Best Lunges and Split-Squats for “Lower” Glutes

In this video I cover nine of my go-to lunge and split-squat variations to target your glutes in the most effective manner. More specifically, the “lower” region of your glute max.


A study by McAndrew et al. showed that the glutes are comprised of upper (cranial), middle, and lower (caudal) regions, each of which activates differently.

While exercises that work your glutes hardest in their shortened range tend to target the upper fibers a little more, and do a good job in activating all regions (think: hip thrusts, glute bridges and cable kickbacks), stretch-focused exercises tend to bias the lower region of your glutes a little more (think: such as lunges, split-squats and high step-ups).

An easy way to think about this is:

  • Use “squeezer” exercises (where you feel it most in the squeeze) for well-rounded glutes (pun intended!).
  • Use “stretcher” exercises (where you go into deeper ranges of hip flexion/stretch) to bias your “lower” glutes a little more. If you’re trying to develop that elucive glute-ham tie-in then you’ll not want to skip out on these.
  • It’s important to include both types to maximize total glute development.

Anecdotally, squeezers can be done a lot more frequently (e.g., up to four or even five days each week on occasion), while stretchers take longer to recover from and should be used more sparingly throughout your week (e.g., two to three days each week, depending on other factors).

Looking to build next-level glutes for competition, the beach, or just to admire in the mirror? Find out how you can work with me through The Fitness Maverick Online Coaching Program.

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