Basic glutes with a roller

Basic glutes with a roller

Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

This basic glutes with a roller exercise is a fabulous, functional gluteal strengthener.  By activating your glutes in a single leg standing position, your brain is more likely to switch on your glutes in other real life single leg scenarios.  A great example is stepping up a staircase. You need your glutes to work consistently to keep your pelvis stable as you take each alternate step. In this way, basic glutes with a roller demonstrates a skill process  known as motor control.  NB. This glutes with a roller exercise can be quite difficult to master. It can be simplified and performed in stages (see tips). Please take your time with the set up… is detailed but if followed correctly results in a great butt burn!

Set up

  • place roller on the wall horizontally, at hip level, parallel with the floor,
  • stand side on to the wall, and the roller, and place your hip (about where you would put your hand in your pocket), half way along the length of the roller,
  • look down and check that your feet are hip width apart. Feet should also be level and your outside foot should line up with the outside hip,
  • both knees should be slightly bent,
  • shoulders should be over hips and ears over shoulders,
  • shoulder blade muscles should be gently contracted and head and neck should be relaxed,
  • gently tighten the deep tummy and breathe normally.
glute med start position


  1. sideways push with your hips into the roller,  onto the wall,
  2. maintain the sideways push into the roller as you lift your inside heel only off the floor (at this stage you should be aware of the muscles in your outside butt cheek starting to contract),
  3. lift the entire inside foot off the floor ( the butt muscle contraction should feel stronger),
  4. maintain the hip pressure on the roller on the wall as you gently roll your inside hip up the wall,  a little.  Hold this hitched up position, feeling the butt contraction on the outside feeling stronger again,
  5. hold this position to fatigue,
  6. repeat on the other side.
hip hitch in glutes on a wall


  • if you feel pain in the outside hip or running down the outside thigh, stop and check body positioning and start again,
  • if you are still having difficulty activating your outside buttock, stop at the stage where you do feel a contraction and hold to fatigue.
  • Try to keep your body weight into your heel on the outside foot.
  • if you continue to lose the contraction in the outside butt when you lift the entire foot off the floor, just lift the heel and then add the hip roll up the wall and hold.
  • when you have a buttock that is stronger or contracts better than the other,  that buttock should be exercised on the outside first.
  • sometimes you may find that the roller is too firm to push into, or causes pain. If this happens, swap the roller for a small diameter squashy ball and follow the same process as above.
hip on a ball on a wall
  • breath normally throughout the exercise,
  • maintain your deep tummy contraction at a low level throughout the exercise,
  • keep neck and shoulders relaxed.

Make it harder

  • once you have held the hip hitched position for 20 seconds, slowly roll the roller down the wall a little, (but not lower than your starting position) and then roll back up,
  • take care to maintain the sideways pressure of your hip on the roller on the wall throughout the exercise,
  • continue to fatigue.