Home » Glute and Hamstring Exercises Ranked: The Best and Worst

Glute and Hamstring Exercises Ranked: The Best and Worst

by Gym Slacker

Glute Exercises Ranked | Hamstrings (BEST TO WORST!)

The Ultimate Guide to Building Stronger Glutes and Hamstrings

Are you tired of wasting your time on ineffective glute exercises? Do you want to know which workouts are worth your effort? Look no further! We have ranked the best and worst glute exercises for you, so you can maximize your gains and skip the ones that don’t deliver results.

Criteria for Inclusion

Before diving into the rankings, let’s establish the criteria for inclusion. First and foremost, the exercises must be capable of being overloaded over time. Our goal is to progressively build muscle, so we need exercises that allow for continuous improvement. In addition, these glute exercises must promote hypertrophy, not just strength. Finally, safety is paramount. We only include exercises that can be performed without risking injury.

Worst Exercises for Glutes

Starting at the bottom of the list, we have the prone hamstring curl. While it can build bigger hamstrings, it often causes low back pain, making it a poor choice. Next is the heel press, which has limited range of motion and overload capacity. The Step Mill may be popular for cardio, but it doesn’t provide the necessary resistance for glute development. Lastly, the leg press, even with feet high on the plate, fails to deliver optimal glute gains due to its limited range of motion.

Better Category

Moving up to the better category, we have the standing cuff kickback, which adds weight resistance and delivers better results. The DB reverse sprinter lunge mimics the leg press position, but with improved hip extension resistance. However, the DB single leg RDL, while great for identifying muscle imbalances, compromises glute and hamstring gains due to balance requirements.

Better Still Category

In the better still category, we find the cable single leg RDL, which offers added stability in the frontal plane compared to the dumbbell version. The Seated hamstring curl machine is a superior option for building bigger legs, as it isolates the hamstrings while sparing the hip flexors. The KB Swing is an athletic exercise that challenges conditioning more than glute development.

Almost Best Category

Moving on to the almost best category, we have the powerful squat (low bar position recommended for targeting glutes), the standard two-legged barbell RDL, leaning forward step-ups, pull-throughs, and the underutilized glute ham raise. These exercises are capable of delivering stronger, bigger glutes and deserve a place in your workout routine.

Best of the Best

Finally, the top spot goes to the barbell hip thrust. Its mechanics and ability to meet all three criteria make it the ultimate exercise for glutes. If you want maximum glute development, don’t overlook the barbell hip thrust.


Now that you know which glute exercises are worth your time, you can design a comprehensive workout routine. Remember to prioritize progressive overload, target hypertrophy, and prioritize safety. Building stronger glutes and hamstrings takes dedication, but with the right exercises, you can achieve your goals.

If you want a complete program that prioritizes exercise selection based on scientific principles, check out our website athleanx.com. We offer a wide range of programs tailored to your specific physique goals.

For more rankings and exercise guides, be sure to subscribe to our channel and turn on notifications so you never miss a new video. Happy lifting!

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ATHLEAN-X™ June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

Having trouble activating your glutes? Do this EVERY day to wake them up! – https://youtu.be/6pKKnVg1hzE

Fitness Model Female June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

Thanks for share

Persona Humana June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

So true

Loveborn June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

Banded step through & step mill are a joke!

Joana Ramos June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

I find the best glute exercises are Romanian DL, BB hip thrusts or, if I don't have a bar available, glute bridges with feet on a fitball!

Márcio Ventura June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

Slick floor bridge curl works the hamstring muscles, not quite the glute. When you bring your leg away from your hips, this muscle will work more and the glute less. It's better doing the unilateral glute bridge instead. Some of other exercicios quoted here don't really work the glute properly, but the hamstring muscles

Autumn_B June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

I only do stairclimber for cardio not for muscle gain.

Anya June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

This is interesting as I’ve heard so many PTs talk (and even shaming women sometimes) about cable pull throughs….and how it doesn’t do anything etcetc.

Fum Rece June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

Sumo Squat? what do you think? where it would be? red, yellow or green?

Andre Loyola June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

16:09 his Dick cry 😅

Ladymusicc June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

I lost it with the sound effect as Jesse kicked his heels back on the step mill.
As a female, I actually HATE this machine and never use it. So right now, Jeff is my favorite person. Confirming that I can continue to keep hating and not doing this exercise. So far, I'm loving this video.

Kris Samuel June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

I’ve never done heel press I do leg press, hack squats, leverage squats, leg extension, leg curls and lunges

Ghost Monster June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

I used theese exercises and improved my glutes power. Thank you for useful content! 👈

lucitribal June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

What about regular deadlifts?

Nietzschessfan June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

✨ Pure Gold ✨

PreposterousI June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

can you please do a best to worst cardio exercises next

MOHAMMED ES-SABBANE June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am Reply
Amblinman June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

i wish that bearded dude would stay away too.

ANL092396 June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

what about the abductor?

idw85 June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

Nordic is the best for hamstring. How did he miss that?

Pamela Gauthier June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

i love that if you can do heel presses" correctly then it would be great as well as doing proper cat cow position which the progressive overload could happen from doing more reps over time… "body weight movements" are gr8 for muscle growth no?

Timorhy P June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

It says best to worst, but it's the worst to best. WRONG!

dana g June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

I want to see this list, but with a good form…..

Limon Kolonyası June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

Barbell hip thrust ❤❤❤

Miskon75 June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

Bulgarian split squat left the building.

Mr 1919 June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

Why wasn't the coventional or sumo deadlift included?

Shredded Mama June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

I love all these videos. But one suggestion would be if the video guy didnt zoom in so much so we can see the whole movement

fedd dff June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

male and female?

Mimi Hilaire June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

Jesse looks good. I mean that in a little bit of a creepy way. Sorry,

Danqo Dusk June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

Jeff, Five gold stars for your "Exercises Ranked" series. I tune in to a couple other exercise channels from time-to-time, But no one can top your exercises and knowledge of anatomy and muscles I will point out a silly technicality, you rank exercises from worst to best, rather what your title states. Worst to best makes more sense too.

Fats Torvolay June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

Bulgarian Split Squats!

anet 4j June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

where are deadlifts and bulgarian split squats ranked?

Scott Wojtas June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

Where would deadlifts fall in this ranking? I feel massive glute activation when doing them.

Catch_U_Mashing June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

What about the single leg curl for hamstrings?

Vishnu A June 17, 2023 - 12:44 am

I don’t know your friend here has been in the videos from the beginning still he looks the same😮


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