Skip to main content

The expert guide to the ultimate glute workout for men

Why men's glutes training is about so much more than aesthetics

Take a scroll through your favorite social media fitness influencer’s feeds and you will find a vast majority of them that preach about doing workouts for the peach. Glute work has been receiving a lot of love in recent years, especially online, and for good reason, too. One of the biggest, quite literally in life and on the silver screen, proponents of a good and proper booty burn just so happens to be none other than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

A man using a leg press in a gym.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Take a look at his mind-blowing, vasodilated leg days and you will find him starting off most of those sessions with some heavy, barbell-loaded hip thrusts. By doing so, he is able to activate and really fire up the glutes, getting his lower body primed for the rest of his intensity-filled leg days of legendary status. So, while doing direct glute work is nice for aesthetics, there are other reasons why you would want to train them. But, don’t just take it from us.

Enter the strength pro

We were able to get some input from a strength expert, and he shared his opinion about the importance of glute training. Chris Travis, NASM-CPT, is a passionate and certified personal trainer and the business owner of Seattle Strength & Performance. Travis knows the significance of training, whether you’re 10 or 80 years old, with a heavy emphasis on strength training. His goal: to make strength training accessible and welcoming to everyone. 

Why you really should be training your glutes

Guy holding a pair of dumbbells performs a set of walking lunges.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Here are some of the reasons why you want to start putting a larger emphasis on the glutes. (Hint: it makes everyday life that much easier.) 

Why is glute training so important — beyond looks?

The gluteal muscles represent the biggest muscle group in the human body. These muscles help to stabilize your hips and torso, assist in locomotion, and help to extend the hip as well. They play a vital role in your everyday life. Strengthening these muscles helps your entire kinetic chain, notably the posterior chain, and contributes to stronger endurance and better pain prevention in daily life. Particularly if you are working a job that is primarily sedentary, it’s easy for your glute muscles to become weak and under-utilized. Over time, this can lead to muscle imbalances and negatively affect the way you move throughout the day.

“I like to think about the glutes as the motor of your body — the stronger they are, the better you move, and the more they can engage and utilize the rest of the muscles in your body for increased strength and stamina,” says Travis. 

Why should men be training glutes as most women do?

Strengthening your glute muscles can help you in a significant way. You can see an improvement in things like better posture and decreased lower back pain, and it can help to prevent injuries to certain joints, like the knees, that can become injured due to poor glute engagement that affects walking biomechanics. Not only that, but you can see noticeable gains in all of your life’s activities.

Whether you are playing basketball on the weekend, going on a hike or run, playing golf, or just hitting the gym to increase your max deadlift, increased glute strength can help you to considerably generate more power and increased performance in these activities, while also decreasing your risk of injury. Putting it simply, your overall quality of life can be drastically improved.  

What are some key tips guys should know when adding in glute training?

You want to think about engaging in hip dominant movements that activate your lower body posterior chain muscles, which include the glutes and hamstrings, as well as considering the lumbar back extensors as well. Exercises such as deadlifts, single-leg deadlifts, kettlebell swings, Romanian deadlifts, hip thrusts, and single-leg hip thrusts are all good options. Travis also recommends training your glutes directly using resistance bands and doing exercises such as quadruped kickbacks, fire hydrants, lateral band walks, and clamshell exercises.

How to build your glute workout

Hip stretch lunge.
Peggy_Marco / Pixabay

Now that you have the basics down, here is a simple formula to follow that will enable you to get the most out of your glute-based workouts. 

 Warm-up: Mobility | Dynamic movements

  • Example:
    • Mobility: Floor glute bridges
      • 8-10 repetitions
      • 2-3 second holds at the top of each rep
    • Dynamic Stretch: Worlds Greatest Stretch
      • 2-3 repetitions per side
      • Hold each stretch position for 5 seconds
    • Dynamic Movements: A-skips, butt kicks, and lateral shuffles
      • 5-10 yards
      • 2 times

Workout: Power | Core Primers

  • Example Superset: 1a + 1b (1-minute rest between supersets)
    • 1a  Power: Kettlebell Swings
      • 8-10 repetitions
      • 2-3 sets
    • 1b  Core: Plank Shoulder Taps
      • 8-10 repetitions on each side
      • 2-3 sets

