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  • Writer's pictureLorenzo Basso

How to Grow Your Glutes if Squatting is Painful

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

Squatting is regarded as the king of exercises for growing the gluteal muscles. However, a large amount of people are not able to squat because of knee pain, back pain or because of poor mobility. Fortunately, there are plenty of valid alternatives for growing your glutes. In today's post, we will explore some of the top exercises for growing a peachy bum.

how to grow your glutes

Anatomy of the gluteal muscles

In order to better understand how to train the glutes, it is important to know where these muscles are located and what their actions are. The gluteal muscles consist of the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. They originate from the iliac crest and attach to the femur. Their primary action is to extend, abduct and laterally rotate the hip joint. To strengthen these muscles, therefore, we need exercises that target those motions.

Here are three exercises for a well rounded glutes workout:


The deadlift is an exercise where a weight is lifted from the floor. It is an excellent exercise to target the posterior chain muscles, including the glutes. Start with your feet shoulder width apart. Grab the barbell on the outer side of your knees. Keep your back straight and the knees slightly bent. Lift the barbell until your body is in upright position, then slowly lower the weight down to the floor.


Hip thrust

The hip thrust targets mainly the gluteus maximus. In the starting position, you sit on the floor with your upper back resting on a bench and the barbell on top of your hips. From here, lift your hips until they are in line with your knees and shoulders, then slowly lower them down.

hip thrust

Hip abduction

Hip abduction is the movement of the leg away from the midline of the body. It can be performed by lying on the side and elevating your leg. If you want to increase the resistance, you can do it in standing position with a resistance cable around your ankle. This exercise targets the gluteus medius and it is a ideal for growing the lateral side of the glutes.

hip abduction


In this article, we looked at some valid alternatives to the squat for growing your gluteal muscles, both with free weights and machines. If you are unfamiliar with these exercises, get professional assistance to improve your form and technique.

Lorenzo Basso physiotherapist

Stride Fitness & Clinic

Telephone/WhatsApp +65 8882 4325

Address: 3 Shenton Way, #12-08 Shenton House, Singapore 068805

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