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Do Squats develop your glutes?

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

by Harmony Fitness, Ece

Squats and deadlifts are incredible exercises that work multiple muscle groups throughout the body. Correctly executed squats focus mainly on the quadriceps and secondarily on the hamstrings, glutes, and erector spine muscles.

On the other hand, deadlifts primarily target the hamstrings, with secondary emphasis on the erector spine and glutes muscles. While performing these exercises, the hip muscles are utilized as complementary muscles.

It's not uncommon to see individuals, particularly women, spending hours squatting with weights on the smith machine at the gym. Even if your objective is to increase leg size, I do not recommend squatting with heavy weights for extended periods since it can cause issues with your spine.

## The Importance of Activating Your Glutes

Weak glutes can cause a variety of issues including injuries, ankle pain, or imbalances during exercise, particularly during heavy-loaded exercises like squats and hip thrusts. These types of exercises can cause serious injury, so it's crucial to strengthen your glutes. To achieve optimal results, it's recommended to train each muscle twice a week, but the glutes require more repetition and frequency than other muscle groups. To achieve visible results, try to exercise your glutes 3-5 times a week.

The Simple and Effective Glute Bridge Workout

Looking for an easy and efficient method to strengthen your glutes? Try the Glute Bridge exercise – simply do 100 repetitions per day, for no more than 5 days a week. I've personally tried this challenge for two months, incorporating Body Weight variations throughout. The results were great, but even better after two months of consistency.

While doing this experiment, it's important to maintain your usual exercise habits and keep a balanced diet. Post-workout meals are essential in muscle building. For a more structured approach, try our 16 Day Glutes Challenge program. Take a look at the variations below to switch it up each day.


Instructions for performing glute bridges:

  • Keep legs at 90 degrees, avoid arching the lower back to prevent pain.

  • Lift pelvis off the floor by pressing soles of feet, squeeze glute muscles, and keep stomach flat.

  • Hold for a few breaths, then slowly lower back down. Repeat for a few reps and multiple sets.

Glute Bridge


Looking for an exercise that can target both sides of your glutes equally? Try the hip bridge with leg raise! Here's how to do it:

  1. Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground.

  2. Raise one leg straight up toward the ceiling.

  3. Tighten your glutes and lift your pelvis upward, keeping your raised leg straight throughout the movement.

  4. Lower your pelvis back down to the ground and repeat the exercise as many times as you'd like.

  5. By keeping constant tension on one side, you'll eventually achieve symmetry on both sides.

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MARCH On Glute Bridge

Maintain a raised hip bridge and move your legs as if walking while holding the glute bridge position.

MARCH On Glute Bridge


To ensure proper form during exercise, be sure to place your shoulder blades on the chair and align your knees and ankles. Similar to the glute bridge, begin by lowering your hips and then squeezing upward. Keep a close eye on your legs and body positioning to maintain proper form.

Harmony Fitness


Strengthening Your Glutes with the Four-Legged Kickback Exercise

Looking for an exercise to target your glutes and achieve bigger hips? Try out the four-legged kickback exercise – it's highly effective and easy to do. Here's how to do it:

  • Stand and slightly bend at the waist, using a chair or wall for support if needed. Alternatively, try the exercise without support to improve your balance.

  • While keeping your torso still, kick one leg back.

  • You can also perform this exercise on the ground by getting on all fours and placing your elbows on the floor.

  • Ensure that your back remains straight and avoid arching it while performing the exercise in either position.

  • You'll get better results if you kick back parallel to your body for improved muscle contraction.

Take a break for a week or longer after completing these exercises for a month. If you want, you can continue for an additional month. I saw improvement after two months, and you might too. After that, you can challenge yourself by adding resistance bands or weights. You can utilize these exercises with resistance bands for an even greater burn. Good luck!

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