Workout: Legs

  • Example:
    • Barbell Hip Thrusts
      • 8-12 repetitions
      • 3 sets
      • 45-60 seconds rest
    • Superset: 1a + 1b (1-minute rest between supersets)
    • 1a – Barbell Squat
      • 8-12 repetitions
      • 4-5 sets
    • 1b – Dumbbell Walking Lunges
      • 6-10 lunges each leg
      • 4-5 sets
      • Rest 60 seconds between sets

Glute Finisher

  • Example:
    • Single leg work: Single leg glute bridges | Fire hydrants
      • 30-50 repetitions on each leg


A man performing a deadlift.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

For guys specifically, it’s easy not to think about the benefits of training your glutes when you’re in the gym, but by not doing so, you’re missing out on valuable ways to improve your life and activities you love. Think about glute training not just from an aesthetic perspective, but from a functional one as well. That being said, it’s never a bad thing when you look great in a pair of jeans or pants from behind, either. Trust us, women notice that kind of thing, too.

Editors' Recommendations

Jeff Turbett
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Jeff Turbett is a health and wellness coach with over three years of experience transforming clients lives and physical…
The 10 best back exercises you can do, according to a celebrity trainer
The 10 best muscle-building exercises for a bigger back
Man doing pullups in a gym.

Ask any fitness expert and they would almost unanimously agree on one thing - consistency reigns king. If you're not consistent, you'll never reach your goals. By being consistent with some of the best back workouts, you can develop a strong and defined back that gives additional depth and shape to your physique. Here's the best part, this can also make all the effort you put into your chest, abs, and arms really pop! Not only that, but a nice wide back can also give you the appearance of a slimmer waist, too. Simply put, your back plays an important function in almost every movement you make, whether it be in the gym or in everyday life. A well-developed back will definitely improve your posture and reduce neck and back pain, enabling you to run, jump, and play comfortably without having to worry about possible injuries.

Back exercises are one of the best workouts you can try at home or at the gym, but they are often overlooked. This can result in a weak back that's prone to slipped discs and nagging neck pain. Compound movements that are critical for building muscle via strength training simply cannot be executed without a strong back. It's the pillar for building a stronger body and having one that is functional, as well as aesthetic, can help stave off injuries later in life.
Meet Kupah James, the co-founder of Bodyweight BootKAMP
Kupah James Image used with permission by copyright holder

Read more
Beginner’s Guide to Trail Running and What You Need
trail running shoes

Even if you’re not a very outdoorsy person, you’ve probably heard of trail running. It’s a pastime that’s becoming more and more popular as people look to spend more time outside in nature while also getting in a healthy workout. If you’re interested in seeing if trail running is a good fit for you, here’s a great beginner’s guide to introduce you to this unique sport and teach you everything you need to know to become a trail runner. When you're ready to get started, put on your best trail running shoes and keep your feet steady.
What is Trail Running?
As the name suggests, trail running is a type of running that takes place outdoors, usually on wilderness trails. Generally, trail running involves more changes in elevation (with ascents and descents) and diverse terrain than road running, practiced on unpaved, gravel, or dirt tracks.

Is Trail Running Difficult?
It depends on the type of trail you’re running on, but generally yes, due to the alternating terrain and obstacles, trail running is more difficult than road running. This is why it’s important to take your time easing into this sport. Even if you’re an experienced runner, for your first trail runs you should start on flatter, better-groomed trails so you get accustomed to the difference in feel and difficulty from the running that you’re used to. After you’ve gotten into the swing of things, you can branch out to other trails that have more changes in elevation and aren’t as groomed or maintained, and may have obstacles like rocks, roots, uneven surfaces, and sharp changes in elevation. As you practice and run more, your stamina will improve.
How Do You Train for Trail Running?
Trail running is a whole different animal from road running in terms of form and physicality. In road running, you’d usually use longer strides to cover more ground faster, but in trail running, to maintain balance and traction with the uneven ground, you’ll want to practice taking shorter strides that keep your feet under your body. You should also swing your arms more to help with your balance.

Read more
7 Benefits of Outdoor Workouts on Athletic Performance
Man running on street by a body of water.

Being active is one of the numerous ways to gain many health benefits. This does not mean you must visit or get registered in a gym. Instead, you can simply get yourself an appropriately placed spot outside your window! With its characteristic green space, outdoor workouts come with a lot of scientifically proven benefits.

How to Prepare for Your Outdoor Workout
Heading for an outdoor workout can be as simple as hitting the road with your favorite sportswear and running shoes, but it could go beyond that with a properly planned and organized structure to ensure safety.

Read more