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Please Take the Poll…Again!

By October 18, 2013January 14th, 2014Announcements

Dear Readers,

I offer you my sincere apologies, but I need you to fill this out again. Here’s what happened. When I posted my first poll a few weeks ago on glute picture policy on the blog, everything worked like a charm (poll HERE, results HERE). However, when I posted my second poll last week on blog reader and glute questions, it was too much for the WordPress plug-in to handle (HERE was the poll). Everything was going well with the first thousand participants, but sometime after that things got all screwy. To make a long story short, I’m using WP Survey and Quiz Tool, and it’s proving itself a bit frustrating.


Bulgarian split squat

First of all, when you conduct “polls,” you get hard data (actual numbers) for results, but when you conduct “surveys,” all you get is pie-charts. The charts are nice, but when the stats are close, you can’t tell which answer is the leader. Second, the plug-in is quite slow and wonky; sometimes questions that I’ve entered in won’t load, and sometimes the order is rearranged. I think I’ve gotten a handle on things now, however. When I posted the first poll a while back, I chose the “poll” option, and everything was fine. But for the last poll, I chose the “survey option,” and things went awry – the plug-in made every answer carry equal weight so that each pie chart was equally and nicely distributed. So I’m giving this another shot as it’s very important information; this time making sure to choose the “poll” option. The good news is that I looked at all of the feedback from the prior blogpost and added in more answers to better suit my readers.

Eileen - picture from

Barbell glute bridge – picture from

Hopefully you remember your answers from the last time and it will only take you a minute or two to complete the survey. I had 3,100 responders to the last survey, which was fantastic. I’m really hoping that I don’t lose participants and can get just as much data this time around. With the first thousand participants, it looked like the squat was the favorite exercise, the deadlift was the most dangerous exercise, the hip thrust was the favorite glute exercise, the exercise that created the most tension, and the exercise that created the most metabolic stress, and the lunge was the exercise that created the most damage (see the last write-up if you’re unclear as to what these entail).

Single leg RDL

Single leg RDL

It was interesting to see how high certain exercises ranked, such as the Bulgarian split squat and single leg hip thrust. What I like about the survey is that it reinforces how unique people are. I love lunges and squats, but I’ve never felt my glutes burning during those exercises (they require such little torque at the top of the movement, which allows all the blood to escape, so it’s hard for me to realize that some folks can get a pump or feel a glute burn with these movements). Soreness due to the stretch – yes! But pump/burn? Hmmm. Lateral band walking surely burns the hell out of the upper glutes, but remember that frontal plane (upright, straight legged) hip abduction only works the upper gluteus maximus and glute medius; the lower gluteus maximus doesn’t even fire (not one bit). I still put these on the list this time around as answer options for metabolic stress.

sled push

Sled Push

When I perform high rep hip thrusts, they burn my glutes so bad I can hardly bear the pain, and I duck-walk around afterward since my glutes get so pumped. It’s therefore hard for me to imagine how other people don’t get this same sensation. I like single leg RDLs and sled pushes, but I don’t feel them anywhere close to how I feel hip thrusts and back extensions. However, clearly not everyone’s glutes function the same way, as many individuals reported that they feel their glutes heavily with single leg RDLs and sled pushes. Part of me wonders if they’ve ever performed high rep hip thrusts, but I give them the benefit of the doubt. I like single leg hip thrusts, but I don’t feel them nearly as much as I feel barbell hip thrusts. However, many participants chose the single leg hip thrust for their responses. On a side note, out of probably 20 people I’ve tested comprehensively so far in EMG, only one person did NOT show the highest glute EMG activity with the hip thrust. Guess what was that person’s number one glute exercise was? The Bulgarian split squat! Most people only get around half of the mean glute activation in a BSS compared to a hip thrust, but this just shows you that we’re all unique.

