Glute exercise overview: Head drivers

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Go to Hip driver page.


This is an overview of most of the Head Driver exercises out there. If you want to know more about the difference between Head drivers and other categories of Glute exercises, take a look at my previous article or a great post by Bret Contreras on the topic.

In short:

  • The red ‘Activator’ type exercises highly activate the glutes during most of the movement.
  • The pink ‘Pumper’ type exercises only highly activate the glutes during a little part of the movement.
  • The blue ‘Stretcher’ type exercises highly activate the glutes when they are in a stretched position, which causes a lot of muscle damage.

Since a lot of Head drivers are blue, they are generally of the stretcher type, and they generally take more time to recover from because they cause more muscle damage.

Remember: the fact all these exercises exist does not mean you should do all of them. The biggest mistake I see in glute training is overtraining. You can’t recover from 4 different glute exercises per day and it will probably cut into your results. Are you doing 4 different exercises per day to optimally stimulate your shoulders? Right. So you should also not do it for the glutes.

At the bottom of this page you will find a form to get the overview of all exercise categories (Hip drivers, Head drivers, Rotators, Bent abductions, Straight abductions).




2019-05-20T05:14:23+00:00April 3rd, 2019|2 Comments


  1. Emma at - Reply

    Hi Stijn,

    I have been following an Upper-/Lower-Split (two upper body days and two lower body days) and want to keep that. I can hip thrust 60 kg for about 3×10 reps at 60 kg body weight. I would like to go to the gym 4 times a week.

    My idea is to train my glutes on every day I go to the gym, with pumpers on my upper body days. Could you please have a look at my workout routine suggestion? I don’t want to neglect my quads, I prefer to workout my legs with just a little bit of emphasis on the glutes.

    Hip Thrusts
    Dumbbell B-Stance RDLs
    Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squats
    Lateral Band Walks

    Tu: Upper Body + Pumpers (which would be appropriate?)

    We: Rest

    Sumo Deadlifts
    Reverse Lunges
    Heels Elevated Goblet Squats
    Rounded Back Extensions
    Frog Pumps

    Fr: Upper Body + Pumpers (which would be best?)

    Weekend: Off

    Thanks so much!

    • Stijn van Willigen at - Reply

      Hi Emma,
      Looking at your program, you’re doing quite a lot of volume for the glutes (over 30 sets per week). This is what I see so much: women somehow think the glutes are different from any other muscle, and that they can recover from any amount of volume.

      Rather, I would advise to spread your glute work over 4 workouts”
      Day 1: 3-4 sets of deadlifts
      Day 2: 3-4 sets of hip thrust
      Day 3: 3-4 sets of bulgarian split squats
      Day 4: 3-4 sets of rounded back extensions

      That’s it.

      This comes down to 12-16 sets per week of quality glute work. Supplement it with some pumpers, and I think you’re going to progress much better. Also have a look at my post:

      The main message: don’t do too much volume. Your chest probably can’t recover from 30 sets per week, and the same is true for your glures.

      Don’t focus on feeling the glutes or the feeling of having worked out: focus on actual measurable strength gains, because these indicate muscle growth.

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