Here’s one sure way of separating experienced bodybuilders from the rookies: Check to see who’s training their glutes.

Plenty of big guys hit the gym, hammer chest and arms, and leave. But grizzled bodybuilders—from Phil Heath to Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson—know that the secret to a complete physique is leg training with a healthy dose of glute intensity. (The Rock even wears special shorts for leg day.)

Because so many talented lifters show up on competition day with massive pecs and delts, a set of sculpted glutes can really make an aspiring bodybuilding pro stand out. 

Furthermore, training your glutes for competition is inherently practical. Sure, you’re focused on maximum aesthetics for competition—but that doesn’t mean you can’t also derive functional strength from your bodybuilding effort. Many glute-isolating moves also require significant balance, core strength, and all-out mental focus. If you can stay mentally sharp while training your glutes, then you’ll notice more focus during other body-part workouts as well.

But the only way to get there is ensure your pre-competition workout routine includes some glute-specific exercises. That’s why we talked to Ridge Davis, C.P.T. (NCSF), the founder of Ridgid Fitness in West Hollywood, CA. A Puma-sponsored personal trainer and national-qualified NPC Men’s Physique Competitor, Davis knows a thing or two about honing bodies for maximum aesthetic advantage.

Here are Davis’s 10 favorite glute exercises for bodybuilders looking to get a pre-competition edge.


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