Try This 30-Day Glutes Workout Challenge to Build a Stronger Butt

·5 min read
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Photo credit: .

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GLUTE-CENTRIC WORKOUTS have become one of the buzziest trends in fitness, and the hype is not unjustified. While most of the highest profile examples of the genre are focused specifically on amplifying a certain type of asset for a certain type of exerciser—yes, you can get your Instagram model joke out the way before we move on, please—there is absolutely a fundamental reason to make time to train your butt and glutes. They're the biggest, most metabolically active muscles in your body, and they're the engines behind lower body strength, power, and speed.

But not every glutes training plan is created equal, and not everyone knows how best to engage these miraculous muscles, partially due to the flood of different "booty" workouts dominating social media feeds. Do you need booty bands and thrusts? Should every squat have a pulse? Or are you only going to get results in the opposite direction, with big weights and barbells?

Photo credit: Men's Health
Photo credit: Men's Health

Start to answer those questions by expanding your knowledge. The glutes are made up of three muscles: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. The glute max helps to hold your torso upright, while the other two muscles assist the glute max when you raise your leg to the side, when you rotate your thigh outward when your leg is straight, and inward when your hip is bent. And as much as there are benefits to training your glutes, there are consequences to neglecting them. Too much sedentary time sitting down without glute engagement can tighten your hip flexors and result in gluteal amnesia, a.k.a. dead butt syndrome, a condition that occurs when the glute medius stops firing. That can throw your whole body out of whack.

So instead of just following the routines that pop up in your Discover feed, take on the Men's Health 30-Day Glute Challenge for a structured approach. You’ll spend this month learning and mastering essential glute-targeting movements every day. Each week has a different focus, so you won't just be repeating yourself. You can keep up your normal training routine throughout the challenge—just make sure to incorporate the new exercises into your workouts. You'll need weights some days, a platform for thrusts, and the will to commit for the full period. (Need the gear to get this done? Check out Life Fitness' home adjustable bench for a starting point.)

This is not just another build a better booty challenge. This is a build a better body challenge. Your glutes will lead the way.

Photo credit: .
Photo credit: .


▼ Bodyweight Paused Thrust

▼ Standard Thrust

▼ Single-Leg Thrust

▼ Plyo Thrust


▼ Curtsy Lunge

▼ Pulse Reverse Lunge

▼ Mixed-Style Reverse Lunge

▼ Curtsy Hops Lunge


▼ Basic Swing

▼ Staggered Stance Swing

▼ Mixed-Style Swing

▼ Swing to Squat


▼ Classic RDL

▼ Staggered Stance RDL

▼ Mixed Style RDL

▼ Two-Step RDL

Split Squats

▼ Bulgarian Split Squat

▼ Paused Split Squat

▼ Paused Pulse Split Squat

▼ Plyo Split Squat


▼ Paused Goblet Squat

▼ Paused Pulse Goblet Squat

▼ Kickstand Squat

▼ Double-Explode Squat


The Basics: Master the starter-level moves that can help your glute development. You can stimulate the glutes with hip thrusts, deadlifts, squats, and lunge variations. Each day, you’ll learn a new one, using either your bodyweight, kettlebells or dumbbells.

Day 1: Hip Thrust

3 sets of 10 reps

Day 2: Paused Goblet Squat

3 sets of 10 reps

Day 3: Romanian Deadlift

3 sets of 10 reps

Day 4: Bulgarian Split Squat

2 sets of 8 reps per side

Day 5: Curtsy Lunge

2 sets of 8 reps per side

Day 6: Cossack Squat

2 sets of 8 reps per side

Day 7: Power day: Kettlebell Swing

3 sets of 30 seconds


Up Your Time: You know the moves, now start slowing things down. On most exercises this week, you’ll add pauses and pulses, prolonging time under tension (we’ll change things up in a different way with our kettlebell swings, though).

Day 1: Paused Hip Thurst

3 sets of 10 reps

Day 2: Pulse Paused Goblet Squat

3 sets of 8 reps

Day 3: Two-Step RDL

3 sets of 8 reps

Day 4: Paused Bulgarian Split Squat

2 sets of 8 reps

Day 5: Pulse Reverse Lunge

2 sets of 8 reps

Day 6: Paused Cossack

2 sets of 8 reps

Day 7: Power Day: Swing to Squat

3 sets of 30 seconds on


Change Your Stance: You'll get a new perspective on these exercises by switching up your orientation, with split stances, staggered stances, alternating reps styles, and more.

Day 1: Single-Leg Hip Thrust

2 sets of 8 reps per side

Day 2: Kickstand Goblet Squat

2 sets of 10 reps per side

Day 3: Staggered-Stance RDL

2 sets of 8 reps per side

Day 4: Paused Pulse Bulgarian

2 sets of 8 reps per side

Day 5: Mixed Style Reverse Lunge

2 sets of 10 reps per side

Day 6: Half-Full Cossack Squat

2 sets of 8 reps per side

Day 7: Staggered-Stance Swing

2 30-second sets per side


Add a Complication: Bored? Don’t count on it. You’ll be exposed to ultra-challenging variations of your base moves in this final full week.

Day 1: Plyo Hip Thrust

3 sets of 10 reps per side

Day 2: Double-Explode Goblet Squat

3 sets of 5 pairs of reps

Day 3: Mixed-Style RDL

2 sets of 8 total reps per side

Day 4: Plyo Bulgarian

2 sets of 8 reps per side

Day 5: Curtsy Hops

2 sets of 8 reps per side

Day 6: Mixed-Style Pendulum Lunge

2 sets of 6 reps per side

Day 7: Mixed-Style Swing

3 30-second sets


Combine Your Favorites: Finish the month with challenge flows that blast your glutes (and challenge your whole body, really).

Day 1: Reverse Lunge to Squat to Curtsy to Squat

3 reps per side

Day 2: Swing to Squat to Alternating Lunge

3 reps per side

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