Single-Leg Glute Raises
This is my favorite isolation exercise and it is also the easiest to do because it only requires some ankle weights if you don't have access to a cable machine. This exercise allows you to completely isolate a glute muscle. This exercise is best done if you have a cable machine because you can vary the resistance but if you don't have a cable machine, ankle weights will work just fine, the key is focusing on the movement and making sure that you do each set until the glute is burning.
- The key is always to move from the from this exercise to the to the next exercise as quickly as possible. You want the glute to still be burning as you begin the next exercise. This is key to the effectiveness of pre-exhaustion.
Bridges are not as much of an isolation exercise as the Single-Leg Glute Raise (mentioned above), but performed correctly it's quite effective as an isolation exercise.
- The key is making sure you push into the ground with the HEEL of your foot. This will directly activate the glute muscle while minimizing the involvement of the thigh muscles.
Single Leg Bridges
Single-Leg Bridges are great for isolating and really exhausting the glute muscle before you do your compound exercise. Since you are only using one leg, this forces more glute muscles to activate since you don't have the other leg to stabilize your body.
Donkey kicks can be used as an alternative to the other isolation exercises. The reason I don't emphasize them is because you need to have either a partner or a specialized donkey kick machine. Performing this exercise without an assistant or machine is not very effective unless you have some heavy ankle weights on (heavier than you would need for the Single‐Leg Glute Raises mentioned earlier). The coordination you need to do this with a partner takes some time to develop, therefore the first couple of times you try this will be a learning experience.
- Performance: The goal is for your partner to apply even resistance the entire time throughout each rep, both as you extend your leg up and as you bring it back down to the starting position.