well, since there aren’t many researchers just looking at hypertrophy of the glute muscles, we have to rely on experience and anecdotes, and use our basic understanding of what muscles do and physiology of how hypertrophy happens as we understand it at this point in time.
Take into consideration your clients needs and all the evaluation stuff you do before hand of course. Back to the exercises. It is my opinion that there is not one exercise, but a combination of exercises that we can fit with the right person dependent on the client and if they can perform it. From a physiological level, think of creating mechanical tension, metabolic stress, muscle damage. I’m not gonna give you any exercises but you can google “what movements activate glutes” or something like that. Also remember, glutes can be trained in all 3 planes of motion. Something to consider if they are an athlete or just like to have fun
I’m casting my primary vote for squats. Lunges are right up there, but I’m a bigger fan of squats for overall lower body development – including glutes. However, make sure the quads are parallel (or slightly lower) to the ground when performing them to get the glutes to really kick in.
I agree that certain exercises such as squats and lunges (and all kinds of variation of them) will help define the glutes. I’ve also had a few clients tell me that Barre classes have lifted their glutes. So, a combination of these exercises helps along with proper nutrition.
However, genetics also plays a role in how much one can change the shape and size of the glutes (so I agree with Martin’s response on genetics).