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Have you ever wondered exactly what exercises you should do to build up your Glutes and activate them properly? Today we will be taking you through the perfect Glute workout from start to finish with one of our best Crunch Personal Trainers, Karim Chami. Find out exactly what you should be doing to see results next time you hit the gym floor!

Some of the Best Glute Isolation Exercises for men and women are:

  1. Banded Kick Backs
  2. Banded Crab Walks
  3. Barbell Hip Thrusts
  4. Step-up Lunges
  5. 1 Legged Leg Press
  6. Hip Abduction Machine Pumps

We will be covering each of these exercises in detail below.

For the Workout Karim recommends starting off with some dynamic stretching, followed by two Glute Activation Exercises. Next, move on to some Abdominal work and then move on to the main Glute strengthening exercises. Finally, he recommends finishing off with a few minutes of stretching and foam rolling.


#1 – Banded Kick Backs

According to our personal trainer, Banded Kick Backs are a great Glute Activation exercise to start your workout with and warm up before lifting heavier weights.

How to Perform Banded Kick Backs

  1. Place a thick resistance band around the lower half of your thighs and stand next to something stable, such as a wall.
  2. Place your hand on the wall/surface for stability and with both feet facing forward kick one leg backwards.

Do 20 reps of 3 sets on each leg.


#2 – Banded Crab Walks

This activation exercise is also perfect to warm up with and ensures you are focusing on the right muscles for the rest of the workout!

How to Perform Banded Crab Walks

  1. Squat down slightly, bending your knees.
  2. Move your foot to the side and walk in a “crab” like fashion in one direction.
  3. Stepping the feet apart and then together again.
  4. Be sure to tense your Glutes as you do this.
  5. You may need to ensure you are using a strong enough resistance band to really feel it in your Glutes.


#3 – Barbell Hip Thrusts

The first Glute strengthening exercise will be Barbell Hip Thrusts. This is a great exercise for isolating and strengthening the Glutes.

How to do Barbell Hip Thrusts

  1. Lie down on the floor with your back on a platform, about 24 inches high.
  2. Roll the barbell up over your hips and lift it up. Pushing through the heels.
  3. Make sure when you lift it up that you’re squeezing your glutes as much as you can at the top.
  4. Keep your feet on the floor and your ankles 90 degrees with the thighs just so you can get a better activation of the glute rather than the hamstrings.
  5. If you are not feeling it in the glutes, it means that your feet positioning is probably not right. So make sure that you play around until you actually feel it more in the Glutes. This foot positioning can be slightly different for different people, so you may have to play around till you feel it yourself.


#4 – Step Up Lunges

This lesser known exercise is great for isolating your Glutes as well as strengthening your core.

How to perform step up lunges

  1. Stand on the bench
  2. Make sure there’s something in-front of you that you can hold to kind of keep your balance
  3. Carry a dumbbell in the hand opposite to the leg you are stepping up with.
  4. As you come up, you want to push from the bottom of your heels and drive up using your Glute muscle.
  5. You’re going to do probably around 10-12 reps on each leg and swap.


#5 – One-Legged Leg Press

The next exercise is a one-legged press. For this exercise, find a leg press machine that has you sitting on a downward decline.

You will be sitting in a specific position which will, according to Karim, “engage those Glutes to be working rather than hamstrings or quads”.

How to Perform a One-Legged Leg Press to Strengthen Glutes

1. Sit on the leg press machine & angle your body so you are leaning on one buttock.
2. Place one foot on the platform & push out straightening your leg.
3. Perform this sequence repeatedly to feel the burn in your glute area.
4. This will target and isolate the Glutes rather than the hamstrings or quads.


#6 – Hip Abduction Machine Pumps

And then after that, we’re going to be jumping onto the hip abduction machine just to finish off those Glutes and get a good burn. I’ll do about 3 sets of those, probably 15-20 reps, I call them ‘pumps’ just to get that blood going into the muscle and get a good squeeze and good burn.

How to Use the Hip Abduction Machine

  1. Sit on the edge of the seat
  2. Lean forward
  3. Hold onto the front of the machine
  4. And pump out. Do about 20 pulses of these
  5. Make these quick pulses and pumps rather than slow lifts


Finish off with some Foam Rolling

To finish off the workout, try out some foam rolling for your Glutes and Hamstrings!

These two moves are perfect for releasing any tension and preparing your muscles for your next workout!



Questions? Contact us!

If you want to set goals for yourself but not sure where to start, speak to one of our personal trainers at Crunch Fitness who can definitely get you started in the right direction fit for you!



Learn more about our awesome Personal Trainer Karim Chami


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⁣As with all exercise programs, when using our exercise videos check with your doctor and or a health care professional before beginning any fitness program.  By performing any fitness exercises, you are performing them at your own risk.

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