Looking for an effective way to strengthen and tone your glutes?
Look no further…
This 4 week glute workout plan is designed to get you results quickly, by focusing on compound movements and progressive overload training.
It’s suitable for beginners and advanced athletes alike. Beginners can simply start with lighter weights (or even just their bodyweight) and slowly incorporate heavier weights as they feel more comfortable with the exercises.
It’s also designed for both men and women as the benefits of these exercises are universal.
We recommend using dumbbells or a barbell (dumbbells are probably more common for home workouts) for creating resistance during the exercises, as this will help deliver the most effective results… sorry “booty” bands, but we won’t be needing you for this!
Glutes training is often misunderstood, or even often just ignored… but it creates a multitude of benefits, including better functional movement, athletic performance and improved posture. Ultimately, if you want to enjoy better movement and feel fitter… you’ve got to give your glutes attention during your fitness routine.
The caveat is that you don’t want to go overboard by only training your glutes… so this workout plan has been carefully designed to be completed twice a week, which gives your glutes plenty of time to recover. You could either train other muscle groups on the same day afterwards, or on separate days.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into things…
Importance of Training the Glutes
Training the glutes is incredibly important for all sorts of reasons, so sometimes a dedicated glute workout plan is a great way to kick this muscle group into gear.
The “glutes” refers to 3 muscles:
- Gluteus maximus
- Gluteus medius
- Gluteus minimus
Although glute workouts are often associated with aesthetic benefits, it’s actually the biomechanical benefits that should really excite you. The glutes are a vital component to your “posterior chain” and strengthening them will undoubtedly improve your athletic movement.
The ability to create power from your lower body will become much easier when your glutes are stronger. This can also help support daily activities, such as standing up out of a chair.
A sedentary lifestyle which involves lots of sitting, often means the glutes fail to get efficiently activated during the day… and this means they become weaker, leading to MSK problems such as lower back ache and poor posture.
As a result, including a dedicated glute workout plan without your weekly fitness routine is certainly worth considering if you want to improve your all-round physical movement and ensure your glutes are being sufficiently activated during the week.
Glute workouts are often associated with the aesthetic benefits (i.e. a more rounded, toned “derrière”) – but exercise alone won’t overcome a bad diet. For best results on this glute workout plan, try and follow a healthy diet to fuel your body with the nutrients needed to help swap fat for muscle.
4 Week Glute Workout Plan
|Primary Goal||Glute Strength and Muscle|
|Primary Muscles Targeted||Glutes, Hamstrings and Calves|
|Secondary Muscles Targeted||Quads|
|Training Level||Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced|
|Program Duration||4 weeks|
|Training Days Per Week||2 Days|
|Required Equipment||Dumbbells (or Barbell)|
|Printable Version||View here|
|DB Sumo Goblet Squat||8-12||3|
|DB Single Straight Leg Deadlifts||8-12||3|
|DB Bulgarian Split Squat||8-12||3|
|Bodyweight Hip Thrusts||15||3|
|Eccentric (Slow) Bodyweight Good Mornings||10||3|
|DB Romanian Deadlifts||8-12||3|
|DB Single Straight Leg Deadlifts||8-12||3|
|DB Walking Lunges||8-12||3|
|Bodyweight Single Leg Hip Thrusts||8-12||3|
|Bodyweight Glute Bridge 10 Second Hold||8-12||3|
Ideally, space the two workouts out during the week, e.g. You could do Day 1 on Monday and Day 2 on Thursday. This will allow for optimal recovery.
You can also swap out dumbbells (DB) for a barbell or kettlebell if you prefer.
It’s also important to remember to try and increase the weight during the exercises over the 4 weeks. The amount you increase the weight by really depends on your personal progression. Alternatively, increase the number of reps or sets per workout if you do have access to heavier weights.
As well as targeting the glutes, this workout will also heavily engage the hamstrings and calves, as well as the quads. This is because it includes a lot of compound movements, as opposed to just isolating the glutes. This means you really wouldn’t need to train your lower body separately during the week (although over time, you may want to include some variations that prioritize the quads too).
Tips for Building Strong Glutes
The importance of good technique during compound lifts can’t be overstated.
Good technique will help you progress quicker and avoid injury.
If you’re struggling to maintain good technique, you may have selected weights that are too heavy. If this is the case, simply opt for lighter weights so you can follow correct technique and posture during the exercises.
Diet and exercise go hand-in-hand… and if you want to see tangible results from your workout plan, especially physical results, you’ve got to adopt a healthy diet.
If you want more rounded, firmer glutes, but continue to eat junk food and unhealthy meal options, it’s going to be an uphill battle.
Choosing lean protein, plenty of veg and cutting back on sugar, are simple ways to instantly improve your diet to help you reach your fitness goals.
One of the biggest mistakes we often see is over-training. Whether it’s the glutes, chest or arms… when people have a muscle group in their mind that they want to target, they often simply over-train it.
Over-training isn’t sustainable and often just results in injury… which will actually mean you then stop training altogether.
