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Training at home can be challenging (assuming you do not have an amazing home gym), however not impossible. Glute training, more specifically, does not always necessitate high amounts of loading and equipment to be effective. Exercise, such as the ones below, can be done using controlled repetitions, higher training volumes, and voluntary maximal muscle contractions to elicit a fair amount of metabolic muscle response for growth and muscle engagement.
While training without loading will certainly have its limitations, we have set out to take a deeper look at glute training at home, specifically:
- 10 Glute Exercises You Can Do At Home
- Sample At-Home Glute Workout
10 Glute Exercises You Can Do at Home
Below are ten (10) glute exercises that can be done at home without weights, bands, or additional equipment (other than your own bodyweight). Note, that some of these exercise can be paired with mini-bands and/or resistance bands
Quadruped Hip Extensions
The quadruped hip extension has been thoroughly discussed in previous articles, each stating its effectiveness for increasing glute activation. Adding this exercise into glute workouts via warm-up segments or simply done in combination with movements like squats and lunges can maximize glute engagement and development.
Quadruped Hip Circles
Like quadruped hip extensions, hip circles can increase gluteus medius engagement and can also be used to improve hip mobility/core stability. These are often seen in warm-up segments or paired with more strength-based squatting and deadlifting movements.
Side Lying Leg Lift
The side lying leg lift, similar to the clam shell, can be done to increase gluteus medius engagement. This exercise can also be done against bands or with manual resistance, and is a highly isolated approach to targeting the glutes.
Hip raises can increase overall glute strength, muscular hypertrophy, and engagement; all of which can decrease lower back pain, diminish knee pain, and improve performance in movements like squats and deadlifts. This can be done with no loading with the back on the edge of a bench, bed, or very stable table.
Glute bridges, like the hip raise, can be done at home with no loading. These are done by having the lifter lie on their backs (on the floor) and lift their hips off the ground, either holding in the bridge or performing for repetitions.
Single Leg Hip Raises/Glute Bridges
Both hip raises and glute bridges can be done unilaterally to further increase glute demands, muscle engagement, and progress the bilateral exercise when adding additional loading is not available. There are a wide array of unilateral raises, holds, and elevated raises that can be done with both variations.
Sumo Squat (and all squats)
The sumo squat, like the sumo deadlift, places the hips into external rotation and therefore helps to target the glutes in the squat. This, along with most squats, can be done to increase gluteal engagement at deeper ranges of hip flexion. Tempos, pulse reps, and deep squats can all be used to further isolate the glutes in this exercise.
Single Leg Romanian Deadlift
The Romanian deadlift is a hamstring and glute exercise that is often done with additional loading and resistance. While loading may be limited at home, lifters can perform single leg variations slowly and focus on using the glutes to increase hip and knee stability during the hinging movement. It is important to note that this exercise may not elicit as much muscle fatigue without additional loading (for stronger athletes).
Bulgarian Split Squat (Long Stance)
The Bulgarian split squat is a great unilateral lower body exercise to develop overall leg and glute strength and hypertrophy. By taking a longer stance (greater distance between the front and back leg), knee flexion is limited and therefore places higher demands on the hip extensor muscles; the glutes.
Prone Alternating Leg Lifts
This exercise is similar to the Superman or reverse hyperextension, with the exception that the range of motion is often cut short due to being prone on the floor. Due to that limited range of motion, the glutes are the primary muscle groups worked as the lifter lifts the leg off the floor. Doing these is alternating fashion often allows for stronger muscle contractions and the ability to voluntarily contract the glute more forcefully.
At-Home Glute Workout
Below is an at home glute workout that can be done without weights and/or resistance bands. The key is to focus on muscle contractions and maintain tension through the movements.
- Quadruped Hip Circles: 2 sets of 10 repetitions per leg, per direction
- Quadruped Hip Extension: 2 sets of 20 repetitions per leg
- Side Lying Leg Lift: 2 sets of 20 repetitions
- Glute Bridge: 4 sets of 60 seconds
- Sumo Squat: 4 sets of 15-20 repetitions, squatting below parallel
- Single Leg Hip Raise: 4 sets of 10-12 repetitions per leg
- Prone Alternating Leg Lifts: 4 sets of 20 (10/) repetitions