If you want to shape up your glute muscles, glute raises are the route to go. Many people overlook isolation exercises for this muscle group because they are focusing instead on moves like squats, lunges, and deadlifts. And, while there is nothing wrong with those moves at all, the issue is the hamstrings and quads will primarily come into play, taking much of the emphasis away from the glute muscles.

The good news, however, is with glute raises, you can change that. It’s important to be focusing on glute raises because with more and more of us living sedentary lifestyles, this muscle starts to grow weaker and weaker. As this weakness continues, it can lead to problems such as lower back pain as well as knee issues.

Let’s look at glute raises – how to do them properly and the variations you might perform…

1. The Glute Raise. To do this raise, you will want to position yourself directly in front of a flat bench so you can lean you upper back against the bench. Your feet should then be placed on the floor, knees bent.

Once in this position, lean back and put your arms on either side of the bench and then begin to squeeze the glutes as you push up through the exercise until your hips are parallel with the rest of your body.

Pause here and then lower back down to complete the rep.

2. Variations On The Glute Raise. Once this basic variation of the glut raise becomes too comfortable, you can add advanced versions to the mix…

  • try a one-leg glute raise. This time, lift one leg up and cross it over the other. Now press up, squeezing through the glutes as you rise to complete the movement.
  • alternatively, if you want to get some weight involved, you can now place a barbell across your hips and do your raises in that manner, or you can just place a plate weight in the same position, pressing up as you execute the movement pattern.

3. Adding Glute Raises To Your Workout Program. As these raises will fully fatigue your glutes, they are best done towards the end of your workout program. Perform them after you have done your heavy sets of squats, deadlifts, or any the other main compound lower body exercises you need to do.

The glutes will act as stabilizers for those exercises, so the last thing you want to do is fatigue them prematurely.

Next time you’re in the gym, make sure you consider getting these isolation exercises into the picture.

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