Pure American Horse Power

A few months before I turned 16, my father took me to look at a few used cars. He’d found what he thought would be suitable, a used burgundy 1996 Toyota Corolla. It wasn’t a great car by any means, but it was a great starter car. Less than $2,000, I could’ve paid the car off in a matter of months. Even with the measly checks from the Chinese restaurant I worked at.

The first car my dad owned was a 1965 Ford Mustang. Maybe it was the guilt my father felt for being a “bad father.” But he told the car salesperson that he wanted to test drive a Mustang. There were two Mustangs on the lot, a convertible and a GT with leather interior. My dad gave me the choice of which one to test drive. I was 15, and the only thing on my mind was “I want the car that will get me, girls,” so we test drove the convertible. My dad took it on the highway, revved up the engine, put the top down, and let me bask in the glory of sitting in my dream car. The wind in my hair, youthful exuberance swimming through me like the salmon of Capistrano—I felt alive. If somehow, this dream I was sitting in could be mine; I was confident all the girls would want a ride.

Except it was too expensive and the smarter choice was the Toyota. At least I could spend a few hundred bucks and put a CD player in the Corolla, right?

Guilt always trumps logic. To my surprise, two weeks later my dad rolled up with the Mustang Convertible and presented it to me as my first car. With the caveat that I was to pay him $200 a month until I graduated High School. Holy sh*t dude I was about to get so many girls with that convertible.

Crickets. Crickets. Crickets.

That’s the sound of my love life with a Mustang convertible.

Don’t Believe Everything You Hear

Having a “cool” car doesn’t mean that you’re going to have girls throwing themselves at you. That’s what we’re told, though, right? Get a cool car, get a hot chick. It makes more sense to follow the status quo than to buck it.

When it comes to fitness, you’re often told: “If you want to build your glutes you need to squat and deadlift.”

Considered the two best exercises you can perform, squats and deadlifts help you build strength, shred fat, and feel more heroic.

Both of these exercises recruit your glutes and will add size to your booty. They’re not the only way you can accomplish this goal, though.

You don’t need a convertible to get laid, and you don’t need to squat and deadlift to add inches to your backside.

The Glute Function

You’re probably aware of the gluteus maximus, the largest muscle in your body. But there are two other glute muscles underneath—the glute medius and the glute minimus. Your glutes muscles function in:

  • Extending your hip (pelvic thrusts)
  • Abduction (move away from your body) your legs
  • External rotation and internal rotation of the hip joint.
  • The gluteus maximus also supports the extended knee through the iliotibial tract.

A powerful set of glutes will make you a better runner, sprinter, lifter, and lover.

Beyond that, strong glutes help improve your posture and aid in reducing back pain.

Think back to what I covered above in regards to the primary functions of the glutes. Your glutes extend the hips and the thighs (along with internal and external rotation and abduction, but we’ll get to that further down).

Exercises that focus on hip extension will reshape your derriere and build a set of glutes even Sir Mix-A-Lot would rap about.

It’s All in the Hips

Skipping squats and deadlifts, these three exercises below are the best bang for your butt.

Hip Thrusts

Glute Bridges

Cable Pull-Through

Both hip thrusts and glute bridges can be done with bodyweight alone, which for many people (beginner or experienced) are challenging enough.
Adding resistance with the cable pull-through will send your behind gains to a whole new level. If you struggle with hip hinging correctly, the cable pull-through will aid in honing these skills.

Which, of course, you’ll need for kettlebell swings or late night pelvic thrust fun. You can increase the difficulty of hip thrusts and glute bridges by adding weight via dumbbells, plates, or barbells. But my favorite way to light your ass on fire is to wrap a band around your knees.

During my last winter bulk, I added 6 inches on my ass in over 7 months. Most of the hip extension work I performed involved bands around my knees.

These three exercises target the glorious glute maximus.

But if you want the best ass in the world, you need to train all your glutes muscles. Which means you’ll need isolation training aimed at the glute medius and minimus.

If you thought banded hip thrusts set your ass on fire worse than that time you drunkenly consumed $17 worth of Taco Bell, then you’ve never isolated your glute medius.

Maximum Medius Soreness

Avid gym rat’s train squats, deadlifts, bench presses, overhead presses, and curls–lots of curls.

Besides dumbbell lateral raises, you rarely perform any sort of lateral movement.

Mario only needed to dodge obstacles in a 2D world for years, but once the N64 came around everything became 3D. You could now move Mario forward, backward, and to the side (lateral).

Your glute medius and minimus work in abduction (movement away from the body) but also internal rotation and external rotation of the hip joint.

Ever notice your knees caving in towards your body as you squat? This is a sign that your glute medius and minimus aren’t as strong as they should be.

A weak glute medius can also lead to knee joint imbalances and if you’re a runner that could lead to an injury.

Strengthen these glute muscles and watch your squat and deadlift numbers skyrocket.

If you’re a runner, training these glute muscles will help keep you running longer and healthier.

Glute medius exercises are simple. They seem boring at first, but trust me, you’re going to feel it the next day.

Ass and You Shall Receive

Two weeks after getting my license, I totaled my Mustang. We fixed it but it cost a pretty penny–about 10x more than what the Corolla would’ve cost me.

How many girls did the Mustang get me in High School? None.

For years, I was under the impression as well that it was all about the squats and deadlifts when it came to growing your glutes.

Thanks to my coach Kennet Waale, I increased the size of my glutes by 6 inches this winter.

During the 7 months I trained with Kennet, most of my training focused on hip extension. Hip thrusts, glute-ham raise, single leg hip thrusts, and lots of cable pull-throughs.

Glute training has now become my favorite day of the week. Sorry biceps, I love you butt….
Squats and deadlifts aren’t the magic solutions to increasing your backside. Making some ass gains, however, will help you produce more powerful hip extension, improve your posture, reduce low back pain, and make your physique look far more impressive.

I’m a gamer and for years, I gave up my pursuit of health and fitness. My body became like the unplayed games on my shelf, forgotten and unused. I had zero confidence, my stomach was beginning to ooze over the top of my pants, and I felt like a stranger was looking back at me in the mirror. Then I realized that I could accomplish these goals if I turned the process into a game and made it an adventure that played out like games that I spent hours pouring into. I’m now an online personal trainer and I see my role as your sidekick. A companion who assists and helps make your quest easier to complete.
Learn more about Robbie, and working with him via the Fitmo app here.

One thought on “Build Glutes Without Squats or Deadlifts

  1. Steph Luu says:

    Hey you, my man, are a badass! Love your bio and this was a very informative yet fun article

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