To achieve all the many benefits of strength training, you need to do glute-focused exercises. Poorly executed squats, lunges, and machine work won't cut it. None of these really target the glutes and absolutely do not stimulate or fatigue these fibers enough for a notable benefit.
Not everyone can target the glutes with great squat mechanics or feel confident executing deadlift variations with loads that can really stimulate the posterior chain. But these training shortcomings are no excuse not to tap into the many benefits of glute training, including the maintenance of lower back health and simply burning more calories.
Simple exercises such as the glute bridges, hip thrusts and their many variations have a quick learning curve and are safe and effective for building that backside.
Programming direct glute work multiple times a week can revolutionize any training routine, and any booty for that matter. The glutes are one of the most powerful muscle groups in the body, composed of three separate but synergistic muscles that are primary hip extensors and aid in hip external rotation, abduction, and even stabilize the entire posterior chain when working properly.
The gluteus maximus is also the thickest and strongest muscle in the body capable of burning a surplus of calories and adding some giant coals to the metabolic fire. If you want to burn fat at exponential rates for hours after you train, focusing on directly training the glutes may just be the most efficient way to get there.
It's one thing to "activate the glutes" like every functional training guru preaches, but it's an entirely new thing to fatigue these fibers to the point of needing to remodel the local active tissue. While activating is one step in the right direction, executing intelligently designed programming to target the glutes for strength, hypertrophy, and metabolic conditioning has the ability to take your training and fat loss efforts to an entirely new level.