5 Glute Exercises Better Than Squats
1. Single-Leg Deadlift With Kettlebell
Take a 20-pound kettlebell in your left hand and stand on your left leg, keeping the other one slightly off the ground. Keeping your back straight and the left knee slightly bent, lean your upper body forward while extending your free leg behind you for better balance. Lower the kettlebell as close to the ground as possible, then return to the starting position and perform the movement with the kettlebell in your right hand and the left leg off the ground. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps on each leg.
- Curtsy Lunges
Here’s how to perform curtsy lunges:
- Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands together at the chest level. This is the starting position.
- Keeping your hips square, cross your left leg behind you and step backward as you lower your left knee toward the floor. Your right knee should remain directly above your right ankle.
- Pause for 2 seconds, then press into your right heel as you stand and return to the starting position.
- Do 3 sets of 15 reps on each side.
3. Dumbbell Step Up
Get ready to lift your assets—this move is tougher than it looks. Beginners should start sans dumbbells and may need to regress the exercise by using a lower platform, such as an aerobic step.
- Get into starting position by facing the bench and stepping up onto the bench with your right foot. Keep your knee at a 90-degree angle. You can think of it as a lunge up onto the bench. Press through your right heel, bringing your left foot to meet your right so you are standing on the bench.
- Return to the starting position by brining the left leg back down to the ground and repeat the move on the same side for 10 reps. When you are done with the right side, switch to the left and complete another 10 reps. Do three sets.
- To even further advance the exercise, you can try simply tapping the ground with your non-lead leg instead of stepping all the way down. This will keep your glutes firing throughout the entire exercise.
4. Fire hydrants with leg extension
Begin on all fours with knees hip-width apart and your hands directly below your shoulders. Keeping the knee bent to a 90-degree angle, lift your left leg out to the left side, then extend it. Pause for 2 seconds before bending the knee again, then bring the leg back to the starting position and repeat. Perform 3 sets of 20 reps on each side.
Walking up flights of stairs is a great full body workout, but stepping up onto a bench is the perfect move for your tush. Here’s how to perform the step-ups:
- Stand in front of your bench or a chair and place your right foot in the center of the seat. With your hands, hold a barbell behind your head, right above the shoulders. This is the starting position.
- Step up onto the bench and bring your left knee forward and up.
- Lower yourself back to the starting position, with the foot landing quietly.
- Switch legs and repeat to complete one rep.
- Do 3 sets of 20 reps on each leg.
Now you know the five moves to master before you attempt a PR in a back squat. And knowing is half the battle.