10 Best Compound Glute Exercises

What is a compound glute exercise | Best compound glute exercises | Bottom line

A compound exercise involves more than one muscle group at a time, which is excellent for building booty, especially when you’re shorter in time or feel lazy to train the glutes separately.

In this article, I’m going to share with you the ten best compound glute exercises that activate all three heads of the gluteal as well as other body parts. I’ll also give you some tips to use these exercises effectively and build a rounded booty faster.

What is a Compound Glute Exercise?

A compound exercise is where more than one muscle group works at a time. The squat is a great example that involves the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, core, calf muscles, and hip flexors. [1]

Compound exercises can help you lift heavier weights and achieve maximum muscle fatigue, resulting in greater strength and muscle gain.

What are the Best Compound Glute Exercises?

Best Compound Glute Exercises (for Strength & Size)

Here’re the 10 best compound glute exercises:

  • Barbell Deadlift
  • Barbell Back Squat
  • Barbell Hip Thrust
  • Wide Step Reverse Lunge
  • Dumbbell Step-Ups
  • Bulgarian Split Squat
  • Good Mornings
  • Stiff-Leged Deadlift
  • Cable Pull Through
  • Kettlebell Swing

1. Barbell Deadlift

  • Stand facing the barbell, legs hip-width apart, the abdominal muscles contracted, and the back slightly arched.
  • Bend the knees until your thighs almost go parallel to the ground. Take an overhand grip with your hands slightly more than shoulder-width apart.
  • Inhale, hold your breath, contract the abdominal and lower back muscles, and lift the bar by straightening your legs and allowing the bar to slide up the shins.
  • When the bar reaches the knees, extend your torse so you stand erect with your arms straight down at your sides, exhaling as you complete the movement.
  • Hold this straightened position for 3 seconds, then return the weight to the floor and repeat.
  • Make sure you’re not hyperextending or arching your back at the top. Keep your back straight throughout the movement.

Primary Muscles: Gluteal, trapezius, and quadricep muscles.


Use a reverse grip (one arm facing forward and the other facing back) to prevent the bar from rolling and to lift much heavier weights.

2. Barbell Back Squat

  • With the barbell resting on a stand, slide under the bar and place it on your traps slightly higher than the posterior deltoid. Grasp the bar firmly with your hands at a comfortable width and the elbows back.
  • Inhale deeply, slightly arch your back, contract your core, and remove the barbell from the stand.
  • Step back one or two steps and stand with both feet parallel to each other (or toes pointing slightly outward) and about should-width apart.
  • Bend your hips back and lower until the thighs go horizontal to the floor.
  • Drive through your hips, lift the torso to return to the initial position, and exhale.

Primary Muscles: Gluteus muscles and quadriceps.


To feel the greater tension on the gluteal muscles, lower the thighs to horizontal (i.e., parallel to the ground) or slightly below than that. Be careful to avoid the tendency to round the lower back.

3. Barbell Hip Thrust

  • Sit on the floor in front of a bench, bring the barbell over your waist, and hold it with your hands. Place your upper back on the bench and your feet flat on the ground.
  • Keeping your core tight and back straight, lift your hip through your heels and squeeze your glutes at the top. Pause at the top for 3 seconds.
  • Then slowly lower your glutes back to the starting position. Repeat.

Primary Muscles: Gluteus maximus and hamstrings.


Perform this exercise in long sets, making sure to contract the muscles at the top of the lift.

4. Barbell Reverse Lunges

  • Stand with the legs slightly apart and the bar behind the neck resting on the trapezius muscles.
  • Inhale and take a big step backward, keeping the trunk as straight as possible.
  • Lunge (go down) until the front thigh is horizontal to the floor or slightly less.
  • Exhale and return to the starting position. Alternate legs as desired reps.

Primary Muscles: Gluteus maximus, quadriceps, and hamstrings.


Bigger steps work the gluteal and hamstring muscles intensely. Begin with lighter weights, as this exercise demands a good sense of balance.

