells as you do the sagittal plane box step-ups.
  • Kettle bell swings: 4×20 with a medium to heavy kettle bell
  • Goblet squats: 4×12 with a heavy dumbbell or kettle bell

If you are unsure about how to do any of the exercises, first perform them without any weights. Your gluteal muscles should feel rather fatigued after every set. Rest for 60-90 seconds between each set. As you become more comfortable, begin completing the exercises with 5-10 lbs. Form is most important when it comes to any exercise. Work out smart, then hard!

Justin Zabinski is a BMN master’s candidate and a personal trainer who enjoys DJing. His main aspiration is to become a leader in developing nutrition and exercise regimens for professional athletes.

The Friedman Sprout is a monthly student run newspaper that aims to serve the student population at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, prospective students, and alumni. Our mission is to report on newsworthy information that affects the Friedman community including nutrition research, food policy, internship and volunteer opportunities, as well as school events. Our editorial slant is that of sustainability in food and nutrition.

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