You only need these 7 glute exercises and 7 minutes to grow your glutes like Bret Contreras

Woman standing on a bridge doing a standing glute kickback during glutes workout
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you haven’t heard of "The Glute Guy" Bret Contreras, this glutes workout is the only introduction you’ll need. Most famous for creating the hip thrust exercise (yep, you can thank him for that world of pain on leg day), Contreras is considered by most to be the world’s expert in glute training.

He’s shaped the peaches of people all around the world and this glutes workout has since racked up nearly half a million views on YouTube. If you want to build your glutes without weights, "BC’s Band Glute Circuit" is designed to pump your entire peach and build functional strength in the biggest muscles of the body.

“Here’s a seven exercise mini band glute circuit you can do before or after your workout,” says Contreras. He recommends performing one round at a lower intensity for glute activation pre-workout or two to three rounds with maximum intensity as a post-workout burnout. 

You can use mini bands or some of the other best resistance bands to complete it, doubling them up if necessary. The best bit? It only takes seven minutes and seven moves, and the man himself coaches you. We decided to whip out our resistance band and give it a go — here’s what happened when we put the BC’s Band Glute Circuit glutes workout to the test. 

What is BC’s Band Glute Circuit glutes workout?

Learn how to train glutes at home with The Glute Guy. We’ve broken down the exercises below, but the YouTube video is easy to follow. Here it is:

Glute bridge: 10 reps with a 3-second pause

Position your band above/ below your knees (or both) depending on your strength, feet shoulder-width or hip-width apart. Drive your elbows into the ground, tuck your chin, and lift your head. Lift your toes, then push your knees outwards and hips upwards. Pause for three seconds, then lower your hips towards the floor. Keep knees pushed outwards against the band for the whole rep. 

Band squat: 10 reps with a 3-second pause

Stand with feet hip-width or shoulder-width apart and a ‘slight foot flare.’ Wrap your resistance band just above/below your knees. Lower into a squat while pushing your knees against the band, extending your arms in front of you until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Pause for three seconds, then drive through your heels to stand. 

Lateral band walk: 20 steps each way 

Loop your band above/below your knees. Stand with feet hip-width apart and feet pointing straight ahead. Push your knees against the band and crouch down, ensuring your shins are vertical. Sit your bum back. Take left and right steps, maintaining a hip-width gap between your feet after each step. Avoid turning feet out or caving knees inwards, and avoid leaning to one side. 

Band quadruped hip extension: 30 reps per side

Start in a kneeling position with your band double-wrapped above your knees and toes tucked under. On your left side, shift the band underneath your knee, trapping it to the floor. Move your right knee slightly back and come on to all-fours. Keep your right knee bent, lift, then kick back behind you. Avoid turning your knee out. Switch.  

Band standing hip extension/ abduction:  30 reps per side

Double band and secure them above your knees. Find something to hold in front of you and slightly lean forwards. As you kick your leg back, extend slightly outwards too. 

Band seated hip abduction: 30 reps, 3 levels

Sit on the edge of a bench and wrap a band above/below your knees, feet hip-width apart. If you have a weak band, take a wider stance. Lean back, hands on the bench. Push your knees outwards, rolling onto the knife edges of your feet with toes pointing forwards for 30. Repeat another 30 sat upright, then the last 30 leaning forwards. 

Band hip-hinge abduction: 10 reps, 3-second pause

Stand feet shoulder-width apart, the band wrapped above/below your knees. Hinge forwards at your hips and bend your knees, keeping your shins vertical. Stick your bum out and drive your knees back. Keep toes pointing straight ahead, hands on hips. Cave your knees in, then force them out and roll onto the knife edges of your feet. Pause for three seconds, then reverse.

I tried BC’s Band Glute Circuit glutes workout — here’s what happened

Glute bands are small looped rubber bands varying in thickness, primarily used to provide resistance for pre-workout glute activation and post-workout fiery finishers. They even feature in Kim Kardashian’s glute workout

I used three bands — two light (for above and below my knees) and one heavy for squats. As a trainer, I have come across Bret Contreras multiple times over the years, and his workouts never fail to work me to my limits — this is no exception. I love that this glutes workout is scaleable, but I recommend using a light band if you’re a beginner as the high reps can catch you out (you can always double up if necessary).

I tacked this onto my existing leg day routine, performing three rounds of the seven exercises. The first round felt like a generous warm-up, but the second and third rounds were the nail to the coffin, serving me with some serious post-leg day shakes. It’s all about the pump, so I tried to perform the reps with the same consistency as a heartbeat with pauses at the top of the movements (when instructed) to build up intensity. 

The result? A savage burn in just seven exercises and seven intense minutes. If you’re not used to training your gluteus medius (outer glutes, responsible for hip abduction) then these exercises will feel pretty intense. They require pushing your knees outwards against the force of the band, so try to prevent your knees from caving inward until instructed. 

My takeaway? You don’t need a fancy complicated leg program to build a brawny backside, just a resistance band and seven minutes. 

If you’re looking for more leg day inspiration, Daisy Keech shares her top 3 exercises for building your glutes, and these resistance bands legs workouts are great from home. You can also read about how I tried this 7-move kettlebell leg workout to build bigger legs — and wow. Plus, our writer did 100 fire hydrants for a week, here’s what happened

Sam Hopes
Senior Fitness Writer and Trainer

Sam Hopes is a level 3 fitness trainer, level 2 reiki practitioner, and senior fitness writer at Tom's Guide. She is also currently undertaking her Yoga For Athletes training course.