Finding the perfect glute exercise

Finding the perfect glute exercise

The most crucial part is exercise selection. The exercise you select should match your goals, experience, anatomy, and injury history. In addition to evaluating your purposes, you have to experiment. 

  If your goal is to build your upper glutes, then the idea is to select an exercise that targets the upper glutes, like hip thrust, back extensions, and hip abduction variation. If you’re primarily concerned with building your upper glutes, you should focus on exercises like lunges, squats, and deadlift variations. This is true for all areas of your body. The main idea is to target the region you’re trying to develop and strengthen. Similarly, if you play sports and want to build speed and power, you need to select explosive movements like squat jumps and employ banded hip thrusts to perform these movements with speed. 

In theory, a perfect glute exercise should meet the following criteria :

  • The exercise has to fully stretch the glutes in a deep hip flexion position while slightly adducting and internally rotating the legs. This is impossible to accomplish with both legs simultaneously, so the exercise would have to be unilateral.
  • External rotation and abduction of the hips while moving into exercise is very important. 
  • Knees must stay bent, so hamstrings should be removed from the equation and maximize glute activation.
  • Keep relatively constant tension on your glutes through the full range of motion.
  • Exercise must be comfortable, convenient, stable, and easy to coordinate, control, and progressively overload over time. 


  You can’t combine all of these elements to form one exercise. It’s hard to engineer an activity-based scientifically. So, what is the perfect glute exercise? There’s no single best answer to this question. Which exercises are the best subject to the individual, meaning it’s different for everyone. The reality is that you have to figure out your weaknesses, select the best exercises to round out those weaknesses, and most importantly, design a program that is specifically tailored to you and your sport and position