How to Grow Glutes
There are some natural gifts that we’re born with, but some aren’t so lucky—you know what you can control, though? Your glutes!
Training your glutes and growing them is one of the most sought-after exercise results in recent years, and beyond the aesthetic appeal that many vote for, there are actually really good personal health benefits as well.
Your glute muscles can be grown, and with the exercises, we’ll talk about in this post, you’ll finally have the tools necessary to add volume and tone all at the same time.
First, let’s talk about why they’re important beyond vanity, and how they impact your overall physical fitness.
Why is it Important to Have Strong Glutes?
Beyond the obvious aesthetic reasons that many of us want better glutes, there are some hard-hitting health benefits that you should know about.
- Back Pain Reduction: Your muscles need stabilization. Your glutes play a vital role in your hip extension and help you with basic movements. Strong glutes mean those muscles engage instead of putting everything on your lower back, so if you ever experience lower back pain, this will help. Better posture is achievable with glute exercises.
- Limit Knee Pain: It may not feel like it, but the weight from your torso that bears down on your body actually uses the glutes to stabilize. Or, if you haven’t trained your glute muscles, it doesn’t. Knee pain is associated with weight on top of your knees. Every pound of bodyweight on top of your knees is equivalent to four pounds of pressure, which is insane if you think about how much knees go through.
- Better Performance: Your posture matters more than you realize during exercise. The thing is, right now it might be difficult to maintain that posture, and that’s because stabilization muscles—such as the glutes—aren’t ideally worked out enough yet, so you have a hard time keeping good posture. When you don’t have to think about posture and you’re just doing it anyway, you can focus on power and performance a whole lot more.
Exercise for Strong Glutes
Now it’s time to actually tell you how to improve your glutes. These exercises are scalable, so you can begin with whatever skill level you have now and work your way up in the future.
- Squats: This is perhaps the most obvious, but the most essential by far. You can perform simple squats without a barbell (though we do have a guide on barbell squatting), and work your way up. Then use an empty barbell, then use a smith machine to do your squats. These work out the glutes directly and are your fastest way to build this muscle.
- Resistance Band Side Steps: Resistance bands are excellent for basically any exercise you can think of (they can even make cardio a bit more of a muscle-building workout). Place resistance bands around both ankles, and lift one in a side step as far as you can. Your glutes engage, but do better around the halfway point, so try to get as much of a stretch as you can to maximize those results.
- Step-Ups: Step-ups work out your legs, your core, and can help with endurance as well, but most notably they help with your glutes. Because of where the glute muscles are, engaging them can be tricky, so you want a step-up platform that’s roughly around your current knee height. If it’s too low, you’ll see very little engagement and you’ll only reap the rewards from those other muscle groups we mentioned. It’s worth it to begin step-ups even if you have to graduate to higher platforms because of their all-around benefits for your body.
- Planking: What doesn’t planking help you with? If you plank properly, you’re using your glutes to stabilize during the entire exercise. You’ll feel it in your core and calves of course, but the glutes are like a bridge between different muscle groups that help keep you steady. When you feel your body begin to shake on your tenth or twentieth plank, that’s a sign that your glutes are putting in their all, and they’re tired.
- Lunges: The deeper the lunge, the more helpful it is to train your glutes. Lunges are felt the most in your legs, which is why they’re a popular leg day training exercise, but they also help your glutes as well (you just don’t tend to feel these muscles quite as prominently as your calves). To make your lunges require a bit more performance from your glutes, add kettlebells or individual dumbbell weights.
- Box Jumps: Similar to step-ups, box jumping is when you hop up with both feet at the same time and use that momentum directly in your glutes. A good way to gauge how much it’s helping to impact your glutes is by the level of burn you feel when you hop off, because initially you’re not going to feel it too much. The next day? That’s when it kicks in for real—a bit of burning means you did your glutes justice.
- Deadlifts: We put this last because it can be difficult to scale, but it is possible, it just begins at a high threshold. Deadlifts shouldn’t be confused with simply raising a barbell. While the stance is important and engaging your glutes is important, of course, the weight matters as well. Your deadlifts can scale with different weights, but otherwise, it’s a very cut-and-dry exercise. This engages your glutes in a similar fashion to squats.
There are other exercises that help with your glutes, but these are some of the most effective. Incorporating one or two of these into your current workout regimen will start working out your glutes slowly over time.
Is Diet Important?
Diet is critical; important is an understatement. If you aren’t currently taking in a vitamin-rich diet through fresh vegetables, fruit, and lean meat, then you’re not going to see glute gains the way that you want to.
People often mistake hard work with results. Yes, you have to work for results in the gym and when it comes to your body, of course, but if you can’t properly nourish the muscles that you’re training, then it’s all for naught.
Weight is lost in the kitchen, and gains (positive ones) are also made in the kitchen. Your caloric intake, vitamin intake, and the foods you choose matter a great deal when it comes to your health and nutrition.
If you aren’t supplementing your exercise with proper nutrition, you won’t gain as quickly or as much as you want to.
Can Supplements Help?
Your glutes are muscles just like any other in your body. They require the same vitamins and nutrition to grow, although a different fitness regimen to train.
These are the vitamins you should look for in your supplements (and why) if you want bigger glutes.
- Vitamin A: The role of vitamin A in the body is to help with energy and protein. This helps them work together so you aren’t trading one for the other. Vitamin A is thought to help with glycogen storage in muscles that help you train.
- Vitamin C: We know it’s the immune system defense vitamin, but it also helps you repair muscle tissue as well. When you grow muscle, micro-tears across the muscle heal and add more muscle fibers, which is why this is so important to include.
- Vitamin D: Calcium is important for more than just your bones. When you exercise your muscles, you’re contracting them and working them through, and vitamin D helps you with contractions.
- Vitamin B (Complex): B vitamins come in so many different forms, and you should be taking a complex, meaning multiple B vitamins all at once. B vitamins help with so many different aspects of your body, but most notably, they help with energy production and your nervous system (which will undergo stress during muscle growth).
Supplements aren’t going to do everything, though. Even when you take supplements, it’s not like 100% of what they include reaches the desired area.
Some get lost in digestion, so you should be eating a diet that includes these vitamins as well as not counting on supplements for 100% of your total nutrition while gaining your glutes.
Growing Your Glutes the Right Way
It’s important to work out every single part of your body, from the mind down to the smallest muscle group, but your glutes impact so much more than we give them credit for.
Your core, your movements, your muscle stability during squats—your glutes all play a vital role here, and it’s time to put them to work.
We hope that these exercises are helpful and find their way into your daily regimen. You can’t skip leg day, and you shouldn’t skip glute day, either.
It’s all crucial for physical fitness (and stronger, more toned glutes are a nice trophy to take when you walk away from the gym).