As for my answers to the poll (yes, I took it too!), I chose the squat for my most favorite exercise (I was torn between the squat and deadlift but I think I like squatting more), I chose the deadlift for the most dangerous exercise (I think more people hurt themselves with this exercise than any other movement, plus I’ve injured myself more with deads than any other exercise since I allow my form to degrade a bit too much), I chose the hip thrust for both max glute tension and max glute metabolic stress, and I chose lunges for max glute damage.


Kettlebell Swing

Since I added in more exercises such as the single leg RDL and sled push for this time around, we’ll see how that influences things. Let’s do this again and get some actual hard data to report. I’m unable to create a ranking system for this poll, which is unfortunate as this would lead to better data.

Back extension

Back Extension (should be called hip extension)

Please forgive me for the error, this is all new to me and I’m doing the best I can. Please just choose one answer, even if you like all of the exercises, as it leads to better information. I will report the results next week, assuming all goes well this time around. Thank you very much for your time and understanding!

Glute Sculpture

[wpsqt name=”Blog and Glute Poll” type=”poll”]


  • Matt Haxmeier says:

    And by back extension I mean weighted hip extension. Those get to burning like hell quick. Favorite squat is with the Safety Squat Bar. And bench press most likely to get injured because eventually the shoulders get pissed off no matter how much I concentrate on my form.

  • Mathiah says:

    As I said in the original post I feel that the Clam Up if put on the list would have won out on the question about pumps.

    • Bret says:

      Mathiah, I had that down on the new list and somehow didn’t transfer it over. I spent hours getting this poll to work and still screwed some of it up. Sorry, I did listen to you, not sure what happened.

  • Maria says:

    Happy to take the poll again.

    I’m one of those folks that can really feel the glutes with the SL RDL and I really try to concentrate on my glutes when I do them, same with the back extensions.
    I get a crazy pump from high rep hip thrusts and I love doing them, but I also feel them a lot in my quads.


  • Irene says:

    I’m a barbell hip thrust person. I need to do a lot of slow controlled reps w/low weight (like Bret said to do for glute homework) to feel that intense burn & the glute pump. But for soreness, the Bulgarian split squat really does the trick & I also find that I’m starting to feel my quads work more w/hip thrusts which is why I’m trying to concentrate more in slow controlled movements & really squeezing the glutes.

  • Glute Stalker says:

    No “All of the above” option for what I like about the site on the last question? 🙁

  • emilysteezy says:

    For future reference, SurveyMonkey ( is a really good (and very easy to use) online survey tool. They’ll send you all the data in spreadsheet format so you an manipulate it and look at it however you want. Worth looking into for your next survey.

  • Berenice says:

    So difficult to choose only one option! I love your site, Bret, I check it out everyday!
    Thanks and cheers from Uruguay!

  • Alex says:

    I forgive you this time, Brett. Don’t let it happen again.

  • Alex says:

    You still forgot my favorite glute exercise- the Outer Mongolian 1 legged – banded – overhead squat with a twist, assuming wave loaded protocals and performed to fatigue.

    • Bret says:

      Haha! It does get pretty hard to name exercises after a while, with so many variables. For example, contralateral loaded deficit reverse lunge with knee lift, or chain loaded single leg hip thrust with 3 second pause. I should just name them all after animals “The Tiger,” “The Lion,” etc.

  • John from Brooklyn says:

    You should have an option for “Nutritionist/Dietitian” under background, Bret. Some of us care about improving strength and body composition too!

  • Dang-ko says:

    Done, Bret no problem. I am a big fan of your work. BTW, I am on the final days of the 30-day thrusting challenge. My BBGB and BBHT have improved from a measly 90 lbs to about 170 lbs and I feel like my glutes have become more solid than before. However, I have not yet seen an increase in my hip circumference yet when I measure. I take it to mean the glute muscle quality has improved but I haven’t been gaining size yet which I badly need. Will the hypertrophy in terms of inches be gained only when I am in the +200lb range or am I doomed with my poor glute genetics? I really am envious of your stories where the gain in hip circumference was as much as 2 inches and I would be happy with a fraction of this. I have your e-book and SC (even if I am a guy) and I have tried to follow everything to the letter. Wonder where I’m missing out.

