Best Glutes Exercises: Glute Destroyer Lunge

How to Perform the Glute Destroyer Lunge

Here’s how to perform what I call the glute-destroyer lunge, one of the best glute exercises I’ve ever developed, followed by an explanation of its scientific foundation.

If you want to maximize glute recruitment when doing lunges, there are three things you need to do:

  • Lean your torso forward at roughly at 45-degree angle, which increases glute and hamstring recruitment over an upright stance (1) – a concept I first discussed in my Single Leg Training course. 


  • Take a long stride if doing walking lunges or perform them atop an elevated platform if performing reverse lunges, which brings in more glute than a narrow or level stance (2,3).
  • Use an offset load that’s heavier on the back leg side (e.g., hold a single dumbbell or two unevenly loaded dumbbells), which has been shown to recruit more glute medius than loading the front-leg side (4).

Put them all together with driving your hips forward against the dumbbell (via hip extension, not lumbar extension) at the top of each rep and you’ve got what I call “the glute destroyer lunge.”

I like using the glute destroyer lunge for sets in a rep range of 8-15 reps (per leg).


1. Farrokhi S, Pollard CD, Souza RB, Chen YJ, Reischl S, Powers CM. Trunk position influences the kinematics, kinetics, and muscle activity of the lead lower extremity during the forward lunge exercise. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2008 Jul;38(7):403-9.

2. Schütz P, List R, Zemp R, Schellenberg F, Taylor WR, Lorenzetti S. Joint angles of the ankle, knee, and hip and loading conditions during split squats. J Appl Biomech. 2014 Jun;30(3):373-80.

3. Escamilla, Rafael & Zheng, Naiquan & MacLeod, Toran & Edwards, W. Brent & Hreljac, Alan & Fleisig, Glenn & E Wilk, Kevin & T Moorman, Claude & Imamura, Rodney & Andrews, James. (2008). Patellofemoral Joint Force and Stress Between a Short- and Long-Step Forward Lunge. The Journal of orthopaedic and sports physical therapy. 38. 681-90. 10.2519/jospt.2008.2694.

4. Stastny P, et al. Does the Dumbbell-Carrying Position Change the Muscle Activity in Split Squats and Walking Lunges? J Strength Cond Res. 2015 Nov;29(11):3177-87.

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