Today I will discuss the deficit split squat.
Deficit split squat: This is my favorite glute exercise, and in my opinion, hits the glutes even harder than most hip thrusts, at least if you perform this exercise through a full range. This exercise is a more glute dominant version of a regular split squat.
Stand on two boxes/steps. Make sure that your weight is on the back of your front foot, but keep all of your toes down and spread (this will give you more stability). You should be on the toes of your back foot, and your sole should be vertical. Have a very slight forward lean in your torso. Take a deep breath in and brace your core, and slowly descend into a split squat. Go as low as your mobility and strength will permit, while maintaining good form. Drive through the back of your front foot, and use the muscles in your front leg to return to the starting position. Your body should travel in a vertical plane, not horizontally. You should really feel the quad and glute in your front leg. The greater your range is, the more the glute of the forward leg will be working. It should be working big-time.
This exercise is so much tougher than it looks. Start with just bodyweight, and master the mechanics of this movement. Once you are able to perform 10+ reps with good form, you can add some extra resistance. Start out with some dumbbells, and only progress to a barbell once you are competent performing this exercise with the additional resistance of the dumbbells. The key to this exercise is getting as deep into this movement as your mobility and strength will permit, hence why you are on two boxes so you can go into a deficit (below parallel). You do not need to go very heavy for this exercise to be very effective. Greater depth with a lighter weight will be more effective than shallower depth with a heavier weight. Give this exercise a try.