This do-anywhere routine has a plethora of benefits.
Welcome to Mab & Stoke’s proprietary workout series. We believe that movement is medicine and fitness is for all. So, each month, we’ll bring you a new routine from a trainer in our community. First up: strengthen your glutes with these six moves from Simone Tchouke.
Your glutes—the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus—make up the largest muscle group in your entire body and there’s not much in life that doesn’t benefit from strengthening them.
“You use your glutes when you walk, sit down on a chair, pick up something from the floor—you even use them when you sneeze,” says Simone Tchouke, a personal trainer and certified functional strength coach based in Los Angeles, California.
They’re also key to achieving pretty much any fitness goal, whether it’s aesthetic or performance-based. They extend your hips to help you jump higher and push off the ground to propel every running stride. They keep your hips from wobbling when you stand on one foot. Often considered part of your core, they reduce your risk of knee and ankle injuries and can even help prevent lower back pain when they’re nice and strong.
The take-home: it’s time to work your glutes.
To get going, try this do-anywhere glute workout, courtesy of Tchouke, two or three non-consecutive days per week. It’s organized into three compound sets (you’ll do a pair of exercises for the same muscle group back to back) to help you get the best burn in the least amount of time. No equipment is needed but feel free to include dumbbells for an extra burn.
For each set, perform exercise 1 then go straight into exercise 2. Do as many reps as it takes for you to feel like you’re working at a 7 or 8 on a 1 to 10 intensity scale. Rest for about 60 seconds, then repeat the set for a total of three rounds. Follow this pattern for each of the three sets, then give those glutes a good stretch.
1. Romanian Deadlift
Build your glutes while also strengthening nearby muscles in your hamstrings and lower back.
Instructions: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides. Your palms should face your body. Brace your core. Keeping your back flat, push your hips back behind you and allow a slight bend in your knees to lower your arms along your body so that your hands fall just below your knees. Pause, then drive through your legs and squeeze your glutes to stand back up.
2. Split Squat
This single-side (unilateral) exercise trains your glutes individually and improves hip stability. It’s a must in any runner’s workout routine.
Instructions: Stand with your feet hip-width with your arms straight out in front of you. Take a big step behind you with one foot, keeping the bulk of your weight centered in your front foot. Brace your core. Bend your knees to lower your body toward the floor as far as comfortable. Pause, then drive through your front leg to raise back up. Do all reps, then step your feet together and switch sides. For an extra challenge, rest your back leg’s foot on an elevated surface like a bench or sturdy chair.
1. Feet-Elevated Glute Bridge
Glute bridge variations are among the best moves for really isolating your glutes. This one trains your hips through their fullest range of motion.
Instructions: Lie flat on your back in front of a bench or sturdy couch. Place your heels on the edge of the surface. Brace your core. Push through your heels and squeeze your glutes to raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from knees to shoulders. Pause, then slowly release the tension to lower your hips back toward the floor.
2. Side Lunge
For well-rounded glutes, you can’t leave side-to-side movements out of your routine.
Instructions: Start standing with feet together and arms resting at your sides. Brace your core. Take a big step to the side with one leg, push your hips back behind you, and bend the knee of the leg that stepped out to lower your body toward the floor as low as comfortable. Pause, then drive through your bent leg to step your foot back to start. Do all reps and then switch sides.
1. Sumo Squat
This squat variation targets your glutes and also hones your inner thighs.
Instructions: Stand with your feet about double shoulder-width apart and let your feet angle out to the sides as is comfortable. With your arms at your sides, brace your core. Keeping your chest up, bend your knees and sink your hips straight toward the floor as low as comfortable. Pause, then drive through both feet to straighten your legs.
2. Single-Leg Glute Bridge
Another glute bridge exercise, this challenging single-sided variation fatigues your glute max and stabilizers.
Instructions: Lie face-up with your knees bent and one foot flat on the floor. Brace your core. Push through the heel of your planted foot and squeeze your glutes to raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from knees to shoulders. Pause, then slowly release the tension to lower your hips back toward the floor. As you move, focus on keeping your hips in line with each other. Do all reps, then switch sides.