    Please keep up the excellent work.

    • Bret says:

      Dang-ko – it’s impossible to predict. Some women have large glute muscles but they’re not very dense, others have small glute muscles but they’re dense as ever. Some grow them quickly, others take time. The fact that yours are indeed responding gives hope. Many great glutes take a couple of years of solid work, so keep it up!

      • Dang-ko says:

        Thanks so much, Bret. You are indeed that light at the end of the tunnel for the glute-challenged.

        • Dang-ko says:

          Or should I say ‘gluteally-challenged’ (whatever). I definitely belong to the type that has very dense glutes but small. Was there anything you recommended to your clients of the same type to gain more size?

  • Amanda says:

    It was tough to pick only one answer for a lot of these! It bordered on inaccurate responding – for many questions there was a straight tie between several possible answers and I just picked one at random. FYI I second what several other folks have said about hip thrusts: enjoy them and use them, but the fact that I still feel a lot of quad activation means I’m more likely to consider glute bridges a strictly glute exercise (even though I’ve seen the glute activation research). Perhaps a future post on how to get the most out of them? Yes, I’m suggesting there might be yet another angle from which to cover hip thrusts!! ; P LOVE your site and am so thankful for it – keep up the good work!

    – Amanda

  • Maureen says:

    Not sure how scientific you want the poll to be or if this is possible to do with the software you’re using, but it’d be best to randomly order the responses so you don’t have an undue # of respondents simply pick the first item in each list.

  • Heather says:

    Band seated abductions give me the best pump for sure

  • Christel says:

    It was REALLY hard to pick just one for a few of those questions. Some of my seconds are so close to my # 1 pick it was hard to differentiate/ decide.

  • Sylvia says:

    LOL on how many times I answered deadlift. It’s just what I am most into right now. For pump and burn, any unilateral option would have been accurate. Just picked one. But it could have been any of them. Hope you get a nice mountain of responses.

  • Dylan says:

    For the last question, I had to pick just one in this poll, but I value all 3 aspects for sure.

  • Andy Klein says:

    A number of chiropractors are also following your website. You have some great info here!

  • Nikolaj Poulsen says:

    I enjoy all 3 aspects of your site greatly, but what drew me in was the technical things.

  • Tim says:

    Since I discovered the Hip Thrust from your site, no other exercise can give me the glute pump, burn, fatigue or soreness! I do the back extension (hip extension) holding an extra 100kgs and that still doesn’t do what the hip thrust does.
    Thanks mate, also love all the technical and scientific info that you put up. It’s great to show clients also so they can understand just how good certain exercises are, keep up the great work bud!

  • Jill says:

    Hi Bret
    Just filled in survey..didnt see it first time round so glad to do this time..

    I,am a Lifestyle Coach and always have ladies asking how I lost my weight and where can they go to learn about getting their shape back when they loose the weight..have referred them to your it has helped me ..I am a former Therapist with sports injuries and have anatomy physiology certification and love all there is to with the body in great depth ..and your site always fires me up with great stuff ..although I don’t practice anymore due to hands wearing out..I do look after my body and train 5 times a week when able..

    Previously I would spot for my ex and get a real good workout with finding my way again after time out to care for my late mum..a year on and I am fit and looking good..but so need a routine to improve glutes and lower back ordered book..Strong curves as suggested..

    Perhaps more choices as to exercise routines on your survey..not just weights but variables..resistance bands..body weight only..etc..see that your girls are making great progress and looking good..I love this part as we can see form and technique..

    Thanks again for all the info..