It also leads to muscular imbalances, which again… can lead to injury.
Rest and recovery is important in any fitness routine, but especially important when you’re lifting weights and doing resistance training. Your muscles and nervous system are being put to the test and need time to rest between workouts.
For this reason, we would only suggest actively training your glutes twice a week.
This glute workout plan is designed for home use and consequently focuses on using dumbbells for resistance. This will likely lead to more muscular growth than when using bands, however, you can still follow along to all the exercises with resistance bands if you’d prefer.
This plan specifically doesn’t use any “glute” equipment (such as the popular BootySprout, or the COBA board) as we wanted to focus on compound movements that will engage and activate your whole lower body to ensure you don’t create muscular imbalances by purely isolating your glutes each workout.
Similarly, if you’ve got access to plates and a barbell, this can be used for resistance too.
Lots of glute (or “booty”) workouts often prioritize a band… but if you want to see results quickly, dumbbells and barbells are your better option. This is simply because you can create more mechanical tension and force your muscles to work harder through progressive overload.
If you’re looking for some new dumbbells, our buyer’s guide on the best dumbbells for women is worth checking out. This includes some of our top picks for adjustable dumbbells too… which can be useful for home workouts as it means you can adjust the weight between sets and exercises with ease.
And that leads us nicely to the core foundation to this glute workout plan… and that’s progressive overload.
It’s a phrase you may hear from Personal Trainers and coaches and simply describes the process of progressively adding more weight to your sets – i.e. you’re continuing to challenge your muscles by opting for heavier weights.
(As well as adding more weight, it could also refer to adding more repetitions or sets during your workout too… which would also be a way to make your muscles work harder).
If you can do 12+ reps of an exercise with ease, it’s probably time you opted for a heavier weight so you can keep your muscles challenged. It’s as simple as that.
If you’re struggling to do a full rep, then you might want to drop it down again and pick a lighter weight.
Similarly, you’ll notice this workout plan is focused on weight lifting… which ultimately is the most effective way to strengthen or tone your glutes. Cardio activities like going for long walks may mean you “feel the burn” in your legs and glutes the next day, but this isn’t going to allow you to build the muscle that will lead to visual differences or improved strength in a short period of time.
If you do enjoy cardio activities like walking, a simple way to further activate your glutes is to walk on an incline. Whether you can find a hill near where you live, or lots of steps to climb up, or just set a treadmill on an incline, this gradient will require more effort from your glutes and hamstrings (as opposed to your quads).
Hypertrophy is a description of strength training that focuses on muscular development.
Although you may think all strength training focuses on building muscle, it’s not necessarily the case. Powerlifting, for example, is focused on lifting the heaviest weight… not necessarily building muscle. Consequently, the type of fitness routine powerlifters follow, compared to that of a bodybuilder, would actually look quite different.
So, what’s the best way to build muscle?
Simply put, aim for around 8-10 reps per set and opt for around 3 sets per exercise. This is very simplified, but will mean you hit the sweet spot for muscular development.
Eccentric training is an incredibly underrated aspect of fitness… but it’s actually the secret to building muscle quickly.
Eccentric training refers to the “lowering” phase of a movement, as opposed to the “contracting” phase (concentric training).
The eccentric phase is where more muscle is broken down and built back stronger, so slowing down the lowering phase is a simple way to make your muscles work harder.
Our guide on negative or eccentric pullups explains the science behind this.
If you want to strengthen or tone your glutes, strength training is going to be a key part of your workouts.
Like any form of exercise, strength training requires adequate stretching and warming up beforehand, to ensure your muscles are ready. Failure to warm up properly could lead to injury, as well as reduced workout performance.
Avoiding Muscular Imbalance
This workout plan also includes single leg exercises, to ensure one side of your body isn’t overcompensating the other.
A single leg lunge, or single straight leg deadlift, for example, will make it quite clear if one side is stronger than the other… in which case, including more single leg variations of exercises is worth considering, to ensure both sides are getting challenged during a workout.
A quick and easy way to spot if your glutes are struggling during an exercise is whether or not your knees start to wobble. This suggests your muscles are struggling to maintain stability. If this is happening more on one side than the other, even if you can lift similar weights, it could suggest muscular imbalance.
As with any form of strength training or weight lifting, tracking progress is really useful.
Using a notepad is more than enough to do this. Similarly, there are apps like Fitbod that make tracking progress very easy and will help you visualize your improvements over time. You can input the weight you are lifting, helping you understand when to opt for heavier weights.
You may also benefit from taking photos of yourself, as this is a better indication of muscular transformation than using scales (as muscle is denser than fat).
This glute workout plan provides a simple but effective way to start seeing tangible improves in your glutes. It also doesn’t require specialist equipment… meaning there’s no excuses for not giving it a go. After following this for 4 weeks, you should already start to notice visual differences in your glutes as well as the improvements in lower body strength.
As with any new workout plan, if you have any doubts, consult a doctor or healthcare professional for advice based on your personal circumstances.