Squat for It: 2-Day Routine for Great-Looking Glutes

by | Updated: December 3rd, 2016 | Read time: 2 minutes

By Katie Miller for MuscleTech

I was never blessed with shapely, round glutes. I squatted for them. You can always buy yourself a chest, but if you want firm, great-looking glutes, you’ve got to put in the work. During contest prep for my first bikini competition I was under the impression that shoulder-width squats on the Smith machine, leg presses and lunges would give me the glutes I wanted. Wrong! With the help of my degree in exercise physiology and my experience as a personal trainer, I was able to figure out a system that really worked.












The term “glutes” refers to gluteus muscles, comprised of the gluteus minimus, gluteus maximus and gluteus medius. Abductors also play a large role in glute toning. In order to get the results you want, you must do a different exercise for each muscle.

On top of isolating each muscle, it’s crucial to have a good mind-muscle connection.  Mind-muscle connection, in my experience, involves really dialing in or concentrating on the muscle you’re engaging with each exercise.

When I was first training I also thought that heavier weight was needed to get results. Wrong again! My glutes improved significantly when I started lowering weight, increasing repetitions and really thinking about my glutes improving during each exercise.

I like to dedicate one whole day to glute training. I usually start with a heavier leg day on Monday, focusing on compound leg exercises. Thursday, when my legs have recovered, I do more isolated exercises for my glutes (this is a fun training day and you can get very creative with it!).

Here’s an example of what my leg day and “glute” days look like:

Leg Day (heavy weight)

  1. Shoulder-width squats on squat rack (90 degrees)
  2. Stiff legged dead-lifts
  3. One legged hamstring curl superset with walking lunges
  4. Linear hack squat superset with weighted hip thrusts on bosu ball
  5. Leg press (I like to use the squat press)
  6. Leg extension (light weight until burnout)

Glute Day (lighter weight)

  1. Box jumps to warm up
  2. Wide stance (sumo) squats on the smith machine with toes pointed out (deep)
  3. Narrow stance squats (deep)
  4. One legged squats on smith machine (deep)
  5. Glute kickbacks on cable
  6. Glute kickbacks (using prone hamstring curl machine backwards)
  7. Glute stomps (using the pull-up assist machine)
  8. Abductor machine until burnout (this one is done very heavy, leaning forward)

In addition to resistance training, I only use the Stairmaster for cardio exercise, and I squeeze my glutes with each step. Remember mind-muscle connection for best results. Squat for it!

Katie Miller is a national level NPC Bikini Competitor, ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist with a B.A. in exercise physiology. Check her out on Instagram (KTmillerFit), Bodyspace (KTmillerFit) or Facebook (facebook.com/katiemillerfitness).