5. Dumbbell Step-Ups

  • Stand with your feet slightly apart and hold a dumbbell with each hand at your sides.
  • Place your right foot on the bench, keeping your chest up and shoulders back.
  • With your right leg, lift yourself up on the bench until your right leg is straight.
  • Pause and squeeze the glute of the leading leg and slowly lower your body back to the starting position.
  • You can do one leg at a time or alternate between legs.

Primary Muscles: Gluteus and quadriceps muscles.


Starting with a lighter weight can be helpful to build the initial balance and strength and ensure you’re using the glute of your leading leg when lifting yourself on the bench.

6. Bulgarian Split Squat

  • Hold a pair of dumbbells with your hands and stand with one foot on the floor and the other on the bench.
  • Keeping your torso straight, inhale, and lunge until your forward thigh reaches horizontal or slightly less. You’ll feel a nice stretch on your glute.
  • With your hips, stand up to the starting position and exhale.
  • You can perform a complete set on one side and then the other or work the legs alternately.

Primary Muscles: Gluteus muscles and quadriceps.


The bigger the step, the more the gluteus muscle of the forward leg is used, and the back leg’s rectus femoris (the middle of the front thigh muscle) is stretched. Work with lighter weights to protect the knee.

7. Good Mornings

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and the bar resting on the trapezius or a bit lower on the posterior deltoid.
  • Keeping the back straight (or slight arch in the lower back), inhale and bend the torso forward and downward until your torso goes almost parallel to the ground.
  • Drive through your hips, come back up and repeat.

Primary Muscles: Gluteus muscles and hamstrings.


Slightly bend your knees while tilting forward to feel the better contraction on the gluteus muscles instead of the hamstrings.

8. Stiff-Leged Deadlift

  • Stand with your feet slightly apart, facing the bar as it rests on the ground.
  • Inhale and bend forward at the waist with your chest forward, back arched, and legs as straight as possible. Grasp the bar with an overhand grip.
  • Keeping your arms relaxed, stand up straight by rotating the hips. Keep the abdominal muscles tight, and your back slightly arch for support.
  • Exhale at the end of the movement (i.e., at the top).
  • Bend forward and return the bar to the initial position, but without returning the bar to the floor, come back up by driving through your hips.

Primary Muscles: Gluteus maximus and hamstrings.


To increase the intensity, stand on a box so that the feet are higher than the bar on the ground. Try lifting heavier weights to put maximum tension on the gluteal muscles.

9. Cable Pull Throughs

  • Set up the pully at the bottom and attach a cable rope (or band handle) to the cable.
  • Stand behind the cable machine (so that the machine is backward of you) with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Keep your knees slightly bent like a partial squat and your back straight. Grasp the rope handle and take both your feet one step forward.
  • As you hinge your hips back, you’ll feel the stretch on your hamstring and glute.
  • Drive your hip forward and squeeze your glute as you stand up.
  • Then slowly return to the initial position and repeat.
  • Step back toward the machine and slowly release the rope as you’re done.

Primary Muscles: Gluteus, hamstring, and abdominal muscles.


Squeeze your glutes in the standing position for 3 seconds, making sure you’re not putting much stress on your lower back.

10. Kettlebell Swing

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with a kettlebell between your legs.
  • Bend your hips and lower your torso like you’re doing a deadlift (back straight, chest up, and shoulders back).
  • Hold the kettlebell’s handle with your hands and lift it off the ground.
  • Push your hips back and let the kettlebell swing toward you.
  • Then keeping your core tight and hip engages, push the kettlebell forward and upward with the momentum of your hips like you’re doing a hip thrust.
  • Increase the momentum until the kettlebell reaches horizontal to your chin.

Primary Muscles:


Avoid rounding your lower back, keep the core tight throughout the movement, and ensure you use your hip to swing the weight upward.

Bottom Line

A few of these exercises you may be doing on your leg day. If you’re training legs once a week, add a day glute focused exercises so that you end up hitting your booty twice per week, which is an effective strategy to increase strength and muscle faster.

Building muscle, whether on your glutes or other body parts, takes time. You must train consistently, get proper nutrition, and get adequate rest to see results.

So… There we have it: The best compound glute exercises.

If you have questions regarding glute workouts, feel free to ask in the comment section below. I’d love to help you.

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