If you are looking to improve your deadlift strength, the best you can do is strengthen the glutes by adding some useful glute exercises to your workout routine.
Glutes are powerful and large muscles that help you walk, sit, run, stand, and perform various activities. Glutes consist of three different muscles, namely the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus.
One of the key functions of the glutes is hip extension, which is also the movement at the top of a deadlift. So, if you want to enhance your deadlift lockout, incorporating glute exercises into your workout session can be worth your time and energy.
In this article, we will take a look at some best glute exercises to enhance your deadlift strength. However, before jumping straight to the exercises, let’s learn a bit about the deadlift.
What is a Deadlift?
Deadlifts, aka the king of lifts, are arguably one of the foundational weightlifting exercises that offer plenty of benefits. They're a multi-joint exercise that's done using a barbell or a trap bar and targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, back, and core muscles.
Deadlift is considered one of the most effective exercises for developing muscle mass and boosting overall strength.
However, to get the most out of a deadlift, you need to have strong muscles to execute the move. Since deadlifts require great lower body strength, practicing specific glute exercises will prove to be very useful for you.
Glute Exercises for Deadlift Strength
Here's a look at five such exercises:
1) Barbell Glute Bridge
This is one of the best glute exercises that target all three muscles of the glutes without affecting the spine. It uses a shorter range of motion and allows for more muscular tension in the glutes.
To do it:
- Position your upper back on a bench, and bend your knees. Keep your feet flat on the floor.
- Load a barbell, and roll it towards you. Rest the barbell on your thighs, and start the move.
- Squeeze your glutes, and push your hips up while holding the barbell with your hands to stop it from falling.
- Keep pushing the barbell till your body gets in a straight line from the chin to the knee.
- Hold the position for a second, and lower the barbell back down.
- Continue the exercise for a few reps.
Also known as a reverse step-up, the step-down is another great exercise to strengthen the glutes.
It trains the muscles unilaterally through hip and knee extensions and flexions. The alignment of this move allows for greater muscular tension on the gluteus maximus without any external load.
To do it:
- Stand straight with one foot near the edge of a box or bench. Make sure your foot is planted firmly on the floor. Keep your other foot hanging off the bench.
- Bring your first foot down to the floor while controlling your weight with the opposite leg.
- Tap your heel on the floor, and drive through the bench with your working leg to come back to the starting position.
- Perform a few reps leading with one leg, and switch sides to allow the other leg to lead.
Squats are another result-worthy glute exercise that targets the gluteus maximus. They also train the thighs, calves, hips, and core muscles. Squats can be done with weights or simply your bodyweight.
To do bodyweight squats:
- With your feet at hip distance, stand straight, and position your arms in front of you. Clasp both hands together. Alternatively, you can hold dumbbells in each hand, or use a barbell across your shoulders.
- Bend your knees, and lower your body into a squat while keeping your upper body stable and straight.
- As you squat, ensure that your knees are behind your toes.
- Press into your heels, and stand back up.
- Continue for a few reps.
4) Hip Extension
Hip extensions target the glutes in a more focused way and work on the core muscles too.
To do it:
- Take a tabletop position with your hands and knees on the floor.
- Keeping your left knee bent, slowly lift your left leg up till it reaches the level of your glutes.
- Lower your leg, and repeat the exercise a few times.
- Switch sides, and perform the exercise on the other leg. Use ankle weights to increase the intensity.
5) Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat
The rear foot elevated split squat is a very effective glute exercise that allows for deeper hip flexion and place more muscular tension on the glutes of the front leg.
To do it:
- Stand tall with a dumbbell in each hand. Take a step forward with your right leg, and place your left foot on an elevated surface behind you.
- Keeping your chest up and upper body still, squat down till both legs bend around a 90-degree angle.
- Slowly stand back up by pressing your right heel. Repeat a few times, and switch legs.
Practice the aforementioned glute exercises thrice a week to see results in your deadlifting power. Do not overtrain your muscles, and perform the moves with control to avoid injury.