2013 Women’s Physique Olympia champion Dana Linn Bailey routinely shares her training programming with her 530,000 YouTube subscribers. On Sept. 12, 2023, Bailey revealed the exercises and number of sets and reps she performs in the gym to build more rounded glutes:
Dana Linn Bailey’s Glutes-Focused Leg Programming
Here is a summary of Bailey’s training session:
- Cable Glute Kickback — 3 x 12-15
- Kickstand Machine Hip Thrust — 3 x 12, 10, 8
- Superset: Power Squat Machine Good Mornings & Reverse Power Squat — 4 x 12
- Sumo Deadlift — 4 x 8
- Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift & Deficit Reverse Lunge — 3 x 8-10
Check out the video below, wherein Bailey demonstrates each movement and explains why they comprise her leg training:
Cable Glute Kickback
Bailey opened with the cable glute kickback to activate the glutes via an established mind-muscle connection. She paused at the top and used slow eccentrics to increase the glutes’ time under tension.
An International Journal of Sports Medicine research concluded that as time under tension increases, so does skeletal muscle energy turnover, metabolic stress, and ischemia, which can improve muscle endurance, hypertrophy, and strength. (1)
Kickstand Machine Hip Thrust
Bailey placed her feet shoulder-width apart in the middle of the hip thrust machine’s foot platform. She moved one foot into the kickstand position by aligning her heel with the ball of her opposing foot and elevating her toes. This setup places most of the tension on the grounded leg, which places the majority of the load on the corresponding glute.
Superset: Power Squat Machine Good Mornings & Reverse Power Squat
Bailey performed good mornings in a hip-width stance on the foot platform’s edge; her heels extending beyond it. Bailey initiated the movement by driving her hips back and down while maintaining a slight knee bend and a rounded back. She avoided fully extending her hips, knees, or spine at the top of her range of motion to keep constant tension on her glutes and hamstrings.
Come down as far as you can feel a good stretch [in your hamstrings]. As you come up, squeeze your glutes and hamstrings.
Bailey superset good mornings with reverse squats on the power squat machine to continue biasing the glutes. Sticking to the form cues from the previous exercise, Bailey lowered into a squat by pushing her hips back and down; her legs reaching 90 degrees at the bottom of the eccentric.
Bailey prefers programming deadlifts toward the end of her training when her glutes are fatigued. She finds this allows her to load the target muscles without needing excessively heavy weight, which lowers her injury risk.
Bailey used a mixed grip, wearing knee sleeves and a weightlifting belt. She avoided fully extending her hips and back at lockout, maintaining tension on her posterior chain. Bailey employed slow eccentrics for a deep hamstring and glute stretch —slow eccentrics can boost hypertrophy and strength gains, leading to heavier one-rep maxes. (2)(3)
Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift & Deficit Reverse Lunge
Bailey performed a single-leg Romanian deadlift and deficit reverse lunge complex while standing on a 45-pound bumper plate to close her session. After a single-leg Romanian deadlift, she stepped back with the elevated leg and lowered into a lunge. She alternated between exercises for a total of 16-20 reps per leg.
- Mang ZA, Ducharme JB, Mermier C, Kravitz L, de Castro Magalhaes F, Amorim F. Aerobic Adaptations to Resistance Training: The Role of Time under Tension. Int J Sports Med. 2022 Sep;43(10):829-839.
- Azevedo PHSM, Oliveira MGD, Schoenfeld BJ. Effect of different eccentric tempos on hypertrophy and strength of the lower limbs. Biol Sport. 2022 Mar;39(2):443-449.
- Kojić F, Ranisavljev I, Ćosić D, Popović D, Stojiljković S, Ilić V. Effects of resistance training on hypertrophy, strength and tensiomyography parameters of elbow flexors: role of eccentric phase duration. Biol Sport. 2021 Oct;38(4):587-594.
Featured image: @danalinnbailey on Instagram