4 Creative & Joint-Friendly Exercises to Strengthen The Glutes | H4 Training

Oct054 Creative & Joint-Friendly Exercises to Strengthen The Glutes

The glutes are a very important muscle group in the body, which is why we put a focus on the posterior chain in our workouts at H4. The glutes help with keeping the lower back and knees pain-free, are the source of many athletic movements, and they look good in a pair of jeans. No matter who you are and what your goals are, you can benefit from stronger glutes.

So how do you strengthen them? You might think that squats and deadlifts are king (they are a staple movement), but there are other exercises that you should have in your arsenal as well, for the sake of variety, and to take load off of your knees and back. We are going to go over 4 simple exercises that you can do that will leave the glutes burning, all while being safe on those precious joints. Check out the video below that you can use for the following exercises for a quick workout and booty-burn!

#1 Elevated Single Leg Glute Bridge w/Pulses

For this exercise, elevate the shoulders on a surface no more than 2 feet. This can be done on a sofa, small bench, or the edge of a low bed. Placing one foot firmly on the floor in front of you, push through the heel and drive the hips up until the knee, hips, and shoulders are level (think about drawing a straight line through them). Now for some people, doing this for 10-15 reps can be challenging enough; if it is, good. We could even go up to 20 repetitions for a higher range and still benefit from it.

No matter your rep range, here’s where you add the real challenge: adding pulse reps. Here’s how you do it:

  • Perform the single leg glute bridge as you would normally.
  • After 5 reps, add 10 small pulse reps. After completing the pulses, continue through your set.
  • Try doing 15 reps, doing 10 pulses after every 5.

Essentially, you’re doing a bunch of mini reps at each interval of 5, which places more tension on the glutes. At the end of the set, you should be left with a booty burn that you probably haven’t felt in a while.


#2 Banded Kickback Trio Combo

For this movement, all you need is a band and a bench or chair. For the band, either the elastic or the fabric one work, but the fabric is much more comfortable.

How to do it:

  • Start with the band above the knees, and kick one leg straight back until the heel is parallel with the shoulders. Return the leg to the floor.
  • Repeat the movement but with a bent leg kicking back into a straight leg position.
  • For the next rep, we keep the leg bent the entire time and push the heel through to the ceiling.


#3 Banded Pull-Throughs

This is one of my favorites. The glutes are the primary mover, but many muscles are worked; glutes, hammies, erectors, and pretty much all of the muscles of the posterior chain. This exercise is best done with higher repetitions, and can be done with cables as well, but this example will be done with bands.

To do it:

  • Simply loop the bands around a low fixed and sturdy position, like a pole or post.
  • Take a few steps forward, making sure to keeping your balance and a strong fixed stance, as the band(s) will pull you back.
  • Hike the hips backward slowly – like a football player would look like – and let the hands go between the legs. Keep the back flat and chest up.
  • Engage the glutes and drive the hips forward, similar to a glute bridge motion. squeeze the glutes and stand tall.

Again, this is best done for higher repetitions and less weight; think 15-20 reps. This move is great for getting a good glute pump, and for teaching you how to hinge properly. It also strengthens the low back without putting undue stress on it. One band may not be enough, so use as many as you may need.


#4 Lateral Crawl With Hip Abduction

This one is a doozy. Crawling may not be anyone’s favorite mode of locomotion, but it’s important to do for body-awareness and control. For this movement:

  • Place a band above the knees, and start on hands and knees on the floor.
  • Crawl laterally, either with knees on the floor or in a bear crawl position for extra difficulty.
  • As you you move laterally, try to spread the legs as wide as possible, creating space from knee to knee.
  • Perform the same number of reps (try 12) in each direction.

If you do the bear crawl variation of this movement, make sure to keep the focus on the glutes – don’t let it become an upper body dominant movement.

Try these 4 glute-burning exercises out, and build that derriere. P.S.: you might need custom tailored pants after this. Go dominate!