8fbd035081bd09934004bfc61d79c31c5d5d9ee4

OF ALL THE MUSCLES in your body, your gluteus maximus is the largest. It’s also one of the strongest and hardest working. Together with your gluteus minimus and medius, its primary job is to extend your hips—a movement that’s key to not only keeping your torso erect and body upright, but also generating the kind of explosive power that defines true athleticism.

Those aren’t the only reasons you should strengthen this important muscle group. Doing so will also help reduce your risk of low back pain (and will help you turn heads when you wear the right pair of jeans). There’s really there’s no downside to giving your glutes some extra attention in your workouts. On the contrary, there are only hardbody benefits to be gained. If you’re struggling to supplement your leg day workouts with more glute-focused movements, we have just the program for you.

In this seven-day challenge, you’ll hit your glutes every day with two exercises (performed as a superset) for one full week. Could all of that work that result in overtraining? No, and here’s why: You won’t target your glutes exclusively each day. Instead, you’ll follow a day that taxes your entire body—including your glutes—with exercises such as the kettlebell swing and goblet squat with two days that deliver a more localized glute burn (think: Romanian deadlift and plyo hip thrust). By following that pattern, you can pack more glute work into your training without worrying about overdoing it.

How to Add the 7-Day Glute Challenge to Your Workouts

Each day, you’ll do four rounds of the prescribed superset, resting 60 seconds between them. If you’re already following a training plan, perform the supersets as finishers, tacking them onto the ends of your regular workouts. If you’re new to lifting, feel free to start your workouts with these supersets.

Either way, use the heaviest load that allows you to complete all of your reps with good form. After the seventh day, take a day or two to rest, and then repeat the challenge (if you’re so inclined) using heavier weights to sustain your gains. Want to expand even further? Give the 30-day butt workout challenge a try for a whole month of glute-growing programming.

The 7-Day Glute Workout Challenge

Perform the reps for the first exercise, then immediately move to the second with little to no rest. Rest for 60 seconds, then do it again. Repeat for 4 total rounds.

DAY 1

Paused Goblet Squat

10 to 12 reps

This is an image

How to Do It: Stand with your feet just beyond shoulder-width apart and hold the dumbbell or kettlebell at chest height, squeezing your mid-back, core, and glutes to create full-body tension to keep your torso from tipping forward. Push your butt back and bend your knees to squat down to parallel (or the most comfortable depth for you) and pause for a beat. Stand back up and squeeze your glutes at the top.

Kettlebell Swing

10 to 12 reps

This is an image

How to Do It: Start with the kettlebell out in front of you on the floor, standing with your feet just wider than shoulder-width apart, then push your butt back and reach to grasp the handle with both hands. ‘Hike’ the weight back between your legs, then stand straight up forcefully, squeezing your glutes and allowing the bell to swing up. Don’t aim for a specific height; keep your arms loose and relaxed and allow your hips to drive the weight up. Reverse the movement, allowing the bell to swing back between your legs as your hinge forward to prepare for the next rep.

DAY 2

Romanian Deadlift

8 to 10 reps

This is an image

How to Do It: Standing with you feet about shoulder-width apart, grab a pair of dumbbells from a bench or box. Keep the dumbbells close to your sides, with your shoulders back, your core tight, and glutes squeezed. Push your butt back as far as possible as you begin lowering your torso, down as far as your personal mobility limits allow. Pause at the bottom, then stand back up, slightly quicker than the lowering phase.

Plyo Hip Thrust

8 to 10 reps per leg

This is an image

How to Do It: Put your shoulders against a bench or stable platform, then get into a bridge position with your knees at a 90-degree angle and feet flat on the floor. Raise one foot off the floor. Lower your butt down, keeping your position on the bench, then push off the floor with your grounded foot to raise off the floor and squeeze your glutes to drive your hips up.

DAY 3

Single-Leg Hip Thrust

10 to 12 reps per leg

This is an image

How to Do It: Put your shoulders against a bench or stable platform, then get into a bridge position with your knees feet flat on the floor and knees bent. Raise one foot off the floor. Squeeze your glutes and drive your hips up, keeping your posture solid and your neck in a neutral position (gaze facing forward).

Paused Hip Thrust

15 to 20 reps

This is an image

How to Do It: Put your shoulders against a bench or stable platform, then get into a bridge position with your knees feet flat on the floor and knees bent. Drive your hips up so that you torso forms a straight line with your knees at 90-degree angles, then pause, continuing to squeeze your glutes.

DAY 4

Curtsy Lunge

10 to 12 reps per leg

This is an image

How to Do It: Stand with your feet just beyond shoulder-width apart and hold the dumbbell or kettlebell at chest height, squeezing your mid-back, core, and glutes to create full-body tension to keep your torso from tipping forward. Step back with one leg, crossing your body’s midline to the other side of yourself and lower your knee to the floor. Press back off the floor to stand back up, squeezing your glutes.

Swing to Squat

8 to 10 reps

This is an image

Perform a kettlebell swing using the form described above. Instead of using the momentum after the first rep to perform another, however, raise the bell up to your chest in position for a goblet squat. Push your butt back, then bend your knees to perform the squat, before driving off the floor and squeezing your glutes to stand back up.

DAY 5

Staggered-Stance RDL

8 to 10 reps per leg

This is an image

Start holding the dumbbells in each hand, then shift your foot position so one is slightly ahead of the other. Keep the dumbbells close to your sides, with your shoulders back, your core tight, and glutes squeezed. Push your butt back as far as possible as you begin lowering your torso, down as far as your personal mobility limits allow. Pause at the bottom, then stand back up, slightly quicker than the lowering phase.

Plyo Hip Thrust

8 to 10 reps per leg

This is an image

Repeat the form from Day 2.

DAY 6

Single-Leg Hip Thrust

10 to 12 reps per leg

This is an image

Repeat the form from Day 3.

Paused Hip Thrust

15 to 20 reps

This is an image

Repeat the form from Day 3.

DAY 7

Swing to Squat to Alternating Lunge

6 to 8 reps

This is an image

Repeat the swing to squat from from Day 4. After performing the goblet squat, however, immediately step one foot, then the other in a rear lunge. Maintain full-body tension throughout to keep your torso from tipping forward.

Kettlebell Swing

10 to 12 reps

This is an image

Repeat the form from Day 1.

Headshot of Trevor Thieme C.S.C.S.

Trevor Thieme is a Los Angeles-based writer and strength coach, and a former fitness editor at Men’s Health. When not helping others get in shape, he splits his time between surfing, skiing, hiking, mountain biking, and trying to keep up with his seven year-old daughter.

Related Posts