    Love in abundance

    Jill 🙂

  • Steve Grose says:

    Hey Bret, have been using your Glute techniques and melded them into my Powerlifting training with good results thankyou.
    My Glutes are not fully operational as I have lumbar and hip rotation issues due to a Spinal inflammatory disorder(ankylosing spondylitis)and have a lot of associated muscle tension combined with some disc and joint degeneration.
    Cannot squat at the mo and am working on freeing up and finding where exactly my mobility issues are.
    Very much enjoy your site and content, keep up the good work…..cheers Steve

  • Rob says:

    Bret thanks again for always delivering quality content I love everything about the site! In regards to the glute hip thrust, is going front the floor more effective then using a bench? Thanks again!

    • Bret says:

      Personally I like the hip thrust (shoulders elevated better) due to greater ROM. But some folks “feel” the bb glute bridge (from the floor) working their glutes better. If I could work with these individuals in person, perhaps this would change. But just goes to show you that everyone is unique!

  • Kellen says:


    Love the site and happy to take the poll again. I love the hip thrust, and put it into every lower body day for either high weight or low. I’m going to start throwing in some band work for the pump now too.

    I’m interested to see how your choices and explanation influence the data of this poll this time around. Being as your the “authority” on this blog I imagine poll results here will clump around your answers much more. Check out ASU professor Robert Cialdini’s “influence: the psychology of persuasion” for some more info there.

    It’s awesome to see all the stuff you’re doing Brett. Keep up the great work!

    • Bret says:

      Thanks Kellen!

      Actually, I’m realizing that the old data was totally off for each answer (I can’t believe that the WP Survey is that piss-poor. I don’t think that people are listening to my answers as many are picking hip thrust for soreness (which I’ve said repeatedly that it doesn’t get my glutes sore at all), and they’re picking deadlift for their number one favorite exercise, etc. But your point is duly noted!


  • Heather says:

    Definitely an “all of the above” answer for the last one. I love the information you give for all areas. Thanks for providing it!!!

  • Pam says:

    I agree with some of the posters that there were way too many points in this survey where I had three way ties! I don’t know how much you should really make of the results because of this….

  • Ruben says:

    I wish you had included zercher squats. I’m working around a patellar tendon rupture ( one year and three months from the injury and surgery) and zerchers are golden for me. They totally anihilate my glutes just as much as hip thrusts and kettlebell swings!

    • Bret says:

      I didn’t want to include every squat variation because it would give an unfair advantage to other exercises if I split every squat up. Does that make sense?

  • Garrett Nelson says:


    I enjoy reading your work, and was happy to take part in the poll. I placed sleds as my favorite glute activity, but there is one caveat. I am not talking about traditional speed work pushing or pulling with a massive lean and driving from the ball of your foot- I am referring to longer distance walking, where you step flat footed and pull through, driving from your heels (especially towing). This is more of a Westside effort- and Louie Simmons discusses it a lot in his GPP information. I wasn’t a believer in how much it affects hamstrings and glutes until I tried it. It really teaches you how to pull through with each leg and can be treated as rate of force development work in how each step is like a sprint start (also something he references). If you’re wondering- it absolutely crushes your glutes. What’s not to love about it? Heavy? Check. Increased Force? Check. Metabolic conditioning? Check. Burning glutes? You’re darn right. Anyways, keep up the good work.

    Garrett Nelson

  • Gerald says:

    I just added goblet squats to my workout today and it really helps with my form. I have never been able to squat deep because I just couldn’t get my form right. I discovered exercises that I never even heard of like zercher squats. Thank you for helping me improve my squatting form. I don’t have problems with my lower back the way I used to in the past. As a guy, I like your mix of male and female pictures on your site. In my opinion, I think people should concentrate more on your information rather than how many female pictures you post. There are other sites that use sex as a way to gain attention to their magazine or websites. I won’t get into names since I’m sure we all know. Keep up the great work!

  • Strini says:

    Youre a world of knowledge Mr Contreras. Thank you!!!!!

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