Way back in 1999, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) questioned personal trainers about which exercise was the best at building glutes and discovered that the traditional squat came up trumps, in both opinion and under the scrutiny of the microscope. For the best results do 4 sets of 12-15 reps on this exercise, but if you want to really challenge yourself then you can also do single leg squats. These can be done anywhere, using zero equipment while placing zero pressure on your lower back. Use these and barbell back squats as part of your fat burning routine as they recruit more muscles, and calories as a result, than almost any other exercise.
Following the ACE research, a labcoat at the University of Wisconsin, went one better and measured it against other glute and leg exercises and found that squats were indeed the categorical winner, but quadruped hip extensions were a very close second for the amount of muscle activation they elicited in the glutes. Worth an inclusion into your routine.
With muscled and perfectly rounded glutes being on brand for 2018, new research in the Journal of Applied Biomechanics pitted the back squat against the barbell hip thrust. What they found was that there was a new champ in town: the barbell hip thrust. When doing sets of 10 reps, it outperformed squats at targeting the glutes, making it must-do in your training routine.
It’s worth switching your glutes to an endurance setting during your fitness workouts and in this respect some forms of cardio outperform others. A study at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital found that treadmills activate 48.9% of your glutes, compared to 32.6% when you sweat it out on an elliptical trainer. Alternate between the two for the best results.