The 4 Best Isolated Glute Exercises

While it seems like just about every image of well-developed glutes comes with the tagline ‘do your squats’, the reality is that building your butt effectively takes a little more than that. While the barbell squat is one of the most effective exercises for building mass on your legs, there are several isolated glute exercises that will help you build the butt you’ve been dreaming of.

While I’d never argue against developing the quads, adductors and hamstrings as part of your training, some people are looking to build their glutes without working the rest of the legs.

There are various reasons why this could be the case – working on a weakness to help improve a compound lift, lagging development, or simply wanting the big butt look. Whatever the reason, the key is to work the glutes without involving the legs too much.

The list below contains some of the most effective glute isolation exercises. If you’re looking for a full list of mass building glute exercises check out this link.

Glute Kickback

  1. Begin on all fours with your arms and back straight
  2. Kick back your right leg until the leg is straight and your ankle is just above the height of your hips
  3. Squeeze the glutes at the top of the movement before lowering your leg to the starting position
  4. Repeat for the desired number of reps then repeat for your left leg


Barbell Hip Thrust

  1. Set up on the floor with a flat bench behind you
  2. Position a loaded barbell over your hips (a pad can help with the discomfort some people feel with this)
  3. Roll the bar directly over your hips and rest your shoulders against the bench
  4. Drive through your feet to push the bar up with your hips, with your weight spread between your feet and your shoulder blades
  5. Push up as far as possible before lowering yourself to the starting position


Single Leg Glute Bridge

  1. Set up on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat
  2. Lift one leg up and pull your knee towards your chest
  3. From this starting position, push through your foot to lift your glutes off the ground and your hips upwards
  4. Push up as far as you can, before lowering yourself to the starting position


One-Legged Cable Kickback

  1. Set up by attaching the cable pulley machine to your ankle using a cuff
  2. Stand around 2 feet from the tower, facing the weights
  3. Stand with a slight bend in the knee and a tight core, holding the tower for support
  4. Kick your leg backwards in an arc, focusing on contracting your glutes
  5. Push back as high as you can and pause briefly at the top of the movement
  6. Return to the starting position in a controlled manner


  • Updated July 16, 2020
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