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GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
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7 Workouts That Are Easy on the Knees [Slideshow]

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Strength training might seem like a one-stop-shop for putting a strain on your joints and delicate ligaments, but it never has to be that way. There are always modifications you can make to avoid damage, and especially if you have an already existing injury. For strength, definition, and mass in your glutes—give these glute exercises a shot.

Why Build Your Glutes?

The glutes consist of the gluteus maximus and minimus. The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the human body. Aside from seeking the aesthetic preference of prominent glutes, the glutes are essential to train and activate as they are responsible for balancing the weight of your body and maintaining posture.

Image by Maridav / Shutterstock
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Single-Leg Glute Bridge

These are excellent for releasing complete tension from the knees and also engage your core. Perform them one leg at a time, or transition it to a glute bridge by placing both feet on the ground and simply thrusting, holding at the top for a few seconds.

Image by Undrey / Shutterstock
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Donkey Kick

These are so low impact that they can be modified with ankle weights or cables attached to the ankles for added resistance. Use a mat for your resting knee to avoid placing too much weight on it. Place one knee on the ground at a ninety-degree angle with your toes as well. Then, lift the opposing leg in a similar angle contracting the glute in an upward motion to resemble a donkey's kick backward. Alternate legs. 

Image by Undrey / Shutterstock
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Side Squat

This squat variation is ideal for removing tension on the knees and focusing it back into the glutes and hamstrings. Make sure to maintain a straight back and drive your glutes in an outward motion toward the back as you step to the side. Alternate legs. 

Image by fizkes / Shutterstock
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Superman Holds

These are fantastic for activating the glutes. They can be done on a mat as pictured, or laying flat on a bench with your legs dangling off for added resistance. Lay flat on your belly and lift your limbs while contracting the glute muscles. Hold and release. 

Image by Maridav / Shutterstock
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Curtsy Lunge 

Curtsy lunges are an effective way to hit your glutes in a 360 manner, activating both the minimus and maximus. Make sure to stretch your hip flexors effectively beforehand. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart, then step back with one leg in a diagonal motion. Alternate legs. 

Image by Undrey / Shutterstock
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Reverse Lunge 

Compared to a standard forward lunge, these are great for driving force from your legs rather than your knees, which can occur easily with front-facing lunges. Stand with your feet together, then drive one leg backward, making a ninety-degree angle with both the front and back leg. Alternate legs. 

Image by Halfpoint / Shutterstock
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Side Leg Lifts 

Wonderfully low impact and comfortable, these target side definition without placing any tension on the knees at all. Like donkey kicks, these can be modified and advanced with ankle weights or cables. Lay on your side, propping yourself up with one arm. Lift one leg as you contract all of the muscles in your leg, but especially the glutes. Alternate sides. 

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Amanda
GR8NESS Writer
Amanda is a GR8NESS contributing writer who lives in celebration of self care, and endeavors to approach all things with a student mentality. Her love for the study of self-development is rooted in fitness, holistic wellness, and skin care. She is an advocate for mental health; and hopes to connect others to their own way of daring to care.
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