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How do I Keep my Glutes While on Vacation? A Simple Bodyweight Glute Workout

By August 17, 2013October 20th, 2016Ask Bret Contreras (ABC), Glute Training, Glutes

“Hi Bret, I love your blog. I’m going to be going on a week long vacation in September and I don’t want to lose my glutes during that time. I won’t have access to a gym or any equipment. What can I do to prevent loss of glute size? Thank you in advance. My glutes have never looked better since implementing your training by the way, I put an inch on my glutes since last month and lost an inch around my waist! 🙂 Linda

Hi Linda! Nice work, keep it up!

You won’t lose your glutes in one week, it doesn’t work that way. Sometimes people take a week off and come back stronger, depending on their training and physiology. So don’t feel compelled to exercise every day while on vacation.

However, here is a simple glute workout that you can do. Either do this quick workout each day for each leg:

  • one set of Bulgarian split squats
  • one set of single leg hip thrusts
  • one set of side lying hip raises

Or you could do 2-3 sets and space your workouts out every 2-3 days.

Here’s a video showing the routine:

Bulgarian split squats could be swapped with reverse lunges, high step ups, single leg box squats, skater squats, or even pistols for advanced individuals. Single leg hip thrusts could be swapped with single leg foot elevated hip thrusts, reverse hypers, single leg reaching RDLs, or even Russian leg curls, back extensions, or single leg back extensions (if you have something or someone to secure your feet). If side lying hip raises are too hard, you can do side lying clams and/or abductions instead. I mention these exercises in Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy for those unfamiliar with them.  If you can bring a band with you, you could do band seated hip abductions and/or various band walking exercises.

In summary:

  • You won’t lose your glutes in one week
  • It’s easy to attain a great glute workout with just bodyweight
  • Bring a band with you if possible to allow for even more options

great booty


  • Marianne says:

    I’m sorry, all I could see was something sparkling on Diana’s left hand 😉 Nothing else mattered 😀

  • Marcus Beasley says:

    There needs to be a strong push to get basic principles pushed into mainstream knowledge. Just think what type of world we would have if everyone was armed with the knowdge to transform their bodies? We would have a more productive and happier society I believe.

  • Whixxie says:

    how many reps would equal “a set”??

  • Shane says:

    Ah this is really helpful! Thanks Bret.
    Just one set, eh? Sounds too simple (i.e. good) to be true!

  • Joe Miller says:

    Excellent video. I would like to add a few comments which relate to knee position and knee pain. I’m recovering from patellofemoral pain syndrome/chondromolacia and I have to pay close attention to where I place my feet and knees when doing squats (see Bret’s excellent video and article on squat method (think it’s in T Nation)).

    I have found that if I do a Bulgarian Split Squat I do not have any knee pains or sounds if I slightly angle my foot outwards and focus on keeping my knee to the outside edge of my foot (not medially) and behind the toes. The same advice as is given for the regular squat.

    I have also found that if I do a static lunge (where my feet are already in position for the dipping portion of the lunge), my supporting leg, for some reason, complains (discomfort and sounds). I think this is due to a forward extension force on that knee — actually both knees move forward slightly. This doesn’t happen with a Bulgarian split squat. Part of the problem with a static lunge is that your leading leg is starting in a fully-extended position but angled at somewhere around 45 degrees and the shin has to move towards a 90 degree position (forward movement of the knee joint = more pressure on the back of the patella). HOWEVER, when you start with a Bulgarian split squat or reverse lunge, your leading leg is starting at 90 degree vertical position (closer to what happens with a regular squat).

    I have also tried the reverse lunge. It has ‘pain-free’ potential, but you really have to watch your knee position.

    In the Bulgarian split squat and the reverse lunges, the point of the fulcrum is on the femur and tibia and not on the back side of the patella. (An extreme example of the fulcrum on the patella would be the knee extension). This is key.

  • Maryann Martin says:

    Bret, is it really okay to do these every day? I thought you needed to rest a day between exercises.

  • Amanda says:

    Bret why do some of us have trouble fully extending at the top of a one legged hip thrust or glute bridge. Not with double legs though. Is it glute weakness or tight hip flexors OR both??

    • Bret says:

      Hmmm, I’d say glute weakness. Get stronger at bilateral and eventually the unilateral strength will increase to allow for full ROM.

      • Amanda says:

        Thanks! I’ll just keep working at the regular glute bridges and see if adding more weight later brings up my strength to do unilateral. Right now on a sort of “vacation” since I’m pregnant so can’t add weights.

  • Araceli says:

    Hi bret today is my 1st day of the strong curves beginners program. But i have a question with food grams for example for breakfast i ate 3 whole eggs with 1/2 cup of black beans what i wanted to know can the eggs can be used as protein source and fat source( egg yolk) or does it have to be only one source. hope to hear from you soon

  • Kevin Smith says:

    Hello bret. I had a quick queswtion about my athletes strength proram. We usually circuit things or pair exercises for time. On one of my circuits, I am doing Step ups, then RDl’s and had thought about a spiderman lunge. We are doing band hip adductor/abbductor which should hit the glute activation for us. Any suggestions? Thank you.

  • Dee says:

    Bret, thanks for the great article. Just in time for my one week vacation. Just to let you know, I have been faithfully doing my Stong Glutes program. At 55, I am getting great results, up about 1 and 1/2 inches and have gone from thrusting 135 lbs to 4 reps at 325.
    I had flat glutes and although they still need lots of work, I am pretty sure I will be getting a much perkier butt for christmas. I am thrilled with the overall increase in strength. Thanks!


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