5 Best Upper Glutes Exercises for Men

Upper glutes training are essential for men. (Photo via Pexels/ Victor Freitas)
Upper glutes training are essential for men. (Photo via Pexels/ Victor Freitas)

The upper glutes or gluteus medius, are the muscles at the top of your butts. They're one of the three major muscles in your buttocks and are primarily responsible for hip abduction, and external and internal rotation of the hip joints.

The upper glutes are stabilizer muscles, which help keep the pelvis level as you move; they also assist in rotating your legs outward. These massive muscles are important for performing powerful athletic movements and maintaining proper posture. In a nutshell, these muscles are not only key for wearing a pair of jeans but are also essential for everyday moves and tasks.

Moreover, if you think glutes training is just for women or people who want a popped butt, you could not have been more wrong. Glutes training is for men too and can be equally beneficial.

Exercises for Men to Train Upper Glutes

Fortunately, there are several exercises you can do to keep your upper glutes healthy and strong. While you can also train the muscles simply by walking or running regularly, specific exercises can boost your glute gains.

On that note, here are five best gluteus medius aka upper glutes exercises that can help men achieve strong and healthy functioning glutes:

1) Dumbbell Lateral Lunge

The dumbbell lateral lunges enhance the power and strength of your legs while also improving the flexibility and mobility of the upper glutes.

To do it:

  • Grab dumbbells in both hands, and stand tall with your feet positioned at shoulder distance. Keep the dumbbells at your sides.
  • Take a wide step out with your left leg, and lower your body towards the floor by pushing your hip back and flexing your knee.
  • Make sure to keep your inside leg stable and straight, and keep your foot firmly planted on the floor.
  • Hold when your outside foot gets parallel to the floor, and stand back up to the starting position. Repeat.

2) Sumo Deadlift

The sumo deadlift is a great compound lift that works for several muscle groups simultaneouslu. This exercise helps develop strength in your entire posterior chain - comprising the hamstrings, back and glutes - and also activates the quads and adductor muscles.

To do it:

  • Stand tall, with your feet wider than shoulder distance.
  • Keep your toes slightly turned out, with your knees bent and positioned at the same angle as your toes.
  • Bend down at your waist, and grab the barbell.
  • Slowly start to stand back up while activating your upper glutes.
  • Lower yourself down again, and repeat the exercise.

3) Weighted Hip Thrust

The hip thrust is basically a glute bridge variation but is performed using weights and with your body lifted off the ground. This exercise boosts hip extension by strengthening the hamstrings and glutes.

To do it:

  • Sit straight in front of a bench, and make sure to keep your upper back in contact with the bench.
  • Place your feet flat on the floor, with both knees bent.
  • Place a barbell across your hips, and hold onto it to keep it stable. Do not use your hands to lift the barbell.
  • Squeezing your glutes, press the barbell up till your hips are in line with your knees and shoulders.
  • Keep your core muscles tight and chin slightly tucked in.
  • Lower the barbell till your hips are a few inches off the floor. Repeat.

4) Dumbbell Step-up

The dumbbell step-up is an excellent exercise for developing strength in the glutes and quads. Strengthening these muscles helps protect the knees by creating minimal stress in that region.

To do it:

  • Hold a dumbbell in both hands at shoulder level, and stand perpendicular to a plyo box or bench.
  • Step up with the left foot, and press through the heel to extend your left leg.
  • Bring your right foot to meet the left on top of the box.
  • Step down one foot at a time, and keep holding onto the dumbbells.

5) Barbell Glute Bridge

The barbell glute bridge is a variation of the traditional glute bridge exercise. It helps build muscle endurance and strength in the glutes, including the upper glutes. This exercise particularly targets the glutes without straining any other part of the body.

To do it:

  • Lie on the floor on your back, and keep your legs extended.
  • Roll the barbell up your thighs slowly till it rests on your lap. You may also attach a pad to the barbell, or place a towel for comfort.
  • Engage your core muscles, and push through your heels to lift your hips off the floor till they're in line with your upper body.
  • Lower your body back to the starting position, and repeat.


Upper glutes exercises entail a plethora of benefits. They reduce knee and lower back pain, improve overall athletic ability, and lower the chances of ankle sprains. Performing these exercises regularly also improves running speed and boosts overall bodily stability.

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Edited by Bhargav