3 Great Glute Exercises (That Aren’t Squats)

Let’s be honest: we all want to come out of this quarantine with a strong, toned booty. If you’ve spent most of this crazy year snacking and watching reruns of Friends, I’m right there with you. Fortunately for us, there’s still time to get into the home-workout groove: according to an article published in USA Today, we’re likely going to see COVID turmoil for the next several years. Woo-hoo!

I like to switch up my workouts regularly to ward off stagnation, but certain exercises are essential to keep in the glute-gains toolkit: squats (sorry, I know they’re awful), deadlifts, and the 3 I’ve listed below.

The following lifts are my favorite because they are easily modified using equipment you have available (dumbbells, a barbell, or a kettlebell). They also pack great results when done as a regular part of your leg routine.

Good Mornings

One of my favorite exercises for activating the posterior chain, good mornings are great for improving both strength and balance.


Begin with your feet shoulder-width apart and gently hinge at the hips. It’s ok to bend your knees slightly.

Bulgarian Split Squats

Whew, these are tricky at first, but I promise they are worth the result! This motion is an incredible glute-builder and can improve your balance and coordination considerably.

If you’re new to these, I’d recommend starting off with a kettlebell or using the Smith machine to get the feel for them.


To do a split squat, elevate one leg on a bench and squat down slowly and deliberately with the other.

Barbell Hip Thrust

Last but not least are barbell hip thrusts. In my opinion, these are the #1 exercise you’ll want to incorporate into your glute days to see big results.


Start with your back against a bench and lay a barbell (or dumbbell) across your lap. Push the weight up to complete a rep.

If it gets a little uncomfortable having so much weight across your stomach, try a pad like the Hip Thrust Pad as a cushion.

We’ve now entered the second half of 2020. Let’s finish it off strong! What are your favorite glute lifts? Let me know in the comments.

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