Forget weights — all you need is this 10-move bodyweight workout to strengthen your glutes

photo of a woman performing a glute bridge on a workout mat
(Image credit: Getty/helivideo)

If you’re looking to fire up your glutes but don’t have time to hit the gym or don't want the fuss of setting up equipment, look no further. This 10-move routine is designed to strengthen and sculpt the lower body with a variety of exercises that zero in on your glutes, hamstrings, quads and lower back muscles.

Popular online fitness trainer, Kayla Itsines, shared the workout to Instagram where she demonstrates each move in full.  The routine will not only build muscle strength and stamina in your lower body but you’ll also experience benefits across the board for your fitness, such as increased stability and enhanced athletic performance.

Zero equipment workouts are the king of convenience but they are also customizable for all levels. So, no matter your fitness level, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced fitness enthusiast, you can adapt the routine to your own pace and gradually increase the intensity, working on progressive overload

The more confident you become with the routine, the more you can push yourself by increasing the number of reps or by eventually adding some weight such as the best adjustable dumbbells

What is the workout?

The workout involves 10 exercises, 15 reps for each move, and for the unilateral exercises you’ll be performing 15 on each side, which will be sure to ignite an almighty glute burn.

You might find yourself craving a greater challenge after the first round, but don't try and jump ahead of yourself. First, challenge yourself to complete three rounds before adding any extra intensity to the routine such as weights or increased reps.

Double pulse squats 15 reps

Begin by standing with your feet shoulder width apart. Lower your body into a squat position, making sure your knees don't extend beyond your toes. As you rise, pause at the top and perform two small and controlled pulses before descending into another squat. With correct form, this move primarily targets your glutes, quads and hamstrings.

Squat and lunge 30 reps

Start with a squat by standing with your feet shoulder width apart. Then, step back into a reverse lunge with one leg, ensuring your knee hovers just above the ground. Alternate sides for a total of 30 reps. This compound exercise gives you a full lower body fix as it engages your hamstrings, glutes and quads. 

Glute bridge 15 reps

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Position your feet close to your glutes and your arms by your side. Lift your hips off the ground, forming a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Now squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement. This move is excellent for isolating and strengthening the glutes.

What are the benefits? 

Itsines' no-equipment glute workout offers helpful foundations for building strength and definition in your lower body. This can directly contribute to increased power and agility, offering a competitive edge in other fitness activities, whether that be running, CrossFit or dancing.

According to research published in the Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, single-leg exercises for the glutes result in higher levels of muscle activation. So it’s no surprise that Itsines packed a healthy bunch of unilateral exercises into her routine.

Additionally, strong glutes are known to provide important support to the lower back. By strengthening these muscles, you can improve posture and help to alleviate and prevent lower back pain. If you’re worried about injuring your back during a workout, slow down, break each exercise down, and really focus on nailing proper form before increasing the intensity.

Large muscles in the body, such as the glutes which are in fact the largest muscle in the body, demand more energy. Itsines’ 10-move routine encourages calorie burn not only during exercise but also during recovery. This can positively impact weight management, as it helps you burn calories even when you’re resting. 

That being said, healthy and long lasting results don’t just come from exercise, results are also sustained in the kitchen. Therefore, making sure you properly fuel your body before and after working out is essential. Consuming ample amounts of carbohydrates and protein alongside an active lifestyle is key for fueling the body and for aiding recovery.

Jessica Downey
Fitness Writer

Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. Her love for keeping fit and fueling her body with healthy and enjoyable food quite naturally led her to write about all things fitness and health-related. If she isn’t out testing the latest fitness products such as the latest running shoe or yoga mat for reviewing then she can be found writing news and features on the best ways to build strength, active aging, female health, and anything in between. Before then she had a small stint writing in local news, has also written for Runners World UK (print and digital), and gained experience with global content marketing agency, Cedar Communications.

Born and raised in Scotland, Jessica is a massive fan of exercising and keeping active outdoors. When at home she can be found running by the sea, swimming in it, or up a mountain. This continued as she studied and trained to become a PPA-accredited magazine journalist in Wales. And since working and living in London, she splits her time between weight training in the gym, trying new fitness classes, and finding scenic running routes. Jessica enjoys documenting this on her fitness-inspired Instagram page @jessrunshere where she loves engaging with like-minded fitness junkies.

She is a big fan of healthy cooking and loves learning more about this area with expert nutritionists she has met over the years. Jessica is a big advocate for building healthy relationships with food rather than building restrictive attitudes towards it. When she isn’t eating or running she also enjoys practicing yoga in her free time as it helps her to unwind and benefits her performance in other sports.